Is the land down under calling you? Are you dreaming of endless good weather and golden beaches? Australia undoubtedly offers a very high quality of education, so there are many reasons to study here. It is the third most popular English-speaking destination for international students.
Australia is well known for its high standard of living, so it comes as no surprise that it is not the cheapest of countries to study in. Don’t let that put you off though—it does vary depending on where you choose to study.
You may be spending more time in the ‘uni’ libraries than on the beach, but for many students, the cost is certainly worth it for the experience, the quality of education and the opportunities which can follow.
So, exactly how much money do you need to have to study in Australia? Here we will give you a run down to help you budget to make your dreams a reality. All figures quoted here are given in the local currency of Australian Dollars.
The tuition fees are the first big expense to consider. These will vary according to the university, the discipline and the degree program selected. The fees are set by the individual universities and are largely based on demand and the number of places available. The higher ranking universities in big cities will charge more than the regional universities. Keep in mind that there are often both high and lower cost universities in each city.
Tuition fees for international students can range from around $20000 to more than $60000 per year. For a research-based degree—a research masters or a PhD program—the fee will be a fixed amount for a full-time study load.
For degrees which are coursework based, and consist of numerous individual subjects or units which are taken to complete the degree program, the cost is calculated per subject. The exact terminology can vary from one university to the next—in some cases, the individual subjects will be called units, at other subjects or courses.
All of this means it probably won’t be the same cost every year, as the cost of different units can vary. For this reason, when searching for fees universities, will list them as ‘indicative’ only. Fees will also generally increase annually, so your third year will likely cost more than the first year.
As a guide, science and technical degrees will generally cost more than studying the humanities, education or business. Beyond that, you will need to search for the fees charged by each individual university for the specific course you wish to apply for. Most degrees at a majority of universities will fall in the range of around $27000 – $45000 per year.
Studying a Bachelor of Arts can be as little as $19500 per year at the regional University of South Queensland. However, if you choose to study at Macquarie University in Sydney it will be $33000 per year. Monash University in Melbourne will charge around $31500 per year, whilst Murdoch in Perth will be around $27000 per year.
For a Bachelor of Engineering expect to pay around $36000 per year at the young University of South Australia, or the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, and around $46000 per year at the University of Queensland or the University of Sydney. Science degrees will generally be around similar fee levels.
If you have your eye on studying Medicine or Veterinary science, be aware that these are typically the most expensive degree options. Medicine is taught as a 4-year postgraduate qualification at most universities in Australia, though at some places it is a six-year undergraduate double degree.
As an example, Medicine will cost more than $65000 per year at the regional University of Newcastle. At the University of Queensland and most other major cities it will be more than $76000 per year, whilst at the University of Melbourne expect to pay around $85000 per year.
You will also need to budget to pay for a few extra studies related expenses including- the compulsory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), course materials, excursions, flights, and visa application fees.
Cost of Living
This is what you will need to cover such expenses as accommodation, food, weekly bills, transport, social activities, and club memberships. Australia can be very expensive, but like living anywhere there are cheaper and more expensive options, so you should investigate what is right for you.
Expect to need at least $20000 a year, and in some areas and if you are living centrally, more extravagant with eating out regularly and socializing, then upwards of $35000 a year might be more realistic. In some cases for a student visa to be granted the Australian government requires students to prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves.
Accommodation is without a doubt the biggest expense you will need to cover. In Melbourne and Sydney, this will be quite high. Expect to pay around $200-$350 per week for a shared accommodation with other students—it will depend on how central, or how close to the university you wish to live. You will need to pay your utility bills on top of this, so add another $100-$130 a month or so to cover electricity, phone, and internet.
Student housing is offered by most universities, which is often very conveniently located, allows you to save on transport costs, and all of your bills will be included in the cost. It is however generally more expensive than living in regular housing in the community. Expect to pay around $300-$450 per week.
Some basic expenses to consider: coffee will set you back around $3-3.50, a takeaway or basic sit down meal in a cafe or eatery will be $10-15, a weekly student transport ticket around $20-25, and a monthly mobile phone plan around $50.
If you want to keep the costs down, cities which have lower living expenses are Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra. Or, look to universities in regional areas like Wollongong, Ballarat or Toowoomba.