Study abroad in Australia: Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Australia is one of the countries that charm international students through its impressive natural landscapes, high quality of life and efficient educational system. Australia is home to several high-ranked universities, offering a welcoming and supporting environment and teaching and living conditions that students often praise.

General living costs may be a bit of a challenge for foreigners in Australia, but even so, the country has managed to attract a record number of international students, over 600,000 in 2015.

Read below you will find general information about tuition, overall living expenses and scholarship opportunities for studying abroad in Australia.

1. University tuition fees in Australia

Australia has around 40 public universities, two international and one private university, providing any type of study degree you can imagine, from business and engineering to history and arts. Tuition fees range depending on the discipline you choose to study, degree level and university.

Australia is one of the most expensive countries when it comes to university costs, as the average tuition fee for one year is 33,400 AUD.

Average tuition based on degree level:

  • Bachelor’s degree: between 15,000 and 33,000 AUD/year
  • Master’s and PhD degree: between 14,000 – 37,000 AUD/year
Most affordable universities in Australia

Check the list of Australian universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

  1. IPAG Business School– average tuition fees 15,000 AUD/year
  2. University of New England– average tuition fees 18,000 AUD/year
  3. University of Wollongong– average tuition fees 16,000 AUD/year
  4. Victoria University– average tuition fees 22,000 AUD/year
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Australian universities:

  1. University of Melbourne– average tuition fees 35,000 AUD/year
  2. Australian National University– average tuition fees 36,000-37,000 AUD/year
  3. University of Sydney– average tuition fees 37,000 AUD/year
  4. University of Queensland– average tuition fees 32,000 AUD/year

2. Student living costs in Australia

Average living costs in Australian cities

Generally, students would need between 1,800 and 2,500 AUD/month to cover all their living expenses, including accommodation, food and social activities.

Check the average budget you would need for each of the most popular student cities in Australia:

  • Sydney: around 2,500 AUD/month.
  • Adelaide: around 1,700 AUD/month.
  • Brisbane: around 1,800 AUD/month.
  • Melbourne: around 1,200 AUD/month.
  • Canberra: around 1,000 AUD/month.
Accommodation costs in Australia

Most universities only provide a small number of student dormitories for on-campus-accommodation in Australia. The majority of international students find housing in a homestay with a local family, a rental property or a guest house.

Most common accommodation options for students in Australia:

  • Home stay: costs around 440 – 1,080 AUD/month.
  • Guest houses: prices are between 320 and 540 AUD/month.
  • Student halls of residence: rates start from cost 320 and lead up to 1,000 AUD/month.
  • Rent an apartment: average prices of 1,700 AUD/month

Prices also vary depending on the city; for instance, renting an apartment in Canberra can cost you between 1,400 and 1,700 AUD/month, while Sydney is the most expensive city, especially accommodation wise. Prices for rent for a single bedroom flat can reach up to 2,200 AUD/month.

Other costs associated with accommodation

Apart from rent, your accommodation requires some extra expenses, such as:

  • utilities: up to 175 AUD/month.
  • internet pass: costs around 70 AUD/month.
Food costs in Australia

Groceries are available in local supermarkets and usually require around 80 – 200 AUD/week. Save some money and do your shopping at the cheapest supermarkets, like Aldi, Coles and Woolworths.

The average cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs 16 AUD while a three-course meal for two is 80 AUD.

Due to the fact that Australia counts a large number of Asian, Greek and Italian population, you can choose from plenty of Asian, Greek and Italian restaurants and taste the specific cuisine.

Transportation costs in Australia

Some universities have a private transport supplier that helps students who stay on campus late or have to reach some difficult areas. The Australian government offers free transport to international students who enrol in the ACTION programme.

  • Depending on the area you are living in, you can benefit from other discounts from state programmes such as QLD (Queensland), SA (South Australia) or VIC (Melbourne).
  • Otherwise, a public transport pass for students would cost between 30 and 70 AUD/month, depending on the city.
  • You can also get around the city using a bicycle and Melbourne is one of the most bike friendly cities; you can rent a bicycle with around 40 AUD per day.
Extra costs

Books, supplies, and other learning materials: from 500 to 1,000 AUD/year.

Health insurance: rates start from 25-30 AUD/month

3. Funding & student support

The Australian government supports international students and grants them enough choices in aid for their studies; annual state investment exceeds 200,000,000 AUD.

Examples of scholarships for international students:

  • Australia Awards – scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government that cover full tuition fees, travel expenses and part of the monthly living costs among others
  • APEC Women in Research Fellowship Program –financial support dedicated to female researchers from developing APEC economies who plan to pursue a research programme in partnership with Australian universities and research institutions
  • Endeavour Postgraduate Awards – offers financial support to international students who enroll in a Master’s or PhD degree. The scholarships include tuition fees, travel allowance, establishment allowance, monthly stipend as well as health and travel insurance.
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