Cost of living

For international students, the Department of Home Affairs have financial obligations that must be complied with. As a minimum students should be able to cover the following annual living cost amounts while living away from home in Australia:

  • student/guardian - A$25,446
  • partner/spouse - A$7,606
  • child - A$3,257

Therefore, using this amount as a guide, a single student living away from home will require at least $471 per week for accommodation, food, utilities and entertainment. NOTE: Actual costs will depend on your lifestyle choices and needs.

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

Australian Dollars 

Rental bond

$760- $1,200

2 weeks rent in advance

$370- $600

Electricity, gas & telephone $260 - $510
Household items (furniture, linen etc.) $680 - $740
Approximate total cost $2,070 - $3,050

Average weekly living expenses in Canberra


Accommodation (per week)

$185 (sharing) - $300 

(approximate average for self-catered College)


$105 - $169

Travel $35
Phone and internet/other bills $26 - $50
Electricity & gas $42
Stationery, postage $10
Average Expenditure $480 per week

Other costs


Text books

$1,320 per annum


$200 - $280 per 6 months

Haircut $15 - $75 per month
Shoes $60 - $100 per 6 months
Doctor's (GP) consultation fee $50 - $80 per month (1 visit per month)
Infant childcare $133 - $147 per day

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