Cost of Living


You should work out a budget covering accommodation, food, transport, clothing and entertainment. Childcare, if applicable, should also be taken into account. The average international student in Australia spends about $360 per week on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone and incidental costs. School students in Australia typically spend a little less – about $265 a week- on accommodation and food, entertainment, transport and associated items. While this is a realistic guide, it is important to remember that individual circumstances will vary by location, course and lifestyle.

Living Costs

Melbourne is a reasonably priced city providing good quality affordable living and abundant accommodation:

  • The cost of living for a single international student is approximately AU$20,000 per year.
  • This includes rent, food, transport and other essential living  expenses. It does not include tuition fees,text books, the cost of running a car, or social activities. The true cost of living depends on the sort of lifestyle you lead. Use the following guide to help you formulate a realistic budget.
  • If you are bringing your family, you will need to budget for additional living costs.
  • If your children are of school age, you must also budget for school fees and uni forms.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) advises that applicants for student visas require AU$19,830 per year for living expenses. For more information please visit the DIBP website:

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ApplicantReturn air fare to Australia
Familiy membersOne return air fare to Australia per person
6 NovemberTuesdayMelbourne Cup Day *
25 DecemberTuesdayChristmas Day
26 DecemberWednesdayBoxing Day
ApplicantAUD$19,830 per year
PartnerAUD$6,940 per year
First childAUD$2,970 per year
Each other childAUD$2,970 per year

Fruit, vegetables and meat are available fresh and at reasonable prices. Clothing and personal effects are usually good quality and available at a wide variety of prices. Below is a price table of typical daily items.


Price Table*

Remember that you can shop around for items such as clothing and shoes to find a cheaper source.

Milk 1 litre $2Shoes 1 pair $70
Bread 1 loaf $3Jeans 1 pair $80
Apples 1 kg $4Toothpaste 140g $2.50
Potatoes 1 kg $3Shampoo 500ml $3
Beefsteak 1 kg $15T-shirt $20
Eggs 1 dozen $4 Hairdresser $20 to $40
Cereal 1kg $3Newspaper $2
Fruit Juice 2 litres $4Cinema ticket $15
Rice 1 kg $4Public transport city an inner suburbs $7 for a day pass

*These prices are just a guide