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Living costs for students in Australia


Eating Out

There are many eating out options in Australia. There is a wide variety of food cuisine reflecting the many cultures represented in Australian society.

PUBS - A 'counter meal' at the local pub will generally cost AU$8-20.

CAFEs - A café meal is generally AU$10-20. A coffee is around AU$3.00

RESTAURANTS - A full service quality restaurant meal costs AU$8-15 entrée and AU$15 - 30 for main course

TAKEAWAY- Many choices including Fish & Chips, Pizza and Charcoal Chicken - AU$5-20.

JUNK FOOD - McDonalds, Hungry Jacks/Burger King, KFC - Big Mac or Whopper meal deal AU$5.00.

There will also be food available on campus which will be a little cheaper than other venues.

Buying and Cooking your own Food

Please find below an approximate guide to average costs of common groceries.

Item Approximate cost (Australian dollars)
Rice (1 kg bag) $2.00 - 2.50
Pasta (500g) $1.00 - 2.00
Loaf of bread $2.00 - 3.00
Tin of tuna (185g) $1.00 - 3.00
Tin of tomatoes (415g) $0.80 - 1.20
Packet of chocolate biscuits (200g) $1.00 - 2.50
Chicken breast fillet (approx. 250g) $3.50 - 4.00
Beef mince (1 kg) $9.00 - 13.00
Carrots (1 kg) $1.50 - 2.00
Potatoes (1 kg) $2.50 - 3.50
Apples (1 kg) $2.00 - 6.00
Scotch whiskey (700ml bottle) $20 - 35
Bottle of wine $5.00 upwards
24 bottles of beer (375ml each) $25 - 35

Exact prices depend upon location, brand, seasonal variations and variety.


Please find below approximate costs for student accommodation:

University residential colleges AU$190-280 per week
University halls of residence AU$120-250 per week
Home-stay AU$110-270 per week
Boarding hostels AU$80-135 per week
Share accommodation AU$65-120 per week (for your room)
Rental accommodation AU$150-350 per week (for the premise)

The prices given are only a rough guide. Variations due to location, size, condition of premises, and number of people living there.

Furniture is not usually provided in share and rental accommodation. Cheap second hand furniture can be easily purchased.

University accommodation, home stay and boarding hostels will have furniture.

Your education provider will be able to assist you with accommodation information relevant to your desired location, finances and needs.

General Costs

The average international student in Australia spends about AU$320* per week on living costs (accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone and incidental costs). This equates to AU$16,640 per year. In addition there are the course fees and incidental costs including books and office supplies. Naturally these figures vary according to location and lifestyle.

*Figures are sourced from AEI - International Education Network 2004, Department of Education, Science and Training. - 27 April 2004.

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