Living costs

It's difficult to put an exact figure on how much money you'll needs to have as a student in Australia or New Zealand, as the answer depends so much on your individual requirements and expectations.  Everyone's budget will be different but when working out yours, remember to factor in the essentials - course tuition fees, accommodation, utilities, local travel, food and entertainment.  You can get an idea of what each of these might cost you by checking online forums, or asking friends and relatives who might have recently visited the country you will be studying in. Websites such as www.gumtree.com.au (for Australia) and www.trademe.co.nz (for New Zealand) are really useful for checking out how much rent is in any particular city.

The bottom line?  According to Australian colleges, international students need to budget between AU$18,000 and AU$28,000 per year for living expenses.  New Zealand colleges recommend a budget of NZ$18,000 - NZ$25,000 per year.  Some cities and areas are more expensive than others so make sure you do your research thoroughly, but the following tables give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay for day-to-day items in Australia and New Zealand.  Guideline exchange rates can be found in the sidebar, or use the currency converter at www.xe.com for the latest exchange rates.

How much do things cost in Australia?

  • Loaf of bread: $3-$3.50
  • Milk (litre): $2.90
  • Kelloggs Corn Flakes 220g: $5.40
  • Slice of pizza: $3-$5.50
  • Takeaway coffee: From $3
  • Bowl of noodles: $4.50 - $5.50
  • Newspaper: $1.25-$2
  • Cinema ticket (student concession): $8-$13
  • One way flight from Sydney to Melbourne: From $60
  • A diving course: $650-$900
  • Backpacker accommodation: From $30 per night
  • Trip to the Great Barrier Reef (from Cairns): Around $150
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb: From $200

All figures quoted here are approximate – the cost of living will vary according to lifestyle. All costs in this table are given in Australian dollars. For currency conversions and the latest exchange rates, please visit www.xe.com.

How much do things cost in New Zealand?

  • Takeaway pizza (large): $16
  • Milk (per litre): $2.50
  • Can of Coca Cola: $2
  • Coffee, cappuccino or latte: $3.50–$5
  • Jug of beer at student bar: From $5
  • Main meal at restaurant (off campus): $15–$40
  • Admission to major sports event at Auckland’s Eden Park: From $15
  • Cinema ticket: $14
  • Backpacker (dorm bunk room): Around $30 per night
  • Rental car: Around $50 per day
  • Glass of wine in a bar: From $8
  • Bungee jumping in Queenstown: $180
  • Swim with the dolphins at Kaikoura: $165
  • Ticket (foot passenger) on the ferry between the North and South Islands: Around $60

Please note that all figures quoted are approximate – the cost of living will vary according to lifestyle. All costs in this table are given in New Zealand dollars. For currency conversions and the latest exchange rates, visit www.xe.com

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