Brisbane may be one of Australia's cheapest major cities for students to live in, but you'll still need to plan and budget carefully.

Going to university can mean more costs than just course fees. Accommodation, books, study materials and transport are all common expenses that are overlooked.

When planning for your time at UQ, it's important to consider all the expenses you'll have to cover.

Accommodation 

There are plenty of accommodation options available near UQ's campuses, making it easy to find housing that suits your budget. Depending on whether you want to live on campus or off, you can expect to pay approximately: 

  • on-campus: $1935 to $2580 per month*
  • off-campus share house: $340 to $1000 per month
  • off-campus apartment: $660 to $1760 per month.

UQ's Student Services can help you find accommodation that meets your requirements, with information available for both on- and off-campus options. 

*Cost of fully catered accommodation including utilities. These vary from residential college to college and are drawn from 2017 prices. 

Other monthly expenses

Determining the cost of other living expenses can be difficult as it will depend on your own needs and lifestyle. To help you estimate a monthly budget, here are some approximate costs of common expenses:

  • food: $320 to $1120 per month
  • utilities (gas and electricity): $140 to $560 per month
  • mobile phone: $20 to $120 per month
  • internet: $35 to $82 per month
  • public transport: $60 to $220 per month
  • photocopying: $20 to $40 per month
  • recreation: $320 to $600 per month
  • clothing or personal items: $150 to $375 per month
  • health (dental / medicine): $130 to $325 per month.

Insider Guides provides a helpful online Cost of Living Calculator to estimate your weekly, monthly and yearly living costs in greater detail. 

Books and equipment costs

Faculties and schools will often issue lists of books and equipment that you need to obtain for the semester. Depending on your program, this can cost approximately $500 to $850 per year. 

You can find many of these materials at the Co-op Bookshop, which has outlets on St Lucia, Gatton and Herston campuses, or you can check the Secondhand Bookshop for used textbooks.

The UQ Library also usually has copies (either online or hardcopy) of suggested reading materials, and University noticeboards are a great resource for secondhand equipment.

You will need access to a computer and the internet during your time at UQ. Although computers are available on campus, we suggest owning one, if possible. 

Public transport

If you own a car, the cost of diving and parking can be upwards of $150 per week. We recommend using Brisbane's Translink public transport services to get to and from the University. 

UQ's St Lucia and Herston campuses are both serviced by extensive public transport networks, offering congestion-free, fast and reliable transportation. 

If you need to travel between campuses, UQ offers a free shuttle bus service, which connects our St Lucia and Gatton campuses.

Concessions and student discounts

As a UQ student, you can take advantage of concessions and student discounts at participating retailers and institutions. Student discounts are usually accessed by presenting a valid student ID card. They can help you minimise your expenses on a number of products and services, including:

  • software and technology 
  • public transport
  • cinema tickets
  • museums
  • select food and drink venues
  • select hairdressers and barbers.

Help and advice

If you need help with your expenses while studying, UQ offers a number of resources. It doesn't matter if you're trying to establish a budget or you're finding it difficult to manage expenses through the semester, Student Services and the UQ Union offer guides, workshops and advisors to help.

Check out the Budgeting in Australia online guide, or book an appointment with a SHOC advisor for one-on-one help. Alternatively, sign up for one of the workshops offered by Student Services.

Regular sessions such as Living on a Student Budget and There's More to Life than 2 Minute Noodles provide advice on everything from establishing a budget to cooking healthy meals while saving money. 

 

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