Student Guide: The Cost Of Living In Adelaide

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Allaa Ashraf

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09 November, 2022

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4 mins read

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Student Finance

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Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and home to around a million people. It is a sophisticated and serene city. Adelaide, known as the festival capital of Australia, is a terrific spot to enjoy the culture and comfort of a nice-sized city without many of the hassles of a larger city. A testimony to its nickname, it is Australia's first and only recognised UNESCO City of Music. In Adelaide, a vibrant city, you can take part in plenty of activities, eat delicious food, and relax on the beaches. Additionally, the city is renowned for its prestigious universities and higher education institutions, making it a highly sought-after student destination. What makes it even better, is that it is one of the most affordable cities in Australia! 

So, if you’re planning on attending a university there, you should know your numbers. Read on to learn more about the cost of living in Adelaide, Australia.

Student Guide: The Cost Of Living In Adelaide

Cost of Living in Adelaide

Accommodation In Adelaide

As you move outside the Central Business District (CBD), especially to North Adelaide, you may expect that the cost of living will gradually become more reasonable because prices increase the closer the property is to the city centre. The one exception is when you choose to stay in a beach suburb. Because coastal suburbs provide desirable lifestyles and are in high demand, housing expenses per week of rental are significantly higher. Rent in Adelaide can cost you anywhere between $700 and $2000 per month, depending on the location and type of accommodation you choose.


The utilities you'll need to pay for if you intend to rent a home in Adelaide include gas, electricity, internet, etc. Gas and electricity in Australia typically cost between $10 and $20 per week. Also, you will have to pay between $15 and $30 per week for internet access. Some student accommodations in Adelaide offer students all-inclusive bills, so you won’t have to worry about it every week.


Due to South Australian Government subsidies, you will enjoy huge savings on public transportation as a student in Adelaide. The Adelaide Metro, the city's public transportation system, makes it simple to travel between the city and its suburbs. It is secure and offers:

  • Bus, tram, and train networks that are extensive and serve the whole Adelaide metropolitan region.

  • Adelaide's city centre is served by free buses and trams.

  • Taxi and ride-sharing services are accessible.

To save as much money as you can on transportation, make sure to obtain a student MetroCARD. Utilise the free cycles offered by BikesSA as well.

Student Guide: The Cost Of Living In Adelaide


Even though meal costs can vary, you can get by with eating at home for between $95 and $140 per week if you are on a strict food budget. The cheapest grocery store in Australia is Aldi. When possible, try to purchase things on sale and in large quantities. If you enjoy visiting farmers' markets, shopping there will allow you to get your product directly from the growers, which means it will be fresher.

The costs of a few items that are used by most people every day are as follows:

  • Loaf of bread $2.50

  • Bowl of noodles / fried rice $4.50 - $5.50

  • Milk (1 litre) $1.85

  • Big Mac $3.60

  • Cup of coffee $3.00 - $3.50

  • Bottle of water (600ml) $3.00


Of course, as a student living in Adelaide, there will definitely be times when you want to unwind and just have some fun. As you consider the cost of living in Adelaide as an international student, you should keep those times in mind as well. The following are some of the cool things you can do in Adelaide and their price range:

  • 2 tickets to the movies  $32

  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city  $4.86

  • Basic dinner out for two in neighbourhood restaurant  $64

  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 person$60.96

  • Tennis court rental  $13.56

Student Guide: The Cost Of Living In Adelaide

Keeping Your Adelaide Cost of Living as a Student Low

Okay, so we do realise that being a student can keep you on a tight budget. We’ve got you covered, though. We’ve compiled a list of life- and money-saving tips and tricks for Adelaide.

Find a Part-Time Job

In contrast to other countries, Australia is renowned for paying a living wage. This advice is very useful for college students looking for part-time employment. With your student visa, you can work up to 20 hours a week while you're in university to boost your income and get a taste of what it's like to work in Australia. You are permitted to work whenever you want during the breaks between semesters.

Make Use of Student Discounts

Making the most of your time is possible if you have an ISIC card and are studying in Australia. Australia provides students with a number of discounts, ranging from transportation to student-priced flights. Your student ID from an Australian university should always be on you. Even if the savings from these reductions are only a few dollars, it all adds up!

Keep Track of Your Spending

In order to stay on top of your spending, you should set a budget each week or month. Make a note of every expense you are aware of, including rent, utilities, transportation costs, groceries, and any savings or income you have. Afterwards, you can decide how much money to put into entertainment, travel, and events based on how much is still left over.

Do Grocery Shopping Smartly

It matters a lot where you decide to shop. There is often a greater selection and better prices at Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern supermarkets than at larger supermarkets. Aldi and Costco, two discount supermarkets, also have reasonable prices.

Cook Your Meals, Don’t Dine Out Much

You will be able to save a significant amount of money over the long term by learning how to cook. There will always be folks nearby who can cook if you don't know how. Eating with others is always fun, and it's much better if you can pick up a few recipes from them and prepare them yourself.

There you have it!

That, my friends, was your guide to the cost of living in Adelaide. If you’re willing to study in another city, like Brisbane, for instance, or any other city, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations of living in Australia as an international student.


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