Living costs, banking and money

Melbourne is a relatively expensive city, but there are ways to manage your money to make it go further. 

Setting yourself up when you first arrive

You need to budget approximately $2300 – $5000 for the initial costs of establishing yourself in Melbourne, excluding airfares. We also recommended you allow $1000 – $2000 to buy a computer if you aren't bringing one with you.

Generally, if you choose accommodation close to the city centre it will be more expensive, but you will have lower transport costs; if you live further away, accommodation is more affordable, but transport costs more. 

Ongoing living expenses

Besides the costs of establishing yourself, the Department of Immigration and Border Control (DIBP) suggests student visa holders budget at least $19,830 for each year of study to cover living expenses. We recommend that your budget is a minimum of $23,000 – and more realistically, around $30,000 per year – depending on your living arrangements and lifestyle choices. These costs do not include tuition fees

If you are bringing your family, you will also need a minimum of $19,000 per year for your spouse and $10,000 per year for each child (not including school fees and uniforms).

Banking in Australia

If you plan to work at a job or have money paid to you by anyone from your home country while you live in Australia, you will need an Australian bank account.

Australia has a few major banks and many smaller, independent banks. You should compare banks to see which is best for your personal needs before choosing where to open your account.

Generally, to open a bank account you will need to bring the following to the bank:

  • personal identification (passport, birth certificate or similar)
  • proof of your current address and contact details
  • some money to deposit. 

You may also be required to show your student visa and/or Confirmation of Enrolment.  

Note: if you intend to do any paid work while you study in Australia, you will also need an Australian Tax File Number.