Study in Australia: What does it really cost?

You might have heard that studying in Australia is not cheap, but is this true? It really depends on how you live.

Studying abroad will involve many different expenses but embarking on the journey to Australia may not be as expensive as you think.

To help you gain an understanding on how much it costs to study in Australia, here’s a clear break down on some of the essential costs involved.

Please note that the current minimum living cost, as set by The Department of Home Affairs, is $20,290 for a single student.

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Student visa

To be eligible to study in Australia, all International Students are required to apply for a Student Visa (Subclass 500).  This visa allows you to study full-time in a recognised institution for up to five years and the current price for this student visa is AUD$575 (approximately ₹28,600). This cost may vary slightly depending on where you apply, therefore prospective students are recommended to use the visa pricing estimator by the Department of Home Affairs to know a more accurate estimate.

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Student medical examination

When you apply for your Student visa, you will need to meet a number of requirements - one of which is to complete a medical examination.  All costs related to this examination are the responsibility of the student.  Medical exams usually range from AUD$30 to AUD$50 depending on the country.

In order to prevent identity fraud and to keep Australian borders secure, some students may also be required to undertake biometric testing.  Example countries where this applies includes Malaysia, Singapore, Greece, Hong Kong SAR and others.  To see the full list of countries, click here.

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Tuition fees

Depending on what you’re studying, tuition fees can vary significantly.  Below is a summary table of the approximate costs of various education programs in Australia.

Education Type Average Tuition
Secondary school AUD $7,800 - $30,000 per year
English language course AUD $300 per week
Vocational Education and Training AUD $4,000 - $22,000 per year
Foundation courses AUD $15,000 - $33,000 total
Bachelor Degree AUD $15,000 - $33,000 per year
Master's Degree AUD $14,000 - $37,000 per year
Doctoral Degree AUD $14,000 - $37,000 per year
MBA AUD $11,000 - $121,000 per year


The good news is, there are many scholarships available to you, which will help subsidies not only your tuition fees, but also your living costs.  Click here to find out more information on scholarships available in Adelaide.

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Student insurance

Whilst studying in Australia, international students are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). This usually includes cover for visits to the doctor, selected hospital treatments, ambulance cover and limited medicines. There are multiple insurance companies that offer different products, which will affect the cost but as an idea, costs can range from as low as $400 a year to $3,000 a year depending on the level of cover you take out.

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Study materials

No matter what course you undertake, some study materials will be required such as textbooks, calculators, and protective equipment).  Generally speaking these costs can range from approximately AUD$500 to AUD$1,500 per year, however you can cut down costs by purchasing second-hand materials.  These usually can be found on student portal forums, on-campus notice boards and Gumtree (a free local classified platform).  Be careful when purchasing second-hand text books that you are buying the current edition being taught in your program.

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Accommodation

There are multiple living options for you when you come to Australia.  Some of these include living with a homestay, shared living on campus or privately rented accommodation. The price can range between $130 to $600 per week depending on the type of accommodation you choose.  Staying on campus, or with a homestay family can be a relatively cheaper option, as bills like electricity and internet could be included in your rent. Accommodation costs in Adelaide are generally far less than costs in Sydney or Melbourne, and provide better value for money. For a complete overview of accommodation options available in Adelaide, click here

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Meals

Australia is known to be a prominent foodie destination! Not only is there an abundance of amazing fresh produce, but because there is such a diverse community there is also an abundant number of restaurants serving cuisine from all corners of the globe.  Your food costs will vary heavily depending on your personal habits and choices with costs ranging from $80 to $280 a week. To give you a better idea, an average meal cost will be around AUD$15 to AUD$20 when eating out, but learning to cook for yourself is the cheapest option.

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Other costs and amenities

To help you better understand and plan your living costs in Australia, we’ve listed various costs for you to review.

Item Cost
Mobile phone bill AU $20-$100 per month
Internet AU $20-$100 per month
Movies AU $8-$25
Big Mac AU $6.10
1L of unleaded petrol AU $1.40/L
A dozen large eggs AU $4.99
2L of Coca-Cola AU $3.49


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Transport

Australia is quite a spacious country, therefore if you’re looking to easily scoot around destinations, driving is the easiest form of transport, however public transport is the most cost effective. Taking into consideration where in Australia you will be the costs involved in terms of registration, parking will differ slightly with costs being higher in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. You should check the relevant state/territory website to see exact costs. Click here to learn more about transport options and costs in Adelaide.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the costs involved in studying in Australia better. To offset the cost of studying abroad international students in Australia are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. Click here for more information about working while studying in Australia.

Learn more about the cost of living in Adelaide in the video below.

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