Cost of living

From 1 July 2016, the Department of Immigration & Border Protection recommends the following minimum living cost to cover the cost of student living away from home in Australia:

  • Single (person undertaking study in Australia): $19,830 per year
  • Partner or spouse: $6,940 per year additional to single expenses
  • Child: $2,970 per child, per year in additional to single and partner expenses

The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high and it is important to ensure that you have sufficient funds to support them financially.

You will have to consider the cost of their airfares to and from Australia, overseas health cover for your family, additional accommodation costs for a larger home, extra living expenses for food, clothing, transportation fees and other necessities.

If you are bringing your children, you will need to pay for their schooling (unless exempt) and/or childcare. Please see the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate website for full details on school fees, additional fees (if applicable), eligibility and application criteria.

Initial establishment cost


Rental bond

$660 - $860

2 weeks rent in advance

$330 - $430

Electricity, gas & telephone $250 - $500
Household items (furniture, linen etc.) $600 - $640
Approximate total cost $1,840 - $2,430

Average weekly living expenses in Canberra


Accommodation (per week)

$150 (sharing) - $240 (self-catered College)


$80 - $100

Travel $30
Phone and internet/other bills $25 - $50
Electricity & gas $50
Stationery, postage $10
Average Expenditure $320 - $420 per week

Other costs


Text books

$1,200 per annum


$30 - $80 per 6 months

Haircut $15 - $70 per month
Shoes $40 - $100 per 6 months
Doctor's (GP) consultation fee $50 - $60 per month
Infant childcare $93 - $122 per day

Please note that the costs indicated above are not fixed and may vary based on student's lifestyle and accommodation arrangement.