Living costs and part-time work

Living costs and part-time work

Your cost of living and studying in Australia will depend on your lifestyle preferences. The categories below will help you get an idea of how much you should budget.

Government regulations in Australia require international students to show evidence that they can cover their cost of living and studying in Australia for at least two years. Minimum amounts are published on the Study in Australia website. Generally, you should allow at least AU$20,290 per year for your living expenses.

International student visa holders in Australia can work up to 40 hours per fortnight (two weeks) during academic sessions, and unlimited hours during scheduled session breaks. Find out more about visa work permissions.

There are plenty of ways to search for part-time work in Australia. Macquarie University offers a Career and Employment Service to students. Need help with your part-time work search? Book an appointment.


One of the most important decisions to make is where to live. Your housing costs will vary according to the type of accommodation and location you want. We suggest you visit our Macquarie University Accommodation to learn more about the options we offer.

It is also important to consider the cost of electricity, gas and water. Some accommodation options include these expenses in the monthly rent. Generally, when you live in an apartment, you only pay for gas and electricity. In a house, you will pay for water as well.

Estimated cost

Macquarie University Accommodation and private listingsWeekly cost

Studio room

$350 – $485

1 bedroom apartment

$370 – $385

2 bedroom apartment

$315 – $450 (per bedroom)

4–6 bedroom apartment

$205 – $335 (per bedroom)

2–5 bedroom house

$145 – $225 (per bedroom)

Gas, electricity

$15 – $25


Expenses related to phone communications depend on your desire of using a phone at home, mobile phone or both. If you want to have a phone at home you will need to pay a monthly line rental fee. This fee can be share between all the members of the house.

With mobile phones it is recommended that you look for a plan or pre-paid card that best suits your needs. To call overseas, students usually find it much cheaper to use pre-paid cards (available for purchase at most convenience stores and newsagents.

Estimated cost

Phone and internet

$20 – $50 per week

Pre-paid overseas phone cards

$20 – $30 per week


There are several options for internet users living in Sydney. You can choose a broadband plan that suits your needs. It is important to check if your broadband service is on a fixed plan or not to avoid going over data limits.

Estimated cost

Broadband internet

$35 – $149 per month

Wireless internet on campus

Macquarie University offers all students free, fast, unlimited internet access via wi-fi across the University campus. For more information, visit

Health cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a requirement of entry into Australia for all international students and accompanying dependents. This means that you and your family must have OSHC for the full duration of your stay in Australia.

Students are free to choose their own health cover provider, but Macquarie University’s preferred provider is Medibank.

Food and groceries

The cost of food and groceries depends on your shopping preferences.

Estimated cost

Groceries and eating out

$80 – $200 per week


If you want to get a car in Australia, you need to consider the cost of buying the car as well as the cost to maintain it and purchase petrol.

For information on this category please visit

Estimated cost

Average cost after purchase including petrol, compulsory car insurance, registration and maintenance

$150 – $250 per week

Public transport

The cost of public transport depends on how far away you live from Macquarie University and how often you use it. We recommend considering this cost when you decide where to live.

For information please visit the New South Wales transport website.

Estimated cost

Average cost for public transport

$10 – $50 per week


The cost of public transport depends on how far away you live from Macquarie University and how often you use it. We recommend considering this cost when you decide where to live.

Estimated cost


$13 – $17.50

Take away food

$10 – $15

Lunch on campus or in a café

$10 – $15

Fast food

$7 – $12

Cup of coffee

$2.50 –$3.50

Course-related expenses

You need to consider that during the duration of your program you will make additional expenses including stationery, photocopies, purchase a computer, textbooks and course material.

Estimated cost

Average cost for course-related expenses

$850 – $1000 annually

Other expenses

Every now and then you will incur other expenses like haircuts, postal charges and gifts.

Estimated cost

Postal charges (for more information, visit Australia Post)

$2 per week


$20 – $80

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