Australia is one of the favourite study destinations for students all over the world.
One of the international student's primary concerns after moving to Australia is finding the right accommodation.
Luckily, the country offers different types of accommodation options for international students, ranging from homestay, university accommodations to a self-catered apartments and share houses.
In this article, we are going to help you choose the right student accommodation catering to your needs and budget.
For your first month after arriving in Australia, homestay can be a great option for you. There are many homestay options to choose from. However, it is important to book your homestay through a provider suggested by your educational institution. This type of accommodation will provide you with valuable cultural experiences in a local host family. Homestay is available for both short-term and long-term.
A furnished room in the home of your host
Properly arranged meals
Welcome and orientation
Homestay agent support
Cultural exchange with your host family
Popular websites for booking Homestay in Australia:
Homestays are comparatively cheaper than other types of accommodations, as you are only provided with laundry services and meals.
While living in homestays, you won’t miss the creature comforts or family atmosphere, which you might have been accustomed to at home.
You may miss out on social opportunities when living in homestays.
Some students may even find it difficult to adjust to the life of a different family, particularly when it comes to food on offer or following house rules.
2. Residential Colleges
For international students, living on or near campus in a residential college is a popular choice. This is also one of the easiest and convenient options to stay in Australia.
At a residential college, students will get:
Weekly room clean
Easy access to library facilities
Tutors and Wifi
Popular websites for booking Residential Colleges in Australia:
You will most likely find a residential college apartment near your campus. You could either walk towards the campus or take a short public transport ride.
Living in residential college apartments will not just offer a more independent lifestyle but also self-contained living spaces that will give you more privacy.
While living in college apartments, you may miss out on the sense of community offered by living on campus.
3. Managed Student Apartments
These are purpose built accommodations where the entire block is dedicated to the housing of 100 - 400 students.
There are single or twin rooms with a shared bathroom and kitchen. Sometimes rooms are even shared amongst 4 or 5 students.
Managed student accommodation offers:
All utilities including internet
Furnished bedroom with a wardrobe, chair, study desk, bed and mattresses.
24-hour security and on-site staff support
Studies, social events and activities
Communal laundry facilities
Kitchen and bathroom with major appliances
Air conditioning and heating
Recreation areas like cinema rooms, gyms, table tennis, gaming, television, BBQs, etc.
Popular websites for booking Managed Students Apartments in Australia:
Since there are more people to help cover the bills and rent, managed student apartments have reduced living costs.
One of the biggest disadvantages of living in a shared house is lack of privacy. You will have to share the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. It can create a difficult situation, especially when both you and your housemate want to use the bathroom at the same time before going to university or work.
Your housemate may have all sorts of bad habits like playing loud music or stealing your food, which can be hard to deal with.
4. Private Rental
This is the best accommodation option for International students who want to immerse themselves in the Australian culture. You can live with your friends or alone, according to your preference. These are inexpensive options compared to other forms of accommodations.
Moreover, there is usually no furniture available, so you will have to bring your own furniture. Rental agreements need a payment of rent in advance and the security payment known as a bond. The bond is a payment of one month’s rent paid up-front. You have to pay bills for gas, water and electricity separately.
Popular websites for booking Private Rentals in Australia:
You can choose wherever you want to live. It can mean setting up a house further out in the suburbs or somewhere within the city.
Private rentals offer a lot more independence than other accommodations. It helps you become self-sufficient and responsible when it comes to handling household chores like sharing cleaning duties, paying your bills, and even dealing with property managers or landlords.
You have to deal with real estate agents and landlords.
If you are sharing the space with others, it can get a little difficult as they may have a different lifestyle than yours. Moreover, shared house conflicts can get ugly — so be wary!
Living out of your home can be expensive, specifically when you decide to live on your own. You will have to bear additional expenses, such as bills and food.
5. Halls of Residence
These accommodation options are affiliated with or owned by institutions. They are either located on campus or close to it. International students can rent a single bedroom and share facilities such as a kitchen, bathrooms etc.
However, there are also certain institutions that provide apartment-style rooms with private kitchens and bathrooms. The utilities like gas, water, and electricity are included in the fees. Students will also have free internet access in their rooms.
Shared bathrooms, kitchens and recreational areas
The rates of Halls of Residence start from AUD $320 and lead up to AUD $ 1,000/month.
Almost every major college and universitity in Australia offer Halls of Residence particularly catering to international students.
The halls of residence provide you with the comfort of home, with several institutions offering excellent amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and cinema rooms.
Another great advantage is the proximity to your campus. This means you won’t have to worry about public transport fares or to own a car.
Living in halls of residence enables you to meet new people and socialize. This can be a perfect opportunity if you have moved from a different country and feel out of place. Additionally, various events may take place like weekly parties, formal balls, or karaoke nights, allowing you to initiate a conversation or two.
You may also choose to participate in a range of co-curricular opportunities like being a part of a sports team or musicals.
Your institution may require you to abide by specific rules. This may include maintaining noise levels, the maximum number of guests allowed in a party, usage of equipment and other facilities, overnight guests, and more.
Halls of residence are usually expensive — the cost may vary between different institutions. Also, it is crucial to note that some services like cleaning may not be included. So to cope up with these expenses, always keep an eye out for bursaries and scholarships.
Even though halls of residence provide an overall positive experience, some students might need their privacy, and some may find social opportunities distracting.
6. Boarding Schools
There are many private secondary schools in Australia that offer complete boarding options to international students. Borading schools include meals, laundry and cleaning services. Boarding costs may also cover social activities and academic tutoring services after school.
Most of the boarding schools offer a supportive family atmosphere. Students can choose from shared or private rooms.
Provides meals, laundry, and cleaning services
Boarding schools enable you to build social connections.
You get all the services, including cleaning food and laundry. You may also get to participate in social activities and get tutoring services.
You will only be allowed to occupy one room, and you might have to share the bathroom and kitchen with other boarders.
The fees for boarding school can be very high.
7. Hostel Accommodation
This is a popular options for students who are either moving overseas or interstate to study. It is a good short-term option for students until they find some permanent place to live. There are 2 types of hostel accommodations to choose from:
Popular websites for booking Hostels in Australia:
Proximity is a definitive advantage if you get a hostel near your campus. There are usually several hostel options in the centre of the city, making it more convenient for students studying in the Central Business District (CBD).
Living in a hostel gives you the opportunity to meet new people, mainly when you are new to the place.
You may find out that the cost doesn’t always add up to what you get, especially when you have to pay extra for food.
In a hostel, you have to share the facilities with several other students (it can be 50 or more).
8. Temporary Accommodations
Before you arrive in Australia, you must make arrangements for temporary accommodation so that once you reach Australia, you can look for a suitable property in person. You can organize temporary or short-term accommodation for at least 3 to 4 weeks while looking for permanent housing options and becoming familiar with the new city.
Do not arrange for private or permanent accommodation without seeing the property. It is vital that you inspect the property from inside before renting it.
Here are some temporary accommodation options you can go for:
Temporary housing offered by the institution
The cost of temporary accommodation in Australia is between AUD 90 - 150 per week.
Note: If your institution offers temporary accommodation, check out its website or contact support staff to get more details.
Popular website for booking temporary accommodation in Australia:
When renting a temporary accommodation, you may have to sign a short-term lease, which gives you the flexibility to move out as soon as you find permanent accommodation.
You do not have to worry about getting your own furniture as the short-term properties are fully fitted.
Short-term rentals are more expensive than long-term rentals.
The property owner can terminate the lease anytime, putting you in a stressful situation to find a new place quickly.
9. Get Free Accommodation as an Au Pair.
Working as an au pair (nanny) can be an excellent option for you if you have childcare experience. Many families in Australia require childcare services, and in return, they offer food and accommodation.
This option can work out well for you if the working hours do not clash with your class schedule. You may have to put in extra efforts to meet the working hours, but it will give you free accommodation to live in. Overall, this is a great option, especially if you are on a budget.
As an au pair, you will get regular meals, accommodation, and some amount of money in exchange for helping with childcare.
It will also help you to share your culture with others and learn more about their culture.
Working as an au pair will require you to adapt to the lifestyle of another family.
You might have to keep your plans aside and make the family’s plan your first priority.
When you work and live in the same place as your employer, it can be challenging to divide your work time and free time.
10. Move-in With Family or Someone You Already Know.
If you already have reliable contacts, such as family or relatives living in Australia who have a place for you, then it is always a great idea to stay with them. This is a perfect way to build social connections outside the university campus and enjoy an independent life.
However, you may miss the opportunity to experience the fun and social element of living in student accommodation.
Note: In order to be approved to host you, family members or friends will have to undergo a few checks, which may also include a police inspection.
Moving in with family or someone you know means that you can have all the creature comforts like home-cooked meals, your own space, and more.
Living with family can also be way cheaper, depending on your situation. It also means you will spend less time working, giving you more time to study and spend your money the way you want.
You will even have access to your own study space, something that is hard to find on-campus or in shared accommodation.
You may miss the opportunity to participate in on-campus social activities, particularly if you are in a rush to get home early after your class ends. Students living on campus may also form close-knit groups, which leads to off-campus students feeling isolated.
Not having independence may also be a problem. Off-campus students living at home or with a relative may find it hard to deal with the lack of privacy and following house rules.
Getting to and from class can also be a hassle if you do not live close enough to the campus. So be cautious of the days when you have only one lecture as it can be too tempting to stay in bed.
11. How To Find The Best Student Accommodation in Australia?
From on-campus to off-campus, Australia has many student accommodation options. As an international student, you might face difficulty in finding accommodations according to your needs and budget.
So here are a few ways that can help you to make a sound decision:
Different Accommodation Options Within Your Budget
Do Precise Research
Weigh Up Advantages And Disadvantages
When it comes to finding accommodations for students in Australia, there are many options available. However, it is important to consider all your needs and budget while choosing a right place to stay in Australia.
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