Cost of living information for international students, University of Newcastle, Australia



Australia uses a dollar and cents system of decimal currency with 100 cents in a dollar. We use both notes and coins, and Australian currency is the only legal tender in Australia. For more details on Australian currency see the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Money from other countries can be easily changed at exchange facilities located at international airports, banks and major hotels.

Bring enough funds to cover initial expenses, such as accommodation (rent, bond, utilities, furnishings), study materials, personal effects, food and transport. You will probably need at least AUD500 in cash and AUD1000 in traveller's cheques. There are currency exchange facilities at Sydney Airport but not at the Newcastle Airport. Bank hours in Australia are generally 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. There are two banks on campus: the Commonwealth Bank, near the Student Services Building and the Newcastle Permanent Building Society, located in the Shortland Union Building. Automatic Teller Machines are readily available and accept major international credit cards We suggest you open an Australian Bank Account prior to leaving home or when you arrive, at either the on-campus bank or building society, or at a bank close to your accommodation. International credit cards, such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express, are accepted in Australia but it can take up to two weeks to clear an overseas bank draft

Living Costs

Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. (All costs are in Australian dollars.)


  • Hostels and Guesthouses - $80 to $135 per week
  • Shared Rental - $70 to $250 per week
  • On campus - $80 to $250 per week
  • Homestay - $110 to $270 per week
  • Rental - $100 to $400 per week
  • Boarding schools - $10,000 to $20,000 a year

Other living expenses

  • Groceries and eating out - $80 to $200 per week
  • Gas, electricity - $60 to $100 per week
  • Phone and Internet - $20 to $50 per week
  • Public transport - $10 to $50 per week
  • Car (after purchase) - $150 to $250 per week
  • Entertainment - $50 to $100 per week

Minimum cost of living

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa. Below is a guide on the requirements you must meet to study in Australia:

  • You - $18,610
  • Your partner - $6,515
  • Your first child - $3,720
  • Every other child - $2,790

All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit

Useful Links

Student Loans and Welfare
International Student Tuition Fees
The Australian Government also provides information and guidance on managing your finances. You can read more at