Australia – Accommodation

Most universities and colleges can provide accommodation on or near to their campus. University apartments, residential colleges and halls of residence are generally available. International students often enjoy staying at the halls of residence as they have opportunity to mix with many other students on a full-time basis. This is also one of the cheapest options for accommodation. Meals and some cleaning services are usually provided.

Residential colleges provide accommodation with meals. They are slightly more expensive than university Halls of Residence.The facilities are more comprehensive and often include fully serviced rooms, sporting and recreation facilities , computer and internet access and sometimes a library.

International students have the option of sharing accommodation with other students. They are able to share the rent on an apartment or a flat close to the campus. Some Australian families provide homestay accommodation for international students. It is often wise for a student to organise temporary accommodation until they have had a chance to consider the alternatives.

Institutions maintain a register of families prepared to board international students during the academic year.They check to ensure that homestay families are reputable and that they offer accommodation of a reasonable standard. Farmstay accommodation is often available in rural areas. This is an exciting option for students wishing to experience a farming lifestyle.

Backpackers, youth hostels, guest houses and hotels provide a variety of housing options at various costs. Individual universities and colleges are also able to provide information on accommodation available. Prices vary from place to place, so local information is important.

Universities, TAFE institutes and other large education providers have housing offices to assist their students find accommodation. They will be able to provide information on the full range of available housing options, including prices and any rules and regulations you need to know. It may be possible to have temporary accommodation organised for when you first arrive, so there will be time to look around and choose your permanent living arrangement after having personally perused the locations and choices available.

The main options are:

* Boarding schools

Many private schools offer boarding options. Students are fully catered for whilst they board with their meals, cleaning and laundry being part of the services offered. Boarding house residents also have access to the school facilities to assist with study and social activities. Tuition fees must be added to the boarding fee range shown. Cost: A$8 000-A$11 000 per year

* Homestay or Farmstay

Homestay and farmstay are where the student lives with an Australian family in their house. Generally some or all meals are included. It can be an easy entry to Australia for young students and is a popular option for those attending high school or ELICOS courses. Homestay is accommodation within a city whereas farmstay is housing in a rural area. Your housing office will have a list of suitable potential families. Cost: A$110-A$270 per week

* University Accommodation

  • University residential colleges

    University residential colleges provide accommodation along with all meals, cleaning and a wide range of support services for both social and study needs. They are generally more expensive than Halls of Residence because of the wide range of facilities offered. Cost: A$190-A$280 per week

  • University Halls of Residence

    University halls of residence offer accommodation also but with a lesser range of services attached. Some meals and cleaning will generally be included but there may also be self-catering facilities. This form of accommodation is very popular, especially with first year students and will have to be booked well in advance of your arrival in Australia.

  • University Apartments

    Some universities also have a range of apartments, either close to or on campus. These can be rented and provide the security of university based and run accommodation with the increased autonomy of share living. Apartments are generally popular with students in the later years of their degrees. University accommodation prices and options vary between different institutions and all students should contact the international office of their prospective university for full details. Due to the popularity of these choices it is important to apply early.

* Private or Church-owned Boarding Hostels

This option can be cheaper than university accommodation and shares many of the attractions. It is available for both tertiary and non-tertiary students. Residents share kitchen and bathroom facilities and cater for themselves. Cost: A$80-A$135 per week

* Share Accommodation

Share accommodation is advertised on student notice boards, in housing offices and in the ‘Share accommodation’ section of newspapers. Advertisements will appear for one or more people to share a house or a flat where a lease has already been taken out. Many students prefer to move into share accommodation after a year or two of on-campus residence. Students are generally expected to provide some (or all) of their own furniture. Cost: A$50-A$160 per week

* Rental accommodation

Rental accommodation is the same as share boarding except that it involves finding a residence to rent, rather than moving into one that has already been leased. Once again, students are generally expected to supply their own furnishings. Rental agreements require payment of rent in advance and a security bond to be paid at the start, which is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. Your housing office will be able to assist with finding rental accommodation and your rights as a tenant. Cost: A$70-A$350 per person per week