Student living expenses
The cost of living in Melbourne can vary according to the type of accommodation you choose and the lifestyle you lead.
Although the cost of groceries, eating out, utilities and entertainment is similar across Melbourne, the cost of accommodation in and around the city centre is greater than in the outer suburbs. On the other hand, travel costs may increase the further you live from the centre of the city.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) advises that applicants for student visas require AUD$18,610 per year for living expenses. For more information please visit the DIBP website.
We require that you budget an approximate minimum of AUD$23,000 - $30,000 per year for ongoing living costs (excluding tuition fees or airfares).
You will also need to budget approximately AUD$2300 – 5000 for the initial costs of establishing yourself in Melbourne and it is recommended you allow AUD$1000–2000 for the purchase of a personal computer. See ‘Establishment Costs’ table below.
Tables below provide a breakdown of the costs you will need to budget for when studying at Swinburne. You should contact service providers directly for confirmed costs.
Average estimated living costs for one single student (AUD$)
|On campus (UniLodge @ Swinburne Place or Residential College, full year contract)||Shared accommodation (room only in 2-4 bedroom house)||Renting accommodation|
(1 bedroom unit/apartment)
|Accommodation bond||$230(placement fees1 )||$1350 (inc. reservation fees 2 )||$800||$1200 (one month rent based on 52 weeks calendar month rent)|
|Rent paid in advance||$1110 (1 month rent)||$2000 (2 month rent)||$800 (1 month rent)||$1200 (1 month rent)|
|Utilities set up – inc. phone, internet, gas, electricity||0||$0
(Phone in room, if requested $150)
|Furniture & house hold items ( ie. couch, TV, washing machine, fridge, linen, towels, crockery)||0||$300||$700||$700|
|Estimated total per year||$2340||$4650||$3330||$4220|
|On-going weekly living costs|
(without rent paid in advance - see establishment costs above)
|Food & groceries (excluding dinning out)||$50||$100||$100||$100|
|Utilities (gas, electricity, mobile phone, internet)||$10 (internet)||$0||$30||$40|
|Spending money ( e.g health, personal care, entertainment, clothes, dining out, hobbies)||$60||$60||$60||$60|
|Travel (public transport/ fuel)||$50||$50||$50||$50|
|Estimated total per year||$21800||$21920||$21360||$27400|
|Books, stationery, photocopying, etc.||$800||$800||$800||$800|
|Miscellaneous items (e.g. car insurance, car registration, expenses related to unexpected events)||$1000||$1000||$1000||$1000|
|Estimated per year (52 weeks)||$23600||$23720||$23160||$29200|
Online budget calculator
Students are encouraged to make a budget to help them estimate their yearly expenses. There are a number of good online calculators:
- PocketBook An App to help you to manage your personal finances
- Money Smart Budget Calculator
- Money Help Budget Planner
- Swinburne Budget Planner (PDF)
- Swinburne Student Finance has a number of resources to assist students with their budget and finances including Finance Health Checklist, hints and tips, finance adviser.
Swinburne offers a range of accommodation services to assist international students in securing, living in and leaving their accommodation.
Transport costs will vary for students depending on your chosen mode of transport and how far away you live from your campus.
Student wishing to purchase a personal computer or laptop can expect to pay anywhere between AUD$1000- $2000 depending on the type of processing system, included software, age of computer and study needs.
Good Condition second-hand computers may meet your needs and will cost less to purchase than a new computer. We advise all students to test and sight in person, any second-hand goods before exchanging cash/funds.
You can try the following links for purchasing a second-hand computer:
- ComputerBank Victoria
- Trading Post newspapers
- The Green Guide (The Age newspaper – Thursday)
The university has a large number of computers available for student use, including 24 hour computer labs and laptop loan program. Please see the library for further details.
Costs for students with families
If you are bringing your family, you will also need an approximate minimum of AUD$19,000 per year for your spouse and AUD$10,000 per year for each child (not including school fees and uniforms).