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

There are 100 cents to 1 Australian dollar. Australia's colourful bank notes come in values 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 learn about your tuition fees and other related study costs, please see our costs and scholarships information.

You will receive a bill for your tuition fees each study term. 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

Before granting a student visa, the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection will require you to show or declare that you have enough funds to pay for your expenses while in Australia.

These amounts are the minimum amount you will need to pay for basic living costs, and do not include the cost of tuition fees, study materials, overseas travel, or personal items such as laptops or motor vehicles. As of July 2016, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection recommends the following annual living costs:

Student/Guardian - $19,830.00 per year

Partner or spouse - $6,940.00 per year

Child - $2,970.00 per year

The cost of living will be determined by your lifestyle and needs. Your budget should include costs that you may not expect, such as emergencies and health expenses. This is more important if you are bringing family members with you to Australia.

Below are some of the costs associated with living and studying at the University of Newcastle. These average costs will help you prepare your budget and plan for living in Australia. Please note the prices are in Australian dollars (AU$) and will change depending on your lifestyle and personal choices.

See Money Smart for more tips and advice on budgeting your money as a student.

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.

Find information about child care services in Australia, including centre locations, application process and fees through the national government's MyChild.