Living in Australia

Australia is a large and diverse nation with a multicultural population.

This means that often, you may find that things are different here from what you're used to - when arriving in a new culture, it's a great idea to take some time to observe how other people do things and express themselves.

Australia is very respectful of different cultural traditions, so don't be afraid to continue and share your own cultural values and traditions while you are here.

Indigenous culture

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (or Indigenous) people were the first inhabitants of Australia and have the oldest living cultural history in the world. Indigenous history and culture is extremely important in Australia - at large events you will often hear a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country which demonstrates respect to the traditional owners of the land prior to European settlement


Australia is generally a monolingual country, with English being the main language. According to the 2011 census, 76.8% of people spoke only English at home, and so being willing to practice English at all times is a great way to settle into your new home and make friends.

Social customs

Because so many cultures live together in Australia, different people act differently in the same situation, but to find out more about some general social norms, please read our Guide to Australian Social Customs (pdf, 95kb)

Cost of living

This will vary, depending on where you choose to live, but generally living expenses are less expensive in regional areas such as Ballarat and Gippsland, than in cities such as Melbourne. You may find that things in Australia cost a lot more than they do back home, so please ensure you have done your research and considered these expenses along with tuition and study costs. Below is an indicative cost of living chart to help:

Indicative living expenses

Please note, these figures are to give you an idea about the cost of living - you may find that certain costs are more, or less than stated below:

CampusShared accommodation per week (based on shared 3-bedroom house)Utilities: (electricity, gas) per week*Food & Groceries*Internet/phone per week*
Ballarat/GippslandAUS $100 - $150 ^AUD $10 - $20AUD $140 - $280AUD $15 - $30
MelbourneAUD $175 - $360 ^AUD $10 - $20AUD $140 - $280AUD $15 - $30

* Study in Australia
Victorian Department of Health & Human Services
Queensland Residential Tenancies Authority