Cost of living guide for students in Adelaide

By Ronan Xu
Apr 29, 2024
Adelaide, known for its vibrant festivals, beautiful beaches, and world-class education institutions, offers a unique blend of cultural and academic excellence. This guide explores the cost of living for students in Adelaide, and how to maximise your budget.

Adelaide, known for its vibrant festivals, beautiful beaches, and world-class education institutions, offers a unique blend of cultural and academic excellence. It stands out as one of Australia’s most affordable cities for students, providing a high-quality lifestyle without the hefty price tag seen in larger cities. This guide explores the cost of living for students in Adelaide, and how to maximise your budget.


Average monthly cost of living for students in Adelaide


The average cost of living in Adelaide for students ranges between AU$1700 and AU$2600 per month. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses. If you are an international student, this cost may be slightly higher when you factor in items such as health insurance.



Accommodation options in Adelaide are diverse, ranging from on-campus dormitories to private rentals and purpose-built student accommodations like Scape. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can expect:

  • Shared Rooms in Student Apartments: Typically costing between AU$250 to AU$350 per week, offering a communal living experience.
  • Private Rooms in Shared Apartments: Ranging from AU$350 to AU$500 per week, these provide a balance of privacy and community.
  • Private Studio Apartments: For those seeking solitude, studios can range from AU$450 to AU$600 per week.

Student apartments at Scape include extras like unlimited Wi-Fi, air conditioning, utility bills, 24-7 security, furniture, and event programs in the pricing. With less to worry about you can focus on your studies and enjoying a thriving social life!



Adelaide’s food scene is as affordable as it is diverse:

  • Home Cooking: With a budget of AU$80 to AU$120 per week for groceries, students can enjoy a variety of healthy meals.
  • Eating Out: For those who prefer dining out, Adelaide offers plenty of budget-friendly eateries and food markets, with weekly expenses averaging AU$150 to AU$250.



Adelaide’s public transport system is efficient and student-friendly, with options including buses, trains, and trams:

  • MetroCard: The primary payment method for public transport, offering discounted fares for students. A typical monthly pass costs around AU$100, providing unlimited travel.
  • Cycling and Walking: Adelaide’s compact city layout makes biking and walking feasible and pleasant options for getting around.


Health Insurance for International Students

As with other Australian cities, international students in Adelaide must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The average annual cost for a single policy is around AU$500 to AU$600, covering essential health services.


Additional Expenses

  • Mobile Phone: Plans range from AU$20 to AU$50 per month.
  • Entertainment and Leisure: Adelaide’s numerous free and low-cost activities keep monthly entertainment budgets to about AU$50 to AU$150. Scape residents enjoy access to a variety of free or discounted events, further stretching your entertainment dollar.
  • Beaches and Parks: Glenelg Beach is free to access, it’s perfect for swimming, volleyball, or just lounging in the sun. Adelaide Botanic Garden is free to enter, offering a peaceful retreat with stunning plant collections and thematic gardens.
  • Museums and Galleries: Art Gallery of South Australia has free entry, showcasing a vast collection of Australian and international art. South Australian Museum is free for the most part, this museum is home to natural history and cultural exhibits.
  • Cinema and Theatre: Enjoy screenings in beautiful outdoor settings during the summer months, with tickets typically around AU$15 for students. Local theatres offer student tickets for live performances, usually ranging from AU$20 to AU$50, depending on the show.
  • Scape’s Exclusive Events: Scape takes the Adelaide student experience to the next level by organising a range of exclusive events for its residents.


Comprehensive Look at Student Accommodation Options


Scape Adelaide

Scape’s presence in Adelaide ensures students have access to comfortable, secure, and conveniently located accommodations. Beyond a room, Scape offers a vibrant community and lifestyle, with utilities and a plethora of amenities included in the rent. This all-in-one package, while appearing more costly upfront, provides significant savings and convenience, allowing students to focus on their studies and enjoy Adelaide’s lifestyle.

On-Campus Accommodation

Varies across institutions but generally offers proximity to academic buildings and a built-in community atmosphere, often including meal plans and utilities in the cost.

Private Rentals

Offering the most independence, private rentals require managing additional bills and often furnishings, with shared housing in suburbs providing the most affordable options.


Maximising Your Budget in Adelaide with Scape


  • Food: Adelaide’s central market and numerous discount supermarkets make cooking at home an economical choice. Scape’s shared kitchens provide the perfect space for preparing meals, encouraging communal cooking and dining experiences.
  • Transportation: Scape’s strategic locations reduce the need for extensive public transport use, but when needed, the student discount on the MetroCard makes commuting affordable.
  • Entertainment: Adelaide’s calendar is packed with free events, from beach outings to cultural festivals. Scape amplifies this with exclusive events for residents, from movie nights to outings, ensuring there’s always something exciting to do without spending extra.


Adelaide offers a compelling mix of affordability, quality education, and rich cultural experiences, making it an attractive destination for students worldwide. Choosing Scape in Adelaide not only means finding a place to live but becoming part of a community that enriches your student life, all while keeping living costs manageable. Find a room in one of our Adelaide properties.