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Cost of living in Australia

Australia is an ideal place to enjoy a world class education and outstanding quality of life, but there are several expenses to consider before you study overseas. But before you leave Malaysia, consider these pointers to understand what will be an indicative overall cost of living in Australia for you.

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You may stay as a resident on campus. However, if you are unable to find such accommodation, you might have to look for a room on rent, homestay or find a local host. The cost will vary from city to city.

On a budget? Pick a place that isn't in the city centre, as that's going to cost a bomb. In general, rent will require at least A$200 a week.

If you've decided to settle down in Australia for good, buying a house is probably the more cost-friendly option in the long run. While you can get a home for AUD455,094 (median price) in Adelaide, it'll cost AUD810,966 in Melbourne and a whopping AUD1,079,399 in Sydney.

Food and daily expenses

You need to keep aside money for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not overspend. The Australian government recommends a single student budget of AUD 20,290 a year for living expense (approx. figure, bound to fluctuate with changing economy).

For all of you cooking enthusiasts out there, there are many supermarkets such as Woolworths, Coles and Costco where you can get all your ingredients. You should set aside A$ a week for groceries.

Looking for some spices from home so you can cook your favourite Asian comfort food? Check out KT Mart or Chan’s Asian Supermarket or even My Asian Grocer ( that delivers across Australia!

Feel like living it up a bit? You can get dinner for two in a pub for around A$50, or spring for a nice dinner in Osteria Ilaria (Melbourne) for about A$100.

More of the ‘stay home and chill’ type? There’s always UberEats. Their delivery fee is anything between A$3.95 and A$6.45, but you have the choice of almost everything without even leaving your place.


A lot of universities provide buses to ferry their students. However, if you move around the city a fair bit, you need to keep aside separate funds for using the public transport.

In most cities, you can get a monthly transport card that gives you access to unlimited rides on trains, buses and trams (and even ferries, if that's an option in the city). An Opal Card in Sydney costs A$180, a myki Card in Melbourne costs A$147, and a Metrocard in Adelaide costs A$121.

The prices of monthly transport passes are rather steep, but it’s worth it considering an 8km bus ride in Sydney costs A$5.60.

If you prefer the convenience of driving, economy cars in Australia are competitively priced. You can get a Toyota Corolla for around A$23,000. The price of gas varies between cities from A$5.11 per gallon in Sydney to A$4.95 a gallon in Adelaide.

Things to note

Exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. It is advisable to look for a part time job while you are in Australia or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This will greatly reduce your cost of living in Australia.

Costs Overview*

  • Meal in the CBD: A$17
  • Combo meal at a fast food restaurant: A$12
  • Litre of whole fat milk: A$1.24
  • 500g of boneless chicken breast: A$5.97
  • 12 large eggs: A$5.42
  • Public transport (monthly ticket): A$150
  • A pair of jeans (Levis or similar): A$99
  • Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area: A$2,575
  • Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area: A$2,065
  • Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area: A$1,947
  • Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area: A$1,407
  • 4 rolls of toilet paper: A$3.10
  • Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz): A$5.90

*Taken from Expatistan for costs in Australia

Information That You Need To Know

Study in Different Cities in Australia

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