Living In Melbourne

Living In Melbourne


Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia. It is considered relatively safe and has been acclaimed in the recent past as the most liveable city in the world. It is a multi-cultural city, with residents from many parts of the world. It has temperate weather conditions, snow is rarely seen in the city or suburbs and days in excess of 35°C (95°F) are few.

It has an effective and extensive public transport system, comprised of trains, trams and buses, although many people prefer the convenience of a private vehicle. Melbourne’s reticulated water system is among the safest in the world.

Melbourne is renowned for its cultural attractions, art galleries, theatres, concert halls etc, and perhaps equally for its sporting culture and its great variety and abundance of restaurants catering for all tastes. Quality food, including fresh meat and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, is plentiful.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Melbourne can vary according to the type and location of accommodation you choose and the lifestyle you lead. It is your responsibility to determine what your own costs will be to live and study in Australia. Even if you have permission to work you should not rely on work to support yourself in Australia as a student.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) advises that applicants for student visas require AUD$19,830 per year for living expenses. For more information please visit the DIBP website here.

The following information will to help prepare a budget. These figures are only estimates. You may need to add other items to your budget, like ongoing mobile phone and internet fees. All costs are Australian Dollars and subject to inflation.


  • – Serviced Apartment – $385 to $665 per week
  • – Shared Rental – $85 to $250 per week
  • – Homestay – $220 to $330 per week
  • – Rental – $170 to $500 per week

Other living expenses

  • – Groceries and eating out – $80 to $250 per week
  • – Gas, electricity – $60 to $120 per week
  • – Phone and internet – $20 to $50 per week
  • – Public transport – $15 to $50 per week
  • – Car (after purchase) – $150 to $250 per week
  • – Entertainment – $50 to $100 per week

The websites below can provide up to date information on various living costs:


A variety of inexpensive accommodation is available to suit the student. Royal Victorian Aero Club can provide further details regarding “homestay” and apartment-style accommodation.

Perhaps the most interesting to the overseas visitor is the “homestay” where the student is accommodated with a private family. RVAC can usually facilitate “homestay” nearby and many students prefer this option at least initially until they are more familiar with the environment.

Alternatively, shared accommodation is popular, particularly among young single persons, where two or more share a house or apartment and the associated expenses. Where the student is accompanied by family, rental of an apartment or flat may be the most convenient, although most owners normally expect a lease for at least 6 or possibly 12 months.

Overseas students are advised that any dependent children accompanying them to Australia will be required to pay full fees if they are enrolled in either a government or non-government school.