Study in Australia


Australia is a leading global education powerhouse known for its high quality academic framework and innovative policy developments. Students are spoilt for choice with 22,000 courses to choose from across 1,100 institutions. Eight out of the 100 top universities in the world are located in Australia.

Australia is also one of the best places to live. It throbs with a pulsating energy and the friendly local populace help international students adapt comfortably to a new place and culture—to live, learn and grow.

Australia has been ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world (Prosperity Index 2012) and has five of the 30 best cities worldwide for students (Top University Rankings 2012), further enhancing its popularity as a study abroad destination. The friendliness and hospitality makes a newcomer feel at home.

The locals are an open, friendly lot according a warm welcome to outsiders. Many students who opt for homestays have a wonderful experience of being treated like a family member. No matter where you choose to live—a homestay, boarding school or campus accommodation—you will undoubtedly make lasting friendships and beautiful memories.


The higher education system of Australia has both government and private institutions in it. If a university or college is seen as part of the higher education system (also known as tertiary education), then it was either established by or is recognized by the Australian government as a tertiary institution. Higher education programs include all of the schools that cover Levels I through 10 according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Vocational and Training Institutes

There are hundreds of other schools out there that provide technical and further education (TAFE) and vocational education and training (VET). These schools offer short courses, certificates I through IV, diplomas, and advanced diplomas. They focus on training their students in a particular vocation or just to help their students get out into the work place. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Commercial training providers, usually run by a company or of their own accord.

  • The training department of manufacturing or service enterprises, which provide services to the employees that they already have or employees that have just been hired.

  • The training function of employer or employee organizations in a particular industry, which provide services to the employees that they already have or employees that have just been hired.

  • Group Training Companies.

  • Community learning centers and neighborhood houses.

  • Secondary colleges providing VET programs.

Universities and Higher Education

As of 2009, the Australia higher education system had 41 universities. 37 of the universities are public, 2 are private, and 2 of them are Australian branches of universities that are located overseas. There are also 3 self-accrediting higher education institutions. There are also dozens of smaller schools that do not grant any degrees or have accreditation – these are private schools that focus on theology, business, information technology, natural therapies, hospitality, health, law and accounting.

Most Australian universities are self-accrediting institutions that each run under a legislation (usually at the state or territory level). They get most of their funding from the Australian government through the Higher Education Support Act 2003. This act put the existing aims of universities into legal terms, recognized each of the universities, and introduced measures to strength the knowledge base of the country. Essentially, this act made it so that Australian universities were able to obtain money from the federal government via grants and loans.


So you think that you want to study in Australia? One of the things that have probably come to your mind during your decision-making process is how much your education is going to cost. Thankfully, there are a lot of factors that can play into the costs of studying in Australia. Where the institution is located, whether the university is public or private, and what level of study that you are pursuing all factor into how much it’s going to cost you to attend university.

One convenient thing about being an international student that is going to Australia to study is that you can pay your tuition fees before you even start attending. This will help you with budgeting during your schooling and it can also help you with saving up money for your education before you even end up in Australia.

If you have decided that you are going to attend a university in Australia before finishing your secondary schooling degree, you could end up getting a lot of your education paid off before you step foot in the country. You may also have to pay fees related to the courses you are taking or the degree program that you are in.

Certificate Levels I to IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma

All of these fall into the category of vocational training. If you are going to Australia for vocational education and/or training, you will pay anywhere from $4,000 (for a 4 to 6 month Certificate I program) to $22,000 (for a complete advanced diploma program)

Bachelor’s Degree

These degrees will vary depending on whether you go to a public university or a private university. Public universities can run anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year; private universities can cost upwards of $33,000 per year (there are only a handful of private universities in the country, so you are more likely to be attending a public university). Much of the time, the costs related to these degrees can be taken care of through financial aid and scholarships.

Master’s Degree

Most Master’s degrees average approximately $20,000 to $30,000 per year. Some Master’s programs can end up costing more than that if you go to a prestigious university or a private university. There are a lot of research scholarships and bursaries that you can obtain to decrease the cost of postgraduate education, which we explore more in our page on scholarships.


One of the most important things to consider when studying in Australia is how much money that you need to have in order to be comfortable. There are a lot of things that come into this process. We’re going to take a look at a few of the important costs in this article. Then, you will be better able to make an informed decision about studying in Australia and determine how much you need to budget in order to live comfortably while there.

Living accommodations

The cost of living accommodations in Australia vary depending on which region you are living in. The more rural areas of Australia, like those you will find in the western and northern Australian states, will have much lower accommodation costs. More urbanized areas, like those in the ACT and around Sydney, will have higher rates, especially if you are downtown.


The cost of your amenities will vary depending on location and what you have. It will also depend on what is included in your rent. Here are some averages:

  • Gas and electric: $50-$100/month

  • Phone and internet (usually bundled together): $150-$200 a month

  • Water/Sewer/Trash: $50/month

  • Groceries average approximately $200/month, depending on what you’re eating.

Note: If you are located within city limits, the numbers that you will see will likely be more than the estimates listed here.

You may also have to pay particular local and/or housing taxes, depending on what your landlord covers and what you have to cover. Which amenities and taxes you are responsible for should be outlined on your lease. Many times, you can discuss the average costs for your apartment with your landlord or real estate agent; they should have a vague idea of what the monthly costs for your rental should come out to.


There are a variety of other things that you will want to think about in regards to the cost of living if you decide to go to Australia to study. Some of these costs are based on personal entertainment, others are based on transportation, and others are considered luxuries. Here are some of the average prices that you can expect to pay on various items and services in Australia.