Where to stay in Australia

There are various accommodation options available in Australia for students and overseas workers. Most institutions that accept international students will have information available on accommodation, including temporary housing for their first few weeks. Make sure you confirm what is available when you do your research.


Types of accommodation

Once you've confirmed where you're going to study/work, you can look for suitable accommodation.

Homestay is when an international student stays with an Australian family in their home. A homestay is often an excellent option for younger students and students coming to complete short courses in Australia. They involve living in an established home, often with your meals and cleaning included. Costs will vary depending on the type of room (such as a single or shared room) and can range from AU$200 to AU$325 per week. Self-catered homestay may also be available. Make sure you choose a reputable provider for homestay. Education institutions often keep a register of approved and reputable homestay providers.
Hostel and guesthouses
Hostels and guesthouses offer a great option for short-term or temporary accommodation. Most will provide private rooms, while the kitchen and bathrooms are shared. Students will cook for themselves. Hostels and guest houses offer good opportunities for social interaction and can be cheaper than campus or homestay accommodation. Costs range from AU$90 to AU$150 per week.
Shared accommodation
Many students in Australia share their accommodation with several housemates. In these instances, the weekly rent and some of the chores will be shared between the roommates. More often than not, you will need to supply your own furniture for shared accommodation. Make sure you have your agreement in writing and be clear about your rights and responsibilities in your shared accommodation. Shared rental can range between AU$85 to AU$215 per week. Depending on the type of shared accommodation, you may need to supply your rent in advance as well as a security payment (or bond), which is usually one month’s rent, paid upfront.
On-campus accommodation

Even though the majority of Australian students stay off-campus, some education institutions and universities do offer on-campus accommodation such as:

  • Residential colleges: provide private or shared rooms, shared bathrooms, dining halls and recreation rooms as well as other support services for social and academic needs. They can be a little more expensive because of the additional services offered.
  • Student apartments: single and shared apartments are often offered by universities on or near their campus. They provide more independent living in university-approved accommodation.
  • Halls of residence: offer a social university life with fewer services than residential colleges. Most offer the option to have a private room and have a shared bathroom, kitchen and recreation areas.

Campus living can be a great option. It often supplies fully furnished housing options on or near the campus, and sometimes meals and cleaning are included. Campus housing can range from AU$80 to AU$280 per week. Contact your institution to find out the availability and costs of campus accommodation. Remember to apply early as places will be popular and limited.

There are also a large number of student accommodation providers in Australia that help students find suitable accommodation on or near their chosen campus. Some of these are:

Rental property

You can choose to rent a property by yourself, or with your friends. You can rent property through a real estate agent, or privately. Depending on the type of rental (an apartment or a house), you can expect to pay anywhere between AU$165 to AU$440 per week as well as a security deposit, or bond, which is usually one month’s rent as well as rent in advance (between two to four weeks rent). The security deposit, or bond, is refunded when you leave and is used to repair the property if you, your housemates or guests damage the property during your stay. If you haven’t done any damage, the full amount should be refunded.

Studies in Australia offers some answers to frequently asked questions about renting in Australia.

As a tenant (person renting a property) you have rights and responsibilities. Visit the relevant Fair Trading website in the state or territory you're staying in to find out more.

Accommodation overview

Once you’ve confirmed where you're going to study and/or work, you can look for suitable accommodation. Remember:

  • Accommodation costs will vary depending on the type of housing, the city and the state.
  • Make sure you confirm all the costs and expenses you're going to be expected to pay such as the bond, if you need to pay for water and electricity, gas or other utilities.
  • Consider the distance from your education institution/workplace and the time it will take to travel. Also look at options for public transportation.
  • Remember to consider access to shops, doctors, hospitals, emergency services and other amenities nearby.
  • Try to arrive in Australia a few weeks before orientation, so you have time to finalise long-term accommodation before classes start.

Example: Zoe has found two places to stay. The first accommodation costs a little more each week, but it is very close to her school, and she will not need to pay for transportation. She also finds it is close to some shops where she can do her groceries. When she looks at the extra costs for transportation and the distance from shops and other amenities at the second housing option, she decides it is worth paying a little more for the convenience, and she chooses the first housing option.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

In Australia, you have certain rights and responsibilities regarding your accommodation. These include:

  • Paying for your accommodation on time
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance

You also have the right to feel safe in your accommodation and for it to be well-maintained and in working order. If you have any issues relating to your accommodation, speak to your rental agent or landlord (if you're renting), the service where you found your accommodation or the international student support staff if you're staying on campus. Visit the relevant Fair Trading website in the state or territory you're staying in to find out more.

Make sure you confirm everything in writing and include dates in your record keeping. This will help ensure you have an accurate record, proof of any agreements and saves confusion.

The cost estimates on this page have been sourced from the Study Australia website for 2018.

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