Settling in: Accommodation and Living Expenses

Living in Australia

Australia is a land of contrasts – sweeping golden beaches, coral reefs rich with marine life, tropical rain forests, mountain ranges, vast grazing lands and sparse deserts.  Australia is the only country to occupy an entire continent.  Some of Australia’s icons include Great Ocean Road, Opera House in Sydney and Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory.

Victoria – Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital of the State of Victoria and set around the shores of Port Phillip Bay with its beautiful beaches and water sports facilities. The city itself, laid out in a large rectangle and boasting a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometers from the bay. Melbourne is a world-renowned for its cultural influence in its restaurants and cafés, and the home of major cultural events, and is also considered to be the sporting capital of Australia.  Melbourne, once voted the world’s ‘most livable city’, enjoys clean fresh air and beautiful parks and gardens. Further information on Melbourne is available at


Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with four distinct seasons in the year – spring, summer, winter and autumn. Melbourne does not have a specific wet season – it can rain at any time of the year.

Sports and other outdoor activities are possible at all times of the year.

Accommodation while living in Australia

Yorke Institute does not offer any accommodation services and students are required to organise their own accommodation arrangements for their stay in Australia. Where a relative or friend is able to provide accommodation that is close to transport and within access to the Yorke Institute, students would be encouraged to take this option. It is recommended that your accommodation arrangements be organised prior to your arrival in Australia.

The Student Administration Officer can provide information, advice, and guidance on the types of accommodation services available to students prior to arrival in the case of a need to change arrangements whilst in Australia. The types of accommodation available in Australia are many and varied and brief descriptions of some of the options are listed below:

Home stay / Private Board

This is a common form of accommodation is where students live with an Australian family. Home stay or private board is where you live with a family, couple or single person/s in their own home.

There are many ‘Home stay Providers’ operating in Australia and these arrangements will vary from Full Board, Part board, or Board in Exchange. The most common arrangements for home stay will usually consist of a furnished room, two or three meals per day and bills (except telephone and internet). Some home stay providers may even do your laundry. The cost may be between A$170 – A$220 per week.

The family is generally chosen by the home stay provider and allow students an excellent way of settling into the country.

Hostels & Guesthouses

Generally these are temporary accommodation arrangements and are available from A$25.00 per day to A$400.00 per week. Prices will depend on shared facilities, meals provided, shared rooms, etc.

Private Leasing / Rentals

The rental market offers a wide range of housing options. Signing a lease on your own for an apartment, flat or house can offer you an independent lifestyle and privacy. You may also plan to stay in this property for the duration of your course.

It can however be very expensive if you choose to live by yourself, as you are solely responsible for the rental payments plus the connection fees for utilities and then ongoing bills. Generally tenants are responsible for connection and usage of water, electricity and gas. Tenants are also responsible for connection and payment of the telephone.

Rental prices vary according to the location and condition of the property. It can be useful to familiarise yourself with the average price of properties in the various suburbs around Richmond. Rental costs usually increase the closer the property is to the city centre.

Living Costs

The information in this section outlines the estimated cost of living for an international student living in Australia. When calculating the costs of living in Australia students should budget for accommodation, food, health care, transport, books, clothing and entertainment.

This is only a guide to the living costs in Australia and these expenses will vary depending on the student’s lifestyle.

Accommodation Costs

Accommodation costs will vary from city to city and the following is an estimate of Melbourne’s accommodation


Type of Accommodation No. of Weeks Weekly Rent / Board Range (Aus$) Estimated Total (Aus$) Rent or Board and other expenses
Home Living at Home (Board) 52  20 – 60 7200 – 9,600
Sharing Rented House (with 2 others) Close to City 52 70 -250 18,100 – 24,400
Within 10 kilometers of City 52 70 -135 16,400 – 22,700
Regional area 52 60 – 80 13,800 – 19,600
Apartment – 1 or 2 Bedroom Not shared 52 150 – 400 23,700 – 31,100
Hostel One bedroom – shared bathroom/kitchen 52 80 – 135 19,200 – 25,800
Home stay Living with a local family 40 110 – 270* 14,500 – 16,700

Rental property prices vary from suburb to suburb. Check or The Age newspaper for the current cost of renting in Melbourne. Some landlords require rent to be paid in advance and a security bond equal to one month’s rent. In addition to rent you should expect general costs below.


Weekly Cost (other than Rent)

Items Amount
Food Contribution $90.00 – $110.00
Takeaway Lunches & Drinks $30.00 – $45.00
Bills / Utilities (Electricity, Gas etc) $25.00 – $35.00
Telephone (not Mobile) $10.00 – $15.00
Public Transport fares $30.00 – $60.00
Spending Money $40.00 – $70.00

Annual Cost

It is recommended that students allow a minimum of A$18,000.00 per year to cover their living costs and an extra A$5000.00 for food, transport, and any personal items required. For more information refer to

Arranging Visas

Most international students wanting to study in Australia require a student visa. Some other visa holders are also eligible to study as international students in Australia. Many students apply for a visa themselves on-line or via the Australian Diplomatic Mission in their country. The visa application process can be complicated and for students from some countries it may better to submit an application with the assistance of an accredited agent due their familiarity and experience in the field. You should check with Yorke Institute in Australia for our approved agents in your country.

In order to apply for a visa you will need a

  • Valid passport
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) from Yorke Institute
  • Evidence of proficiency in English of IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL score of 550 or Satisfactory completion of ELICOS at upper intermediate level or any other evidence accepted by Yorke Institute
  • Academic requirement with Completion of Secondary Studies in home country equivalent to Australian Year 12 qualification or Completion of a Year 12 in Australia or Completion of a recognised foundation course in Australia or other countries with a pass in all subjects.
  • Any other documentation required by the Australian diplomatic post with which you lodge your application. For example, if you are under 18 you must have a completed CAAW form to ensure your accommodation and welfare is approved by your education provider.

You must ensure to allow enough time for processing between lodging your application and the start of your academic program, as it can be a lengthy process depending on your country of origin.

Visa information regularly changes so it is important to check the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) regularly.

Visa Conditions

If you are granted a visa, you must abide by to its conditions. Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the cancellation of your visa.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)

The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship provides comprehensive information about student visa requirements and the application process, as well as application document checklists to assist you with your application.

Visit for the latest information.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

As well as links from the DIBP the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website has a comprehensive list of Australian embassies, high commissions, consulates and representative offices around the world.


Migration Agents

A registered migration agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority can assist you in submitting your visa application and communicate with DIBP on your behalf, but you do not need to use a migration agent to lodge any kind of visa application. If you decide to use the services of a MARA agent visit

Education Agents

Education agents promote various Australian education programs and institutions internationally and are a good way for students to apply to study in Australia. Agents are experienced in making international student applications and applying for visas. Most speak both English and the local language so this makes the application process a lot simpler and generally hassle free for students and parents. Most do not charge for their service as they collect a commission from the institution you choose to attend.

Some agents may charge a fee for their services. Although they are able to assist in completing education and visa applications, Education Agents are not licensed to provide migration advice.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance that provides cover for the costs of medical and hospital care which international students may need while in Australia and is mandatory for international student visa holders. OSHC will also cover the cost of emergency ambulance transport and most prescription drugs.

Overseas Students must have health cover for the entire duration of their stay in Australia. OSHC gives access to out of hospital and in hospital medical services. The cost of your cover will depend on the insurance provider, type of cover (single/couple/family) and duration. The cover generally changes every year. Yorke Institute can arrange for your OHSC as specified in your letter of offer unless you prefer to arrange it yourself. Remember to ask your agent or us for the list of the most recent OSHC cover.

Visit :

School Aged Dependants

Students accompanied by any school aged dependants must ensure that they are enrolled in a school. There are options of enrolling them in public or private schools. Full fees are required to be paid if they are enrolled in either a government or non-government school. Contact your local council for more information.

Permission to work

From 26 April 2008, student visa holder will automatically receive permission to work with their visa grant. Most student visa holders will no longer need to apply separately in Australia for permission to work.

A student will NOT be able to work in Australia until the first official day of classes until the provider confirms the study commencement.  Please keep in mind that you can work a maximum of 40 hours/ per fortnight during the term and unlimited hours during term break.

Yorke Institute student support to improve employability skills

Yorke Institute can provide a range of services to help you improve your employability skills. Our staff have ongoing work experience and relevant industry skills to help you with a range of services:

  • draft resumes
  • prepare for interviews,
  • arrange work experience opportunities
  • job coaching and provide ongoing support.

Our orientation program includes information about banking, Tax File Number, superannuation and taxes.

The Australian Government has provided a comprehensive explanation of how the Education Services to Overseas Students Act 2000 works.


Preparing to Arrive: Enrolment Information

Entry Requirements for Overseas Students

Entry requirements are listed in each course in Courses

Enrolment at Yorke Institute

To lodge an application to study at Yorke Institute you are required to complete our application form and pay $200.00 AU. The application cost is non-refundable


Enrolment Process

  • The enrolment form and any supporting evidence are sent to the Student Administration Officer. Interviews will be conducted by the Student Administration Coordinator or representative agents
  • Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Offer stating that the applicant has been offered a place to study at Yorke Institute, details of tuition fees, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and application cost payable to confirm your place.
  • This information may be used to obtain a pre-approved visa with the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP)
  • Once the conditions set out in the letter of offer are met, the enrolment is confirmed and a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) will be issued.
  • An application for a student visa should be lodged with the COE and other supporting documents. In line with the Government policy, students with intellectual and physical disabilities are encouraged to participate in training

Application must be addressed to the Student Administration Officer and can be lodged via the following methods:

By email By mail: In person: By Phone 
Yorke Institute- RTO Manager or Student Administration officer,

Level 9, 140 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Yorke Institute , Level 9, 140 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000


03 9042 0263
Posted or delivered in person to Yorke Institute’s approved  agent

Once you are granted your student visa, finalise your travel/accommodation arrangement and inform Yorke about the day of your arrival in Australia by sending an email to 

Make sure to be here for your orientation day as stated in your letter of offer which will be sent to you directly via the email or post, or through your agent.