If you aren't already thinking about the cost of studying abroad in Australia, it will be as soon as you get accepted into your study program.
As you start doing the maths, you may begin to feel overwhelmed and a little scared by the numbers you’re seeing. Australia isn’t the cheapest country to choose if you’d like to study abroad, however, the work and education opportunities, culture and life experience quickly offset the price and make Australia tremendously favorable for international students, especially those who want to become masters of the English language and live or work abroad someday.
So, how much does it cost to study abroad in Australia? Read on to find out!
It’s All Relative
Oftentimes the perception of Australia being expensive comes from comparing prices with Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, where a one-bedroom apartment is at least $1,500 USD and transportation, food, entertainment and other necessities follow a similar expensive trend.
Fortunately, Sydney isn’t the only cool location in Australia that is worth living and studying in.
There’s another place, a little further north, called the Gold Coast, an area that’s home to 287 sunny days each year, world-class surf beaches and livable cities like Brisbane.
On the Gold Coast, rent is 42% cheaper than in Sydney, groceries are 10% less and that means more money to put towards your weekend adventures and going out with friends. Not only are you right on the coast, but your money also goes much further.
Expenses to consider
As you’re figuring out what it will cost to study abroad, make sure you have everything on this list accounted for.
- Course materials
- Student Visa
- Travel to Australia
- Phone coverage
Of course, some people will have additional expenses, but these should serve as a good baseline.
Tuition and Course Materials
Cost: Varies by program
As soon as you are accepted into your educational program, you’ll have a much better sense of what to expect in regard to tuition and course materials.
However, if you’re still looking for a place to study, you might consider a less expensive option than a university pathway that will take considerably less time to complete and still give you marketable skills. RTOs or Registered Training Organisations are accredited educational organisations that deliver high-quality, hands-on training in areas like business, hospitality, food service, event management and more.
By choosing a program with a shorter length, you’ll significantly reduce your spending on tuition.
Cost: From $560 AUD
In order to study in Australia as an international student, you’ll need to obtain a student visa only after you’ve been accepted into a program. Pricing will depend upon the program you enrol in and potentially your home country.
Ninety per cent of student visas are processed within 90 days of receiving the visa application, so be patient once you send in your materials.
This International Students’ Guide to Landing in Australia will help you minimise all the packing, travel, arrival, and customs fuss and get to the beach ASAP.
Travel to Australia
Cost: Varies by location
Unless you’re an incredible swimmer, you’ll be buying a plane ticket to reach Australia. Of course, the cost of that ticket is going to depend completely upon where you’re flying from.
It’s wise to track flights using an app like Hopper which shows you the cheapest time to buy tickets. Additionally, signing up for a newsletter like Scott’s Cheap Flights will clue you into seriously discounted airfare from locations all over the world.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your ticket. Try to buy a few months out, shop around for deals— and factor in the cost of luggage if you’ll be bringing more than one or two pieces that are usually included in the cost of your ticket.
Cost: $1,400 AUD (1 Bedroom) to $2,000 AUD per month (3 Bedroom) - Gold Coast
Behind tuition, rent will be one of the most expensive parts of living in Australia. However, it’s possible to be creative and lower that cost considerably.
Using sites like Flatmates or even Airbnb can help you find great deals and new friends. If you rent a 3 bedroom apartment, you can split the rent 3 ways (or more, if some people don’t mind sharing rooms) and dramatically lower your living costs.
And most people would rather take that money and spend it on weekend trips, going out and seeing new places!
Cost: $255 AUD per month
Utilities include your electric, garbage, heat and water— plus internet and this particular number is based on an 85 square meter apartment.
Again, if you’re able to have roommates this number shrinks drastically.
Cost: $30 AUD per month
If you want to stay in touch with family and friends back home, plus be reachable by new friends as they make plans for a night out, you’ll probably want a cell phone plan.
There are plenty of different options, from contract plans to monthly no-contract offers, and they range in price.
If you want to keep things inexpensive, see how you do without a phone plan and rely on public wifi signals. You can still post to Instagram, text via WhatsApp and make calls through Skype!
Cost: $80 AUD per month for a mass transit monthly pass
There’s so much to see and do around Australia’s Gold Coast that you’ll need to get around easily. Relying on public transport is completely possible and eliminates the need to buy petrol, park or maintain a car.
If you’re more adventurous or enjoy being active, you can also supplement or replace public transportation with a bicycle. Burn calories, save money— and have a great time doing it!
Cost: $450 AUD per month (including 2 meals out per week)
Food can be as cheap as you want it to be, cooking at home with fresh ingredients from the market, or going out to eat for each meal— in which case our estimate will be much, much higher!
But if you like a mix of cooking at home and eating out 2 meals each week, this is an accurate budget number to consider.
Cost: $100 AUD per month
Your entertainment budget will heavily depend on what you love to do. If you enjoy visiting museums, hiking, surfing and sightseeing, you can see Australia on a low budget. If you want to experience adrenaline rushes, extreme sports, have luxury experiences and travel extensively, your entertainment budget will rise.
However, there are so many things to do on the Gold Coast that you’ll be able to pick and choose based on your budget. Check out Airbnb’s new experience feature where you can connect with locals and experience Australia the way they do with food tours, surf lessons and more.
Look at value, not cost
A life-changing experience with long-term positive benefits is hard to look at from purely a financial perspective. Yes, Australia is a more expensive study abroad destination, however, there are plenty of ways to control that cost and live within a budget, while still having the full study abroad experience.
The value of studying abroad in Australia is tremendous. International education and experience on your CV, improved English skills, an expanded network and a worldview are impossible to put a price on.