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Cost of Living

The cost of living in Canberra is regarded to be fairly reasonable compared to other cities in Australia. Nevertheless, it is advisable to plan your budget wisely in order to avoid any financial difficulties during your course. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Affairs (DIAC) recommends AUD$9,305 per semester for cost of living in Australia for a student (as at 1 July 2012). While you are studying, costs can be different depending on your choice of lifestyle or personal circumstances (i.e. family accompanying you).

The University of Canberra estimates the following costs of living (per semester) but please note that these costs are not the exact costs and that it may vary based on your lifestyle. Airfare and tuition are not included and should be added to your total estimate. All expenses are in Australian dollars (AUD$).

Independent Student

COSTSLower Cost OptionsMiddle Cost OptionsHigher Cost Options
RENT*$164.00$218.00$393.00
Refundable Security Deposit***$700.00$960.00$1,500.00
FOOD *$50.00****$100.00****$150.00****
ENTERTAINMENT *$20.00$45.00$60.00
MOBILE PHONES *$5.00$13.00$20.00
PHOTOCOPYING, TEXTBOOK AND STATIONERY*$5.00$15.00$30.00
INTERNET*$7.00$10.00$30.00
PUBLIC TRANSPORT*$12.00$20.00$35.00
OSHC**$350.00$350.00$350.00
STUDENT VISA$535.00$535.00$535.00
SET ASIDE FOR UNEXPECTED EVENTS (per semester)$250.00$250.00$250.00
AVERAGE TOTAL PER SEMESTER$7,922.00$11,509.00$17,038.00

*Average cost per week and calculated on a 24 week period. Rent is estimated based on on-campus options only. If you are staying in Australia less than 24 weeks, you should take this into account, but remember that both the Village (CLV) and Cooper Lodge have non-negotiable 24 week contract periods. Weeden Lodge will offer a 17 week package for Study Abroad & Exchange Students to align with the UC semester dates.

** Prices are subject to change. Cost calculated for six months under the Essentials Policy cover.

*** Average cost at the beginning of a contract, but refunded at the end of the semester if the room is left in its original condition.

**** This cost estimate should be ignored for Weeden Lodge residents taking up a meal plan.


Cost of living table updated in May 2014 using information gathered from various websites. See below for more details:

Accommodation, Maps and Transport: www.canberra.edu.au/residences

Cost of individual food items: http://www.smartershopping.com.au/browse.aspx and www.woolworthsonline.com.au

Living in Canberra: www.liveincanberra.com.au/fast_facts.html