Sydney is Australia’s biggest city and the country’s top destination for international students. The cost of living may be slightly higher in Sydney than some other Australian cities, but it’s still possible to get by on a student budget.
To help you make the most of your money while studying in Australia, join us as we explore the average Sydney living cost for a student.
Overview of Expenses
This table offers a general overview of the cost of living in Sydney. All figures are approximate and may vary depending on your location in the city.
|Weekly rent for an apartment||$520|
|Monthly public transport ticket||$175|
|Overseas Student Health Cover||$400|
|Meal in a mid-range restaurant||$20|
|Meal in a high-end restaurant||$50|
Accommodation is one of the biggest living expenses in Sydney for international students. The average weekly rent for an apartment in the city is $520, according to rent.com.au. This may sound like a lot, but there are ways to save on accommodation. Consider moving into a shared or studio apartment and choose a place where utilities like electricity and water are included in the cost of rent.
From tuition fees to textbooks, a range of expenses contribute to the cost of studying in Sydney. The price of tuition fees can vary depending on the course you’re enrolled in, but this will likely be the biggest expense you’ll need to cover while studying in Australia. Australian Universities says that on average, international students pay around $30,000 in tuition fees at Australian universities.
In addition to tuition fees, Times Higher Education estimates that university students in Australia need between $500 and $1,000 to cover the cost of textbooks and stationery.
Sydney’s public transport network is made up of hundreds of bus, train and ferry routes, making it easy to get around the city. The price of catching public transport contributes significantly to the Sydney student cost of living, with a monthly ticket costing around $175 according to research by Expatistan.
Sydney’s multicultural dining scene offers plenty of options when it comes to eating out. If you’re trying to limit your spending, budget eateries serve up lunch and dinner meals for around $20 (fast food chains are even cheaper, although we wouldn’t recommend living exclusively off fast food!). High-end restaurants are much more expensive, with most meals starting at around $50.
Budget Direct calculates that the average household in NSW spends $257 a week on food, but cooking meals at home and being careful with your grocery bill means you can easily spend less than that. Most Aussies shop at places like Aldi, Woolworths and Coles, although fresh food markets are also a popular place to get groceries
If you’re an international student, it’s a condition of your student visa to have adequate health insurance while you’re in Australia. This means you’ll need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The price of OSHC can vary depending on your circumstances and the level of cover you want, but basic cover typically starts at around $400 according to Canstar.
With its beautiful beaches and great weather, Sydney has one of the most enviable lifstyles of any city in Australia. There are things to see and do in Sydney to suit every budget, but for around $80 to $150 a week, you’ll be abe to experience some of the best sights and attractions on offer in the city. For starters, be sure to explore Circular Quay, take a dip at Bondi Beach, and book a trip to the nearby Blue Mountains.