The basics
Australia: Student Accommodation

Student accommodation in Australia

Read our guide to student accommodation for students studying in Australia, including rough costs and what options there are in a country which is not so campus-cultured...

Accommodation in Australia
2097

Sunny, cosmopolitan and effervescent, Australian cities are amongst the world’s most sought-after study destinations. The nation’s incredibly high costs of living however are no secret, and the prospect of managing to secure liveable accommodation on top of everything else might seem a distant dream. But, never fear: let our breakdown of student accommodation options in Australia help take the edge off your move down under.

 

Note: AUD 1= £0.54 = €0.66

 

On-campus accommodation

Student life in Australia is incredibly unique: not only is it the norm not to live on campus, most local students still live at home whilst they study, and commute into campus daily for class.

Whilst on-campus accommodation is often the most expensive housing option and considered quite unusual for local students, most institutions will generally offer international students the option to live on campus. The specific type of accommodation varies depending on the institution, and can be anything from a block of apartments on the same street as a university building, to a room in a residence hall. Some universities such as the University of Melbourne have online housing boards where students can search through classified advertisements for accommodation near campus. As living on-campus is not common practice in Australia, there is no real standard for rental costs, but very roughly you might look to pay between AUD 80-AUD 250 per week including utilities. Prices will be higher the closer to the city you are, and higher still if you are based in Sydney or Melbourne.

For example, the University of Sydney offers students the chance to live in a number of residence halls, each with its own profile and fee range. For a single-study bedroom in a mixed-gender terrace house, you would look to pay between AUD 190-AUD 240 per week, including facilities but excluding meals. A single room in the university’s international house, including facilities and meals, will cost students between AUD 367-AUD 509 per week.

 

Off-campus accommodation

Private rentals

Living in a privately rented share-house is the most common housing option for both international students and local students not living at home. Navigating a foreign property market might seem an intimidating task for an international student, but don’t worry: in Australia there are thousands of students that go through the process ever year, and there are plenty of resources available to help you find somewhere to stay.

Australia is a big place with hugely varied rental costs depending on city, property type and specific area, so there is no such thing as an average cost. Very broadly, you should be paying between around AUD 80-AUD 200 per week for a reasonable room.  Properties do not normally come furnished. 

Students are encouraged to look to their university’s student services to find advertisements and links to housing agencies. Rent is payable per month and you‘ll usually need to pay a security bond equivalent to one month’s rent before you move in.

 

Homestay

International students also have the option to do a ‘homestay,’ meaning that they will live as a guest in an Australian household. This is arranged by an agency who will match you up with a registered family that is willing to host an international guest. Prices usually include meals, but self-catered arrangements are available should you prefer to cook your own food.  Again, costs of board vary across cities and area, but very generally you would be looking to pay around AUD 110-AUD 270 per week.

 

Local Tips

  • Always keep an ear out. Many local students secure their rooms through hearsay, and by keeping an eye on their university notice boards and posts on social media profiles. Check classified ads for cheap furnishings such as beds, dressers and desks.
  • Furniture can also be purchased cheaply from Ikea stores, or sourced from a number of second-hand stores (called ‘op-shops’) speckled around Australia’s metropolises. These stores might not look like much from the outset, but if you persevere you can often find things like biscuit tins, bookshelves, tables and stools lying around for a fraction of the price you’d pay otherwise. If you’re studying in Melbourne, you can source most home ware, cheap cooking utensils and furnishings from the Queen Victoria Market, open on Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday. 
  • You can also find great deals on the Australian Gumtree site, and through ads posted on university notice-boards and forums.

 

Now that finding accommodation in Australia doesn’t seem so scary, start browsing courses in Australia now and start planning your study abroad adventure!

 

Useful Links

Australian Homestay Network

Easy roommate Australia

Realestate.com.au

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About Author

Accommodation in Australia

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.

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