Once you have received confirmation of where you will be studying, you should look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Student accommodation is usually highly sought after and requires prior planning. Considerations when searching for accommodation include:
- Costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.
- Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees and ensure they are included in your accommodation agreement.
- Consider the distance of your accommodation from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
- Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.
Renting a property
You can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. There are often rental and share house options posted on boards at your institution or share house websites.
If you rent a property, you will need to pay a security deposit or ‘bond’ (which is usually four weeks’ rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held by the relevant state government department e.g. Residential Tenancy Authority, and is used to pay for any damages that you, your house mates or house guests may cause to the rental property. Some, or all, of the bond may be refunded to you when your lease ends.
For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia, visit the website of the relevant Fair Trading government agency in your state and territory.
Purpose-built student accommodation
Purpose-built student accommodation are residences specifically for students. The options range from studio apartments to shared rooms with up to 16 beds, with shared communal areas and facilities.
The residences are often centrally located and near public transport, making it convenient for getting around a city. Bills such as electricity and internet are generally included in the advertised cost, so the cost of living should not change from month to month.
Many international students stay in short-term accommodation while they become familiar with their new city and meet potential housemates. Here are some short-term accommodation options:
- Hostels and hotels
- Temporary housing, which may be offered through your institution. Talk to your institution’s support staff or check its website for details.
University managed accommodation
Accommodation and facilities operated or controlled by a university for the exclusive use of students. University managed accommodation will be fully furnished, include bills as well as provide integrated university managed support.
Contact your institution to find out what accommodation options they offer and compare the costs against organising your own accommodation.
Accommodation and facilities for the exclusive use of students demonstrating priorities around quality pastoral programs, academic support, sporting, cultural and leadership development opportunities.
Homestay involves living with a family in their home. This can be a good option for younger students because you’ll enjoy all the comforts of a home, get to spend time with the family and often have meals and cleaning provided. Families offering homestay accommodation are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a safe and suitable living environment.
You‘re legally obliged to pay for your accommodation, cleaning and maintenance expenses on time. You also have the legal right to feel secure in your property, and to live in accommodation that is well maintained with working electricity and water.
If you have problems with your accommodation, talk to your real estate agent or landlord (if renting); your international student support staff for on-campus living; or your homestay service provider. There is always someone who can help.
There are also organisations such as tenants’ unions and consumer advocates that can provide assistance. To find out more, visit the relevant Fair Trading government agency in your state or territory.