Last Updated: March 08, 2021

Cost of Education in Australia

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for international students in the world. This despite being quite expensive, even compared to the UK/Canada and many universities in the US. The average fees for undergraduate programs for international students are AUD$30,000 and the average for postgraduate and doctoral programs is around $37,000. Even average living costs in the country are fairly high, with the median expense of international students being around AUD$20,000. However, these expenses are often deemed worth it due to the high quality of education and excellent infrastructure.

Average Cost / Tuition Fees for International Students

Foundation Studies
(such as university entrance, preparatory and bridging courses)
$9,000 - $15,000 per year
Bachelor Degree $18,000 - $55,000 per year
Postgraduate (Master's/PhD) $15,000 - $47,000 per year


Popular Universities in Australia

Below are the three popular universities of Australia:

RMIT University, Graduate School of Business

The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Business School

University of Sydney

Note:The amounts specified above are the annual indicative amounts, unless specified otherwise.

CSP (Commonwealth supported) Fee Structure

A CSP or Commonwealth Supported Place is a university or any other educational institution, that is under a government initiative in which pays part of the student’s fees. This is not a loan, but a publicly funded subsidy that the student does not have to pay back. It must be recalled that this subsidy will not cover the entirety of the tuition fees, but is instead tries to impose a limit on the same. The student has to pay the amount left after the subsidization which is usually called the ‘student contribution amount’.

Most CSPs are only available for undergraduate study. Only a few providers may offer CSPs at the postgraduate level. Postgraduate students should check with their education provider and universities to check if it offers CSPs for their preferred courses. However, being eligible for a CSP does not mean that a student will be offered a CSP as each provider and each course can have its own extra entry requirements. To be eligible for a CSP, one must be: There is a cap based on the program/degree/course for CSP-eligible students (Like AUS/NZ citizens who meet certain criteria). Below are tuition fees for undergraduate/BS degree programs. Not many programs are available under CSP for MS/Postgraduate degrees.

Overseas Students Health Cover (OHSC)

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students in Australia. This is called Overseas. International students admitted to universities and various other educational programs in Australia, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. This program provides basic cover for visits to the Hospital, treatment, doctor’s appointments, and pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. OSHC insurers can provide a range of different products which provide different levels of cover to the student in question. These may range from a basic product that covers only the compulsory minimum services to more complete and comprehensive products which cover particular extras which the student deems necessary to opt for, in addition to what s/he receives with the basic compulsory coverage. Overseas students are required to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia, by The Department of Home Affairs.

Student Health Cover (OSHC) and, with the exception of students from very few countries, you are required to have this for the duration of your student visa in Australia. OSHC provides a safety net for international students similar to that provided to Australians through Medicare. OSHC costs depend on how long you will be in Australia. Premiums vary depending on the health fund but generally, they start from A$78 for three months of insurance (A$320 a year). If your spouse and dependent children are accompanying you to Australia, you will need to pay a family premium. You pay your OSHC premium before coming to Australia.


Life and cost of living in Australian Cities

Australia has been a home of both native and international students because of the exceptional quality of education. However, in the current time, the cost of living in Australia might be burdensome to many, especially in the financial aspect of things.

Sydney

The city of Sydney in particular has a somewhat moderately high cost of living, although it is often offset by it being one of the best cities to live in in the world. But apparently, Sydney's total cost of living is slightly higher than that of most places in the United States and the United Kingdom, especially that of the urban areas. Popular universities in the city include the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, and Australian Catholic University.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second most populated city in the country. It has minimal public housing, leading to high prices for rented housing which might be an issue for students, especially those with a limited budget. Other than that, expenses like transit and food are usually available at lower prices, particularly when compared to Sydney. The universities available in the area are the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), La Trobe University, Australian Catholic University (ACU), and Victoria University (VU).

Perth

Perth is an excellent option for those who wish to have a proper cosmopolitan experience, on a budget. It is often an inexpensive option when compared to the other cities. That along with its warm, sunny climate makes it a great place for outdoor activities with plenty of cultural and community events. It has universities like the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, and Edith Cowan University.


Students flock to Australia, and especially to the abovementioned cities since universities here offer a huge range of programs with degrees that are recognized internationally. And the cost of living can have an impact on them in several ways. These students will benefit from Australia's world-class living standards, first-rate public transport, and brilliant healthcare. But to those who are keen on budgeting and want to prioritize and manage their expenses efficiently, they are definitely looking for ways on how to cope with their life and living expenses. Here are some things to note on how students can cope with the cost of living in Australia:
  1. Create a budget mapping expenses over a period of time. One should make sure to set aside an amount for unprecedented expenses and emergencies. It is recommended that 15%-20% of the available budget should be dedicated to the same.
  2. Check and manage expenses. The first thing to do is to list all the things that one is required to pay within a month or a week rent, gas and electricity bills, phone bills, etc. Rented apartments range from $100 to $500 weekly and is cheaper when shared with someone else, say a classmate or a friend. Gas and Electricity, on the other hand, range from $10 to $15 if a person shares accommodations. Add the total monthly and weekly expenses and put aside a budget for that. Initially a shared apartment, electricity, gas, and telephone, could add up to at least $1,500-$2,500.

    One must keep in mind that they must also include smaller like monthly haircuts which range from $20 to $100 and monthly medical consultations which should cost around $30.
  3. Buy only necessities. Having a grocery list before going to a supermarket is a must to be able to take into account what to buy beforehand, and budget accordingly. It is also good to bring cash that is just enough to buy those on this list so that one is not tempted to buy things that they do not need.
  4. Get part-time jobs. Sydney offers a good number of part-time jobs for students. It is advisable to work in a convenience store or in a gasoline station in one’s spare time. Keep in mind that with a student visa, one is not allowed to work for more than 20 hours a fortnight (14 days), subject to cancellation of said visa. That allows an individual to have more money to spend or save and allows one to be more flexible with their budget and related expenses.

  5. In case one is really struggling with managing their finances it is advised that they may minimize costs incurred on entertainment and non-critical expenses like alcohol, fast food, and similar expenses. Other solutions may also be to cut out frequent movie watching habits and instead invest in shared streaming services, especially if one likes to frequent the cinema regularly every week. Movie tickets range from $13-$15 and may add up over time. Similar cost-cutting measures can be adopted for other frivolous expenses.
  6. Always use student discounts. Student discounts are always available for many goods and services. The cost of services like riding on a bus, which can cost up to $15, can be subsidized and hence contribute to balancing a budget.
Save and cope with the high cost of living successfully. But, remember, one does not always have to refrain from enjoying themselves. Instead, they should always make time and a budget so that they may take a good break from saving and reward themselves in different ways, like a good meal at a high-class bistro. Balancing everything is the key to making student life in Sydney completely worth it!

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