Living in Australia will be a new experience, but there are support services in your institution as well as from other organisations to help make adjusting to life in Australia easier. As Australia is the fourth happiest country in the world (Prosperity Index 2012) and it has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students (Top University Rankings 2012), you are sure to enjoy your time here. No matter what type of study you are doing in Australia, whether you are here for a few months or a few years, some research and planning will help you have a safe and rewarding study experience. Important considerations and planning includes:

• Planning your departure.
• Arriving in Australia.
• Accessing support services.
• Remaining visa compliant.
• Working while you study.
• Living costs and finding accommodation.
• Health and safety.

Sydney the oldest, biggest, and most beautiful of all Australian cities, lies amid a seductive intermingling of land and sea. Glide along the glittering harbor on a ferry, see the white sails of the Opera House gleaming in the sunshine, and admire the graceful arch of the Harbour Bridge and it’s hard to imagine this vibrant state capital was once a brutal convict colony. In 1788, it was at Sydney Cove where Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, established the first British colony in Australia.
Visitors can explore Sydney’s fabled history in the narrow-cobbled laneways and historic buildings of the Rocks, at the city’s excellent museums, and the rock paintings of the Gadigal aboriginal people who once thrived on this land. Sydney still fizzes with the adventurous spirit of its settlers. Visitors can climb the harbor bridge, surf the green-barrel breaks at Sydney’s golden beaches, or fly over the city on a scenic tour. And national parks surround the city providing appealing day trip possibilities

Sydney Weather

Sydney enjoys a sunny climate with mild winters and warm summers, perfect for making the most of the outdoors. Plan with this information on temperature and rainfall. Sydney weather are as follows:
• Summer (December – February)
• Autumn (March – May)
• Winter (June – August)
• Spring (September – November)

Sydney Living costs

Planning for everyday expenses and accommodation. Keep to a realistic budget by understanding the costs you’re likely to face as a student in Sydney.
A useful budgeting tool is available to help you manage your income and expenditure. For international students, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have financial obligations you must comply with. As a single student you must be able to show you have the financial capacity to cover living costs of at least $19,830 Australian dollars per year. There are additional costs for extra family members. Therefore, using this amount as a guide, a single student living away from home will require at least $1,652 per month for accommodation, food, utilities and entertainment.
NOTE: Actual costs will depend on your lifestyle choices and needs.

Weekly expenses

Whether you’re moving here from overseas, interstate, or you’ve grown up in Sydney, there are various weekly outgoings you’ll need to budget for.
NOTE: Listed costs are indicative only and based on the information from the websites/sources listed. Prices in Sydney may differ and we strongly encourage you to do your own research.


The bulk of your monthly cost of living is going to be rent. For a one bedroom apartment in Sydney plan on spending $450 to $550 a week minimum. Anything less and you’re looking at a very small place which might work for you or a place that is bug infested. Two bedroom apartments start at about $650 a week minimum.

According to the website, Sydney Moving Costs approximate costs for accommodation in the Sydney property market can cost between $350 – $570 per week for a one bedroom apartment (after set up costs). Renting a private room in a shared rental property generally costs between $300 – $400. Flatmates and Flatmate Finders are popular sites to locate shared rental accommodation. Student Accommodation Services also have a database of private rentals that you can search. Remember to budget for setting-up costs:
• Rental bond – typically four weeks’ rent upfront, plus two weeks’ rent in advance. This can be higher if you’re living in a furnished property.
• Installation and connection costs and administrative fees, such as lease preparation, connecting electricity, internet and gas.
• New or second-hand furniture if you’re moving into an unfurnished property.
• White goods such as a refrigerator, microwave oven, laundry, and any household items not included with your rental property.

Food and groceries

A weekly grocery bill for one person is usually between $80 – $280. You can save money by buying groceries at supermarkets including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. Shopping at fresh food markets like Paddy’s Market can save you money too. Buying lunch on campus is a more expensive option, with most meals costing $10 -15 each. Buy a USU ACCESS Card to purchase food and drinks at USU food outlets on campus to save around 15%.

Lifestyle expenses

Put aside around $80 – $150 per week for entertainment and socialising. Lots of places including movie cinemas offer student discounts so keep your student card with you. Don’t forget to budget for other incidental expenses like clothes, shoes and toiletries. Expenses may vary depending on your lifestyle.

For more information please visit the website


Access cheaper public transport fares with an Opal Card. You can order a card online or buy from a registered retailer. Single trip tickets are available at retailers and train stations. If you’re a full-time domestic student, you may be eligible for a Concession Opal. Travel is capped at a maximum of $7.50 per day during the week, $30/week, and $2.50 on Sundays. Have your student card with you as proof whenever you travel.
NOTE: International students are currently not eligible for concession tickets. Fare prices are listed on the Opal website.


Overseas Student Health Cover is compulsory for international students. Costs will depend on your insurance provider and your level of cover. 2017 rates per month for the Essentials Policy from Allianz range from $55 for singles to $312 for Multi Family coverage. Check with your insurance provider for rates for your selected cover. You may have additional costs including fees for specialists and prescription medications. Alternative forms of coverage are available for non-student visa holders. Please check with a provider for details.

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