International Students with Families

Download the Bringing Families Guide (PDF).

Before you decide to bring your family to Australia, you should also consider the following:

Finances

The cost of supporting a family in Australia is very high and it is important to ensure that you bring sufficient funds to support them financially.

You also need to pay for their airfares to and from Australia, their overseas health cover, additional accommodation costs if you need a bigger place, extra costs for food, clothing and other necessities. If you have children, you need to pay for their schooling and/or childcare.

Please be aware!

If your spouse will join you in Australia, please be aware that they might not be able to find equivalent employment in their profession. Quite often qualifications obtained in your country might not be recognised in Australia. Alternative part-time employment can be found, however, please be aware that this can mean a change in lifestyle. A dependent spouse can obtain permission to work but obtaining employment is not easy. It is not advisable to plan your income on the basis of a spouse obtaining work. A student may need to budget an additional minimum of A$8,000 a year for a spouse and up to A$3,720 a year for each child.

Accommodation

You may find that in general rental accommodation in Sydney is much more expensive than in your home country! We advise that you start familiarising yourself with options for long term accommodation (and their prices) before you depart.

Please read through the Living in Sydney information including the information on accommodation.

Adjustment

  • How would the presence of your family impact on your studies?
  • How does your family feel about coming to Australia?
  • Can your family members communicate confidently in English?

When should I bring my family?

You may find it is easier to arrive in Australia first, and to bring your family later. That way you will have established yourself in your new environment (UNSW and Sydney), you will have found permanent accommodation and you will have adjusted to life in Australia before being joined by your family.

Schooling

The http://border.gov.au require dependants of international students to attend school in Australia. Children must be five years old to be eligible to start school in New South Wales.

You are responsible for school fees (unless exempt) and other costs including school uniforms, books, stationery and excursions. You may need to pay for one semester's school fees when you provisionally enrol your children.

Childcare

Childcare is expensive and can be a challenge to secure. You should start researching childcare options before you arrive. Most childcare centres have long waiting lists, so you might want to register on several waiting lists. Please be aware that some centres charge an application fee.

Childcare at UNSW

UNSW Child Care Centres are in high demand and have long waiting lists - the wait can be anywhere up to 2 years. We strongly advise families to place their name at other non-UNSW child care centres in addition to UNSW Child Care.

Childcare outside UNSW

mychild.gov.au is Australia's online child care portal. On this website you will find information about different types of child care services.