How to Live in Sydney as a Student: Costs & Accommodation in 2024

January 11, 2024

Key takeaways:

    • Finding the right student accommodation in Sydney to suit preferences and budgets.

    • Benefits of on-campus and private accommodation, with varying prices.

    • Government resources available to support international students financially.

Australia is a great option for international students. And, studying in Sydney, consistently ranked among the world’s most liveable cities, offers an unparalleled experience for international students. In this comprehensive guide on “how to live in Sydney as a student”, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of living in Sydney, from finding the perfect accommodation to managing living expenses, navigating its diverse society, and making the most of your time in this vibrant metropolis.

And if you’re wondering why Sydney is great for international students, we’ll also get into that! From the world-class educational institutions, a lively cultural scene, and breathtaking natural beauty, Sydney is an ideal destination for students seeking an enriching and enjoyable academic journey.

Finding the Ideal Student Accommodation

How to Live in Sydney as a Student

Finding the perfect student accommodation is a crucial aspect of learning how to live in Sydney as a student, as it can significantly impact your comfort, well-being, and budget. Sydney offers a variety of options for international students, catering to different preferences and budgets, with an average cost of A$200 per week.

Whether you choose on-campus or private accommodation, choosing the right location is key to ensuring a sense of security and contentment.

Furthermore, it’s essential to consider accredited properties under the National Property Accreditation Scheme (NPAS) to guarantee a secure and supportive environment.

In the following sections, we will explore on-campus and private accommodation options, as well as provide insights into selecting the ideal location for your student living in Sydney.

On-campus Accommodation

On-campus accommodation refers to housing provided by universities and colleges for their students. Living on campus offers a range of advantages, such as having meals prepared for you, utilities included, and reduced travel time. The estimated monthly cost of residing on campus in Sydney is approximately A$800, with additional expenses to consider like dining, medical expenses, telecommunications, and recreational activities.

Sharing living spaces with other like-minded students can lead to lifelong friendships and a strong sense of community. Room types and costs may vary depending on the university, but a well-planned budget can help you manage the cost of living on campus and ensure a comfortable student experience.

To explore the options, you can research student accommodation near University of Sydney or whichever university you’re attending.

Private Accommodation

Private accommodation, on the other hand, refers to housing leased from a private landlord, not provided by the university or college. Fortunately, international students are allowed to live off-campus. These options usually come with a comparatively lower cost and include communal amenities, room facilities, and utility bills. Private accommodation in Sydney ranges from AUS $170 to AUS $750, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costing around A$450 per week.

Living off-campus offers more independence and flexibility, allowing you to choose your living conditions and explore various neighborhoods in Sydney. Moreover, renting in Australia as a student is super common and getting your own rental property in Australia can be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with a diverse group of people beyond the university campus.

Alternatively, international students can buy a house in Australia. While this depends heavily on your finances, this is permitted by the Australian government. You will have to consider student home loans and financial documents to support the purchase, of course.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting an appropriate location for your student living in Sydney is of paramount importance, as it can impact your cost of living, access to amenities, and overall student experience. Randwick, Marrickville, Darlington, Waterloo, and Parramatta are some of the areas recommended for students living in Sydney. These areas provide excellent opportunities for students studying there.

When considering the right location, researching the highest rated student accommodations can be beneficial. Some highly rated accommodations in Sydney include UME Park Side, Link2, Scape Sydney Central, UNSW Village, and Iglu.

By thoroughly assessing your options and prioritizing factors such as proximity to campus, access to public transport, and neighborhood amenities, you can make an informed decision on the perfect location for your student living in Sydney.

Managing Living Expenses in Sydney

How to Live in Sydney as a Student

Living in Sydney as a student requires careful financial planning and budgeting. The estimated cost of living for students in Sydney, considering a student budget, is around A$2,000. To manage your living expenses effectively, it is essential to plan ahead, establish sound financial habits, and make realistic choices based on the living costs in Australia.

Resources like MoneySmart and Study in Australia offer valuable information and advice on frugal living and budgeting for living expenses in Sydney.

In the next sections, we will discuss budgeting for essentials such as food and entertainment, public transport and commuting costs, and health and insurance requirements.

Budgeting for Essentials

When budgeting for essentials, it is important to account for expenses like food and groceries, entertainment, and student discounts. The estimated weekly grocery bill range for students residing in Sydney, including fresh food markets, is between A$80 and A$280. By spending A$150 per week on groceries, the estimated monthly expenditure on food would be A$600.

Regarding entertainment, the University of Sydney recommends a weekly budget of A$80 to A$150, which amounts to a monthly expenditure of A$350. Carrying a student card is also essential, as it can help you save money through student discounts on various products and services.

Public Transport and Commuting

Navigating Sydney’s public transport system can be both efficient and cost-effective. The cost of public transport for international students in Sydney is A$173 per month, with the average yearly expenditure on transportation ranging between AU$1,250 and AU$1,920. Sydney’s most commonly used forms of public transportation include trains, light rail, ferries, and buses.

To further save on transportation costs, you can consider purchasing the MyMulti 3 pass, which allows an adult to save a third of their yearly cost. By incorporating public transport into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce your commuting expenses and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle in Sydney.

Health and Insurance

A crucial aspect of living in Sydney as an international student is ensuring you have adequate health coverage. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is designed to provide medical services such as visits to the doctor, hospital treatments, ambulances, and certain types of medicines. The least expensive cost of OSHC cover for a period of 12 months is A$478, with a monthly cost of A$39,8.

OSHC is a mandatory requirement for student visa holders and provides coverage for medical emergencies. Make sure you obtain OSHC before arriving in Sydney to ensure you are covered throughout your stay and comply with visa requirements.

Navigating Sydney’s Multicultural and Diverse Society

how to live in sydney as a student

Sydney is renowned for its multicultural and diverse society, with 39.2% of its population born overseas and over 50% of its residents speaking a language other than English at home. Embracing this cultural diversity can enrich your student experience and provide a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures, languages, and traditions.

In the following sections, we will discuss ways to embrace cultural diversity in Sydney and methods for networking and making friends in this vibrant city.

Embracing Cultural Diversity

Sydney’s cultural diversity is one of its most attractive features, with over 50% of the population born overseas and 39.2% of people speaking a language other than English at home. The most commonly spoken languages in Sydney are Mandarin, Thai, Cantonese, Indonesian, and Spanish.

Living in a culturally diverse city offers a unique opportunity to learn about different cultures, languages, and traditions, as well as providing a more vibrant and captivating atmosphere and diverse job prospects.

To embrace cultural diversity in Sydney, you can attend cultural events and festivals, explore the city’s many cultural districts, and visit museums and galleries that showcase the city’s cultural heritage.

Networking and Making Friends

Building a strong social network and making friends is an essential aspect of your student experience in Sydney. Networking events organized by universities or Career Accelerator can connect you with industry leaders and expand your professional network. You can also attend events outside of universities, such as tech networking events or social gatherings like speed dating.

Joining student clubs and societies, attending social events, or participating in sports teams are other viable options to meet new people and make friends. Additionally, using online platforms such as Meetup can help you find individuals with similar interests and passions.

Maximizing Your Student Experience in Sydney

how to live in sydney as a student

Sydney offers an abundance of attractions and experiences to maximize your student experience. Factors such as the city’s laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, vibrant culture, respected educational institutions, and excellent job prospects attract international students from all over the world. The estimated cost of living for a student in Sydney ranges from AU$1,985 to AU$2,216 per month, making Sydney an affordable destination for student living.

In the next sections, we will discuss discovering Sydney’s attractions and taking advantage of student discounts and savings to make the most of your time in this captivating city.

Discovering Sydney’s Attractions

Sydney is home to numerous attractions that cater to various interests and preferences. Some popular attractions include the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, Royal Botanic Garden, Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Taronga Zoo. While some attractions like the Sydney Opera House and the Art Gallery of New South Wales are free to visit, others like the Taronga Zoo may require an admission fee.

To make the most of your time in Sydney, plan ahead and reserve tickets in advance for popular attractions, as they may be highly frequented during peak times. Wear comfortable shoes and bring sufficient water, as exploring attractions may involve a considerable amount of walking.

Student Discounts and Savings

Taking advantage of student discounts and savings is another way to maximize your Sydney experience. Numerous discounts are available to students on products and services such as laptops, fashion, travel, beauty, and accessories. Brands like Apple, JB HI-FI, Dominos, and eBay are known for offering student discounts in Australia.

To obtain student discounts, simply present a valid student ID number or card when making a purchase. By utilizing student discounts, you can significantly reduce your living expenses and enjoy a more affordable student experience in Sydney.

Australian Government Support and Student Visa Requirements

how to live in sydney as a student

The Australian government offers various support programs to assist students in achieving their academic goals, such as the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Youth Allowance, Austudy, and the International Student Accommodation Subsidy. In addition, international students must obtain a Student Visa Subclass 500, which allows them to pursue their studies in Australia.

In the following sections, we will discuss the Student Visa Subclass 500 requirements and the government resources and support available to international students in Sydney.

Student Visa Subclass 500

The Student Visa Subclass 500 permits international students to pursue their studies in Australia for up to five years. To be eligible for this visa, you must be enrolled in a course of study in Australia, have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), and meet the age, financial, health, and character requirements.

Being aware of the financial and health requirements for the Student Visa Subclass 500 is essential, as this will ensure you have the necessary coverage and support during your stay in Australia.

Government Resources and Support

The Australian government offers a range of resources and support for students, including financial assistance through programs like the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Youth Allowance, and Austudy. Eligible international students may also qualify for the International Student Accommodation Subsidy, which provides financial assistance to cover accommodation expenses.

By utilizing government resources and support, you can effectively manage your living expenses and focus on your academic pursuits. Ensure you meet the necessary requirements and explore available financial assistance programs to make your student experience in Sydney both enjoyable and affordable.


Living in Sydney as a student is an unparalleled experience, offering a vibrant and diverse cultural scene, world-class educational institutions, and a wealth of attractions to explore. By finding the ideal accommodation, managing living expenses, embracing Sydney’s multicultural society, and taking advantage of student discounts and savings, you can maximize your student experience and create lasting memories in this captivating city. With careful planning and determination, you can seize the opportunity to thrive in Sydney and make the most of your academic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do you need to live in Sydney as a student?

Studying in Sydney can be quite costly, as the Australian Government suggests you will need around AUD$21,041 per person each year to cover your living expenses.

Though, depending on your lifestyle, budgeting for at least AUD$25,900 a year is advised.

Is Sydney a good place to live for students?

Sydney is an excellent choice for students who want to study in a safe and welcoming environment. The city has a strong education infrastructure, with a broad range of learning opportunities and excellent teacher training programs.

Plus, with its wide range of cultural attractions, ample recreational activities, and the world-renowned Sydney Opera House, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy your free time!

Where do most students live in Sydney?

Most students in Sydney tend to live in areas such as the inner-city suburbs of Surry Hills, Redfern and Glebe, which are renowned for their vibrant atmosphere and close proximity to a variety of educational institutions. These suburbs offer easy access to restaurants, bars, transport links and other amenities making them an ideal place for students to call home.

Living in these areas provides students with a unique opportunity to experience the city life while still having access to the educational resources they need to succeed. The vibrant atmosphere and close proximity to amenities make these suburbs an ideal place for students to call home.

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