Over the past years, “the land Down Under” has received a significant number of young people from all corners of the world, making it the 3rd most popular study destination for international students. The country’s outstanding education programs, high quality of life, and awe-inspiring natural attractions are one of the main reasons why living in Australia is so attractive to students aspiring to grow both professionally and personally.
In this article we’ll dive into the perks of living in one of the largest countries in the world, and we’ll cover all the information you need to know before taking the big leap.
Table of Contents
Reasons to Live in Australia
Nature and Weather
Australia’s diverse wildlife and natural landscapes are one of the most memorable parts of living there. Aside from admiring its beautiful beaches, you can visit its mighty gorges, stunning rock formations and caves, breathtaking coral reefs, and so much more.
You must keep in mind that seasons in Australia are flipped. Summer lasts from December to February; these are considered the hottest months. March to May is fall. Winter is from June to August, and September to November is spring. Rains vary from year to year, but in comparison to other countries, you’ll enjoy mild weather most of the year round.
Quality of Life
Australia is often ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. It is usually a very safe and welcoming place to live and study. You’ll find a multicultural society with more than half a million international students from 192 countries.
The country boasts a globally competitive economy, so services like healthcare, transportation, education and infrastructure are well above international average. That said, an Australian qualification can make you a valuable potential employee around the world.
There are many job opportunities and low unemployment rates. Which allows international students to find a part-time job that works around their school schedule.
English Language Programs
Living in Australia offers you the possibility to improve your English skills naturally. Being in contact with people from different cultures and diverse backgrounds will help you increase your vocabulary and confidence while broadening your horizons.
Australia’s VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector is recognized worldwide. This type of training is designed to prepare students who are joining the workforce for the first time, re-joining after a break, or considering to switch career paths.
Through VET, you can get the following types of qualifications:
- Certificate I to IV
- Advanced diploma
- Vocational graduate certificate/diploma
Click here to learn more about the VET qualifications.
Besides from being super friendly, Aussies are famous for having a relaxed lifestyle. Their great respect for nature and the country’s copious amounts of space are just some of the reasons why they love the outdoors.
Also, Australians have a strong belief in equality and are always open to learn about new cultures. Therefore, foreign students are guaranteed a fulfilling experience.
The list of benefits goes on, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Cost of living in Australia
As in your hometown, costs may vary according to your lifestyle and personal needs, such as accommodation, meals, and entertainment. Always consider unexpected costs when preparing your budget.
The Australian Government estimates that general living expenses are around $21,041 AUD per year. Although, a survey showed that international students spend between $20,000 and $27,000 AUD per year. Note that if you decide to live on campus, dining plan is compulsory, which is a minimum $2,000 per semester.
Tip: Choose a GrowPro experience to make budgeting easier. Also, you can use an online budget calculator like Money Smart budget planner.
Student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks. However, you can find a full-time position during the holidays. If you, as an international student, work 20 hours per week for $19.50 per hour, you’ll be making around $400 AUD per week before taxes. Depending on the job and industry, you can earn up to $25 or even $30+ per hour.
Make sure you get an Australian Tax File Number from the Australian Taxation Office before you start your job-hunting.
Jobs for International Students
Besides gaining valuable experience and getting acquainted to the Australian working environment, finding a job as an international student is easier than you think. These places can work perfectly around your studies:
- Coffee shops
- Clothing stores
- Call centers
Front-end Expenses Checklist
If your mind’s made up about living in Australia, consider the following costs to make this process as smooth, and realistic, as possible (all these points will be covered in more detail below):
- Plane tickets
- Health insurance
- Education programs
- Food (for at least the first couple of months)
Before embarking on this journey, you need to make sure that you’ve saved enough money to cover all the front-end expenses above. This amount may vary, but expect to spend between 3,000 to 5,000 USD upfront.
Check out our Grower Area section to find the best deals on services like plane tickets, health insurance, accommodation, and much more. We have collaboration agreements with various institutions so you can get the highest quality for the lowest price.
Arriving in Australia is not the easiest, nor the cheapest task. Therefore, it’s wise to plan well ahead of time to find a good deal online. Choose the airport that is closest to your destiny, simulate your new schedule before you leave, and allow enough time to get over the jet lag.
You need a visa to study in Australia for more than three months. The process for applying is done online, so don’t worry about any embassy visits or waiting for it in the mail. The only downside is that the fee is not that cheap.
Depending where you’re from, the price can range between $ 140 AUD and $ 1020 AUD. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months before entering the country. The good news is that, with a student visa, you can work during holidays or in your free time.
This benefit may be included on your study-abroad program. The Australian government requires all international students to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Choose a plan that fits your desired coverage. Learn more about OSHC here.
Australia is home to many award-winning educational institutions and universities highly-rated by QS World University Rankings. Campuses have state-of-the-art facilities and they’re equipped with the latest technologies. There are also local libraries and community learning spaces.
If higher education is not what you’re interested in at the moment, you’ll find many courses that will adapt to your needs. Most Australian institutions promote independent thinking and focus on building collaboration and communication skills, which makes it easy to socialize.
Costs of Studying in Australia
The costs of studying in Australia depend on the type of program you choose, the institution, and the city. Here’s a list to give you an idea of the yearly cost:
English Language Studies
There are many programs to choose from, but the average cost is around $200 and $300 AUD per week. If you take a longer course, the price might go down.
Vocational Education and Training
If you’re planning to get a Certificate I to IV, a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma, the yearly cost can range from $4,000 to $22,000 AUD but there are plenty of options and prices to choose from.
These types of programs tend to last longer. Also, they offer a whole other range of services and qualifications. Therefore, the prices are higher:
- Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree – $20,000 to $45,000 AUD
- Postgraduate Master’s Degree – $22,000 to $50,000 AUD
These amounts are only general. To check actual prices you can visit our website and choose your experience.
Types of Accommodation in Australia
There are different options for your stay that can easily adapt to your budget. Check out the following list of pros and cons to get you started.
This type of accommodation refers to living in Australia with a host family. Cost is around AUD $250 and $ 350 per week. This varies depending on meals, rooms, and utilities.
- Airport pickup
- A furnished room in the home of your host
- Properly arranged meals
- All utilities
- Welcome and orientation
- Homestay agent support
- Cultural exchange with your host family
- Expect to have different rules per household.
- Depending on your personality, you might feel dependent on the family.
Residential College Apartments
Living in Australia on or near campus in a residential college is very popular, because it’s also one of the most convenient options. Costs range between AUD $200 and $750 including weekly utilities.
- All meals
- Weekly room clean
- Fully-furnished bedroom
- Tutors and WiFi
- It’s a college lifestyle, which involves heaps of partying and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
These have between 100 – 400 students with single or twin rooms and shared common areas. The weekly cost ranges between AUD $200 and $500 per week, including utilities.
- Furnished bedroom.
- 24-hour security and on-site staff support.
- Studies, social events and activities.
- Communal laundry facilities.
- Kitchen and bathroom with major appliances.
- Air conditioning and heating.
- Study areas and recreation areas.
- Shared spaces can get crowded. Sometimes you’ll share a bathroom with up to 4 or 5 people.
If you want to really immerse yourself in the Australian culture, this is the way to go. You can live alone or share. Costs are around AUD $100 and AUD $500 per week plus utilities.
- More of an independent lifestyle.
- Variety of options according to your budget.
- Sharing housing with Aussies or other international students.
- You’ll have to be in charge of utilities.
- Cooking and cleaning for yourself.
- May be a bit far from your place of study.
A relaxed and vibrant party atmosphere for students. There are options that offer services like free breakfast or free airport pick-up. Costs are around AUD $90 to $150 per week.
- Furnished bedrooms.
- Access to shared kitchen and bathroom.
- Recreation facilities.
- Meet people easily.
- It’s unlikely you’ll have a private room, so privacy may be an issue.
- Some hostels have curfew.
Aussies are known for being friendly and easygoing. About 30% of them are born overseas, so expect a welcoming multicultural scene with plenty to offer.
Aussies’ work schedule is commonly a 9 to 5 shift and the work/life balance in Australia is pretty relaxed. It is common to stop by for a drink at a bar or pub after a day of work.
Things to Do in Australia
As mentioned before, people living in Australia like to keep active. Going hiking, exploring national parks, or doing outdoor sports are some of their favorite activities. Definitely, you won’t get bored!
Here are just a few things you can do on your spare time while living in Australia:
- Scuba diving and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. This is the largest coral reef system in the world.
- Enjoying short trips to magical places like The Pinnacles or the Ningaloo Reef.
- Surfing in Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney.
- Visiting sophisticated restaurants and art galleries in Perth.
- Sampling the architecture and night life in Sydney. Don’t forget to visit the Opera House, Sydney’s best-known landmark.
As for sports, Cricket and Australian Rules Football (AFL) are very popular, as well as rugby league (NRL), water sports, and cycling. Cafe culture is big in Australia too, so you’ll often find a lot of people enjoying brunch (a mixture of breakfast and lunch) on Saturdays and Sundays.
Australia has fruit and vegetables available all year long and is known for its fresh seafood. You can try traditional dishes at a typical Aussie BBQ. They’re so popular, that most homes and parks have BBQs already in place. Although you can find a wide variety of foods from different parts of the world, here’s a rundown of some of the most popular dishes in Australia:
Vegemite on Toast
This thick, dark brown, salty paste is Australia’s number one spread. It is the equivalent of peanut butter in America since most people enjoy it with their toast every morning.
Fish, Crocodile, Kangaroo, and Emu Meats
These meats are mostly produced throughout Australia. They have low content of fat and most people cook them the same way as lean pork and chicken. Although the consumption of crocodile and kangaroo meats was illegal in the past, they are now part of Australia’s most exquisite cuisine.
The Aboriginal peoples of Australia’s traditional cuisine is known as ‘Bush tucker’, which includes kangaroo, emu, crocodile, witchetty grubs, Quandong, bush tomato, yams and macadamia nuts. These native foods are part of Australia’s contemporary cuisine.
Pavlova & Flat White
This delicious dessert received its name after the Russian ballerina “Anna Pavlova,” who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. This chewy and creamy sweet is made of egg whites, caster sugar, whipped cream, and fruit.
Of course, you must enjoy it with the classic Aussie coffee creation: The flat white. This style of coffee contains a shot of espresso, a steamy pour of milk, and a layer of foam. Tasty, right?
GrowPro is Here to Help
Australia is a land of opportunities. This large and breathtaking country has a lot to offer: sandy beaches, amazing wildlife, diverse cities, and globally ranked institutions. Feel free to use this guide as a reference to make your dream of living in Australia a reality.
If you want to learn more and get a customized plan, pick any of the Experiences above, fill out the form, and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.
At Grow Pro, we want to help you achieve your educational goals. Our team of experts will help you make the right decision by creating a plan tailored to your budget and needs. What’s your pick?