Australia is being considered as one of the most expensive country for international students but it does not seem to be the same any more due to a continued fall of the Australian dollar against the US dollar, which makes studying in Australia an attractive option compared to Europe and North America. For prospective students, it is important to know about the average cost of living in Australia is an important part of his/her financial preparation.
We have tried to encapsulate below some of the most relevant information on cost of living in Sydney that prospective students often enquire about.
Food costs in Sydney:
Sydney offers a variety of cuisines. There are fast food places where you can get American-style fast food such as McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks (Burger King) and Subway. Other popular cuisines include India, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and Italian. For example a McChicken meal (including small fries and a regular soft drink) from McDonald’s can cost from $7.25 to $7.65 depending on the suburb. There are $5 special pizzas at Dominos and Pizza Hut. Normal pizza prices vary from about $7.95 up to $20 (gourmet). Takeaway meals from Chinese, Thai and Indian places cost between $8 and $15 depending on the restaurant.
The Global Cafe (SP Jain Sydney Campus Cafeteria):
The Global Café on the campus premises, offers a good range of affordable (between $6 – $8) and tasty veg and non-veg meals to the students and other office workers around the premises. The café which operates from 8am to 4pm on weekdays, serves different kinds of cuisines which vary each day. Additionally, there’s a large refrigerator located outside the cafeteria near the dining area where students can keep their packed lunches. There are also microwaves and kettles for student use in this area. Water dispensers are located in both the Lower and Upper Level of the campus. The Global Café also has a water dispenser available. Tap water in Australia is safe to drink. Water dispensers only dispense either cold or room temperature water.
Food Availability in Student Accommodation:
School accommodation is located near supermarkets. Students can readily purchase fresh food and other food products to cook in the apartments as apartments are equipped with kitchens. The food cost per month can vary depending on where you purchase your fresh food and if there are special deals in the supermarkets. For example, a Maggi 2 minute noodles pack of 5 can cost approximately $4.25, a kilo of white rice can cost $1.99 and a kilo of red onions, bananas, apples can be priced at around $3.00
The trip each way to campus from the suburb of where the accommodation is located takes less than 30 minutes – 45 minutes (including a small amount of walking) by bus. Public transportation in Sydney includes bus, train and ferry. Trams are available for travel but only in the CBD and some suburbs near the CBD.
Discounted International Student Tickets are available to International students for a period of 90-365 days and it allows you access to unlimited travel in the zones you choose including travel on public transport in Greater Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra.
Option 1 – MYMULTI 2 (90 days tkt cost is $424): A MyMulti 2 international student ticket can be used for unlimited travel on Buses; Sydney Ferries routes (trips up to 9km only); light rail services. Sydney Trains services from the CBD and within the area bounded by Bondi Junction, Hornsby, Carlingford, Seven Hills, Liverpool, Holsworthy, Engadine and Caringbah.
Option 2 – MYMULTI 3 (90 days tkt cost is $453): A MyMulti 3 international student ticket can be used for unlimited travel on buses; Sydney Ferries routes; light rail services; Sydney Trains and Intercity train services.
Another option is the Opal Card which is the new transport ticketing service in use across the public transportation services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and the Southern Highlands. Daily Travel Cap means that you can travel all day for a cap of $15 from Monday to Saturday. Sunday $2.50 Travel Cap means that you can travel as much as you want for only $2.50 on a Sunday. Weekly Travel Reward allows you to take 8 paid journeys from Monday-Sunday with the Opal card and enjoy free travel for the rest of the week. This excludes trips to the Airport. Off Peak Train Fares include a 30% off-peak discount on full price Opal fares and applies to all train journeys taken . Off peak hours are those before and after 7-9 AM and 4-6.30 PM .
And you even have the option to avail of single or return bus services to campus or to the city with tickets ranging between $5 to $10. You can also buy multiple rides at discounted rates. Taxis are more expensive and can range between $40 to $90 depending on traffic and your destination (i.e. campus, city or residence).
The Australian Government led an initiative to lower international students’ cost of living. Check this out: www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-02/improving-cost-of-living-a-must-to-boosting/6367472