Living and working in Australia

Living and working in Australia

Welcome International students!

Mildura and Swan Hill are  great places to live, work and study.

You are invited to talk to our Student Support Services Unit staff if you have personal or study problems while at SuniTAFE. The Unit has a range of qualified staff including counsellors, welfare workers and disability support staff that can provide you with confidential assistance in understanding and resolving issues related to the demands of student life and studying in Australia. They can also assist with accommodation options, budgeting, time management skills, crisis management skills and other things.


SuniTAFE Student Residences in Mildura is an independent, communal living facility set in a spacious garden setting. There is an outdoor BBQ and shady lawn area for students to enjoy. Shared and single bedrooms are available with communal bathrooms. All rooms are fully furnished, carpeted, air-conditioned and heated and are serviced weekly. The complex is approximately a 20 minute walk or five minute drive from Mildura’s city centre.

SuniTAFE also provides a referral service to real estate agencies to source privately rented accommodation for students studying in Swan Hill, or wishing to live off campus in Mildura.

Working while studying

Once you have commenced your course in Australia you can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the term and unlimited hours during term break. There are various casual employment opportunities in the Mildura region in the agriculture, hospitality and retail industries. Our International Students Unit can provide guidance in finding part-time jobs but cannot guarantee employment.

You will be required to obtain a tax file number if you intend to work. You may also be required to make superannuation (pension fund) contributions that you may be eligible to access when you leave Australia. Please contact the Australian Taxation Office for more information.

Living expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you will be responsible for planning and budgeting for your living costs. The suggested funds required for prospective student by the Department of Home Affairs for visa applicants to demonstrate their ability to meet living costs in Australia is A$20,290.00 per year. All costs are per year in Australian dollars. To convert to your own currency, visit (opens in a new window)

The table below provides an approximate comparison between the cost of living in Mildura and Melbourne, based on the average cost per week for a single person.

The figures in the table below are indicative only and costs can vary depending on the student’s lifestyle. Significant savings can be made on rental costs, by choosing to live in Mildura, with most places in Mildura accessible on bicycle. Costs listed in this table do not include tuition fees, the cost of running a car, textbooks and printing/photocopying costs, health insurance, airfares/holiday travel costs and additional costs associated with a more expensive lifestyle. Students should ensure they arrive with easy access to at least A$2,500 to pay for expenses associated with establishing themselves in Mildura and should be prepared in case living costs are greater than the indicated figures. We recommend that students undertake their own research into the costs of living in Australia.

This table shows estimated costs for one student.

Costs are quoted in Australian dollars.

Item Mildura Melbourne
Private rent (median weekly) plus bills A$180 plus A$35-45
Student residences (includes bills) A$160 A$175
Other expenses
Public transport A$25 A$60
Food and groceries A$50-100
Telephone (may vary depending on the plan you have) A$10-50
Spending money A$40-80

For additional living expenses information please refer to Study in Australia.

Student Testimonials

“I feel I am fortunate to be able to study at SuniTAFE. The teachers and staff are AMAZING! They are supportive, really care and are there to help you succeed. The facilities are great and well equipped. The multicultural environment makes study even more interesting.”  Read More Here

Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework

The Australian Government wants international students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework is a set of legal regulations related to your rights and responsibilities while studying in Australia on a student visa. It sets guidelines and minimum standards to protect you as a student as well as protecting Australia’s reputation for providing quality education and support services. It also provides tuition and financial assurance.

Working holiday makers

People on Working Holiday Visas are able to study any course full time or part time for up to 17 weeks.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

International students are required to have OSHC for themselves (and any dependants) for the entire duration of their stay in Australia. The OSHC is designed to cover the costs for medical and hospital care that you may need while in Australia without causing you undue financial hardship. The fee for OSHC is included in your Letter of Offer. SuniTAFE will purchase OSHC on your behalf through Medibank Private. However, if you wish to purchase your OSHC through another provider please advise the International Students Unit of your membership details. OSHC will pay benefits towards medical and hospital treatments, ambulance service and most prescription medicines that you receive while studying in Australia.

A broad range of medical services, including medical specialists, are available in Mildura and Swan Hill. There are many general practitioners that are available for general health issues and the Mildura Base Hospital and Swan Hill District Hospital offer a comprehensive outpatients service.

For further information about medical insurance and services, please contact the Australian Department of Health and Ageing.


Mildura and Swan Hill have a range of bank branches for personal banking:

Policies and Procedures

SuniTAFE policies, procedures and forms for international students.