VU Sydney

Living in Sydney

Sydney Harbour

Australia is a great place to live and study. By studying in Sydney you will enjoy the sights and sounds of one of Australia's most visited cities. You will also be close to many of our finest east coast tourist destinations.

Sydney was rated the number six student city in the world (QS Best Student Cities, 2012).


Temporary accommodation

The following is a list of budget-conscious hotels and hostels that you may like to contact for temporary accommodation upon your arrival in Sydney. They are located within walking distance of the campus in Sydney's city centre.

Homestay and other options

Browse options at the Education Centre of Australia's preferred accommodation provider CozzyStay.

Share accommodation

The main websites used to search for rental or shared accommodation in Sydney are as follows.

We recommend getting an idea of what is available, but not actually signing or paying anything until you can inspect properties and meet potential roommates.

Tenancy advice

Free tenancy advice is available from Tenants NSW and the Tenants Union of NSW.

Cost of living

Living costs will vary by location, and by your lifestyle. With a student card, you will be eligible for concession prices to events, the cinema, museums and more.

The Australian government visa requirement is A$19,830 per year for students. This value applies as of 1 July 2016. View more information about student visa living costs and evidence of funds on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

More information

See the following webpages for great advice on managing your money during your time in Australia.

Schooling for your children

If you have children from 5-15 years of age, it is a legal requirement that they attend school. There are many public, private and multi-faith/religious schools for all ages, which charge fees ranging from quite low to very expensive. Find out more about education and childcare in New South Wales.

Working in Sydney

You have automatic work rights if your student visa was granted after 26 April 2008. If you were granted a student visa on or before 26 April 2008, you can apply to The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for permission to work.

Work rights allow you to work:

  • for the duration of your visa
  • once you have started your course
  • for a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight (40 hours per two weeks) while your course is in session
  • any number of hours during the summer or winter non-teaching periods.

Please see the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for further details. Study Australia also have information on finding work as an international student on their website.


Students who undertake paid work will also need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) and complete an income tax return at the end of each financial year.

For further information, please refer to the Australian Taxation Office.