Australian Lifestyle

Looking forward to living in Australia? Learn about planning your departure, finding work and accommodation, and staying safe while studying.

Browse Topics

Locations in Australia

Australia’s big, exciting country, with eight states and territories offering an incredibly diverse range of experiences for international students. Starts exploring your options here. 

Accommodation

Once you confirm where you will study, you can look for accommodation to match your budget and lifestyle. 

Once you have received confirmation of where you will be studying, you should look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Student accommodation is usually highly sought after and requires prior planning. Considerations when searching for accommodation include:

– Costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.

– Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees and ensure they are included in your accommodation agreement.

– Consider the distance of your accommodation from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.

– Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.

Education and Living Costs

Knowing the average cost of living and studying in Australia is an important part of your application and financial preparation. 

The list below gives you a broad indication of the range of course costs (yearly) for different types of qualifications.

– School – $7,800 to $30,000

– English language studies – Around $300 per week depending on course length

– Vocational Education and Training (Certificates I to IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) – $4,000 to $22,000

– Undergraduate Bachelor Degree – $20,000 to $45,000*

– Postgraduate Masters Degree – $22,000 to $50,000*

– Doctoral Degree – $18,000 to $42,000*

* Note: This does not include high cost of delivery courses such as veterinary and medical. Please visit institution websites directly to see costs for these courses.

Health and Safety

Australia is generally a very safe place to live and study, but it is still important to be aware of the risks that exist. 

Emergencies

The assistance and emergency networks in Australia are widespread and well equipped for any potential emergencies. Fire, ambulance, and police services will be able to provide you with any health and safety assistance you may need.

Wherever you are in Australia, if there’s a life-threatening emergency, call 000 (zero zero zero). It’s a free call, even from your mobile. An operator will answer and will ask which of the following services you need:

– Police

– Fire

– Ambulance

Public Transport

Public transport is reliable and widely used in Australia, particularly in metro and urban areas. A number of security measures have been implemented to maximise the safety of public transport users including security officers and guards, help points, good lighting and security cameras. However you should still use caution when travelling on public transport:

– Avoid isolated bus, rail and tram stops.

– Check transport timetables to avoid long waits, particularly at night.

– Train carriages nearest to the driver or guard are lit and safest at night.

If you find yourself left in a train carriage on your own or with only one other person you may feel more comfortable moving to another carriage.

Road Safety

Roads in Australia are generally well maintained, and, within city and urban areas, have good lighting and signage. However, roads are often shared betweem large and small vehicles, heavy and light rail, bicycles and even pedestrians. 

For this reason, road safety awareness is very important for international students who may not be familiar with Australian road conditions.

As road users, international students in Australia should consider:

Australian’s drive on the left side of the road.

Wearing seat belts is mandatory in private vehicles (including taxis and ride-share).

There are strict controls on alcohol limits for drivers (0.05). It is best to avoid drinking if you are planning to drive.

Mobile (cell) phone use while driving is strictly prohibited in all Australian states and territories with harsh fines and penalties for offenders.

Wearing of bicycle helmets is also mandatory for cyclists.

It is safest to exit a vehicle from the kerb-side – always watch for cyclists and pedestrians before you open your door

Insurance

While you must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), you can also access private health, travel, home and contents, and vehicle insurance in Australia. 

Overseas Student Health Cover

International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. It includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals (medicines). OSHC insurers can provide a range of different OSHC products. These may range from a basic product which covers only the compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover, in addition to the compulsory minimum services, extra services as specified under the particular policy. Learn more about OSHC, including a list of the providers at www.privatehealth.gov.au/.

Private Health Insurance

Along with your OSHC you might want to consider purchasing private health insurance to cover items that your OSHC does not cover. You can take out private health insurance to cover just you or your family as well. Benefits, membership costs and eligibility can vary greatly between funds and insurance policies, so when buying health insurance take care to ensure the cover you select is suitable for your needs

Travel Insurance

Australia has a very reliable travel industry, but cancelled flights, lost luggage or other un-planned issues can arise. If you are travelling with valuables or are on a travel schedule you have to meet, travel insurance can help cover any mishaps or missed flights. You can arrange travel insurance through a range of providers including travel insurance companies, airlines and travel booking companies.

Home and Contents Insurance

Home and contents insurance covers the building you live in and your belongings, such as furniture, clothes and appliances. If you rent a property, building insurance is the responsibility of the owner and you do not need to worry about it. But contents insurance is worth considering if you have valuable items you couldn’t afford to replace very easily if something happened to them.

Vehicle Insurance

If you purchase a car, motorbike or other vehicle you will need to consider what type of insurance you will need to purchase. Depending on what state or territory of Australia you live in there may be compulsory insurance you need to purchase.  For example, in NSW you must purchase Compulsory Third Party insurance which covers you for personal injuries caused to someone else in an accident. You should check with the relevant government agency in your state or territory to find out what, if any, compulsory insurance you might need.

Visa Compliance

Once you have received your visa, there are requirements you must meet in order for it to remain valid, including;

– You must remain enrolled and maintain satisfactory course progress and attendance.

– If you wish to change your qualification level you may need to apply for a new student visa.

– Provide your Australian address to your institution so they can contact you, and let them know if you change address.

– You must continue to be able to support yourself financially while you’re in Australia.

– Do not breach the working conditions applicable to your visa.

Visa Help and Assistance

The Department of Home Affairs website provides all information in relation to visa requirements, responsibilities and compliance.

Your institution’s international student support staff can provide you with assistance about the visa you’ll need for your course.

Education agents can also help with your student visa application and paperwork (as well as your course application).

Work

Working while you study in Australia can help complement your overall experiences. 

Finding Work

Many international students look for part-time work while they study in Australia.

 

The extra spending money to support your experience living in Australia can help you discover this wonderful country and meet other students and locals. It’s also a great way to improve your English, build your confidence and make new friends.

 

Some of the best ways to look for part-time work are:

 

– Word of mouth – ask your friends or colleagues

– Build your personal or professional networks and connections

– Online job websites

– Dedicated websites and job noticeboards at your university or college

– Professional recruitment companies

– Alumni groups at your place of study