Cost of living guide for students in Brisbane

By Ronan Xu
Apr 29, 2024
A guide to the cost of living in Brisbane, offering insights and tips to help you stretch your dollar further.

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is renowned for its excellent educational institutions, sunny weather, and a laid-back lifestyle that merges urban sophistication with nature’s tranquility. It’s a city that offers students not just quality education but a vibrant environment to live, learn, and play. This guide delves into the cost of living for students in Brisbane and how you can ensure your budget is optimally utilised.


Detailed monthly cost of living for students in Brisbane


The average cost of living in Brisbane for students ranges between AU$1900 and AU$2700 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.



In Brisbane, students have a variety of accommodation options ranging from university dorms to private rentals and dedicated student living complexes like Scape. Here’s what you can expect in terms of pricing:

  • Shared Rooms in Student Apartments: Average costs range from AU$200 to AU$300 per week, providing an economical option for those who prefer communal living.
  • Private Rooms in Shared Apartments: For more privacy, prices range from AU$300 to AU$450 per week.
  • Private Studio Apartments: Those looking for complete independence can find studios ranging from AU$400 to AU$650 per week.

Purpose built student accommodation providers like Scape are a popular option for international students moving to Australia for the first time. In addition to fully-furnished apartments, they also include comprehensive amenities designed specifically for students, high-speed internet, utilities, 24/7 security, and vibrant community events all in one rent payment.



Brisbane’s culinary scene is diverse, catering to all tastes and budgets:

  • Home Cooking: Budgeting AU$80 to AU$130 per week for groceries will cover a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Eating Out: Students can expect to spend AU$150 to AU$250 per week if they prefer eating out, with plenty of affordable cafes and eateries catering to student budgets.



Brisbane boasts an efficient public transport network of buses, trains, and ferries:

  • TransLink Go Card: The most convenient payment method for public transport, offering discounted fares for students. A monthly pass costs around AU$120, providing unlimited access to Brisbane’s public transport network.
  • Cycling and Walking: Given Brisbane’s pleasant climate, many students choose to bike or walk, especially for short distances.


Health Insurance for International Students

Like in other Australian cities, international students must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Expect to pay around AU$500 to AU$600 annually for a single policy.


Additional Expenses

  • Mobile Phone: Monthly plans vary from AU$20 to AU$50.
  • Entertainment and Leisure: With Brisbane’s rich array of free and budget-friendly activities, students can enjoy a vibrant social life with a budget of AU$50 to AU$200 monthly.
    • South Bank Parklands: Free entry to Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination, featuring a man-made beach, picnic areas, and cultural events.
    • CityHopper Ferry Service: A free hop-on, hop-off service that lets you explore Brisbane from the river.
    • Festivals and Events: Brisbane hosts various festivals throughout the year, many of which are free or offer student discounts.
    • Scape’s Exclusive Events: For Scape residents, the entertainment options are even more exciting, with access to exclusive events, workshops, and social gatherings that not only provide fun and relaxation but also opportunities to meet fellow students and make new friends.


Maximising Your Budget in Brisbane with Scape


  • Food: Utilise Scape’s communal kitchens to prepare meals, saving money while enjoying the company of friends.
  • Transportation: Take advantage of Brisbane’s public transport discounts for students, and enjoy the convenience of Scape’s central locations, often within walking distance to educational institutions and key amenities.
  • Entertainment: Leverage the array of free and discounted activities available in Brisbane, along with Scape’s exclusive resident events, to enrich your social life without overspending.


Choosing Scape in Brisbane not only provides a comfortable and secure place to live but also places you in a vibrant community of like-minded students. With all-inclusive pricing covering your accommodation, utilities, internet, and access to a wide range of facilities and events, Scape ensures you get the most out of your student life in Brisbane, all while keeping your living costs manageable. Find a room in one of our Brisbane properties.