If you are an international student moving to Australia for studies, the very thought of finding accommodation may be unnerving at first. You might have many questions on your mind about the cost, location, facilities, comfort, etc. The ground reality is different though. For international students, accommodation options are plenty in Australia and they are easy to find. Like your home country, there are on-campus and off-campus accommodation options. Each of them has its pros and cons. On-campus accommodation: If you choose to live in an on-campus residence, you save a lot of time on the commute, food is taken care of, other facilities like room cleaning and laundry are readily available. Safety measures are top-notch. While these are the pros, the cons are that you may miss out on the experiences of living on your own, exploring the city with friends, and taking part in amusing events happening across the city. Also, the cost of living in a university-provided residence is higher due to the services they provide.
Off-campus accommodation: Off-campus accommodation offers much more freedom that a student can decide where to live, whom to live with, and at what budget. Living in the city costs substantially higher than living in the outskirts. Pros of this option are flexibility in setting the budget, experience of living independently, more opportunities to explore and socialize. Cons are the time spent on commuting every day, extra effort to put into arranging food and other facilities, the hassle of searching and applying for a safe place.
Many international students initially stay on the university campus and get accustomed to their new life. In a few months, after making friends and learning the city in and out, they move out and start living in a private place.
Here are some of the popular accommodation options among international students in Australia.
1. Residential College
It is an on-campus accommodation wherein the students and the staff reside together. The university will take care of basic needs such as timely meals, room cleaning, and laundry. So, you can comfortably stay, study and spend your spare time better. This is especially beneficial for students in their first year to build good bonding with friends. You will also be able to access the university libraries, internet, and study rooms anytime they stay on-campus.
It costs $200 – $750 per week, depending on the university.
2. Halls of residence
Halls of residence provide safe and comfortable accommodation in close proximity to the educational institution or on the premises of the university. This is a pocket-friendly option and it emphasizes a great deal on forming community connections that enable you to enjoy your university experience to the fullest. You can make strong connections here and students conduct exclusive fun events and sports events here which is an experience you as an international student should not miss out on.
It costs anything between $165 – $440 per week.
3. Student hostels
Hostels are very affordable accommodations for overseas students especially. It offers you an opportunity to socialize with other students frequently as you will be sharing common spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. Hostels are usually supervised by a staff committee and are subjected to curfews to ensure the safety and security of the students.
Hostel stay usually costs between $100 and $400 for a week.
A homestay is an option where you live with an Australian family in their home. Vacant rooms are usually listed by the families online and you can apply to live in. Homestay usually takes care of basic needs such as laundry and food. Homestay is the best option if you prefer to live in a home environment and understand the cultural nuances of the country. Homestay could be costly and you may need to double-check the rules of the house and their food menu. If you find a compatible family, this is the closest Australian life experience you can get while being a student there.
5. Private rental
Once you have got the hang of how things work in Australia and feel confident to figure things out on your own, you can go for this option. There are numerous real-estate websites where you can look for a property online and apply for it. It could be the costliest of all the accommodation options since you are taking a whole apartment for rent. The best way to cut costs here is to share the place with your close friends. Websites like rent.com.au can provide accurate information on the average room rent in all major cities of Australia. Since you are finding a place on your own, it is important to have the documents thoroughly checked, visit the place in person before paying the money.