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The information in this book provides a guide to budgeting around regular and unavoidable costs, such as food & accommodation. The figures used are only averages, with prices given in Australian dollars, your personal circumstances may alter the estimates by quite a bit! Remember, you can always contact the University if you are in financial trouble and need help making ends meet.


contents Accommodation ---------------------------------------------------- pg 3 Health Care ------------------------------------------------------ pg 7 Transport -------------------------------------------------------- pg 10 Food ------------------------------------------------------------- pg 14 Extra Bills ------------------------------------------------------ pg 15 Child Care ------------------------------------------------------- pg 16 Other ------------------------------------------------------------ pg 17


ACCOMMODATION If you are relocation to Newcastle for study, then finding accommodation will be one of the biggest (but also most exciting) tasks to organise! The first decision to make is whether you would like to live on or off campus...

------------------------------ On Campus ------------------------------Our college residents love living on campus – the convenience of living so close to class, all utility costs are included in the weekly fee, and the amazing social, cultural & sporting events are just a few of the reasons why! For this reason, it is very competitive to secure a place, and acceptance is not guaranteed.

Costs: How to apply:

The University of Newcastle has self catered, semi-catered or fully catered college style accommodation options available on Campus at both Callaghan and Ourimbah. Here’s the long and short of it:

Between $153 - $275 per week, depending on the College.

Online, via the accommodation website. More info:


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----------------------------- Off Campus Living off-campus gives a student a lot of flexibility and freedom with their lifestyle choices, and also their financial situation. For this reason, costs can be varied depending on the location and property type (eg. from a private apartment to a shared student house) and this figure normally does not include utilities (electricity, gas, internet, etc).


To assist students in their search, the Accommodation Hub provides information about rental accommodation and maintains an interactive database of current accommodation options.

There are a number of other external websites which help link up potential housemates and spare rooms in properties;


Average between $120 - $160 per person/per week, depending on the property & location.

How to apply:

Online, via the accommodation website OR direct to a real estate agency.



Be prepared: Do you know what a lease is? Are you comfortable with asking your landlord questions? Who can you contact for advice? Keep all receipts and a copy of all relevant documents. There is quite comprehensive information on our Off Campus Accommodation website.

Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Aim for all communication with any agent or landlord to be in writing, signed and dated.




Whether you are an International or Domestic student, health care in a relatively minor expense compared the costs that could occur in an emergency without it.


----------------------- On Campus Health Service


The Health Service provides both emergency and routine medical care to all students and staff, and they bulk bill for domestic students. All International students have their medical expenses covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

At both Callaghan & Ourimbah, The University Health Service is a fully accredited general practice staffed by doctors and nurses who understand the medical problems of students.

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To make an appointment, please contact reception at your preferred campus:

--------------------------- Domestic Students -------------------------Patients covered by Medicare are bulk billed, so there are usually no out of pocket expenses for consultations at the University Health Service. This means that you will need a Medicare card of your own or a duplicate of your family card. If you have a current Health Care card from Centrelink, please take this with you to all consultations.

If you are interested in Private Health insurance, there are many options a vailable, so do some researching! A good place to start is iSelect – a website to compare, select and save from a range of options uniquely matched to your needs/budget. More Information:

------------------------ International Students As an International Student, it is a condition of your student visa that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay in Australia. OSHC gives you access to out of hospital and in hospital medical services to help you maintain your health. The cost for 6 months of study (ie: cover for one semester) is approx AU$210, but please contact OSHC for an official quote.


In an emergency, you can go to the Emergency Department at the nearest public hospital. Emergency Departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The nearest public hospital to the University campus (Callaghan Campus) is the Mater Calvary Hospital, Waratah. The John Hunter Hospital is also close by at Rankin Park. Gosford Hospital is the closest public hospital for the Ourimbah campus students. You may call an ambulance on 000 to take you to hospital. This is covered by OSHC but only for genuine emergencies. For more information:




Getting to and from uni is a cost in itself. Use of public transport and car pooling are the cheapest options for you to get to campus. To check your eligibility for concession, view timetable, and calculate your fare, please visit the cityrail website.

--------------------------- Personal Transport –-----------------------To calculate what you may need to budget weekly/annually, the handy guide to ‘Car Running Costs’ may be useful. For information about vehicle registration & licensing, please visit the RTA website. More Information:

You may have your own car or motorbike already, or perhaps are interested in buying one. There are several associated costs that go along with this (not just the cost of the vehicle!) including the price of parking on campus (see Extra Uni Costs).

--------------------------------- Taxis -------------------------------The local Taxi number is 133 300. Note that there is a booking fee of $3.30, and a 20% surcharge after 10pm and before 6am. More Information:

Why not ride your bike! Bike riding is not only great exercise, but FREE and you don’t need to worry about finding a park! There are bike racks to lock up your wheels, and showers around campus for a freshen up!


----------------------------Public Transport --------------------------There are a few bargain ways you can make it to the Uni if you don’t have your own car, aside from walking. The 2 most popular options are train and bus.

Callaghan Campus Bus - There are a 2 bus stops on Callaghan campus. The bus is a great option if you prefer to walk a short distance to a stop, or are a frequent traveler. You can purchase quarterly or yearly travel pass which give you unlimited travel during that time period – resulting in at least a 15-23% discount! There is also a FREE shuttle bus around the Newcastle CBD that runs 7 days a week. More Info:

Train – ‘Warabrook’ train station is adjacent to the Callaghan campus. A oneway train ticket to the University from within Newcastle is approximately $1.60 (concession) or $3.20 (full fare). You can also purchase a MyMulti day pass, which gives you unlimited travel for the day on CityRail trains and Newcastle Buses.

Newcastle City Campus Bus – There are multiple bus stops located within a 5 minute walk from the City campus. The bus is a great option if you prefer to walk a short distance to a stop, or are a frequent traveler. You can purchase quarterly or yearly travel pass which give you unlimited travel during that time period – resulting in at least a 15-23% discount! There is also a FREE shuttle bus around the Newcastle CBD that runs 7 days a week. More Info:

Train – ‘Civic’ station is a 2 minute walk away from the City campus. A one-way ticket from within Newcastle is approximately $1.60 (concession) or $3.20 (full fare), and a one-way ticket from stations on the Central Coast or Sydney are $3.90 (concession) or $7.80 (full fare).

Ourimbah Campus Bus – There is 1 bus stop located at front of campus. The bus is a great option for those that live in the Central Coast area. Fares are approximately $1.00-$2.10 (concession) or $2.00-$4.30 (full fare) one way to Ourimbah campus. Students can pre-purchase MyBus TravelTen tickets and MyMulti Weekly tickets which give further discounts. More info:

Train – ‘Ourimbah’ train station is located 10 minutes walk from campus. Those who commute from Newcastle or Sydney can purchase one way tickets to Ourimbah station for approximately $3.90 (concession) or $7.80 (full fare). You can also purchase a MyMulti day pass, which gives you unlimited travel for the day on CityRail trains and Busways (Central Coast) buses. fares-central-coast


Tip: Go have a look at our new Carpooling website - its FREE!

Port Macquarie Campus Train – The nearest station to the campus is ‘Wauchope’ station. Countrylink runs services to and from Wauchope station. Students who choose to do this will need to then catch Busways (route 335) from Wauchope station to the campus. A one-way fare from Taree to Port Macquarie is $8.07 (concession) or $11.30 (full fare). More info:

Bus – Busways runs cheap services to and from Port Macquarie Campus. The bus is a great option for those that live in Port Macquarie or surrounding areas. Fares vary between $1.00-$6.20 (concession) or $2.10-$12.40 (full fare) one way to Port Macquarie, depending on the distance travelled. fares-port-macquarie




I’M HUNGRY AND I’M POOR! Food shopping for bargains is a skill in itself, before you have even started cooking. You should expect each week on food out) dependant on what you eat. The to a tight budget

to spend about $70 -$150 (including 1 or 2 meals the quantity & quality of general rules for keeping are: - Buy in bulk and freeze individual portions – this can save you up about 30% with meats etc.

- Cook at home as much as your can ie: DON’T eat out. This will help your health and your wallet, and save at least $10 per meal. - Save leftovers and EAT THEM (don’t forget they’re in the back of the fridge). These are basically FREE MEALS!!

- Keep an eye on specials at supermarkets and restaurants Tuesdays, 2 for 1 pub meals) treat yourself economically.

both (eg. Cheap so you can (see: Tips)

- Stretch meals out as much as possible by adding random vegetables, canned beans, rice, pasta etc. You can turn a 2 portion serving into a 3 or 4 portion serving for just $1 or $2 more

- If you are still concerned about what you are spending on food, track everything you purchase for a whole week. Review this and see what you can cut out or buy cheaper versions of.

Check out this grocery calculator and shopping list template to help keep you on track with your food spending:




Often referred to as ‘utilities’ (Water, Elec, Gas) these can add up quickly if you aren’t diligent, but are definetly manageable if you’re clever!

While the examples may seem like a lot of money, bare in mind that this is a maximum figure (you may only spend half the amount). It is also meant ot be indicative of a bill that includes electricity, gas, telephone and water, plus heating bills. Have a browse at the link below for estimate running costs for various appliances:

If you live on campus, the costs for these utilities are included in your college fees, making it a lot easier. With some rental properties, the cost of these is also included in the weekly or monthly rent that you pay. If not, living off campus just means that you may have to budget a little bit wiser. The guide to living abroad in Australia suggests that you budget up to either:

- $150 per month for utilities (for a single person) , or – - $250 per month for a family of 4 (eg. If you are house sharing with 3 other people, works out as $62 for you a month) *



To assist with childcare fees, you may be eligible for a childcare benefit. Please contact the Australian Government to confirm your eligibility (details below).

Childcare in Australia will cost, on average, between $60 - $90 per child per day.

The University of Newcastle provides 3 childcare facilities at Callaghan and 1 at Ourimbah for the convenience of students that have children. The daily fee (depending on the child’s age and the particular centre) is between $69 & $75 per child. Please visit the University’s Child Care website for contact details and comprehensive information.

To assist with childcare fees, you may be eligible for a childcare benefit. Please contact the Australian Government to confirm you eligibility (details below).

INTERNET & PHONE This is an area that almost all students will spend a consistent amount of money on weekly/monthly/annually, yet the specific amount can vary widely depending on personal preference.

Often you can bundle a home phone line and internet plan, or you can just have a mobile phone separate to use for calls. Compare internet providers and mobile phone plans here:



covers things like (clothing, social, spending)

This is the sneaky little section where a large part of your funds will tend to disappear without you noticing, until you realize you only have $13 to last you until pay day next week! Here is an example of what a student could possibly spend in just a week on miscellaneous costs -

Jessica’s Weekly Treats 1 new piece of clothing I Dinner at restaurant 1 Night Out on the town (+ taxi & kebab) Coffee 3 Mornings a week Magazine

$50 $40 $50 $12 $6



These are just ideas., and you may not actually spend nearly that much. Think of things that you buy or do regularly and work from there, for example you know that every Friday night you will go out and have a pub meal, then a few beers, then a taxi home.

These costs, although they may not seem as regular as something like electricity bills, or rent, often end up being something you will inevitably spend money on – so either BUDGET FOR IT, or DON’T SPEND THE MONEY!