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Living expenses for international students

The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city. It boasts the advantages of a modern city with a great climate, some of the world’s best surf beaches and hinterland, with a reputation for friendliness and fun.

Being in the midst of the Gold Coast, there are a wide range of living options, and you are sure to find a location and lifestyle balance to suit you.

Everyday expenses and accommodation budget

Your cost of living will vary according to lifestyle and personal requirements. Your budget should be flexible enough to cope with unexpected costs (e.g. emergencies or health expenses).

In addition to University fees and textbooks, you will need to budget for general living expenses such as accommodation, meals and entertainment, as well as set-up and establishment costs.

The Australian Government estimates general living expenses to be $21,041 per year. A survey of our International Students revealed most spent between $20,000 and $27,000 per year (depending on living arrangements and personal choices).

Remember to allow enough money for:

  • establishments costs
  • transfers to and from the airport
  • travel and holidays
  • costs for any dependents

Lifestyle is important to consider. If you live on-campus or close by, you will save on transport costs and not having to commute. You will also have access to our facilities, including Wi-Fi and gym facilities, reducing some of the costs experienced by those who live further away.

This information is only a general guide to help you estimate your living costs while studying at Bond. All prices are in Australian dollars and accurate at the time of publishing.

There are also many online budget calculators to assist you with budgeting, such as Money Smart budget planner.

To be granted an International student visa, you may need to show you have genuine access to enough money to cover your living expenses for the first year or two studying in Australia.

The visa requirements will depend on your circumstances, so if you have any questions or concerns, contact the Australian Government.

Estimated weekly/semester living expenses chart

Please be aware that living expenses may vary significantly even within the below arrangements, so your expenditure will depend on personal choices.




Homestay /Boarding

Rent and Utilities

$165 - $440

$165 - $570

$255 - $275

Electricity, Gas and Water

$20 - $50




$80 - $280

$134 - $166 dining plan**



$30 - $100

$30 - $100$30 - $100


$5 - $10

$5 - $10$5 - $10

Parking and Transport

$15 - $55N/A$20 - $40
                                     Parking is free on campus for students 

Weekly Total cost

$334 - $884

$334 - $846$310 - $425

Semester Total cost 

$4,410 - $13,090$4,676 - $11,844$4,340 - $5,950

All prices are estimates based on 14 week semester and can vary depending on budget and lifestyle. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based on a weekly breakdown.

**Dining plan is compulsory for those living on campus. Minimum $2,000 per semester.

This information serves as a general guide only, and your actual costs will vary greatly depending on your personal choices.

In addition to weekly expenses, you may also have establishment costs on arrival. These include security deposits, temporary accommodation, linen and basic home wares. You may also need to allow for a deposit on a contract for your mobile device.

If you are living on-campus or in homestay, you may not need more than $200-$300 to cover establishment costs.

If living off campus in shared accommodation, we suggest you allow $800-$2,000 for establishment costs. This amount includes an allowance for rental bond security deposit (generally the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent), plus basic home wares and linen.

Students residing in on campus accommodation are required to vacate the premises for approximately three weeks over the December holidays. There will be an additional cost (students tell us they generally go on holiday, stay with friends or return home over this three-week period).

Holders of a student visa with work rights may work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and full-time on holiday breaks.

This will reduce the costs of living in Australia, however, you should not expect to cover tuition fees or living expenses from casual work.

For further information on working in Australia, visit the Australian Government website.