Cost of living

Sydney is a wealthy city, but there are many ways to keep costs down.

You can shop at the cheaper supermarkets like Aldi, cook your own lunch or dinner, or choose from the many cheap restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. To get an idea of costs, see our estimates below.

Cost estimates*

You will need at least A$23,000 a year as an international student. In addition, we recommend that you have at least A$3,000 when you arrive to cover the initial costs of books, rental bond and furniture. These estimates don't include large household items such as a refrigerator or car. 

Weekly cost (AUD) Shared house or flat One-bedroom unit On campus (college)
Rent A$200–A$300 A$400–A$550 A$445
Internet and phone A$20–A$55 A$20–A$55 $0
Food (groceries and eating out) A$80–A$200 A$80–A$200 $0
Gas and electricity A$35–A$140 A$35–A$140 $0
Transport to uni A$40 A$40 $0
Average weekly cost A$476.50 A$701.50 A$445
Total annual cost A$24,778 A$36,478 $23,140

* Living costs are indicative only and will vary based on the location, number of people you live with, the condition of the housing and your lifestyle. On-campus college costs will vary depending on the type of the accommodation and the catering offered. This is calculated on a 37-week academic year. There is a 10-week summer break from December to February, so if you stay in Australia during the break, you need to calculate for an extra 10 weeks of living expenses. 

For more information about weekly costs, visit UNSW’s Cost of Living site for students and the Australian government site detailing living costs.

Cost of items

Food (AUD)
Milk (1 litre) A$2.00 Chicken breast (1kg) A$10.00
Bread (loaf) A$4.00 Potatoes (1kg) A$3.00
Can of tuna A$2.00 Apples (1kg) A$4.00
Soap (100g) A$1.00 Deodorant $5.00
Entertainment (AUD)
Restaurant meal A$20–A$30 Tea/coffee A$3.50
Movie ticket A$16 Soft drink A$4
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