Cost of Living Calculator


Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)

Project type:

Tool & widget development


International students and their parents closely consider the cost-of-living factors in their choice of education destination, but this data is hard to find and interpret while still overseas.

Austrade wanted to address this problem whilst improving the online engagement of their website, ensuring that users have a valuable experience when interacting with their brand.

In the capacity of product owner of Austrade’s Study Australia website, I focus on delivering valuable digital engagement tools, services, and content for our international student audience. Our collaboration with Insider has been influential in delivering a variety of services from content creation to digital tools.  One notable and successful Insider project is the Study Australia Cost of Living Calculator ( It was effectively implemented,  has received recognition from industry partners and high engagement from our audiences. James and his team of International Education experts deliver quality outcomes and are always a pleasure to work with.

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Cinta Grimaitre

Product Owner

Study in Australia website

Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)

Project Outline:

Most cost-of-living calculators are based on the assumption that users already know how much they plan to spend on each category and prompt the user to input dollar estimates for each category, after which the calculator simply sums up the inputs.

We felt that these calculators needed to work harder, especially for international students as they have very little idea as to how much their life will cost in Australia, but know what kind of lifestyle they want. As such, we developed a tool that asks questions resulting in a budget reflective of his or her proposed lifestyle.

The calculator is an engaging and responsive (mobile-enabled) web-based tool that allows prospective and incoming international students to input their preferred lifestyle choices and estimate their cost of living while studying in Australia.

This Insider owned asset can be adapted to any branding, we worked with Austrade to align the calculator with their branding and managed the asset through licensing agreements.

Why Insider?:


The calculator already exists on the Insider Guides website and is a major driver of traffic, so the likelihood of it being successful as part of Study in Australia’s web ecosystem was very high.


Insider has a lot of experience working with governments with solutions in the international education sector, and has a strong reputation for being easy to work with and producing excellent outcomes.

Course Content that Converts

From game design to aerospace engineering, we showcase the courses and programs that make up Australia's world-renowned education system.

Compounding value

Consistent efforts lead to better results. The more consistent you are in creating first-rate content, the higher your chances of achieving your goals.

More conversions

Turn readers into loyal customers. Creating excellent custom content builds trust among readers, leading to quicker and easier conversions.

A higher domain authority

When you produce strong content, you improve brand authority, perceived expertise, relevance and trust - the perfect combination for strengthening your domain authority.

Top-tier SEO

Help your audience find you with ease. All Insider Studios custom content is infused with well-researched SEO keywords. Rank higher in search engines and watch your web traffic skyrocket.


A criticial tool when it comes to marketing to international audiences, animation keeps messaging consumable, flexible and accessible.

Field guides and maps

Print isn't dead! Work with us to create engaging guides and maps with interactive elements and curated points of interest.

Campus Wayfinding and Induction Materials

Navigational aids and informative materials designed to guide new students and visitors around campus, ensuring a smooth and welcoming induction experience.

Agent Presentations and Toolkits

Comprehensive resources and visually appealing presentations for agents, equipping them with essential information and materials to promote educational opportunities effectively.

Social Media Tiles and Story Templates

Eye-catching designs for social media posts and stories, tailored to engage audiences and convey key messages effectively and creatively.

Educational how-to

Let's help your audience move forward in their journey - this is where students shine as teachers.

Follow me tour-style

An immersive, exploratory style that is fun, engaging and effective - this is where students shine as guides.

Interview testimonials

There’s no better marketing than hearing from those that have had incredible experiences first-hand - this is where students shine as storytellers.

Student and alumni interviews

We know how to make interviewees feel comfortable and confident, ensuring we can craft their story into a written narrative they're proud of.

Content and city experience

Let us paint a vivid picture of academic life in various cities, helping students envision their future abroad.

Event coverage and activities

Bringing your campus to life through words alone can be a challenge. We'll work with you to make the audience feel like they're really there.

Tailored Written Content

Engaging copy is the foundation of our Field Guides. The Insider editorial team is on deck to research, write and edit copy that suits your distinctive brand voice.


Photos are great, but our in-house illustrators and graphic designers can also whip up some artwork to add personality and flair to your Field Guide.


A picture is worth a thousand words! Let us curate a library of icons and symbols in your style to support communication throughout your Guide.

Custom Map

Creating beautiful maps is what put us on the proverbial map! Whether it's highlighting Insta-worthy photo spots on your campus, or sharing a city's hidden highlights, let us be your cartographers.

Storyboarding with Industry Insight:

We meticulously plan scenes, drawing from industry knowledge to ensure relevance and captivation throughout the animation process.

Scripting for International Students:

Our scripts are tailored to resonate with international students, addressing their unique perspectives, challenges, and aspirations effectively.

Visual Creative that Resonates:

We employ visually striking and relatable designs to ensure our animation connects deeply with our target audience.

Modern and Slick Motion Design:

Utilizing contemporary techniques, our motion design adds dynamism and sophistication, enhancing engagement and leaving a lasting impression.


We took the following steps:


Conducted a brand alignment process with Austrade’s Study in Australia to ensure the tool and it’s associated microsite was going to be in line with Austrade’s style, colours, fonts etc.


We agreed on some parameters for the data, such as number of cities the tool covered and frequency of data updates.


Our web team created a Study in Australia version of the tool over the course of 1-2 months, conducted testing, data checks and more.


We then conducted Beta testing with the client to ensure they were happy with it.


Once it was complete, we collaborated on the promotional rollout.


The Study in Australia Cost of Living Calculator received widespread praise from the international education sector when it was launched in 2022. The feedback from the sector and across the world was fantastic, and it continues to generate thousands of visitors a month.