Get a top-rated Mini-MBA Certificate for $199 $29 (Limited time offer)

Studying in Australia for Indian students: Costs, pros and cons, salaries

Studying in Australia for Indian studentsAustralia figures among the top study abroad destinations in the world for Indian students. It won’t be a surprise if every fifth Indian student you speak to among the populace planning to study abroad, has Australia in mind. Undesirable circumstances aside, it remains a top notch destination for Indian students wishing to study abroad. Read Why study in Australia

Yet, there are several points that need to be considered before you decide to take the next flight to destination Australia for your studies.

Best programs in Australia

Students from India come right after China in terms of highest number of enrolments in Australian educational institutes. According to International Student Enrolment Data 2023, the number of Indian students in Australia was about 120,000. As for Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, Indians make up the highest pool of applicants entering the country to study.

Most Indian students are seen inclined towards courses as business and management degree programs along with accounting, health care, IT, hotel management and MBA. The Global MBA Rankings by Financial Times has historically placed two Australian institutes in the top 100 list. These are AGSM at the University of New South Wales Business School and Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

Costs of studying in Australia

Among the Anglophone nations (major destinations for Indian students), Australia happens to have one of the most expensive education system with its tuition fee and resultant graduation debt.

According to an April 2016 study by Dr Philip Kirby titled ‘Degrees of Debt: Funding and finance for undergraduates in Anglophone countries’, the average tuition fee charged across Australian higher education institutions is AU$7,900 (INR 40,1190).

In the years since (as of 2021), a bachelor’s degree can cost somewhere around AU$20,000, vocational programs anywhere between AU$4,000 and AU$22,000. Post graduate and PhD programs could cost between AU$10,000 to over 35,000 annually. This is just an estimate. The fee differs from course to course.

And mind you, this is just the tuition fee. Living expenses, including food, entertainment,phone, and travel, again vary from place to place. Bigger cities will have bigger expenses and could range from AU$350 to 900 per week. Accommodation expenses will vary depending upon what kind of lodging you prefer (guest houses / hostels / on-campus / homestay / rental / shared rental / boarding schools).

Cost of Studying in Australia in Indian Rupees

Cost Type Expenses in Indian Rupees
Bachelor’s Degree INR 11 lakhs
Post Graduate and PhD INR 5 lakhs to INR 19 lakhs
Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses INR 2 to 12 lakhs
Living Expenses (include food, entertainment, phone, and travel depending on the city) INR 72,000 per month


The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection needs to ensure that you have enough money to pay for your course fee, travel and living costs for you and your accompanying family while in Australia. This annual income of support for an Australian education ranges from AU$62,000 to 72,600 (INR 33,50,000 to 39,22,000). You need to attach the evidence of this income with your visa application. Alternatively, you can even show that you have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living costs by meeting the set financial requirements to receive a student visa for Australia and for a single person it comes to AU$20,290 (INR 11,00,000). (Source)

However, if you are aged 25 years and above, pursuing a full time course as an Australian resident, you are eligible for financial help from the government in the form of Austudy. If you are single or a couple with no children, you can get maximum payment of AU$512.50 (INR 27,700) every fortnight.

But if you are a couple with children you can claim a maximum of AU$557.90 (INR 30,150). In case you are single with responsibility of children on you, your claim amount can go up to AU$656 (INR 35,450). As a newly arrived resident, you have to wait for 104 weeks or 2 years to be able to access this grant.

Average salaries after studying in Australia

According to government statistics, undergraduates from Australian universities landed a starting annual salary (median) has risen from $66,019 in 2018 to $77,000 (INR 42 lakhs) in 2021. For post graduate course work degrees, it is AU$100,000 (INR 55 lakhs) and for post graduate research degrees AU$102,000 (INR 56 lakhs). (Source)

It depends on the kind of skill set you possess and your command over English language which is a pre-requisite that decides your chances of landing a white / blue collar job post completion of your studies. Networking helps too.


Benefits of an Australian education

Like any other country, there are pros and cons even for Indian students wishing to study in Australia. Along with getting good international exposure, a diverse cultural interaction and a strong statement for your CV, here are some more reasons to study in Australia.

The country boasts of a number of high ranking universities in the world offering a number of high quality popular courses.Foreign students mean good income for the government, hence the latter takes keen interest in education sector of the nation. Therefore, expect good governance for these institutes of higher learning.

As Indian students make up a good chunk of foreign students in Australia, universities too tend to do their utmost to be able to attract Indian students to their classrooms. It can be expensive to study in Australia, but then there are several scholarship opportunities offered that can ease the financial burden. Typically, Indian students can avail government scholarships like the Australia Awards based on merit, the Endeavour Scholarships for research students, grants like the Research Training Program, and the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships. Besides these universities offer merit and financial need based scholarships. There are also special category scholarships for students who excel in sports or those who have special circumstances like disabilities, etc. Interested students should definitely explore such avenues of funding.

With your student visa, you can also work part time and can earn somewhere between $25 to $30 an hour (close to INR 1200 to 1500), depending on what kind of job you are in (read blue collar jobs). You can also work full time during vacations and earn some more. This extra money can help you save and also take care of your living expenses to some extent.

The government here provides post-study work visas for international students. After finishing university degree, students here can get practical work experience by working full time for a period of 18 months to four years. They can also apply for permanent residency.

It is a beautiful country, so once in a while you can take a break and travel to all the beach destinations that Australia is so famous for. The country has a strong Asian community presence so you will not miss speaking your mother tongue or eating familiar food.
International student life in Australia: What to expect

And there are the downsides as well

First and foremost, safety. Indian students have been at the receiving end of some racial and anti-social elements. It is important to steer clear of crime prone areas of the city you stay in, avoid travelling late at night alone, have friends accompany you when you do end up travelling alone at night.

It is expensive for an Indian student to make a life in Australia. Be very sure if you’d be able to manage your expenses with only part time work.

As the government allows working for 20 hours a week while pursuing your study, students need to be aware that the adult national minimum wage in Australia is AU$20.33 an hour, but some students end up getting much less or nothing at all. Be aware of your rights.

Like in any part of the world including India, there are people who run fake institutes or those that provide below standard education charging hefty fee from international students. One must be wary of such dubious institutes, and choose to study in institutes approved by the Australian Government. The Indian Embassy in Australia can be of great help here.

And then, there is this separation anxiety, of feeling homesick, not being able to speak in your mother tongue, always having to speak in English, getting into a self-pity mode about working so hard without having people around to acknowledge you and so on and so forth.

Australian culture is dramatically different from India with more focus on being independent and gender equality. It can come as a shock to some, so it is advisable to do some prior research on the same.

The information in this article is just to give you a general idea of what’s in store if you decide to study in Australia. Check the official websites of a few colleges to get more accurate data.

Related Posts:
Top study abroad countries for Indian students | Emerging destinations
How to Study Abroad for Free
50 Study abroad tips to super-charge your overseas education
How to get into Australian National University
Executive MBA in Australia from Melbourne Business School
Executive MBA in Australia after resume gap of 6 years

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 | Image credit: ITBunny @ Deviantart

Mini-MBA | Start here | Success stories | Reality check | Knowledgebase | Scholarships | Services

Serious about higher ed? Follow us:


20 thoughts on “Studying in Australia for Indian students: Costs, pros and cons, salaries”

  1. Hi team,
    I am Ravinder. I am writing this email in regard to your advise on MBA admission. let me give you a brief intro about me.
    I am 32 years old and have overall 10 years of experience in financial reporting and analysis. I worked with companies such as Bank of America continuum solution, Genpact, Shell business services and currently working at Biological E limited. I have completed cost and management (India) as well as CIMA (of UK). Currently i am preparing for GMAT test and deciding to appear for test in Jan/Feb’17 (I know it’s too late, but have some personal commitments). I think I can target to score around 650 in GMAT. could you please help me in shortlisting colleges across English speaking countries (Singapore, UK, Ireland, Newzealand, Australia and Canada). Basically I am looking for an affordable yet quality MBA (around USD 20K), which are in par with IIMs. Thanking in advance. Looking forward for your suggestion.

  2. Sir, I have completed BE comp from pune. I want to join masters degree in Australia. Can you please help me about fee/ living expense/ scholarship…

  3. @Ravinder: This article lists the 40 most affordable MBA programs in the world:

    But considering your budget, many good programs would be out of reach. Do read up more on costs and expenses of international MBA courses which we’ve covered in this article:

    @Rutuja: All you have to do, is scroll up and read the main article above 🙂

  4. Hi Sameer…any reviews on CUHK. I have an admit with 40% scholarship from CUHK with a low Gmat score of 580. My profile is IIT graduate with 8 years of experience in a fortune 500 company with ample international exp across various geographies/good social work and extra curriculars/solid recos/stellar growth (4 promotions over last 8 years).
    I can’t think of MBA from India as I need global experience. US is also out of question due to high costs and 2 years salary loss. My aim is not a salary hike but good education which can propel me to senior leadership roles in various OEMs and I want to continue to work in Australasia. I was very keen on IMD/IE/Insead as they have global placements but my low score and Europe’s sliding economy is a deterrent and due to personal commitments retaking gmat seems difficult. I plan for Australia as well but their courses start next year as deadlines are through and CUHK begins in August itself. I am inclined to accept the offer.
    Any insights and guidance would be very helpful.

  5. Hi Rohit,

    We don’t get requests to help with this bschool. So there’s no first hand information to share.

    Most folks (specially those with IIT degrees) who plan for an international MBA, target programs that are stronger than their undergrad degree.

    Your professional background also sounds strong. If you’ve been offered such a substantial scholarship with a 580 GMAT score, it means you are short-changing yourself.

    Unless you have strong personal reasons to go ahead with it, I’m not sure if it’s worth the investment for someone with your profile.

    • Thanks for the prompt reply Sameer but I am 32 in age with a family and re attempting GMAT seems difficult. I was keen on IMD and IE specially but with this GMAT find it difficult to sail through. The scholarship offered is under global professional scholarship and I had 2 additional interviews +1 essay for the same. The school though enjoys decent FT rankings. Whats your opinion on Vlerick Business School, Belgium ? Can something be done at this gmat score ??

  6. Hi Sameer…In follow up to my last comment….what you were saying seems correct but I learnt it the hard way or rather expensive way…I ended up paying deposit of 7 L inr to CUHK and then while speaking to current students I was not convinced about the kind of roles they land up after MBA, kind of mediocre. Moreover, I have a job offer of around 42000 USD from a MNC in India and spending 42000 USD (plus sacrificing family time and current job) to get an MBA which would give me a job of avg 53000 USD didnt seem logical.
    Hence I have decided to shelve MBA plans as of now. At the back of my mind, I feel may be I would retake gmat in future, better my score and target only top schools (under 15 in ranking) for MBA in future or rather those where both the Alumni and current students offer me an opportunity to learn and evolve.

  7. 7 Lakhs! That’s a damn expensive way to learn, Rohit bhai. But good that you found out the facts before you taking in the full plunge.

    As you’ve already realised, the GMAT score was too low for any high ranking program.

    Plus there’s the age factor also to think about. Even a top MBA degree won’t guarantee that your career aspirations are met.

    Getting a $42K job in India is a pretty good deal. Hope the silver lining encourages you to keep moving ahead.

    Good luck, buddy!

  8. Thanks Sameer…will do a detailed post soon…mistake is expensive but the new job plus stock options there make up for it…lastly I made a typo..salary offered in India is 52000 USD, which is actually lucrative. However, I am aiming for senior leadership roles and would need to work out soon on how to achieve those, with or without MBA.

  9. Hi Sameer ,

    I am Vishnu,presently having a work ex of 5 years in the Automobile Industry. I m interested in pursuing an MBA in Australia. Between Macquaire Graduate School of Management , Sydney (MGSM) – 2 year program Regular MBA and Australian National University, Canberra (ANU) – 1.5 year program Regular MBA which one would be a wise choice to opt. Also pls let me know about the pros and cons of both.

    Thanks in advance !!

  10. Hi Sameer,

    I am currently working in an IT as a Software Engineer with 5 Years of experience. I got the Offer from La Trobe University, Melbourne. After the study, is it easy for me to get a job there? I would like to work there for atleast Three to four years more and heading back to India. In that case, what salary can i expect.

  11. Sir,I have completed in Hyderabad.I am planning to do MBA in Australia.could you help me what are the best MBA courses offered in Australian universities..??

  12. Dear sir
    I have been pursuing PhD on Australian aborigines . Are there any centers or institutions who provide the short term courses to students who are interested in further studies on aboriginal culture.If yes please furnish the details and expenses.

  13. Can I obtain work visa work 1.5 year Masters Postgraduate course if I graduate from an Australian G08 -CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students) granted university? Suggest me an alternative if I am not eligible in that case.

  14. Hello ,

    I am Sowmya and I am writing this to mention about one of the cons to pursue PhD is Australia.I have got PhD offer from Research School on Astronomy and Astrophysics of Australian National University with full scholarship and stipend. I applied for subclass 500 visa on 20 Jan 2018 and estimated processing time was 48 to 74 days.But it get visa approval even after processing time.When I tried to contact Australian High Commission,they didn’t provide particular time frame and mentioned delay is due to security checks from other agencies.Finally,I came to know it is not only my problem,there are plenty of Indian student struggling to get visa for PhD and it would take almost 8 to 10 months.I was unaware of this when I accepted offer by differing offer from other places as RSSA is one of the best place.Because of this I can’t even take up any job and it is frustration. So I suggest only if you have enough time and patience to wait for visa , one can choose PhD in Australia ,else Please don’t consider Australia for PhD inspite of good university ranking.Because long wait will suppress motivation as it is key factor for PhD student.

  15. Hey!! I just want to know that, whether CIMA qualification will give me an edge in australia when it comes to job after stuying Masters of commerce. from UNSW??

  16. Hello Sir/Madam,

    I’m Shanu Suanr, I have done my B.A.Final Year From Rajasthan University but i’m a non collegiate student. Now i want to do my post graduation from Australia. Please confirm me is there i’m eligible to continue my study from Australia or Not?

    • Hi, I am kirtika , I am pursuing from Chandigarh from Dev Samaj College (PU) . This my last year of graduation . I am average in studies but I want to do my master’s studies from Australia …so can I really do that. ??


  18. Hey, I just want to know the cost of Masters in software engineering for Indian students?
    Any scholarship available?


Leave a Comment