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You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

You're a domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

You're an international student if you are:

  • intending to study on a student visa,
  • not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • not an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia.
You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

Cost of living

Brisbane is considered one of Australia’s more affordable major cities for students to live in, and careful budgeting will help your money go further.

How much it will cost you to live in Brisbane will depend partly on your lifestyle preferences. From 10 May 2024, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs announced that student visa applicants will need to show they have a minimum of A$29,710 to cover the cost of living for a year in Australia. Learn more about the change to evidence of financial capacity for student visas.

Travel expenses

If you’re an international student, there are some costs you must consider before you depart your home country. These costs include:


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.

On-campus accommodation

UQ Residential Colleges

Fully catered accommodation, including utilities (gas, electricity, water) and meals:

  • From $513 to $750 per week at St Lucia

Additional costs may apply, such as application fees, student club and association fees, social activity fees and car parking.


Independent student accommodation exclusively for UQ students, including utilities (gas, electricity, water):

  • From $339 per week at Kev Carmody House, St Lucia
  • From $384 per week at Walcott Street, St Lucia
  • From $378 per week at Gatton Halls of Residence*

Additional costs may apply, such as application fees, social activity fees, linen and kitchen utensils, use of laundry facilities, building maintenance and development fees, and car parking.

*Gatton Halls offers fully catered and partially catered options. The cost shown is for a partially catered standard room.

Off-campus accommodation

Off-campus costs vary depending on your suburb and lifestyle.

Purpose-built student accommodation

A single student living off campus in purpose-built student accommodation can expect to pay:

  • From $210 per week for a shared room
  • From $620 per week for an entire apartment.

Most purpose-built student accommodation includes the cost of utilities such as electricity, gas and internet in the rent but does not include catering. Check with your provider to be sure.

Private housing

A student living off-campus in a private rental close to UQ and the inner city can expect to pay:

  • From $530 per week for an entire 1-bedroom apartment
  • From $330 per person, per week sharing a 2-bedroom apartment 
  • From $250 per person, per week sharing a 3-bedroom house or apartment.

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: $3.65
  • 12 large eggs: $5.80
  • 1 litre of milk: $2.25
  • 1 kilogram of white rice: $3.40
  • Regular cup of coffee: $5.50
  • Big Mac meal with large fries and drink: $14.75
  • Cinema ticket (concession rate): $9.00 to $19.50
  • Bus ticket (concession rate): $1.42 to $10.74.

To help you estimate a monthly budget, here are some approximate costs of common expenses:

Monthly cost of living
  Student living in on-campus college Student living off-campus / student accommodation* Family (two adults, one child) living off-campus***
Rent $2,050-$3,000* $840-$2,480 $2,640-$3,000
Utilities (gas, electricity, water) Included in rent $170-$215** $200-$415
Food Included in rent^ $560-$1,120 $1,300-$1,600
Mobile phone / internet $45-$125 $45-$125 $90-$320
Public transport $90-$120 $90-$120 $270-$360
Total  $2,185-$3,245 $1,705-$4,060 $4,500-$5,695

*On-campus and off-campus accommodation costs are usually lower in Gatton. The cost for a standard resident room in the Halls of Residence in Gatton is from $378 per week.

**Many student accommodation providers include electricity, gas and internet costs in rent. Check with your provider to be sure.

***These costs assume 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. Study Australia 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 from $620 to $1,400 on average 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 finding 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.

Transport to campus

If you own a car, the cost of driving and parking can be upwards of $150 per week. Parking rates can vary depending on the campus or location. See UQ's parking options for more information.

We recommend using Brisbane's Translink public transport services to get to and from UQ. The St Lucia, Herston and Dutton Park campuses are serviced by extensive public transport networks, offering congestion-free, fast and reliable transportation.

If you need to travel between our St Lucia and Gatton campuses, we offer a free shuttle bus service.

Concessions and student discounts

As a UQ student, you can take advantage of concessions and student discounts of up to 50% 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 retailers
  • select food and drink venues
  • select hairdressers and barbers.

The Ultimate List of 35+ Student Discounts in Australia

Help and advice

If you need help with your expenses while studying, Student Life and the UQ Union offer guides, workshops and advisers to help.

You can book an appointment with a Student Advocacy and Support Adviser for one-on-one help or sign up for a workshop offered by Student Life. Regular sessions are available.