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Australia is known for providing globally acclaimed universities and attracts international students worldwide every year. This, combined with its well-structured education system, makes Australia the most preferred destination for international students. However, when planning to study in Australia, it is important to consider the living costs and ensure that you can afford to live comfortably.

To live in Australia, an individual would require an approximate cost of $20,000 each year, and an average family would require more than $50,000 a year. The cost of living varies depending on where you live. This may not include other costs such as socialising, health or emergency costs, or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Let’s discuss the cost of living in Australia in more detail.

Accommodation costs for living in Australia

Accommodation costs in Australia vary depending on the city you choose to study in. For example, Sydney is known to be the most expensive city, followed by Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide. The approximate cost of accommodation in Australia is given below.

Accommodation type

Expenses (indicative)

Hostels and Guesthouses

$90 to $150 per week

Shared Rental

$95 to $215 per week


$110 to $280 per week


$235 to $325 per week


$185 to $440 per week

Boarding schools

$11,000 to $22,000 a year

Affordable cities for students to live in Australia

Below is a list of the top affordable cities in Australia for students to live.

Name of the City

Average cost of living per week

City of Adelaide, South Australia

AUD$ 377

Darwin, Australia Northern Territory

AUD$ 443

Perth, Western Australia

AUD$ 449

Hobart, Tasmania

AUD$ 475

Gold Coast, Queensland

AUD$ 482

Brisbane, Queensland

AUD$ 485

Canberra, The Australian Capital Territory

AUD$ 509

Tuition fee for studying in Australia

The cost of studying in Australia depends on the course and institution you choose. However, the approximate cost of tuition fees in Australia is below.


*Annual fees (indicative)


$7,800 to $30,000

English language studies

$300/ week, depending on course length

Vocational Education and Training

(Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma)

$4,000 to $22,000

Undergraduate bachelor’s degree

$15,000 to $33,000*

Postgraduate Master’s Degree

$20,000 to $37,000*

Doctoral Degree

$14,000 to $37,000*

English proficiency test cost to study in Australia

To study or live in Australia as an international student, you must give proof of English proficiency by taking tests such as IELTS. IELTS for Australia is one of the most preferred English language proficiency tests that assesses your English skills in Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

The cost of the IELTS test is as follows:

Test module

Test fee (LKR)

IELTS on Computer


IELTS on Paper


IELTS on Computer for UKVI


IELTS on Paper for UKVI


Life Skill


Help me with the IELTS registration

Living costs in Australia for international students

You must also consider the following expenses while creating your budget for studying in Australia.

Living expenses

Weekly budget (indicative)

Groceries and eating out

$140 to $280

Gas, electricity

$10 to $20

Phone and Internet

$15 to $30

Public transport

$30 to $60

Car (after purchase)

$150 to $260


$80 to $150

Transportation costs in Australia

Many Australian universities offer private transport services to help students residing on the campus travel to nearby areas.

Apart from this, public transportation services are available. The cost of public transportation depends on where you live and the type of transport you choose.

For short distances, you can use regional trains, buses, and trams. A short ride on a bus or train can cost approximately AUD 3. A weekly pass costs upwards of AUD 20 and AUD 80 monthly. Moreover, student discounts are available in all states and territories except Vicotria.

For travelling between different cities, you can choose a bus, train or flight depending on the distance and availability of the transport to your destination.

Health support and insurance costs in Australia

All international students, including those from Sri Lanka, need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to study in Australia. It's required for your visa application and covers medical expenses during your stay. OSHC usually costs around AUD $500 per year. Some universities may offer OSHC plans, but if not, you'll need to arrange it independently before departure. Your OSHC coverage must last for your entire visa validity period and be renewed if you extend your visa.

Other costs for living in Australia for international students

You'll need a Tax File Number(TFN) to work legally in Australia. This allows you to work up to 20 hours per week during semesters and full-time during breaks. Remember, any income you earn will be taxable.

Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can impact your finances. Factor this in when creating your budget. Consider finding a part-time job to help offset living expenses. You can also explore scholarships offered by both Australian universities and external organisations. This can significantly reduce your overall study costs.


Australia is increasingly gaining popularity for studying by international students. It offers Sri Lankan students globally recognised universities, employment opportunities and a high standard of living. For studying in Australia, Sri Lankan students must carefully manage their expenses and budgeting to plan an affordable and comfortable educational and living experience.

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