Living in Australia

Australia is a modern, multicultural society with people from many ethnic backgrounds. ‘Mateship’ is at the core of the Australian life, providing a welcoming, supportive and friendly environment for visiting students.

With diverse natural attractions, unique wildlife and the Great Barrier Reef, be sure to take time out to enjoy some of the wonders on your doorstep. Australia has a high standard of living, low population for its size and enjoys hot summers and mild winters.

Australia is one of the most popular choices for international students because of our reputation for high-quality education, and agreeable climate. It means students can get the best education whilst enjoying themselves and experiencing a different culture and lifestyle. Come and embrace the Australian spirit.

About Brisbane

Brisbane has a population of around two million and is the capital city of the state of Queensland, which has a reasonable cost of living and mild weather all year. It’s a relatively safe international city known for its friendly people and is very diverse in terms of arts, culture, food, entertainment, sports and festivals. It’s a fantastic place to study, work and live.

Here are some helpful links to find out more about Brisbane:

View our Brisbane campus.

About Cairns

Cairns is a modern and vibrant city in North Queensland close to the Great Barrier Reef and is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle and tropical climate. Cairns is a 2.5 hour flight north of Brisbane and has a population of around 150,000 people.

Here are some helpful links to find out more about Cairns:

View our Cairns Campus.

Living costs

It’s important to know the cost of living and how much money you’ll need for initial and ongoing expenses while you’re here.

It’s estimated you’ll need approximately AUD $21,000 per year.

When you first arrive there is likely to be extra costs such as rental bond, household items and stationary to get yourself set up.

To compare options and estimate what your expenses might be, check out the Insider Guides’ cost of living calculator.

Setting up a bank account

You can choose to open an account with any Bank, Credit Union or Building Society in Australia. Do your research to get the best deal.

To open a bank account you will need:

  • your passport (with arrival date stamped by Australian immigration)
  • student ID card (in order to receive a discounted student rate)
  • money to deposit into the account. (This can be as little as $10).

Anyone who wishes to open a bank account in Australia must show several pieces of personal identification which are allotted a points system. 100 points of identification is required to establish your identity as the person who will be named in the account. Your passport and proof of your arrival date in Australia will be acceptable as 100 points if you open an account within six weeks of arrival in Australia.

As a student, you will be able to open an account with special student benefits. Many banks have ‘Student Accounts’ which contain no or minimal fees for transactions that might normally be attached to regular savings accounts. You will also require the student ID card from your institution to prove you are a student and should have access to the benefits offered by a student bank account.

The major banks in Australia are ANZCommonwealth BankWestpac, and National Australia Bank (NAB). To compare everyday transaction accounts between banks, visit the Canstar comparison site.

Accessing money

You can purchase items in Australia by cash, credit card or EFTPOS. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are located everywhere (including at the airport). You can immediately withdraw cash from your overseas bank account at ATMs displaying the Cirrus Logo (if your ATM card has international access). You should check this with your financial institution before leaving home.

EFTPOS terminals can be found where goods or services are sold, for example, supermarkets, service stations, restaurants, doctors’ surgeries and gymnasiums. You can pay for goods and make payments through EFTPOS using your ATM card, rather than paying with cash. At some stores, when you use EFTPOS you can also withdraw cash from your account at the same time.


There is a wide range of accommodation providers and options available to students in all our study locations. The main accommodation options include homestay (where students live with a local family), purpose-built student accommodation or private rental options.


Aviation Australia recommends that students reside in homestay accommodation for the first 4 weeks.  This can be organised through a reputable organisation such as Australian Homestay Network.

Please refer to Australian Homestay Network for information on service options and current pricing.

Student Accommodation

There is a variety of student accommodation providers in Brisbane and at our other course locations.

Bringing family to Australia

Most student visas allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependants. Check your individual circumstances with Immigration. Family members include your spouse, and you and your spouse’s dependant children.

Before bringing your spouse or children to Australia, you will have to prove that you can support them financially. The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high. It’s estimated you should budget an additional $7,500 per year for a spouse or de facto partner and $3,000 per year for each dependant child. These costs do not include the expenses associated with school tuition which are approximately $10,000 per year per child.

Need further information?

Visit the Student Services page to see how our friendly team can assist you during your time with Aviation Australia.

Student Services