International Students Fees and costs Living costs and other expenses

Living costs and other expenses

Studying in Australia is very affordable especially when you know what to budget for. The below information is a good example of some of the basic costs associated with living and studying during your time at JCU.

On Campus

Full-board $296 - $435
Self-catering $218 - $238

For more information on accommodation visit JCU Accommodation Services.

Off Campus

1 bedroom flat/unit $230 - $275
2 bedroom flat/unit $295 - $350
3 bedroom flat/unit $320 - $350
4 bedroom house $430 - $465
2 bedroom townhouse $280

All costs listed are median weekly rents for Cairns and Townsville, and are subject to change. Based on postcodes: 4870, 4811
Sourced from the Residential Tenancy Authority Queensland, September 2016.

Estimated Costs

The following table provides a guide to the approximate cost of living in Cairns and Townsville.

ExpenseApproximate cost (A$)
Rent (share only) $120 - $150
Electricity $10 - $30
Internet, Mobile** $20 - $55
Transport/Travel $10 - $50
Homestay $180-$230

Based on a privately rented share house. All costs are approximate and are subject to change.

**JCU has free wireless Internet available to students on campus.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

OSHC is insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia. As an international student, it is a condition of your student visa that you have OSHC for the entire duration of your stay in Australia.

Student Services and Amenities Fee

JCU introduced the Student Services and Amenities fee (SSA Fee) from 1 January 2012. The income from the fee is used to provide range of student support services and facilities.


Field Trips and Placements

Some degrees and subjects include field trips and out-of-town placements which may have extra expenses including transport, accommodation and food. Students with children may also need to consider additional childcare expenses for times they will be away.

JCU Student Association

Membership of the JCU Student Association will give you access to a range of specialist student services, plus discounts for food, sport, office and recreational facilities on campus.


Be prepared to spend around $800-$1000 each year on text books. Co-op Bookshops on the Townsville and Cairns campuses offer student discounts on textbooks, and have some second-hand text books.


Photocopying and printing costs need to be included in general study costs. There may be other expenses, depending on your course, including workshops, subject handbooks, reading material, laboratory manuals, stationery, calculator, lab coat and laboratory breakage deposit.