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Student Accommodation in Brisbane

If you’re moving to Brisbane to study, it’s best to choose an accommodation option that gives you a lifestyle balance as as well as helping you enjoy your studies. The four main types of student accommodation are University on-site accommodation, privately owned off site, renting and homestays.

Costs of accommodation in Brisbane

The closer you live to town or university, the more expensive it can be, however renting further away can incur higher travel costs. Rent costs range from $360 a week for a serviced apartment.

Average costs in Brisbane per week:

  • weekly groceries $90 - $135
  • electricity/ gas/ water $40 - $60
  • phone and internet $20 - $40
  • transport costs $25 to $40 with student concession

University on-site accommodation

Each university has a variety of on-site student accommodation. Depending on the learning institution you choose, you can choose one of their colleges. There will usually be a single room, which can be furnished or not. They generally have cleaners, food provided for most or all meals, and a host of support services. Being located on the campusmakes getting around simple! On Site accommodation is generally so close and everything is provided, they can be an expensive option up front, but remember that all your costs are included. They are ideal for your first year in Brisbane while you get settled.

Student accommodation at University of Southern Queensland

JCU student accommodation

CQUniversity student accommodation

University of Sunshine coast accommodation options

QUT accommodations

Privately owned student accommodation off site

Off campus, there are purpose-built student accommodation. These privately owned apartments have a range of different configurations, allowing for singles, sharing, or couples. Often furnished with security systems and a weekly cleaning service, these give you the flexibility to live life as you wish, but without having to organise anything yourself.

Renting a flat or hourse

Renting a flat or home is a cost-effective way to live. However, you will need to navigate Australian rental laws, arrange for services such as electricity and internet yourself, and often arrange furniture. For the first year until you understand the layout of Brisbane, it will be easier to be in supplied accommodation.


There is also the option of a homestay. In general, you’ll be staying with a local family. Usually, all meals will be catered for and you’ll only be expected to keep your room/ bathroom clean. You may have your own room, or you may be able to share with another student or another occupant of the house. The benefits of a homestay include being immersed in English, no need to cook your own food (although cooking a traditional meal from your home country every now and again is welcome) and a supportive family atmosphere.

Things to consider in choosing your accommodation

Most university campuses are within or around the CBD, making it super accessible for students. Even the campuses out of the main centre are located along main ferry and bus networks. If you decide on a house, make sure it’s conveniently located to nearby bus and train networks.

Be mindful when inspecting properties, consider the surrounding sounds and tolerable noise levels. Also it’s important to note if there is a heating and cooling system for comfort as Brisbane has very warm weather in Summer so a good air-con will be much needed.

Accommodation agreements

If you opt for university managed accommodation or privately owned student rooms, the legal requirements are simple. You’ll be asked to sign a contract that states the rent amount, and the length of the agreement. It will also include a section about defaulting or exiting the contract early.

If you decide to rent a home, there is a lot more that you need to know. You can look for rental properties or flatmates on the likes of Craigslist and Gumtree.Once you’ve found a place you like; submit your application to your future landlord. To do this, you’ll need:

  • three months of bank statements
  • a written reference from a previous landlord, if possible
  • forms of ID such as passport, birth certificate or driver’s licence

If your application is successful, you’ll be required to pay a bond, which is usually between two and four weeks of rent. This is a form of insurance for the landlord but it will be returned to you in full if you pay rent as required and do not damage the property. Your bond should be lodged with a third-party, Residential Tenancies Authority.

Each state has different rental laws, so make sure you find out what the correct information is for Brisbane. The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 lists the legal requirements from both you and the landlord. Tenants Queensland and Residential Tenancies Authority can assist you with specific enquiries and advice.

IDP can help

If you don’t know what the best option for you is, contact us at IDP. We can help you with every step of the process, from application to the university of your choice, visa application, or accommodation options. We not only help you migrate, but also integrate into the Aussie way of life. Take a step in the right direction today, with IDP.

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