Comparing the cost of studying in Australia and Singapore

7 minutes reading time (1489 words)

[:en]Studying overseas can be an expensive affair for many, with all the costs incurred from the start of the application and visa processes, till the very end of one’s educational journey.

Irrespective of which part of the world you are from, as a student the cost of studying overseas is something that could come across as a huge concern, for both you and your family.

This is where Australia comes in as an interesting overseas study option.

Australia’s standard of living is amongst the highest in the world. On the contrary, their cost of living is comparatively lower than that of Singapore in many ways. This makes Australia a great choice for Singaporeans, when it comes to finding a good place for their studies!

Also, guess what? You can easily find a community of fellow natives, living in almost every other part of this gorgeous country!

But wait. Why do so many Singaporeans choose Australia for their studies?
For starters, there are some obvious reasons such as the excellent quality of education, which is globally recognised to be one of the best systems in the world.

Australian graduates are highly sought after due to the impressive international reputation of the Australian education system. From Bachelor degree to Masters, and Doctorate programs, Australia is a hub of numerous courses in a variety of industries.

In the year 2016, it was reported that there are approximately 8000 Singaporeans studying in Australia, and over time, it is only set to increase. Also, around six percent of Singaporean students were studying in the VET sector in 2014.

Before you start your journey, one of the first things you need to understand is how to plan out your expenditure while studying overseas. Listed below is a comparison of the cost of essentials in Singapore and Australia.

The cost of studying in Australia compared to Singapore
The cost of studying in Australia is comparatively lower than the cost of studying in Singapore. Tuition fees differ depending on the course you choose to study, the degree level, and the university in which you enrol.

For instance, in Australia, a Bachelor’s degree varies between AUD20,000 to AUD45,000 per year and a Master’s and PhD degree may vary between AUD22,000 to AUD50,000 a year.

Whereas in Singapore, a Bachelor’s degree varies between AUD 26,260 to AUD 60,175 approximately for 2 to 4 years and a Master’s degree varies between AUD 21,882 to AUD 54,705 approximately, to 1 to 1.5 years.

This difference makes Australia a perfect choice for Singaporeans, and has topped amongst the many study destination options available.

Additionally, as a student you may want to spend some quality time at the library researching for assignments, or simply reading your favourite book to forget your everyday troubles.

In Australia, to make the library your go-to place, the first thing you’ll need to do is get a library card.

And… did someone say free services? Oh, Yeah!

One of the biggest advantages of using Australia’s public libraries is making use of their free services. These libraries provide you with all the tools needed to enhance your international student experience. Study rooms are an additional free service. You a cherry on top!

Australian Universities usually offer scholarships based on academic merit, and in certain cases according to the course.

Here are a few government-funded and externally funded Australian scholarships for international students at the Bachelor’s, Masters and PhD level:

Accommodation made simple and inexpensive.
Believe it or not, the cost of living is actually cheaper in Australia when compared to Singapore. Phew! That’s a relief!

When compared to Singapore, an apartment in Australia’s city centre is around 45.53% lower. Outside the city centre, it is around 36.08% lower.

So, If you are a student at Melbourne University or RMIT’s city campus, you’ll probably want to live in the city centre or inner-city suburbs. As both universities do not offer the option of on-campus housing, you can either rent a place of your own, which happens to be the most expensive option or share the accommodation with housemates, which isn't such a bad idea either if you plan on saving up!

A studio in the city centre is just around AUD $1,000 to $1,500 (SGD $964 to $1,447) a month at the bare minimum. Whereas, living in the suburbs is much cheaper. If shared with housemates, you can save rental costs by 20% to 30%.

Go ahead and check out some of the student-friendly places to rent listed on these sites:, and
Making your way around Australia
One of the most important concerns while studying overseas, or living away from home itself, is transportation costs. As students, you want easy, less expensive, and convenient modes of transportation to hop from one place to another.

Whether you're planning on visiting a tourist spot, or do a quick run to the library to work on your assignment, there are plenty of transportation options for you to choose from!

Australia’s public modes of transport include trains, buses, light rail and if you have a water body beside you, you can easily take a ferry for fun!

International students are eligible for a 50% discount if they buy an annual transport subscription, bringing their rides to about AUD $2.05 (SGD $1.98) each. For instance, in Melbourne, students can purchase an iUSEpass.

Stop ‘n’ Shop!
Regular shopping for groceries, knick-knacks and simple household items is an essential part of every student’s life. But it can also put a hole in the pocket if the purchases are not planned out well, especially if you're living on a shoestring budget.

Although the commodity costs in Australia are 6% higher when compared to Singapore, there is no reason to eliminate the need to live comfortably. Say, the cost of eggs is $3.06 in Singapore, the same costs around $4.39 in Australia.

But, don't freak out yet! In order to save money, you can shop at larger supermarkets and discount stores rather than speciality shops and convenience stores. You can also save on furniture and white goods by buying second-hand items at opportunity shops, buying online and discount stores.

Now, let’s look at how you can save and manage your expenses!

Consider some Internship options:
How about undertaking a paid internship? Sounds cool, yeah?

Internships are one of the best ways to gain experience in your field. You can learn more about how your industry operates, and begin building connections and networks with some major professionals, even before you begin your career.

Ideally, your choice of an internship should be something that will enhance your chosen career path, or work within the industry of your field of study. However, when deciding on an internship, do consider your hobbies, other career interests, and related roles as well.

During this period you may find yourself working with an international Fortune 500 company in Sydney, assisting small local businesses in Brisbane, or even working with the glorious wildlife in the country. In Australia, there is always something for everyone!

Wondering what would be the best time for internships? All through the year, of course! But Summer is the most popular time for students to undertake internships. 
Part-time jobs to earn some extra cash
One of the many perks of being an international student is that you can work 40 hours a fortnight (two weeks) during the semester. Additionally, you can even work full-time during the holidays, including the summertime and the mid-year break!

Seek and Indeed are both super useful websites to use when you begin your job hunt. If you are looking for some casual, part-time work or even work experience within your field, you should check out LinkedIn.

This way you can save up some dollars for your everyday expenses.

Studying overseas can be a life-changing experience if one makes the effort to get out of the bubble. It can be a stepping stone towards a brilliant life ahead. And the cost of studying should ideally not come in the way! Studying in Australia will only elevate your educational experience in ways you cannot imagine, along with an affordable way of living.

Wanna know more about studying in Australia? Connect with our AECC Global education experts to get assistance and support. We’re here to guide you through your educational journey and to shape your career path.

It’s only onwards and upwards from here!


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