Cost of Living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia isn’t low. Before you move over, make sure you are able to afford the study.

Study Costs

Tuition fees aren’t cheap in Australia. Depending on what MBA you study and where, you will need to budget appropriately.

Item Cost Additional Comments
Tuition $15,000-$100,000 Different business schools will charge different amounts. Typically international students are charged a slightly higher fee than domestic students.
Laptop $600-$2,000 Depending on brand and quality. Bring your own if you have one.
Textbooks $200-$400 Textbooks, even online are expensive to obtain the latest, however you may be able to find these for a cheaper price online.
Visa $606 A visa in Australia (500 Visa) is required for full-time study. This visa also allows you to work up to 20 hours a week.

Housing Costs

One of the largest costs of living and studying in Australia is the cost to study. Weekly costs add up, particularly in Sydney or Melbourne so you should aim to budget for up to $30,000 depending on how many people you live with, where you live and whether or not you stay on-campus.

Item Cost Additional Comments
Accommodation Rental $200-$600/week Costs depending on where you study, how close you are to the city, if you live on or off campus, how many bedrooms in the building and how many other people you are sharing the home with.
Rental Bond $200-$600 Typically the same price as a months worth of rent. Also known as the Rental Advance in some other countries.
Home Appliances (fan and heater, toaster, kettle etc.) $20 Get cheap from Kmart or Target.
Utility Bills (gas, electricity, water) $200 per quarter Will vary depending on usage. Water charges will depend on your housing type and some rental agreements will cover this cost.

Lifestyle Costs

You might have come to Australia to study, but there is a whole world out there to explore. Whether you are going to hit the beaches (FREE) or go to the movies you need to plan to have a social life in Australia.

Item Cost Additional Comments
Airport Transfer $30-$50 Depends on which state you fly into. Public transport will be available.
Public Transport $25-$50 Bus, Train, Tram or Ferry a weekly commute will cost you up to $50.
Romantic Dinner Out $50-100+ Top tier restaurants will have been award a chefs hat (up to three).
Normal Dinner Out $20-$50 Generlly this would cover 1-3 courses at most restaurants for one person.
Yum Cha (Dim Sum) $15-$30 Can scale up quickly depending on where you eat and what you get.
Fast Food (McDonalds, KFC etc.) $10 Will get you a meal with chips and a drink.
Take Away Food $10-$20 For Thai, Chinese, Indian or Italian). Use an app such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo or Menulog to find local food.
Alcohol at a bar $8-$15 For a standard beer, wine or spirit at most bars. Top shelf can exceed $100.
Movies $20 There are a number of services you can sign up to in order to get cheaper tickets, inlcuding some student services, energy companies or health insurers. If you don’t have access to these, ask a friend before you pay full price.
A Night On The Town $60-$100+ Dance, Drinks and Dinner. Having a big night out can get very expensive, very fast. Some nightclubs will charge you entry up to $50.

Food and Groceries

You can get on with as little as $50/week if you eat carefully.

Item Cost Additional Comments
Bottle Water $1-$3 Tap water in Australia is clean and fine to drink.
Bread $1-$6 $6 would get you the nicest loaf at the nicest bakery.
Milk (1L) $2-$3 Coles and Woolworths both have the cheapest brand, however ensuring your milk is from Australian dairy farms will help support farmers in need. Soy Milk, Camel Milk, Almond Milk are all also available in most grocery stores, however are more expensive.
Rice $2-$4 1KG of basmati, jasmine, brown rice or any other kind of rice is available at most grocery stores.
Coffee from a cafe $3.50-$4 Whether you want an espresso, a cappuccino, a flat white or a long black, you will need to pay $0.50 more for soy milk or double strength. You may save at some cafes if you bring your own cup.
Soft Drink Cans $2 You may be able to get a cheaper can at some stores, and occasionally largers bottles will be cheaper at supermarkets.
Fruit $1-$3 Depending on what fruit and whether or not it is in season. You will pay more for items such as strawberries, mangos and a lot more for harder to obtain fruit like Durian.
Instant Noodles/Ramen $2 The staple for most students, however MBA students may be at the point in their careers where they may not need to live like a college student.

Mobile and Internet Fees

You wouldn’t be able to live without your phone and you won’t be able to study without internet. Inbound phone calls are free on all plans in Australia and dialling out to emergency services (000) are also free. 

Item Cost Additional Comments
Bring Your Own Phone Plan $30-$60 Will include internet and phone calls. May also include international calls
The Latest Phones Plan $60-$120 The latest in 5G technology and the newest phones will cost you a significant amount of money every month.
International Calls $20 An international phone card is the cheapest way to call overseas if your plan doesn’t include sufficient allowance.
Internet $60 Typically $60-$70 will get you an unlimited amount of internet data.

If you haven’t yet made the decision to study your MBA in Australia, find out more by reading our Australian MBA Guide.