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Fees & Costs

Before deciding to study in Australia, you need to be confident that you can cover the costs of your tuition fees, as well as living expenses. Make sure you are aware of all the possible costs of studying in Australia so that you can budget effectively.

Tuition fees

The Australian higher education system requires that international students pay their full tuition fees up front, so it is important to be well aware of the costs before applying. Some institutions may also charge for additional costs such as use of the library, laboratories and sports facilities. Contact your chosen institutions for information about their fees.

Here is a guideline of typical fees in Australia (all in AUS$ per year):

*Figures taken from Top Universities. See original article. Please note that this is a guideline only. Actual fees may vary.

Financial help and scholarships

If you are interested in studying abroad in Australia but finances are an issue, there are a number of opportunities for financial help in Australia. Scholarships are offered by institutions, the Australian government and various organisations. They may offer to pay all or part of your tuition fees, and can cover specific topic areas or levels of study. The Australian government doesn't offer scholarships to those studying English language courses, however some institutions do.


The Study in Australia website has a useful scholarships database. It also has details of the Australian Awards programme, which offers scholarships to high achieving or skilled students from various countries. The Australian Government website has a really comprehensive list of links for international students looking to fund their studies.

As well as scholarships for academic attainment, Australia is committed to promoting higher education for students from developing countries. These scholarships are given on the understanding that, on completing your studies, you will return to your country for at least two years and use your new skills to improve the development of your country. For more information see Scholarships4Development.

Applications for the Australia Awards for 2017 entry opens on 1st February 2017 and closes on 30th April 2017 for the following countries: Bhutan, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka & Vietnam. Other countries are also included: see the full list on the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website.

Living costs

You should consider what your living costs in Australia will be, especially as you must show evidence of your ability to support yourself whilst studying. Visa applications require you to prove that you have access to at least $19,830 per year (the recommended minimum cost of living for one year in Australia), or that your parents or spouse are willing to support you and that they earn at least $60,000 per year. Additional funds will be required for family members (see the Australian Government Department for Immigration and Citizenship for details).

However, be aware that this is an indicative figure only and your living costs may be higher or lower, depending on your location, lifestyle and hobbies. Your living expenses are likely to include rent (see our Accommodation page for average costs), bills, clothing, food, toiletries, books and course materials, travel and socialising. You can compare the cost of living in different cities in Australia on

Australia cost of living comparison

Melbourne and Adelaide have a cheaper cost of living compared to Brisbane, Perth & Sydney. Image from 

KEEP READING: Average costs of student travel, food & bills in Australia

Travel, Food & Bills

Here are some average costs (in AUS$) of everyday goods to give you an idea of how much your living expenses might be:


Travel costs will depend how, and how much, you travel, but on average you can spend around $109-$141 per month if using public transport. Many regions of Australia do offer a student concession rate for either a fixed cost or a percentage reduction, typically 50% off. You can see a full list of transport concessions for international students on Bicycles are also a popular option for international students as a lot of the country's popular student cities are very bicycle friendly. You might want to look into hiring a bike or buying one for your time there and selling it when you head back to your home country. 

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Bicycles in Melbourne

Food and household

An average food and household bill per week should be between $80-150, depending on your tastes. Here are the costs of some basic food & drink items:

Check the exchange rate for your currency to Australian Dollars with the currency converter on for the latest figures. 

Social activities

Going out in the evenings will add to your cost of living. All universities will offer a wide range of activities for their students, from sports to societies, with regular social events taking place, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities without having to venture too far into the city. Of course, it is nice to have a good meal in town or see the latest film from time to time too - just don't forget to take in the sights of the city at night on the way!


Darling Harbour, Sydney

Other Bills

KEEP READING: International student banking in Australia


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Choosing the right card - International student banking

Students are advised to open a student checking account for the duration of their studies in Australia. The Australian banking system is regarded internationally as a safe and stable system and there is a good choice of banks, building societies and credit unions for students to choose from.

Choosing a bank

Make sure you research the different banking options available to you. Ask the welfare officer at your institution for recommendations and also speak to friends to find out about their experiences with different banks. Also remember to shop around, as different banks offer different incentives for opening accounts. 

It is a good idea to choose a bank with a branch close to where you live and find out things like whether you can withdraw cash from other banks' ATMs, and whether you will have access to an overdraft. Many banks will offer an account specifically for international students. Some ATMs will charge users from non-member banks for withdrawing money or checking your balance. Be sure to check the fees when choosing a bank as these could add up. See a full list of ATM fees in Australia on

Opening an account

Some banks allow international students to open accounts before arriving in Australia, enabling you to transfer funds prior to departure. If not, students are advised to open an account within six weeks of arriving in Australia. 

If you open a bank account within six weeks of arriving in Australia, you can use your passport as proof of identity and will need to have a local address. However, if you open an account after six weeks you may need to provide further identification, such as a birth certificate or a driving licence.


Arriving in Australia

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 Hear from international students studying in Australia on