University life

University is self-directed, you have a lot of freedom of choice and your timetable depends on your degree.

Undergraduate and graduate coursework degrees require students to attend lectures and tutorials, to submit assessment and sit exams. Research degrees require students to work closely with academics to produce an academic thesis.

University is both challenging and rewarding. For many undergraduate students it will be their first time living independently, some on campus and others in private accommodation. The University can help with accommodation options on campus in our student residences or off-campus in other accommodation. Undergraduates may take advantage of the undergraduate accommodation guarantee.

ANU offers an orientation and transition program to help you settle into university life, and a supportive community to be a part of during your time at ANU. There are many aspects to student life at ANU that you will want to take advantage of.

There are a number of costs associated with university. There are tuition fees, textbook costs, amenity fees and other costs that contribute directly to your study, but there are other costs to consider such as rent, the cost of a car or public transport, entertainment costs and so on. See the table below for an estimate of what it might cost you to attend university.

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Cost of Living in Canberra (2013)

The cost of living in Canberra is regarded to be fairly reasonable compared to other cities in Australia. Nevertheless, it is advisable to plan your budget wisely in order to avoid any financial difficulties during your study. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Affairs (DIAC) recommends AUD$18,610 per year for cost of living in Australia for a student (as at 1 July, 2012), which is a conservative estimate of living costs in Canberra. While you are studying, costs can vary significantly, depending on your choice of lifestyle or personal circumstances (i.e. family accompanying you).

For students with family, you will need to thoroughly investigate and budget carefully as estimates for bringing family with children can increase cost of living dramatically. You will need to factor in Education costs for School Aged Children which can range from $9320–$13900 per year, child care costs (if required) which can range from $100–$300 per week or more, a larger home, family health care and extra living expenses such as food and entertainment.

As part of the Visa Application Process, all international students must be able to demonstrate that the funds they are relying upon to meet the costs of studying and living in Australia will be genuinely available to them during their stay in Australia.

ANU estimates the following costs of living guide for a single student living on-campus either catered or self-catered halls of residence or private/ off-campus accommodation. Please note that these costs are denoted in Australian Dollars and are not the exact costs – ie. costs may vary based on your lifestyle and on market conditions. This guide also does not provide major items like cars, computers, extra-curricula activities or holidays.

Costs On campus catered On campus
(Residential Halls, Unilodge)
Off-campus private
(share houses/ single apartments)
Rent* $330/week $250/week $350/week
Security deposit/Rental bond (typically 4 weeks rent)*** $500 (one-off payment) $1,000 (one-off payment) $1,400 (one-off payment)
Food (main meals)*  N/A included in rent $100/ week $100/week
Entertainment* $50/week $50/week $50/week
Mobile phone** $50/month $50/month $50/month
Text books# $150/year $150/year $150/year
Photocopying and stationary* $5/week $5/week $5/week
Internet* N/A included in rental payment ^ N/A included in rental payment ^ $60/month
Laundry N/A included in rental payment $10/week $10/week
Public transport* $15/week $15/week $25/week
Unexpected events/miscellaneous $500/year $500/year $500/year
TOTAL per year $21,000 $24,000 $30,000

* Average cost per week and calculated on 48 weeks period.
** Average cost per month - mobile handset provided/ not provided (ie service only)
*** Average cost of bond at the beginning of a rental contract.
^ Please refer to specific university accommodation agreement, as some on-campus halls/residences require separate payment for phone and internet connection.
# Average annual cost of text books.

You can check the prices of food items on the Woolworths supermarket website.

Living in Canberra.

Telecommunications including mobile phones.

Cost of living table updated January 2013

Updated:  7 August 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Registrar/ Page Contact:  DRSS Communications