Living in Sydney

Safety in Sydney

Your safety matters to us at Kueen’s Institute in Sydney. We foster a safe environment where you feel empowered to speak up if something bothers you, or you believe someone needs help. You can feel confident that KI Sydney is committed to keeping you safe while you study with us. Our Student Services team will be on hand to offer support, advice and assistance whenever you need it. Our campuses are all tobacco and smoke-free so you can study in a healthy environment.

Staying Safe in Sydney

Sydney is often ranked as the world’s most liveable city. But, like most large cities, there are some risks, especially at night. Here are some tips for staying safe.

On the Street
  • Avoid parks, lanes and poorly lit areas at night.
  • Travel with a friend whenever possible.
  • Check your directions before you travel.
  • Take care when crossing roads: look to the right and the left before you step off the curb, and use pedestrian crossings or traffic lights whenever possible.
  • Don’t get in a car with people you don’t know.
  • Don’t get in a car with someone who’s been drinking.
  • Wear bright clothing when you’re walking or cycling at night so that drivers can see you.
  • Feel free to approach police officers on the street or walk into a police station at any time.
On Public Transport
  • When you’re travelling on a train, light rail or bus, sit in the first carriage or up the front near the driver, and press the emergency button only if necessary.
  • Never cross railway crossings when lights are flashing or barriers are down.
In a Public Space
  • Stay alert when using ATMs, and cover your hand when entering your PIN.
  • Don’t give out your phone number or personal details freely.
  • Always buy your own drinks, especially in a bar or pub.
  • Never carry more than $100 in cash with you.
  • In an emergency, dial 000.
Emergency Services

Emergency services are provided to help all Sydney residents. The staff who work for these services are trained professionals.

If you ever find yourself in an emergency you can call 000 for:

  • police
  • fire
  • ambulance

This is a free call and can be dialed from all phones, even those without credit. If you place a call to any of these services, the telephone operator will provide assistance until help arrives. To speak to someone in your own language ask the operator for a translator.


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

The Sydney Homestay website suggests students can expect to pay between $195 – $500 per week, depending on your location and boarding arrangement.

Private Rental

According to the website, Sydney Moving Costs approximate costs for accommodation in the Sydney property market can cost between $350 – $570 per week for a one bedroom apartment (after set up costs). Renting a private room in a shared rental property generally costs between $300 – $400. Flatmates and Flatmate Finders are popular sites to locate shared rental accommodation. Student Accommodation Services also have a database of private rentals that you can search.

Remember to budget for setting-up costs:

  • Rental bond – typically four weeks’ rent upfront, plus two weeks’ rent in advance. This can be higher if you’re living in a furnished property.
  • Installation and connection costs and administrative fees, such as lease preparation, connecting electricity, internet and gas.
  • New or second-hand furniture if you’re moving into an unfurnished property.
  • White goods such as a refrigerator, microwave oven, laundry, and any household items not included with your rental property.
Share Accomodation

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 Advise

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$20,290 per year for students. This value applies as of 1 February 2018. View more information about student visa living costs and evidence of funds on the Department of Home Affairs 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 Home Affairs (DHA) 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 Home Affairs 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

Utilities & Communication
  • The cost of electricity and gas in a rental property will vary depending on how many people with whome you’re splitting the bill and your usage. Expect to pay between $35 – $140 per week for energy.
  • Water usage is payable in certain types of properties. Tenants in an apartment or shared dwelling typically do not have to pay water rates, and not all properties require gas.
  • Mobile phone and internet costs are usually between $20 – $55 per week, depending on which company you are with and what type of plan you are on. Visit the ‘You Compare‘ website to compare different companies plans.
Food & Groceries
  • A weekly grocery bill for one person is usually between $80 – $280. You can save money by buying groceries at supermarkets including ColesWoolworths and Aldi. Shopping at fresh food markets like Paddy’s Market can save you money too.
Lifestyle Expenses
  • Put aside around $80 – $150 per week for entertainment and socialising. Lots of places including movie cinemas offer student discounts so keep your student card with you.
  • Don’t forget to budget for other incidental expenses like clothes, shoes and toiletries.

Expenses may vary depending on your lifestyle.

  • Access public transport with an Opal card. You can order a card online or buy from a registered retailer. Single trip tickets are available at retailers and train stations.
  • If you’re a full-time domestic student, you may be eligible for a Concession Opal. Have your student card with you as proof whenever you travel.
  • NOTE: International students are currently not eligible for concession tickets. Fare prices are listed on the Opal website.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover is compulsory for international students. Costs will depend on your insurance provider and your level of cover. 2017 rates per month for the  from Allianz range from $55 for singles to $312 for Multi Family coverage. Check with your insurance provider for rates for your selected cover.
  • You may have additional costs including fees for specialists and prescription medications.
  • Alternative forms of coverage are available for non-student visa holders. Please check with a provider for details.

According to Care for Kids:

  • The average cost of long daycare (8am to 6pm) in Sydney are approximately between $70 – $190 per day. Some students may be eligible for government subsidies.
  • Before school and after school care costs around $15 – $30 per day.
  • Public school tuition is free for Australian permanent residents; however uniforms and levies can cost about $500 a year.
  • Private schools may charge additional fees.
  • If you’re an international student with school-age dependents in Australia, visit the Department of Educationwebsite for approximate costs of schooling.