It’s no secret that suburbs surrounding education institutions have some of the highest costs of living in Australia.
Why? Because they are convenient for students (who mostly rent) to travel to class every day, plus the property demand around suburbs that contain campuses is generally quite high due to the activity the campuses create.
So, as a student, how can I find the right accommodation for me?
Although it is sometimes competitive, the cost of living near your education campus doesn’t have to be daunting, as there are a number of accommodation options that cater specifically to international students:
Traditional halls of residence inside universities are a popular option for international students coming to Australia for the first time. Depending on the campus, these usually range from $80-$250 per week. Given that this option can sometimes be competitive, students wanting on-campus housing should apply in advance.
Living on-campus conveniently places you near everything you need: classes, libraries, sporting facilities and social events. Meals, computer facilities, laundries and cleaning services are sometimes also included in the package. Plus, if you do need any other form of assistance, your accommodation is part of a broader university structure, so you are more likely to be supported while living away from home if you need any help.
Residential halls may not be the smartest option if you’re the type of person who loves their peace and quiet. Noise and mess are unfortunately part of the on-campus lifestyle. Also, you don’t get to choose the people you’ll be living with. And because you are constantly surrounded by people, if you’re the type of person who needs their privacy and personal space, this may not be the living arrangement for you.
“Homestay” programs are a popular accommodation option for foreign students enrolled in short-term courses that give them the opportunity to stay with an Australian family with all the comforts of a normal home. Homestays can come with single or shared rooms, at a cost that varies from $110 to $270 for each room per week. This cost typically includes three meals a day, laundry facilities, cleaning services, and utilities such as internet and phone.
A “homestay” experience provides an environment most like a home. For students whose English skills are limited, it’s a great way to practice the language everyday in a safe, casual environment. Living with a host family will also allow you to learn the culture and tradition of an Australian family and integrate yourself fully into the Australian way of living.
For some foreign students, a homestay may not give them the full independence they need. This means respecting the rules and expectations set by your hosts, including curfews, rules about guests, and “checking-in”. If you want to explore your environment in your own ways, this option may not be ideal for you.
Living in a privately-rented property can be very attractive, especially as a student in a new country! It enables you to decide who you would like to live with and where. Students who choose this type of accommodation may either move into pre-furnished homes on a room-by-room basis, or apply to lease the place as a whole with friends they already know. Private housing rates usually range from $100 - $400 per week and shared rental accommodation can usually cost $70 - $250 per week.
Living off-campus in shared rental accommodation enables you to have total control over who you’ll be living with, plus you can “handpick” a place that suits your needs. Because you have housemates to share the utility bills with as well, you can save on the cost of living.
Securing a place in private accommodation in Australia is usually less competitive, however, you need to directly deal with a landlord or leasing agent. Managing bills and keeping it within the budget can also prove to be a headache.
To find out more about studying in Australia and which university is right for you, you can speak with one of our student services offices.