Study in Australia: What does it really cost?

Studying abroad involves many different costs, but embarking on the journey to Australia may not be as expensive as you think.

To help you gain an understanding of how much you need to study in Australia, here’s a clear breakdown of some of the essential expenses.

Please note that the current minimum living cost, as set by the Department of Home Affairs, is AUD $24,505 for a single student.

Students enjoying pizza on Rundle Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Updated Monday 8th April, 2024

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.

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$710 (approximately ₹38,992 / CN¥3,298).1

his 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.

1Estimated exchange rate, April 2024

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Student medical examination

When you apply for your Student visa, one of the requirements you will need to complete is a medical examination. All costs related to this examination are your responsibility. Medical examination pricing can vary between countries. In Australia, you can expect to pay approximately AUD $350.

In order to prevent identity fraud and to keep Australian borders secure, students from certain countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Greece and Hong Kong SAR, may be required to provide biometric data. The Departmenrt of Home Affairs publishes the list of countries included in the biometrics program.

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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 - AUD $30,000 per year
English language course AUD $300 per week
Vocational Education and Training AUD $5,700 - AUD $24,000 per year
Foundation courses AUD $18,000 - AUD $49,000 total
Bachelor Degree AUD $17,000 - AUD $50,000 per year
Master's Degree AUD $17,000 - AUD $53,000 per year
Doctoral Degree AUD $23,000 - AUD $95,000 per year
MBA AUD $21,000 - AUD $126,000 per year

There are many international student scholarships available, which can help subsidise not only your tuition fees but also your living costs.

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Student insurance

While studying in Australia, international students are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). This type of insurance includes cover for visits to the doctor, selected hospital treatments, ambulance rides and some medicines.

There are many insurance companies offering lots of different products, from basic to comprehensive cover. OSHC costs can range from as little as AUD $550 to AUD $700 a year for basic cover.

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Study materials

No matter what course you undertake, you will require some materials, such as textbooks, calculators, and protective equipment. 

The price of study materials can range from AUD $150 to AUD $1,500 per year, depending on your course. You can cut costs by purchasing second-hand materials. These can usually be found on student portal forums, campus notice boards and classified platforms like Gumtree

Be careful when purchasing second-hand textbooks that you are buying the edition that’s being taught in your program.

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Australia offers multiple living options to explore. These include living in a homestay, shared on-campus living or privately rented accommodation. The cost can range between AUD $200 to AUD $950 per week, depending on the type of accommodation you choose.

Staying on-campus or with a homestay family is usually a cheaper option, as bills like electricity and internet are often included in your rent.

Accommodation in Adelaide is generally far cheaper than housing in Sydney or Melbourne and provides better value for money.

Visit our page on student accommodation in Adelaide to learn more.

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Australia is known as a destination for foodies! Not only is there an abundance of amazing fresh produce, but because of the country’s diverse community, there are also restaurants serving cuisines from all corners of the globe.

Your food expenses will vary depending on your personal habits and choices, with the average single person in Australia spending AUD $140 a week on groceries.

An average meal at a restaurant can cost anywhere from AUD $15 to AUD $50 per person, so 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 some other essential expenses for you to keep in mind.

Item Cost
Mobile phone bill AUD $15 - AUD $70 per month
Internet AUD $40 - AUD $90 per month
Movie ticket AUD $12 - AUD $23
Big Mac AUD $7.90
1L of unleaded petrol AUD $1.90
A dozen large eggs AUD $6.73
2L of Coca-Cola AUD $3.90

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Australia is a very big country and its metropolitan cities are spacious and spread out. If you’re looking for a way to get around town, driving is the easiest choice, while public transport is the most cost-effective. When budgeting, it is important to take into consideration which state or territory you’ll be in, as fees for parking and vehicle registration differ.

With great roads, plenty of cycling tracks and a fantastic public transport network, you’ll find it easy to get around in Adelaide.

We hope this guide has helped you get a good idea of the costs involved in studying in Australia.

Remember, international students are allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight during their studies, which is a great way to offset some of your expenses.

Visit our Work page to learn more about finding a part-time job as an international student, or visit Job Shop to find part-time or casual work for international students.

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