You should bring A$4000 to take care of your initial expenses and to cover at least the first month. It is suggested that you bring these funds as:

  • Cash $1000
  • Bank draft $3000

On arrival, open a bank account (if you haven’t already done so) with the $3000.

Some Australian banks have branches in other countries. If there is a branch in your country, open an account before you leave as this will make financial transactions more convenient once you arrive in Newcastle.

You can buy and sell foreign money at most banks.

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

Automatic teller machines (ATMs)

You can take out money from your home bank account at Australian automatic teller machines (ATMs) or at most banks. There are many ATMs on main streets and in places like shopping centres, petrol stations, pubs and hotels.

Please ask your bank at home about fees and charges for taking out money from your 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, which will make it easy to transfer funds from your home country to your Australian bank account.

Banks on campus


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

Central coast

The closest bank to our Central Coast campus in Ourimbah 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:

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

Most major banks are open 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 onlineYou will still need to visit the bank in person with identification when you arrive in Australia to access your money. prior to your arrival in Australia.

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.

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  DE International.

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

Cost of living in Australia

Before granting a student visa, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs 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 October 2019, the Department of Home Affairs recommends the following annual living costs:

  • Student/Guardian - $21,041.00 per year
  • Partner or spouse - $7362.00 per year
  • Child - $3,152.00 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 approximate 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.

How does Newcastle compare with Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane

The good news is that Newcastle is more affordable when compared with most Australian capital cities across categorised including groceries, leisure activities and accommodation.

For accommodation, Newcastle is

  • 60% cheaper than Sydney
  • 22% cheaper than Melbourne
  • 6% cheaper than Brisbane


 Independent living off campusHomestay
(Only available through Newcastle campuses)
University Of Newcastle On-campus student living
Shared or single occupancy (incl. bedroom, apartment,  and house options) Single Occupancy (incl. personal furnished bedroom, shared facilities with family, inclusion in family activities) Shared or single occupancy self-catered (incl. bedroom, apartment options) Shared or single occupancy catered (incl. bedroom, apartment options)
Weekly costs
Accommodation (per week) $100 to $440 $250 to $290
(cost depends on meal package)
$175 to $385 $329 to $510
(includes University meal packages)
Internet $5 to $10 $10 $0 (included) $0 (included)
Phone $5 to $10 $5 to $10 $5 to $10 $5 to $10
Gas & Electricity $10 to $20 $0 (included) $0 (included) $0 (included)
Food (groceries and eating out) $140 to $280 $50 to $155
(in addition to above meal packages)
$140 to $280 $50 to $155
(in addition to above meal packages)
Transport to University $30 to $60 $30 to $60 $0 $0
Average weekly total $290 to $820 $375 to $820 $320 to $675 $375 to $672
Total cost per year $15,090 to $42,640 $17,940 to $27,300 $16,640 to $35,100 $18,460 to $35,100
Learn more about accommodation

Additional costs to consider

  • Airfares
  • Tuition - see annual fee per full degree (varies per program)
  • Course materials and books - varies per program
  • Personal items - bedding, laptops, motor vehicles, additional phone and internet data
  • Furniture - if renting off campus
  • Overseas Health Insurance (per year)
  • Student Visa
  • Students Services and Amenities fee (per year)

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

The 'Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator' is also a useful tool to help estimate your cost of living in Australia.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.