Cost of Living

Cost Of Studying In Brisbane For International Students 2024

Examine the cost of studying in the city, Brisbane for higher education. Learn about tuition fees, living expenses, scholarships, and more effectively.

Published on: May 15, 2024

Sometimes the thought of moving to another country mesmerises us a lot but is it as easy as we dream of it to be? To be honest, the actual pressure on your shoulders arises when you leave your own country to move to a different state or country for your further studies. Australia has always been the top most preference of students abroad, as it has a vibrant culture, environment, resources and facilities to facilitate a healthy and active life. Falling into it the city Brisbane is home to several prestigious universities and colleges that attract students from around the globe, making it a melting pot of cultures and ideas. 


But we can not just decide to stay here based on it being a beautiful city, we have to measure it based on its cost of overall living in Brisbane. Knowing the expenses involved, from tuition fees to daily living costs, allows students to budget appropriately and focus on their studies without the stress of unexpected financial burdens. Dive into the blog to cater more information on this aspect.


Overview of the Universities in the capital city of Queensland: Brisbane


Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia which justifies that it is an attractive destination for many. It is situated along the Brisbane River, making it an attractive location for outdoor activities and conveys a relaxed lifestyle. It doesn't stay back in offering educational excellence and is home to leading institutions like the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and Griffith University. Other than these there are two major universities in Brisbane, Australia which have multiple campuses in the Brisbane metropolitan area, namely: 

University of Southern Queensland (USQ), and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). There are research and biotechnology facilities available to the students from the universities such as the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and CSIRO at the University of Queensland and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. Talking about the TAFE institutes it has three major TAFE colleges; the Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, and the Southbank Institute of TAFE.


Now, let us move on to exploring areas where the expenses can be incurred while you think of moving to the city to study in Australia


A tabular summary of the estimated costs of studying in Brisbane for international students in 2024:



Category Estimated Cost (AUD per Year)
Tuition Fees  
- Undergraduate Programs $20,000 - $45,000
- Postgraduate Programs $22,000 - $50,000
- On-campus $9,000 - $15,000
- Off-campus $10,000 - $20,000
Living Expenses  
- Groceries and Eating Out $5,000 - $10,000
- Public Transport $1,200 - $2,000
- Utilities $1,500 - $2,500
- Internet and Mobile Phone $600 - $1,000
Health Insurance (OSHC) $500 - $700
Books and Study Materials $500 - $1,000
Personal Expenses $2,000 - $4,000
Total Estimated Cost $40,300 - $92,200


Tuition Fees


Undergraduate Courses


Students who are willing to study in Australia just after completing their class 12 can enrol on any of the undergraduate degrees. The cost of the programs enrolled in depends upon how critical it is and the resources utilised to render knowledge to the students. Here are the average tuition fees for some popular undergraduate programs:



Disciplines Expected tuition fees
Information Technology AUD 28,000 - AUD 38,000 per year
Business and Commerce AUD 25,000 - AUD 35,000 per year
Engineering AUD 30,000 - AUD 40,000 per year
Science AUD 25,000 - AUD 35,000 per year
Arts and Humanities AUD 20,000 - AUD 30,000 per year



Postgraduate Courses


These courses are intended to be costlier than the courses under an undergraduate degree. Here are the average tuition fees for some popular postgraduate programs in Brisbane:


  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): AUD 40,000 - AUD 60,000 per year

  • Master of Science (MSc): AUD 30,000 - AUD 45,000 per year

  • PhD Programs: AUD 30,000 - AUD 40,000 per year

  • Master of Engineering: AUD 35,000 - AUD 50,000 per year

  • Master of Information Technology: AUD 32,000 - AUD 45,000 per year



Degrees Expected Tuition fees
Master of Business Administration (MBA) AUD 40,000 - AUD 60,000 per year
Master of Science (MSc) AUD 30,000 - AUD 45,000 per year
PhD Programs AUD 30,000 - AUD 40,000 per year
Master of Engineering AUD 35,000 - AUD 50,000 per year
Master of Information Technology AUD 32,000 - AUD 45,000 per year





These are again the estimated figures and averages you can expect when you enrol into one. Detailed and up-to-date fee structures are available on the respective university websites.



Accommodation cost


Basically there are two ways in which you can find the best student accommodation in Brisbane options; on-campus and off-campus. Campuses are provided by the university facilities themselves whereas the off-campus accommodation is independent and privately owned accommodations. 


On-Campus Accommodation


For many international students, on-campus accommodation offers a convenient and immersive living experience. Here's an overview of the average costs and considerations:


  • Average Costs: The cost of on-campus housing varies by institution and type of accommodation. Typically, students can expect to pay between AUD 200 to AUD 450 per week. This range covers options from shared dormitories to private rooms with en-suite bathrooms.


Off-Campus Accommodation


Living off-campus provides flexibility and the opportunity to explore different neighbourhoods. Here's what to expect in terms of costs and considerations:


Average Rent:


  • Apartments: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Brisbane can cost between AUD 350 to AUD 600 per week, depending on the location and amenities.
  • Shared Housing: Sharing a house or apartment can be more affordable, with individual rooms typically costing between AUD 150 to AUD 300 per week.


Additional Costs:


  • Utilities: Budget for additional costs such as electricity, water, and gas, which can amount to approximately AUD 30 to AUD 50 per week.


 An average home in Brisbane costs:


  • Electricity: $500 per quarter
  • Water: $300 per quarter

  • Gas: $169 per quarter

  • Internet: $120 per quarter

  • Maintenance: Some rental agreements may include maintenance fees, while others might require you to cover these expenses separately.





Commuting to and from the classes or from the workplace to home can be hard to deal with therefore there are two ways to create this momentum. Either through a well-developed public transportation system or through privately owned transportation. 


  • Public Transportation Costs: Brisbane's public transport includes buses, trains, and ferries, operated by TransLink. The estimated expense which can be incurred on a one-way trip ranges from AUD 2 to AUD 5, depending on the distance and time of travel.

  • Weekly Transport Pass: Costs about AUD 30 to AUD 40, offering unlimited travel within certain zones.

  • Go Card: A reusable smart card that provides discounted fares and is a convenient option for frequent travellers.

  • Cost of Purchasing and Maintaining a Bicycle or Car:
  • Bicycle: Purchasing a new bicycle can cost between AUD 200 to AUD 1,000, while second-hand bikes are available for as low as AUD 50. Maintenance costs are relatively low, averaging AUD 50 to AUD 100 per year
  • Car: Buying a used car can range from AUD 5,000 to AUD 15,000, with additional annual costs for registration, insurance, fuel, and maintenance amounting to approximately AUD 2,000 to AUD 3,000.
  • Student Discounts on Public Transportation: International students are eligible for concessions on public transport fares, reducing travel costs significantly. A valid student ID or concession card is required to avail of these discounts.



Food and Groceries


The cost of food and groceries depends upon the personal preferences and eating habits of an individual. Managing the food budget is a crucial part of living as an international student in Brisbane. Here is a breakdown of the cost incurred on this:


  • Average Monthly Cost of Groceries: On average, students spend about AUD 300 to AUD 500 per month on groceries. Supermarkets and local markets are best to support and invest less in these things. You can get groceries from supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi are popular for grocery shopping. 


Cost of Eating Out:


  • Budget Restaurants: Meals at casual dining spots and food courts typically cost between AUD 10 to AUD 20.

  • Mid-Range Restaurants: Dining at mid-range establishments can cost between AUD 20 to AUD 40 per meal.

  • High-End Restaurants: A meal at a high-end restaurant can range from AUD 50 to AUD 100 or more.



Books and Study Materials


Since your purpose of staying in Australia is to study, you need to invest in educational resources as an essential part of your academic journey in Brisbane. 


The average cost of textbooks and study materials in Brisbane varies depending on your course and university requirements. On average, students can expect to spend between AUD 500 to AUD 1,000 per semester. However, some disciplines require you to make additional investments depending upon the specific subjects and whether you choose to purchase new or second-hand books.



Health Insurance


The Overseas Student Health Cover is an insurance, which is a mandatory requirement for international students to study in Australia. This is a health safety warrant that entails all the necessary expenses which a student can incur based on their health. This insurance covers basic medical and hospital care, helping to manage healthcare expenses during your studies.


The average cost of OSHC for international students varies depending on the provider and the length of coverage. On average, students can expect to pay around AUD 500 to AUD 600 per year for single coverage.


Personal Expenses


Personal expenses though are not counted under the cost of study but can not be excluded as your well-being and personal needs are meant to be fulfilled while studying in Brisbane. 


Entertainment: Entertainment charges are not just confined to visual entertainment, it includes the cost of activities like going to the movies, gym, dining out, or visiting attractions that may cost between AUD 20 to AUD 50 per outing.


  • Movies (student night): $7 – $9
  • Fitness: $15 – $30

  • Shows (comedy, plays etc): $50

  • Leisure Activities: Exploring and enjoying low-cost leisure activities, such as going to parks, attending cultural events, or joining sports clubs. The cost falls in between AUD 100 to AUD 200 per month for leisure activities.

  • Phone expenses: Having a smartphone is a necessity these days, and access to the internet is another maze into it, therefore an individual has to invest in internet plans. These will range in price but are the best value for money. Some options are:

  • Optus My Plan Plus 12M SIM
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  • Telstra 4G Pre-Paid Max
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Internet costs can range from AUD 20 to AUD 50 per month, depending on the plan.


  • Other Personal Expenses: Additional personal expenses may include clothing, personal care items, and occasional treats. Budgeting around AUD 100 to AUD 200 per month for miscellaneous expenses is advisable.





Having the thought of studying in Australia for further education can become stressful when we look at the cost of living in Australia. While Melbourne and Sydney are the most expensive cities to live in, there is Brisbane which is comparatively less expensive and the best home for many of the international students. It is crucial for prospective students to thoroughly research and plan their finances before commencing their academic journey in Brisbane. Understanding the costs involved and creating a realistic budget can help avoid financial stress and ensure a smooth academic experience.


Lastly, if you feel the need to secure assistance across this, you can read relevant blogs on our website and in case of any academic assignment discrepancy, don’t forget to contact us!

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