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Money matters

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

Providing evidence you have enough money for your stay is a requirement of a student Visa application. 

The Department of Home Affairs (HA) estimates you will need approximately $24,505 per year for your stay in Australia. 

You will need to allow for additional living expenses if you bring your family with you. HA estimates you should budget an additional $8,574 per year for a partner coming with you and $3,670 per year for a child coming with you. These costs do not include the expenses associated with school tuition for school-age children coming with you, which are approximately $9,661 per year per child.

These costs do not include the cost of travelling to or from your home country or the costs of your course. 

You will need to pro-rata these figures based on the length of your course and how long you intend on being in Australia. Visit the Department of Home Affairs Student visa website for more information. 



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.

The below figures are a guide but figures may change significantly depending on which area you choose to live in, your living arrangements  and how many people you are travelling with.

For an easy way to estimate your cost of living in Australia, check out the Study Australia Cost of Living Calculator.

 Accommodation$85 to $640
 Gas and electricity$35 to $200 
 Phone and internet$20 to $100 
 Public transport$15 to $55 
 Entertainment$80 to $150

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 the Australian climate, finding accommodation, and working in Australia. 

Learn more