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


Australia operates on the decimal currency system – which is cents and dollars.

There is 100 cents to 1 Australian dollar. Australia's colourful bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars

You should bring some Australian currency with you to cover immediate costs for the first couple of days after your arrival. We recommend that you bring between $300.00 - $500.00 of Australian currency with you for transport, food and other essential costs on your arrival to Australia.

You can buy Australian currency at most currency exchange outlets at major international airports.

Most banks provide money exchange services where you can buy and sell foreign money.

In Australia, most banks are open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm (excluding public holidays) and some may trade on Saturday mornings.

Automatic teller machines (ATMs)

There are plenty of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in places like shopping centres, petrol stations, pubs and hotels, and main streets. You can also withdraw Australian money at most bank branches.

Please check with your bank regarding fees and charges for withdrawing money from your local account at Australian ATMs.

We recommend that you open an Australian bank account during your time here. This will allow you to manage and access your money in Australian dollars.

Most banks offer internet and phone banking, making it easy to transfer funds from your home country to your Australian bank account.

Banks on campus


There are branches of the Commonwealth Bank and Newcastle Permanent at our Callaghan campus, and a variety of banks located close to the Newcastle Business School in our City precinct.

Central coast

At our Central Coast campus in Ourimbah the closest bank is the Bendigo Bank.


Sydney has a large number of different banks in and around the city centre.

Opening a bank account

Visit a bank with:

  • Your passport
  • A copy of your student visa
  • Australian contact phone number
  • Australian mailing address

Most major banks operate Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 4pm, and some may open on Saturday morning.

Some banks also offer the option to open an account online prior to your arrival in Australia. You will still need to attend the bank in person with identification once you arrive in Australia to access your funds.

To help you plan your finances for your tuition fees and other related study costs, please see our costs and scholarships information.

Your tuition fees are billed to you each study term, meaning your tuition fees are calculated based on the type and number of courses you are enrolled in each study term. Your tuition bill will be calculated and emailed to your student email and available for you to view in your myHub account.

Cost of living in Australia

The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection has minimum financial requirements that you must meet in order to receive a student visa to come to Australia.

These amounts reflect the minimum amount you will need to cover basic living costs, and do not include tuition fees, study materials, overseas travel, buying personal items such as laptops or motor vehicles

You - $18,610.00

Your Partner or spouse - $6,515.00

Your first child - $3,720.00

Every other child - $2,790.00

The cost of living will vary according to your lifestyle and requirements. Keep in mind that your budget should be flexible enough to allow for unexpected costs such as emergencies and health expenses, particularly if you are bringing family members with you to Australia.

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 at the University of Newcastle. Please note the prices are quoted in Australian dollars (AU$) and are a guide only and will vary depending on your lifestyle preferences and personal choices.

For more tips and advice on budgeting your money as a student, please see Money Smart.

As a guide, if you are bringing children to Australia you will pay:

AU$12,000 per year for school tuition fees per child (cost based on NSW Primary School Kinder – Year 6)

AU$1,000 per year for additional school expenses (study materials, school uniforms, excursions)

AU$13,000 per year for childcare (based on 3 days per week)

Further information about NSW government primary and high schools, fees and enrolment can be found through DEC International.

Information about securing child care services in Australia, including centre locations, application process and fees can be found through the national government's MyChild.