Skip to Main Content


Find out what you’ll expect to spend studying in Australia.

Get a head start!

One of the most valuable lessons a student can learn is money management. Avoiding running out of money while you’re studying is an essential life skill that will set you up well for financial success and independence in future years. Even if you’re lucky enough to have the support of family members to meet your costs, maintaining a tight budget is essential. Make sure you know what is included in your student expenses.


This is a guide to the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. It should help you budget your student expenses, to ensure that you have the finances to successfully see your study through to completion.

Female Griffith College student sitting down with MacBook smiling at camera

Managing Your Money

  • An estimate of the average annual cost of living for international students is over $20,000, including accommodation, food, transport, phone and internet. However, depending on your preferences this amount could be lower or higher.
  • Further details on costs for different types of accommodation are provided below.
  • In addition to this you will need to plan for set up costs when you first arrive, which could be around $1,500 to $2,000. This will include your airport transfer costs, plus you may need to pay an accommodation/rental bond, purchase furniture and basic home wares and connect to electricity, gas and the internet.
  • Finally, ensure you have budgeted for the required textbooks for each course you undertake. Student expenses such as these may be around $300-$400 per trimester. Please bring your own laptop/tablet or purchase one when you arrive to engage in learning with technology. To purchase your laptop/tablet in Australia, budget for $1,000.

Possible Living Expenses

  • Groceries and eating out: $80 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity: $20 to $50 per week
  • Phone and Internet: $20 to $55 per week
  • Public transport: $20 to $55 per week
  • Car (after purchase): $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment: $80 to $150 per week
  • On-campus accommodation: $170 to $317 per week
  • Off-campus accommodation: $160 to $450 per week
  • Homestay: $255 to $275 per week

Please be advised, it is an estimate only and individual differences mean prices will vary. The above costs do not include: security deposit, textbooks, clothing and medical expenses.

Everyday Costs

  • Fast food meal – $9.00
  • Dinner – $19.50
  • Regular coffee – $4.40
  • Beer – $9.00
  • Cocktail – $16.00
  • Movie ticket – $12.50
  • Monthly gym membership – $53.00
  • Men’s haircut – $23.00

Some courses may also have extra fees for program equipment so please check that before enrolment.

Studying overseas will require you to pay more than just tuition fees. These costs will vary depending on your lifestyle, accommodation and personal requirements. In addition to study fees, you will also need to budget for accommodation, transport and parking and other living expenses such as groceries, entertainment and clothing. You also need to budget for your return trip home, international phone calls, student visa and recreational activities.

The Australian Government requires students to have access to AU$20,290 (Australian dollars) per year to meet their living costs. Tuition Assurance Information – Proforma C has information related to financial support.

Incidental Fees

The Higher Education Support Act 2003 sets standards for incident fees which include:

  • Late enrolment penalty: $200
  • Late payment penalty: $200
  • Replacement academic transcript: $10
  • Replacement testamur: $25
  • Formal review of marks: $50
  • Subject change fee: $50

The first thing to do is have a clear picture of your outgoings. These fall into two categories:

  • The cost of studying
  • The cost of living

Study costs are the set fees for the course that you’re undertaking. Your course fees for each year are listed on your offer letter and can also be found in our study program guide.

These fees are for tuition only, so you need to budget for living expenses.

The Cost of Living in Australia

Last year’s global cost of living rankings by financial consultants, Mercer, showed that Australian cities had moved down the list – good news for anyone visiting from other countries. Brisbane was ranked at number 103 among global cities, a drop from the previous year’s ranking of 84.

Although Australia is an affordable place to live, international students from other regions can feel that the cost of everyday goods and services is higher than they’re used to. The reason for this is simple. Australian wages are strictly protected by the government’s minimum pay levels, to ensure that part-time and casual workers are not exploited. This means that, while some costs may seem high, so is your opportunity to earn decent money by taking a part-time or casual job. This balances out the financial situation for most visiting students.

When studying at Griffith College, the main costs to consider are:

  1. Tuition fees
    • These vary, depending upon your preferred study program.
  2. Overseas Student Health Cover
    • An Australian visa requirement for international students.
  3. Food & drinks
    • This includes basic groceries and meals on campus.
  4. Transport
    • Budget for getting to and from campus and around the local area.
  5. Communication – phone and internet plans.
  6. Entertainment – social and leisure activities.
  7. Accommodation
  8. Utility bills
    • Electricity and gas may not be included in your rent.
  9. Special student discounts
    • Your student ID card will give you access to many discounts, including reduced prices for many public services such as transport (using a student ‘go card’), and entry to cinemas, museums and other entertainment establishments.
Back to Top