how much does it cost to live in melbourne as a student3

How Much Does It Cost To Live In Melbourne As A Student?

This area is well-known for its stunning scenery, rich cultural offerings, delicious restaurants, and exciting athletic events. About 227,000 international students visit the state every year because of the excellent education and research opportunities available at the state's many universities.

In Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, students can take advantage of world-class educational options while also experiencing a truly international atmosphere.

Melbourne is widely regarded as Australia's premier educational hub, and it is home to numerous prestigious academic and research institutions, as well as world-class vocational schools. According to The Economist's annual global liveability assessment, Melbourne is the second most liveable city in the world in 2019. A world-class education and exposure to other cultures are both available here. Thousands of international students flock to Melbourne each year because of its reputation as a cultural hub.

Melbourne is a major cultural and educational centre in Australia, and a city widely regarded as a cultural and artistic mecca. We can assist you in establishing a practical budget that takes into account the actual cost of living in Melbourne as a student.

Your total monthly rent, groceries, and transportation costs will give you a good idea of how much money you'll need to survive as a student in Australia's state capital, Melbourne. Find out how much it will cost you to live in Melbourne in the following article written for international students.

FAQs About Melbourne

The average cost of living on campus at a university in the Melbourne area ranges between $665 - $825 per week. Keeping in mind you will have your meals cooked for you every day, utilities are included, and you will most likely be travelling less than you would be if you lived off-campus.

Average student living costs in Australia

International students living in Australia need between 1,400 and 2,500 AUD/month to cover their living expenses, including accommodation, food, and social activities.

No matter the source of your income, you should make sure your rent costs never exceed 30 per cent of your net monthly earnings. If you're bringing in $2,000 per month, try to keep your monthly rent under $600. Some rentals will even come earmarked with income requirements.

The cheapest Melbourne universities are Kaplan Business School, Australian Institute of Management (MIT) and Victoria University. They set tuition fees for international students in the low to mid $20,000s. Victoria University is based in the western suburbs but has teaching facilities in the city centre.

There are three reasons why letting students can often be more profitable than traditional lets: Demand and competition in student areas are strong and consistent. Students will usually look to rent for a minimum of 12 months, meaning less stress for you finding new tenants.

With an average annual fee of 43,000 AUD/year, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) charges more than any other Australian university for its degrees – yet the university doesn't have the highest place in the QS World Rankings.

The title is awarded to the city with the highest score for stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. When you study in Melbourne, you'll be living in a safe and vibrant city that offers world-class study options, services and the widest range of things to do.


The Cost Of Living In Melbourne As A Student

how much does it cost to live in melbourne as a student2

We have compiled everything you need to know about budgeting for your big move, including average costs of accommodation, transport, health, admin, entertainment and phone charges in Melbourne, Australia.

Overview Of Expenses

This table provides a high-level summary of some key expenses typical of life in Melbourne. The exact numbers could be different, of course, depending on where in the city you happen to be.

  • Weekly rent for an apartment - $430
  • Monthly public transport ticket - $155
  • Overseas Student Health Cover, Minimum cost is around - $400 
  • Groceries average per household in (VIC) - $257
  • A meal in a mid-range restaurant - $20
  • Meal in a high-end restaurant - $50


Across all of Australia, Melbourne is second only to Sydney in terms of average monthly rental costs. Metro Melbourne has a median weekly rent of $430, as reported by the Victorian Government's Department of Health and Human Services.

However, it’s still possible to find affordable student accommodation in the city, especially if you opt for a studio or shared apartment. Choosing a place where the cost of utilities is included in the rent can help reduce your overall accommodation costs. 

Study Costs

Tuition fees at Australian universities are typically calculated per unit, so the cost of studying varies between courses. Studies in Australia calculate that international students usually pay between $20,000 and $45,000 for a bachelor’s degree. On top of tuition fees, you’ll need to factor in study materials like textbooks and laptops. 


The city of Melbourne is extremely accessible, thanks to the extensive bus, train, and tram system. A myki card, the city's reusable public transportation ticket, is all you need to move about (full-time students are eligible for concession prices). According to Expatistan, a monthly pass for public transportation in Melbourne will set you back about $155.

Food And Groceries

Melbourne has a great dining scene with plenty of budget options. You can get a filling meal for as little as $20, although the city’s high-end restaurants are more expensive, with meals starting at around $50. 

Cooking your meals at home can help keep costs low. Budget Direct found that the average household in Victoria spends $257 on food each week, but as a student, you probably won’t need to spend quite that much. 

In addition to major supermarket chains like Coles, Aldi, and Woolworths, try doing your grocery shopping at local produce markets to save money. 


Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is one of the main costs you’ll need to consider as an international student. This type of insurance is designed to ensure you have an appropriate level of health cover in case you fall ill or get injured while studying in Australia. 

It can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars and well over $1,000, depending on the level of cover you take out and your circumstances. 


You should set aside some cash so that you can enjoy Melbourne's vibrant culture. There is a plethora of attractions to explore, from museums and galleries to the Queen Victoria Markets, where you can stock up on excellent, freshly-prepared local fare.

Some of Melbourne's top attractions may be seen for as little as $80 per week, and even if you're really strapped for cash, there are plenty of free things to do and see in the city. Federation Square has many interesting attractions, and the Yarra River and Royal Botanic Gardens are other great places to spend some time in nature.

Why study in Melbourne?

In order to have a successful study abroad experience, you should consider studying in Melbourne for the following reasons:

  • World’s most liveable city
  • The best student city in Australia
  • Top-quality education
  • Excellence in research
  • Exciting job opportunities
  • Highest employment rates
  • Sports, art, culture & museums
  • Festivals & entertainment

World’s most liveable city:

Melbourne has been voted amongst the world’s best liveable cities for seven consecutive years from 2011 to 2017, scoring highly for education, healthcare, culture, safety, cleanliness, infrastructure, etc. 

Living in Melbourne is genuinely remarkable since it offers a world-class lifestyle and cutting-edge amenities. The city of Melbourne is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including beaches, national parks, and bushland.

The best student city in Australia:

According to the QS Best Student Cities Guide, Melbourne is a top five city to study in. International students can take use of Melbourne's excellent student support services to ease the transition to life in Australia's second-largest city.

Top-quality education:

Studying in Melbourne will help you start a highly rewarding career as the education attained is globally recognised by employers worldwide. 

With highly experienced faculty who are industry experts and research scholars, these universities offer best-in-class learning opportunities to students. The courses are tailor-made to meet the current industrial needs and also include practical knowledge sessions along with industry exposure.

Excellence in research:

Melbourne is one of the world’s leading education and research destinations, with the highest number of inner-city research collaborations globally. Students can use the world-class research facilities provided here to excel in their chosen field of study.


Exciting job opportunities:

Graduates and post-graduates in Melbourne can take advantage of the city's status as a major centre of learning and research.

The city has a thriving start-up ecosystem and houses the R&D divisions of various multinational companies. Universities in Melbourne provide internships and hands-on training to students while pursuing their education.

Highest employment rates:

Most jobs in Victoria, the state's second largest employer, are in the state's capital, Melbourne. Victoria's job market has seen the highest employment growth in Australia, at 15.9%, over the past few years.

It has been reported that around 69% of employees in Victoria have post-school qualifications, with a majority of them holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The labour market in Victoria shows great progress, with the employment rate increasing by 3.5% or 114,200.

The full-time employment rate has increased by 4.5%, i.e. 98,500, and the part-time employment rate in Victoria has increased by 1.5% or 15,800 in the last year. Also, the unemployment rate in Victoria decreased by 1% point over the year to 4.5% in January 2019, below the national rate of 5.0%. 

The youth employment rate in Victoria has increased by 3.1% or 14,900, while the youth unemployment rate had fallen by 2% over the year to 11.2% in January 2019.

The short-term outlook for the Victorian economy is positive.

According to the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance forecast, Victoria will witness employment growth of 2.0% in 2019-20, while the unemployment rate is expected to average 5.0% over the period. Over the coming five years until May 2023, employment in Victoria is expected to increase by 8.3%, which is well above the national projected growth of 7.1%.

Sports, art, culture & museums:

Melbourne has been called "Australia's cultural capital" due to its prominence in the country's arts and entertainment industries. The National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Museum are two popular destinations for art enthusiasts.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is the country's official museum of cinema, gaming, and digital arts and culture, and it's completely free to visit. The Koorie Heritage Trust, The Australian Music Vault, the Victoria State Library, the Australian Sports Museum, the Bendigo Art Gallery, the Science Works, and many more are also among Melbourne's most visited landmarks.

In Australia, sporting events play a major role in social life. In addition to its status as Australia's cultural centre, Melbourne is often called the country's "sporting capital" for its abundance of high-profile sporting events. In addition to the annual Australian Open Tennis tournament, the city also plays host to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, the Spring Racing Carnival (also known as the Melbourne Cup), Australian Rules Football, a test match on Boxing Day, and many other prestigious athletic events.

There are many opportunities for sports fans to get involved in the Melbourne community.

Festivals & entertainment:

There are many exciting events and activities available to international students studying in Melbourne. Festivals celebrating local art, music, literature, dance, and film are held throughout the city every month of the year. The month of October is traditionally reserved for the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

The Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe, etc. are just a few of the numerous noteworthy events that take place in the city. Melbourne's cosmopolitan population means the city offers a wide variety of cuisines.

Study in Melbourne: Top-Recommended Universities

Consider the following list of nearby Melbourne, Victoria universities:

  • Swinburne University of Technology (CRICOS Code: 00111D)
  • The Swinburne University of Technology has an international reputation for quality research.

Swinburne is among the top 3% of universities worldwide, being ranked in the world’s top 400 universities as per the 2020 QS World University Rankings. Swinburne is also ranked in the Top 200 for Engineering and Technology by the World University Rankings 2020 by Subject and Top 250 for Physical Science and Top 300 for Computer Science. The Swinburne Faculty of Business and Law achieved accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the highest standard of excellence in business education worldwide. 

The Swinburne University of Technology has three campuses based in Melbourne, located in Hawthorn, Croydon and Wantirna, offering state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive learning environment for students.

Federation University

Federation University has been ranked #1 in Victoria for overall employment, median starting salary, student support and teaching scale (QILT, 2018). As per the Employer Satisfaction Survey 2017, January 2018, the graduates from FedUni have been rated the best in Australia for employability, technical and adaptive skills. 

Over 400 courses, degrees, and other academic opportunities are available at this university. Berwick, where the university is located, is roughly 40 kilometres south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Churchill, where the Gippsland campus is found, is only two hours by car from Melbourne.

The Mt Helen campus is located 10 kilometres from the city centre of Ballarat and is set on 110 hectares of natural bushland. It is also home to the Ballarat Technology Park, with major employers such as IBM among its tenants.

La Trobe University 

La Trobe is ranked #52 among the top 100 young universities in the world according to The Young University Rankings 2019 by Times Higher Education. The World University Rankings 2020 placed La Trobe in the top 1.1% of universities worldwide. Apart from these rankings, the university ranks among the top 200 globally in various subjects like arts, humanities, psychology, etc. 

The La Trobe University campus in Melbourne is located in the northeastern suburb of Bundoora, which is just 14km from the city centre. Students who opt to study on this campus can get the unique opportunity to interact with award-winning researchers in various specialised subjects. 

La Trobe Melbourne campus has state-of-the-art facilities, including La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science, Centre for Agribioscience, Centre for Sport and Social Impact, etc.

Deakin University 

Deakin University is a multi-award winning tertiary education provider with a high global reputation. Deakin ranks 211 in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), thus being in the top 1% of universities worldwide. Offering world-class research and teaching facilities, Deakin has grabbed a 5-star rating from the prestigious university ranking organisation Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). 

Deakin University has five campuses accommodating around 60,000 students every year. The Deakin Melbourne campus is located in Burwood, which has proximity to the city’s eastern transport hubs. The campus is set in a scenic verdant environment that offers a fresh and positive learning ambience for students. 

The Burwood campus, which boasts of top-notch facilities, has around 26,000 students and 1500 staff members. The Geelong Waterfront campus is located right on the seafront in the heart of Geelong, which is just an hour’s journey from Melbourne. The university’s Geelong Waurn Ponds campus provides world-class education in a stunning rural setting close to Australia’s best much does it cost to live in melbourne as a student

Earn While Studying in Melbourne: Part-time job opportunities

While you are studying in Melbourne, you can find part-time jobs to help manage your daily expenses. As per Australian law, all student visa holders can work part-time for up to 40 hours per fortnight during their studies and work full-time during their semester breaks. Students pursuing a Masters by research or PhD are eligible to work full-time.

A few popular part-time jobs in Australia for international students are university assistant, waiter, receptionist, retail sales assistant, etc. Students can choose between on-campus and off-campus work opportunities. Before applying for a part-time job, you must prepare a formal written application and a resume designed specifically for the job role. 

If you are working in Australia, you will have the right to minimum wage and protections under the law. Many universities and colleges will provide assistance for students to find part-time jobs. You can also find jobs through fellow students, friends or family who are in Australia.

Average living costs while studying in Melbourne

Include housing, utilities, food, transportation, and entertainment costs in your Melbourne cost of living estimate. Utilities consist of water, gas, electricity, and the like. Depending on where you stay, the cost of transportation may change.

Myki cards, good for public transportation in Melbourne and many parts of regional Victoria, may be purchased at a 50% discount if you are an international student.

The following are some of the typical monthly outlays for an Australian resident, expressed in the local currency, the Australian Dollar (AUD):

  • Hostels/Guesthouses – $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental – $95 to $215 per week
  • On-campus stay – $110 to $280 per week
  • Homestay – $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental – $185 to $440 per week
  • Groceries/Food – $100 to $200 per week
  • Gas & Electricity – $10 to $20 per week
  • Phone & Internet – $10 to $20 per week
  • Public transport – $15 to $30 per week
  • Entertainment – $80 to $150 per month

The cost of studying in Australia will depend on the institution, level of study, course selected and the study location.

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