Living in Australia – Adelaide

  • Live and study in the world’s fifth most liveable city
  • Experience an incredible, fun, and creative lifestyle in South Australia


  • A fast-growing city with a population of 1.3 million
  • Multi-cultural community with over 30% of foreign-born residents
  • A vibrant educational scene of over 30,000 international students
  • A diverse population with people coming from over 100 countries
  • Local clubs and communities with a great selection of international foods, restaurants, books, newspapers and magazines in many languages


  • South Australian Museum, Adelaide Zoo, Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide Botanic Garden, Mount Lofty, Adelaide Oval, Art Gallery of South Australia, State Library of South Australia, Victoria Square, Rundle Mall, Cleland Conservation Park, Waterfall Gully, Himeji Gardens, and so many more!


  • Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry summers. The air is clean in South Australia, the temperature is quite stable throughout the year, and there is plenty of sunshine for you to enjoy.
  • South Australia’s weather is a perfect mix of temperate winters and sunny summers, with low humidity and only a few rainy days.

Please note: The seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Summer occurs at the start and end of the year, and winter is in the middle of the year.

There are many accommodation options for students in Adelaide.


A homestay is an excellent option for international students in Adelaide. It is a clean, friendly environment where a host family provides accommodation for the student. Living with English-speaking families is a great way to practice your language skills, share knowledge of your culture and learn more about the Australian lifestyle, and to make great friendships then can last a lifetime.

The homestay may be provided by families, couples, or single people with or without children. The host family can help the student with everyday tasks such as adjusting to life in Australia, travelling, shopping, or banking. All homestay facilities are carefully selected to provide a safe and comfortable stay and may provide additional levels of service such as cooking meals and transportation if requested.

Homestay costs range from A$165-A$310 per week.


Many international students choose to stay in a hostel during their studies. Hostels are great social environments where you can share a dormitory-style room with others students and backpackers or stay in your own room. Areas such as bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, and common rooms are communal. Hostels are budget-oriented and are usually much cheaper than hotels, so many young people choose to stay. For additional payment, services and facilities such as swimming pools, airport pickup, and hot meals may be provided.

Hostel accommodation cost ranges from A$100 – A$280 per week.


Sharing a house or an apartment with other people is more private and independent than living in a hostel or a homestay. It is a prevalent option for international students, as there are many properties in the city to suit many needs and budgets. Sharing a house comes with many benefits such as splitting the cost of utilities, phone bills, Internet, and sometimes groceries and car sharing. You may arrange shared responsibilities such as laundry or cooking. Usually, the shared houses or apartments are furnished, but sometimes you may have to buy your own bedding, cutlery, and furniture.

Shared Apartment Rental in Adelaide ranges from $185 – $215.


Renting an apartment or house is more expensive than sharing, yet it is a way to live entirely independently. You may have to buy all the necessary furniture if a house is unfurnished, and you will have to purchase cutlery, electronics, bedding, groceries, and supplies on your own. There are some expenses associated with renting a property, such as paying for the bond, utilities such as water, gas, electricity, Internet, and phone bills. Living independently requires you to take care of yourself and your home: cooking, cleaning, doing your laundry, and preparing the house for inspections. The cost of the rent depends on the size, location, and facilities available in the house or an apartment.

Renting a single-room apartment in Adelaide ranges from A$200 – A$450 per week.

Estimated costs in Adelaide

All Accommodation Median Weekly Cost Estimate*

A$90-A$350 per week

Please note: Accommodation is cheaper outside Adelaide City Centre.

Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It provides quality, safe treatments in modern, well-equipped hospitals, surgeries, and medical centres located all over Adelaide and South Australia.

What is the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?

OSHC is a type of compulsory health insurance for all international students in Australia.


What does OSHC cover?

  • OSHC covers international students for certain medical costs if they need to see a doctor or go to the hospitals. There are different OSHC policies and providers, so check your agreement carefully to see what is covered.
  • All public hospitals in Adelaide, such as Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the Lyell McEwin, and Modbury and Flinders Hospitals are covered by OSHC.
  • Serious medical problems should be treated before you come to Australia, as standard OSHC generally does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Extra cover options such as private hospital admissions and dental covers are available.

How do I arrange OHSC?

  • You can arrange OSHC yourself, or
  • Skills Australia Institute can arrange a standard OSHC cover for you with a medical fund insurer.


Most shops open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Mondays to Saturdays, except on Thursdays, when shops are usually open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Late night shopping in the City Centre happens on Thursdays until 7 pm and on Fridays until 9 pm. Stores in the City and major suburban shopping centres also open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sundays.CREDIT CARDS AND DEBIT CARDS

Almost all shops accept major credit cards and debit (EFTPOS) cards.PRICING

Most Australian shops sell items at a fixed price.

You might be able to get a lower price on some items (for example, furniture or electrical goods), if:

  • Another store is offering the same item for a lower price;
  • Items are second-hand;
  • You are shopping in markets;
  • Or, if you are paying cash.


Supermarkets sell fresh produce, meat and vegetables, baked goods, canned and frozen food, books and magazines, stationery, non-prescription medicine, personal supplies, and some make-up and clothing.

Many supermarkets are open late at night 5 days a week.DEPARTMENT STORES

You can find all sorts of merchandise in department stores: they sell everything from clothing to electronics, books, cutlery, gifts, jewellery, and furniture. There is a wide range of prices and items of different quality, and there are frequent sales that offer great deals and substantial discounts.LARGE SHOPPING CENTRES

There are many shopping centres located all over Adelaide City Centre and surrounding suburbs, as well as regional towns in South Australia.

Large shopping centres usually contain:

  • Major department stores (David Jones, Myer, Target, K-Mart, Big-W)
  •  Supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Foodland)
  •  Specialist stores selling books, clothing, computers and software, telephones, sportswear and music
  •  Banks
  •  Cafes and fast-food outlets
  • Movie theatres


Adelaide is home to some of Australia’s oldest markets. You can purchase second-hand goods, fresh produce, hand-crafted items and gifts at the markets. Some of the markets are open every day, and many more open during the weekend. You can bargain at some of the stalls.

Some popular food and clothing markets in Adelaide are:

  • Adelaide Central Market
  • Adelaide Farmers Market
  • Gilles at the Grounds
  • Fishermans Wharf Market
  • Brighton Sunday Market
  • Plant 4 Bowden
  • Flinders St Market
  • Stirling Market


Gumtree is one of Australia’s most favourite websites for trading new and second-hand goods, furniture, vehicles, and services. International trading platforms include Amazon, eBay, etc.GARAGE SALES

You can find incredible deals and bargains at garage sales. People usually sell second-hand items, plants, electronics, and produce at their homes, and you can see the advertisements on Facebook, Gumtree, in local newspapers, or street signs.

International students can work up to 20 hours per week while studying in Australia. There are many opportunities for part-time work in Adelaide, especially in the hospitality and retail industries. Many students choose to work part-time during their stay in Australia, because:

  • A part-time job provides extra income and lets the students be more independent;
  • It’s an excellent opportunity to practice English;
  • Also, meeting new people and making friends can make studying in Australia an even better experience.


  • Work shouldn’t interfere with your studies;
  • You must attend your classes and arrange your working timetable accordingly;
  • Also, you shouldn’t rely on your part-time job income to cover all your expenses.


What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?

A Tax File Number is your reference number in Australian Tax and Superannuation systems. It is issued to you by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Do I need a TFN?

  • You are not legally required to have a TFN. However, you will pay more tax on your job income and your bank account if you don’t. You also won’t be able to lodge a tax return online.
  •  You must pay Australian taxes if you work part-time. At the end of every financial year (June 30) you will be able to lodge a tax return online or with an accounting service. You will later receive a tax refund statement and reimbursement from the ATO.
  • Your employer and your bank (if you open a bank account) will ask you for your Tax File Number.

When should I apply for a TFN?

  • Before you start work

You can apply for a TFN when you’re in Australia. You can do it online or in your local Tax Office.

Australia has a modern communications network, and it is easy to contact family and friends locally or in your home country.


Public Payphones

Public payphones can be found around the city. They are commonly located in train stations, airports, post offices, near taxi stands, and in the business districts.

Local calls are untimed. They cost 50c from a payphone if you use coins. Long-distance and international calls are charged by the minute.

Mobile Phones

Various mobile service providers operate across Australia. They offer a wide range of deals, contracts, and mobile phones. Some providers have special deals for international calls to certain countries. Overseas phone cards are available from news agencies, supermarkets, and post offices.


Skills Australia Institute provides their students with free internet and email services on campus. There are many Internet cafes around the city area, which offer Internet access and printing and copy services. State libraries often have free Internet access.

You can also arrange to establish an Internet connection at your home with a local broadband service provider.


Australia Post provides postal services in Australia. You can send and receive letters, cards, and parcels at your local post office. Australia Post also provides services such as money transfer and conversion, bill payments, identification photos, police checks, and document translation services.

The Australian Government estimates that the average living costs for an international student are A$18,000 – A$23,000 per 12 months ($A350 – A$450 per week). This amount pays for food, accommodation, telephone, gas, electricity, transport and entertainment.

Your living costs could be higher or lower than this, depending on where you study and the lifestyle that you live.


Item Weekly Cost Range (Australian dollars – $AUD)

  • Accommodation (house or apartment shared with others): A$100 – A$200
  • Food: A$70 – A$150
  • Utilities: telephone, electricity, gas (shared costs with others) A$50 – A$120
  • Public transport: A$15 – A$40
  •  Entertainment: A$50 – A$200 
    TOTAL: A$280 – A$750


There are a large number of local and foreign banks and other financial institutions in Australia. Opening a bank account in Australia is very important, as it makes it easier to pay for everyday expenses and to receive money without incurring unreasonably large fees from international banking accounts.

Banks are usually open between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays, and between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm on Fridays. Some banks open on Saturday mornings in suburban shopping centres. Selected Banks in Adelaide offer ‘Student Accounts’ with NO monthly fees.

You can withdraw cash at any time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

Most banks also provide:

  • Telephone and internet banking
  • Savings and cheque accounts
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Foreign currency exchange and traveller’s cheques
  • Other financial services such as loans, bank drafts and transfer of funds

Adelaide Metro is Adelaide’s public transport system. It includes a wide variety of transport methods such as ferries, buses, trams, and trains that connect different parts of the city. There are some FREE public transport options in Adelaide City, such as the free City Connector bus that links the City Centre and North Adelaide, and free City and Jetty Road trams that travel around the city centre’s famous cultural and tourist destinations.


You can buy tickets to use the public transport system, however, purchasing a Metrocard offers discounted fares for international students. You can apply for a student Metrocard in the Skills Australia Institute office in Adelaide.

Taxis are a popular way of transport, although they’re more expensive than public transportation. Various rideshare apps and services operate throughout Adelaide.

International students can also rent a car if they have a suitable International Driver’s License.

Get free printed timetables from train stations, bus depots and ferry terminals.



Visit the AdelaideMetro website for train, bus, tram, and ferry timetables, ticket fares, card information, and trip planning.

In Australia, people are free to practice and follow their own beliefs and religion. Cultural and religious diversity is an integral part of life in Australia. You will find many churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship in Adelaide and other cities and towns in South Australia. Adelaide is known as the City of Churches, and there are numerous architectural and cultural marvels from many eras and faiths, such as the Peter’s Anglican Cathedral built in 1869, the Central Adelaide Mosque of 1888 (the oldest mosque in Australia), and many others.

Some major religions and their Australian websites are listed below:

Australia is a very safe country with meagre crime rates. Adelaide is very safe even by Australian standards, making it one of the most secure places in the world. However, it is still wise to:

  • Avoid dangerous situations
  • Keep yourself safe


Here are some tips to help keep you safe in South Australia.

  • Always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return.
  • Be careful when you are travelling at night on your own.
  • Do not leave personal belongings unattended.
  • Always carry a mobile phone, coins for a pay phone, or a phone card.
  • Follow any security guidelines provided by your college and your International Student Co-ordinator.
  • Avoid giving personal information to strangers.
  • Lock doors and windows before you leave your house or apartment.
  • Be careful when using automatic teller machines (ATMs) and put your cash away quickly.
  • Keep valuables out of sight when travelling.
  • Be sun smart: Australian summers are hot, so always wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when going outside.
  • Stay safe at the beach: always swim between the red and yellow flags so that a lifesaver is nearby in case someone needs help.


View the Health and Safety campaign for international students for more information.


Visit the SunSmart page to find out more about sun safety.


Visit the Beach Safety page for more information on beach safety.

You must maintain adequate schooling arrangements for your school-age dependents who joined you in Australia for more than 3 months as part of your student visa application. Additional fees may be payable (source: Department of Home Affairs DHA).

For more information on schooling options, please refer to:

For more information, contact Skills Australia Institute at

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