International students who choose to study in Australia have a large range of accommodation options from which to choose. However, students need to be aware that housing at Australian universities is very different from what many international students will be used to, because Australian universities provide little or no university housing. It is not nonexistent, but most students at Australian universities live off-campus, whether through homestay programs, hostels, or rental properties.
Homestay programs involve an international student living with an Australian family in their home, and it is a great way for international students to fully integrate themselves into Australian life. These programs are popular with secondary students or students enrolled in short-term English courses. Single or shared rooms are generally available, and costs vary by type of room, but are usually between A$110 and A$270 per week. Although meals are generally covered under the cost, self-catered homestay is also available. Students can generally find that their institution’s accommodation services keep a register of approved and reputable homestay providers. For more information on various homestay companies and packages, please see the homestay section of our website.
Hostel and Guest House Accommodation
Some international students may choose to stay in hostel or guest house accommodations. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared, and students cook for themselves in this type of accommodation. At around A$80-A$135 a week, these accommodations tend to be cheaper than university or homestay accommodations. They also provide a valuable opportunity for social interaction amongst international students.
Many students in Australia choose to share the cost of a rental property with several housemates. Students who choose this type of housing may either move into a pre-established household, or they may set up a household with friends. Students generally have to provide some or all of the household’s furniture, as rental properties are rarely furnished. Rental accommodations generally cost around A$100-A$400 per week, and shared rental accommodations cost around A$70-A$250 per week. These accommodations usually require payment of rent in advance, as well as a security payment, which is generally equal to one month’s rent, paid up front.
Although the majority of Australian students live off-campus, some Australian universities do provided housing for their students through residential colleges, halls of residence, or apartments. Prices and availability of accommodations vary according to the university, so international students should contact their institution prior to their arrival in Australia. Students should also apply early, as these accommodation options are limited and very popular. Generally, on-campus accommodation costs around A$80-A$250 per week.
Residential colleges provide students with accommodation, meals, cleaning, and a range of services for social and academic needs. Because of the wide range of services offered, they are generally more expensive than halls of residence, which also offer accommodations, but with fewer added services than residential colleges. Halls of residence accommodations include some meals and cleaning services, but self-catering facilities are also available for students who wish to be more independent.
Some universities offer apartments either on or close to campus for their students to rent. Under this accommodation, students have security of university-provided housing, as well as the independence of fully self-catered living. There is a wide range of accommodation options available to students in Australia, so students should put thought into choosing the option that best fits their needs. On average, 90-100% of students in Australia live off-campus, so there are plenty of off-campus housing options from which to choose. However, this also means that the demand for housing is high, particularly housing situated close to campus. International students are encouraged to arrive in Australia two to three weeks before the start of orientation so as to get situated before classes begin.