Top 5 Cheapest Student Cities in Australia

In recent years, Australian Universities have attracted international students more than ever. Australia has now become one of the most famous destinations for international students to pursue their higher education. However, many international students find living in Australian cities very expensive. But, there are still a few cities that you, as an international student, can find it very affordable. According to QS World Rankings, here are the top 5 cheapest student cities in Australia:

5. Melbourne

Melbourne is also the highest-ranking Australian city overall. It is ranked 105th for affordability, with average annual tuition fees of US$24,500 for international undergraduates. This fee is around the mid-range for Australian cities, and Melbourne has relatively high living costs.

Rent is highest in the city center, with RMIT University estimating costs of AU$200-300 per week for shared accommodation. Accommodation will cost at least half of this in a suburb such as Brunswick or Bundoora, although you’ll have to pay more on transport. However, due to the city placing an impressive third in the QS Best Student Cities 2019 index, you may decide that studying in this city is well worth the higher costs.

4. Brisbane

Brisbane ranks in 22nd overall in the QS Best Student Cities ranking, Brisbane comes fourth for affordability out of other Australian cities.   

International undergraduates pay an average of US$25,600 a year at Brisbane’s universities, and living costs are lower than many major Australian cities. Typically, students need around AU$500 a week for their expenses according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT).  

3. Adelaide

Adelaide sits on the Southern part of Australia and is the third-most affordable Australian student city. It has average tuition fees which are among the highest in the country, at US$24,500 per year (for international undergraduates).

However, living costs are generally lower than you’d find in Sydney or Melbourne, with Numbeo currently estimating that rent is around 49 percent lower than Sydney (as of July 2019). You’ll probably spend around AU$135-385 a week on rent according to the University of Adelaide, with the most affordable suburbs to the north of the city, such as Brahma Lodge or Rostrevor.

2. Canberra

Canberra is the second most affordable option for those looking to study in Australia. It ranks 94th in the world for affordability. International undergraduate tuition fees average around US$22,400, which is lower than all other Australian cities except Gold Coast, and has dropped significantly this year. Canberra’s highest-ranking university, Australian National University (ANU) has estimated students’ typical costs here.

1. Gold Coast

Gold Coast ranks first for affordability in Australia. This city, Gold Coast, is as idyllic as it sounds. Rent in this tourist hotspot is around 40 percent lower than Sydney and tuition fees for international undergraduates average US$20,600 a year, lower than all of the other Australian cities ranked this year. As usual, fees will be a little lower at public universities such as Griffith University, compared to private universities.


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