Cost of living
Brisbane is one of Australia’s cheapest major cities for students to live in, and careful budgeting will help your money go further.
If you’re an international student, you will likely incur some costs before you depart your home country. Costs include your:
The Australian Government may also ask you to prove that you can cover the costs of staying in Australia and paying for your program fees.
You can find accommodation on or off campus. We can help you find somewhere to live that meets your requirements and budget.
Costs will depend on the property you choose. The information below provides approximate monthly costs for accommodation.
Both on-campus and off-campus accommodation is generally cheaper in Gatton.
UQ Residential Colleges
Fully catered accommodation, including utilities (gas, electricity, water) and meals:
- $2000 to $2800 per month at St Lucia
- $1716 per month at Gatton.
Independent student accommodation exclusively for students at The University of Queensland including utilities (gas, electricity, water):
- From $319 per week at Kev Carmody House, St Lucia
- From $360 per week at Walcott Street, St Lucia
Off-campus costs vary depending on your suburb.
A single student living off campus can expect to pay between $720 and $2240 per month.
A family (2 adults and 1 child) can expect to pay between $1800 and $2640 per month. Approximate family costs assume a dependent child is not school-aged, and doesn't include childcare costs.
Other monthly expenses
How much you spend on living expenses depends on your needs and lifestyle.
This list can give you a better understanding of everyday costs in Brisbane:
- Loaf of white bread: $2.20
- 12 large eggs: $4.50
- 1 litre of milk: $1.60
- 1 kilogram of white rice: $1.40
- Regular cup of coffee: $4.50
- Big Mac: $6.60
- Cinema ticket (concession rate): $8.50 to $19.50
- Bus ticket (concession rate): $1.73 to $10.43
To help you estimate a monthly budget, here are some approximate costs of common expenses:
|Student living in on-campus college||Student living off-campus / student accommodation*||Family (two adults, one child) living off-campus***|
|Utilities (gas, electricity, water)||Included in rent||$150-$175**||$220-$400|
|Food||Included in rent^||$560-$1120||$1120-$1400|
|Mobile phone / internet||$60-$120||$60-$120||$120-$240|
*On-campus and off-campus accommodation costs are usually lower in Gatton. The monthly cost for a standard resident room in the Halls of Residence in Gatton is approximately $1190.
**Many student accommodation providers include electricity, gas and internet costs in rent. Check with your provider to be sure.
***These costs are based on the assumption that the dependent child is not of school age and does not factor in childcare costs. View fees for school-aged dependents.
^Catered meals are included at UQ Residential colleges. UQ RES (Kev Carmody House and Walcott Street) does not include catered meals.
This table should be taken as a guide only. Insider Guides provides a helpful online cost of living calculator to estimate your weekly, monthly and yearly living costs in greater detail.
Books and study costs
Depending on what you study, books and other study costs can be about $500 to $850 per year.
You can find a lot of materials at The School Locker bookshop at St Lucia, Gatton or Herston campuses, or you can check the Secondhand Bookshop for used textbooks.
The UQ Library also has copies of many suggested reading materials, and university noticeboards are a great resource for secondhand equipment.
You will need access to a computer and the internet during your time at UQ. Although computers are available on campus, we suggest owning one if possible.
If you own a car, the cost of driving and parking can be upwards of $150 per week. We recommend using Brisbane's Translink public transport services to get to and from UQ.
The St Lucia and Herston campuses are both serviced by extensive public transport networks, offering congestion-free, fast and reliable transportation.
If you need to travel between campuses, UQ offers a free shuttle bus service that connects our St Lucia and Gatton campuses.
Concessions and student discounts
As a UQ student, you can take advantage of concessions and student discounts at participating retailers and institutions. You'll usually need to show a valid student ID card to access student discounts. This can help you minimise your expenses on a number of products and services, including:
- software and technology
- public transport
- entertainment (such as cinema tickets, museums)
- select food and drink venues
- select hairdressers and barbers.
Help and advice
If you need help with your expenses while studying, Student Life and the UQ Union offer guides, workshops and advisors to help.
You can book an appointment with a Student Advocacy and Support Advisor for one-on-one help, or sign up for a workshop offered by Student Life. Regular sessions are available.