Australia has a large range of different accommodation options for international students. With choices ranging from university accommodation or homestay to self-catered apartments or share houses, there’s an option to suit every personality and budget.
Help with finding accommodation
Many Australian education providers have accommodation services that offer information and advice about the different accommodation options and help students find appropriate accommodation to suit
their needs. This service may also be able to arrange temporary accommodation for students when they first arrive in Australia. Students can contact their institution’s accommodation service before their arrival in Australia to arrange this.
Availability and cost
The cost and availability of accommodation in Australia depends on which type you choose. For instance, university halls of residence are very popular and require students to apply for a room well in advance, whereas rental accommodation is generally available and can often be organised when you arrive. You will also find that costs and availability vary between cities and between metropolitan and regional areas.
Prior to your arrival in Australia it is important to contact your education institution’s accommodation service and ask about what is available and the costs involved.
Types of accommodation
|Type of accommodation||Useful tips|
|Boarding school||Many private secondary schools offer students fully catered boarding options, meaning that meals, cleaning and laundry services are provided. Boarding students also have access to school facilities to assist with study and social activities. There is the option of shared or private rooms, and most schools try to create a supportive family atmosphere. Tuition fees are in addition to to the boarding fees. On average, boarding school accommodation fees are around AUD$10,000–20,000 per year.|
|Homestay*||Homestay accommodation gives international students the option of living with an Australian family in their home. Single or shared rooms may be available, and costs vary according to the type of room (usually between AUD$110–$270 per week). Meals are usually included in the cost, although self-catered homestay is also available. This type of accommodation is popular with secondary students and those studying short-term English courses. Most accommodation services at Australian institutions keep a register of approved and reputable homestay providers.|
The prices and accommodation options at university residential colleges, halls of residence and apartments vary between institutions, so you should contact the institution you’re interested in for full details. These options are very popular, so it’s best to apply early. On average, campus accommodation costs around AUD $80–250 per week.
|Residential colleges||Residential colleges provide accommodation, meals, cleaning and a wide range of support services for social and academic needs. They are generally more expensive than halls of residence because of the range of facilities and support services offered.|
|Halls of residence||Halls of residence also offer accommodation, but with fewer facilities and services included. Some meals and cleaning services are usually included, but self-catering facilities are provided, enabling students to be more independent.|
|Apartments||Some universities also offer apartments for rent either close to or on campus. This provides students with the security of university-based accommodation, but with the increased freedom of fully self-catered living. Apartments are popular with students in the later years of their degrees.|
|Hostels and guesthouses||Hostel and guesthouse accommodation is available for both secondary and non-secondary students. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared, and residents cook for themselves. This type of accommodation tends to be cheaper than university accommodation (at around AUD $80–135 per week) and still provides good opportunities for social interaction.|
|Private rental||Many students share the cost of a rental property with housemates. You may move into an existing household or set up a household with some friends. Rental properties are rarely furnished, so students will generally have to provide some or all of their own furniture. Rental agreements usually require payment of rent in advance, as well as a security payment called a ‘bond’ (usually one month’s rent) that is paid upfront. Your institution’s accommodation service can help with finding rental accommodation and provide information and advice on tenant rights and obligations. Rental properties or rooms are also advertised on student noticeboards, websites (such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au) and in newspapers. On average, rental accommodation costs around AUD $100–400 per week and shared rental accommodation costs around AUD $70–250 per week.|
* If you are interested in becoming a homestay provider and hosting an international student in your home, contact the housing services of your nearest education provider and they will give you details on how to participate. Homestay providers can be single people or families (with or without children) from all different cultural backgrounds. The benefits of hosting an international student are numerous; at the very least, you should look forward to learning first hand about a different culture and making some lifelong friends!
Cost estimates were sourced from the Australian Government’s Study in Australia website in 2012.