With 7 universities in the QS World Rankings 2019, Melbourne is a top destination for international students. It is also the second most livable city in the world, with good healthcare, affordable housing, and a high quality of life. Students should take into account the cost of living in Melbourne to set the right budget and soak in the city’s many charms.
The cost of accommodation largely depends on whether you want to live in the Central Business District (CBD) area or in the suburbs. The CBD area is naturally recommended, as it is chock-full of restaurants, shopping and other entertainment options. The average rent is A$350-400 a week for accommodation designed exclusively for students. These are fully-furnished and inclusive of most bills, making it easy to track your expenses. They also offer free access to onsite amenities like a fully-fitted gym, games room, BBQ, lounge area, and more. Similar options in the suburbs cost around A$250 a week, but unless your campus is close by, you may end up spending the difference on your weekly commute!
Eating out can be expensive in Melbourne. The average meal will set you back by A$15-20. Most students cook on their own, which is why access to a fully-equipped kitchen is essential. Students can head to Footscray Market in the west for fresh and cheap produce. The best time to visit is right before it closes for throwaway prices.
The most popular modes of public transport in the city are fast trains (for travel between the suburbs and CBD), buses, bicycles and trams. You’ll need a Myki card to access these. Use the monthly pass at A$144 to get the best bang for your buck. Those living in the CBD can also take advantage of the free tram service within the area. Use it with time to spare as the frequency of stops makes this mode of transport relatively slow.
When it comes to having fun, Melbourne has plenty to offer! A dinner for two at the local pub will set you back by A$50, while a three-course meal at a more upscale restaurant can go up to a cool A$90. A cheeky pint will cost you around A$10. Cocktail enthusiasts can expect to shell out nearly twice as much at a downtown club. A trip to the movies will cost you about A$20 a ticket, while a cup of coffee rings in at A$4.50 on average. All of this will add to the cost of living in Melbourne.
Buying OSHC (overseas student health cover) insurance is mandatory for most international students, except those from Sweden, Norway, and Belgium. You can pay for this either through your university or directly to the insurance provider before arriving in Melbourne. The annual cost depends on your choice of coverage, which begins at A$500. This will take care of doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, ambulance charges, and more.
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