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Before you decide to study in Australia, it's important for you to know the cost of living and how much money you'll need to have access to while you're here.

Minimum cost of living

The Department of Home Affairs (HA) estimates you will need approximately $21,041 per year for your stay in Australia.

You will need to allow for additional living expenses if bringing your family with you. HA estimates you should budget an additional $7,362 per year for a spouse or de facto partner and $3,152 per year for each dependent child. These costs do not include the expenses associated with school tuition which are approximately $10,000 per year per child.

Budgeting

When you live and study away from home, it can be easy to spend your savings quickly. A budget is a handy way to help you manage your expenses. Below is an example of a typical weekly budget to give you an idea of the cost of living in Australia.

Accomodation $85 to $440
 Gas and electricity $35 to $140 
 Phone and internet $20 to $55 
 Public transport $15 to $55 
 Entertainment $80 to $150 

 

For an easy way to estimate your cost of living in Australia, check out the Insider Guides' cost of living calculator.

Setting up a bank account

To open a bank account in Australia you will usually need:

  • your passport (with arrival date stamped by Australian immigration)
  • student ID card (in order to receive a discounted student rate)
  • money to deposit into the account (this can be as little as $10).

The major banks in Australia are ANZCommonwealth BankWestpac, and National Australia Bank (NAB), although there are also a number of smaller banks available. To compare everyday transaction accounts between banks, visit the Canstar comparison site.

Making purchases in Australia

You can purchase items in Australia by cash, credit card or EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale). EFTPOS allows you to use the card attached to your Australian bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash at the same time. To do this, ask if you can get 'cash out' when finalising your purchase.

EFTPOS is available at most retail outlets, although smaller retailers may not allow you to get cash out or may place limits on how much you can withdraw. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs which you can find at banks, shopping centres, service stations, and convenience stores.

Life in Australia

Find out more about what life in Australia is really like and get information on public transport, finding accommodation, and working in Australia. 

Learn more
 
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