Living costs, banking and money

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

The budget table below gives you an idea of how much you can expect to spend as a student.

This is a general overview of living costs, excluding course fees. It is calculated for 52 weeks of the year. Your individual circumstances, university course and lifestyle will determine your actual budget. Some students will spend more, while others can get by on less.

You need to budget approximately A$2,300 – A$5,000 for the initial costs of establishing yourself in Sydney, excluding airfares. We also recommend that you allow A$1,000 – A$2,000 to buy a computer if you aren't bringing one with you.

Accommodation costs vary depending on the area. Places closer to the city centre could be more expensive, but you could save on transport costs. If you live further away, accommodation is more affordable, but transport may cost more. 


Item Average weekly expenses (sharing a house or a flat) Average annual expenses Notes
Living expenses
Rent A$210 A$10,920  
Bond - A$910 Once-only expense
Establishment costs - A$2,300 Desh, ded, etc
Telephone/utilities connection charges - A$150 Once-only expense
Bills (gas, electricity, telephone) A$40 A$2,080 Depends on usage
Mobile phone and internet A$25 A$1,300 Depends on usage
Lunches and kitty A$110 A$5,720 Cheaper if you cook at home and bring a packed lunch
Spending money
Haircuts, sport, entertainment A$40 A$2,080 Depends on your needs
Weekly fares A$25 Approx. A$1,300  
University expenses
Books, stationery, photocopying - A$600-2000  
Computer/ laptop - A$1,000-2,000  
Total (excluding course fees)     The average weekly expenditure is A$530, but in your first year, you will need roughly an extra A$3,210 to set yourself up.


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 to manage your savings.

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.

Compare Australian bank accounts for students