Student Accommodation in Australia

Student Accommodation in Australia - We offer you different options for student accommodation in Australia: home stay, boarding schools, university accommodation, shared flats, guest families, ...

Accommodation Options in Australia

Accommodation is a key planning point when organizing studying in Australia. It is important to book somewhere to live, either short or long term, so that you have somewhere concrete to stay when arriving in the country.

You are usually able to find permanent or long term accommodation based on campus or close by your campus provided by your educational institution. You will be able to live with other international students, or a mix of international and local students.

It is a good idea to research your accommodation options, and also those offered by your institution to find the best fit for you. You should also look up information on the suburbs surrounding your university or TAFE, for a better idea of the area and what the cost of living is like.

For temporary accommodation, you can find living spaces in a range of places like hostels, backpacker lodges, hotels or motels. It is a good idea to book temporary accommodation if you would prefer not to pre-book permanent accommodation before arriving in Australia. You can plan to stay in temporary accommodation for a few weeks while you learn about the city and its surrounding suburbs, and see in person your living options.

You can get assistance from your educational institution for temporary accommodation if you wish, or you can book directly with your institution if you prefer.

You can find detailed information about both permanent and temporary living options in our Arriving to Australia Section.

Getting affordable accommodation at a plush city in Australia can be difficult. However, some modest youth hostels or dormitories are affordable enough to accommodate youngsters seeking a job in Australia. If you are ready to mingle with pets or carry out some cleaning house work, you can look for a job as a pet sitter or house sitter.

If lucky, you stay for free and bargain useful work experience and reference to further your job prospects. Here are some cheap accommodations valuable enough for interns, job seekers, and backpacking tourists who are looking for a working holiday in Australia.

Volunteer – Stay on a farm and learn about the Australian wildlife, help with conservation projects, building habitats, fencing eg.

WWOOF – You can enjoy the Australian lifestyle while working on a organic farm in exchange for food and accommodation

Au Pair Australia – Tired of paying for your accommodation? Become an Au pair in Australia and live here for no cost to you!

Pet Sitting – For pet lovers, pet sitting job can be fun and rewarding. You would generally get free accommodation in lieu of doing cleaning and pet care chores for the pet owner’s pets. Experienced ones can opt for dog walking and dog training jobs.

House Sitting – House-sitting job ads are often posted in Australia. You can perform daily tasks of picking up mails, cleaning the house, mowing the garden, and making the house look lived-in. For such tasks, you can stay for free or almost free in the house.

Flat-Sharing – If you plan to stay longer, you can take up a modest rented flat. The cost-effective flats can cost you around 200 AUD for a week. There are also owners who don’t mind sharing the flat with you. The cost can be a little less of 100 AUD per week.

Cheap Youth Hostels – Youths hostels with double to single sitter rooms are available at 90-to-100 AUD per week. If you choose dormitory, your expenses can come down to 20 AUD per week.

So, try out a sitter’s job or seek out hostels and dormitories to avail cheap accommodation in Australia.

To find cheap accommodation in Australia can be very tricky. You will be surprised about the standards of some accommodations. We recommend to check reviews first before making arrangements and paying a deposit.

Receive free info on thousands of Australia accommodation options including motels and motor lodges, b&b/farmstays, hotel and corporate facilities, apartments/self-catering, camping ground and caravan parks, backpackers and hostels and resorts and lodges, covering every part of Australia.

Searching for the right Student Accomodation

Searching for the right accomodation is a key planning point when organising studying in Australia

Locating accommodation that suits you can be difficult and finding one on your budget can be more challenging, even Australian residents have difficulty finding new places to live as there is a shortage. Remember to take into account the cost of your housing when deciding. Check out and for many housing options. Also check newspapers for private rentals and notice boards at Universities.

There is much competition for affordable rental accommodation in Australia, and considerable patience may be required to find a suitable place.  Do not be discouraged: as with anything, a little perseverance will soon pay off.

As early as possible, contact your institution’s International Student liaison office.  They should be able to offer information on a range of alternatives including Homestay (living with an Australian family) and campus accommodation.

They can also provide links to websites listing shared and private rental accommodation. It is useful to research these websites in advance in order to prepare for the prices and type of accommodation you can expect. Note, however, that in most cases you will be required to inspect a property in person, before any application is approved.

Types of accommodation

In Australia there are quite a lot of varying kinds of accommodation. Apart from homestay, most accommodation only offers you basic appliances such as a stove and maybe a fridge or a washing machine. Some rental properties are fully furnished but they will cost more.

Hostels and guest houses (about $80 to $135 a week)

In Hostels and guest houses students usually share kitchen and bathroom areas and sometimes bedroom’s if the accommodation is dorm style. Hostels are often in good locations but are mainly used as a short term option until further accommodation is located.

Boarding schools (about $8,000 to $11,000 a year)

Boarding schools at Private secondary schools supply meals and laundry for students. The boarding fees are not included in tuition fees. These dorms are shared by members of the same sex and are supervised by adults.

Campus accommodation (about $100 to $250 a week)

Many universities and a few vocational institutions provide a range of accommodation at or close to the campus. They may be residential places, apartments or dormitory style residences shared with other students. The residential colleges, because they provide meals and other services are more expensive. There are often other social, education and sporting facilities. Slightly cheaper are Halls of residence which are located close to campus. Meals and some cleaning are usually supplied. There is a limit to vacancies for these options so it is important to apply early through your institution because you are not necessarily guaranteed a spot because you are doing a course in Australia.

This is by far the most popular accommodation option for international students completing tertiary education in Australia. At most universities and some vocational institutions, there are liaison officers that can help you find a place on campus or near campus (such as apartments, halls of residence or residential colleges). The cost for campus accommodation varies depending on the type of accommodation.

University accomodations are operated by the universities and only full-time students are eligible to use these facilities.

They are normally very close to the university and you can expect to have your own bedroom, share bathroom, recreation areas, laundry and kitchen. University accommodations are either full board or room only with a shared kitchen.

As on-campus accommodation is in high demand, you should apply well in advance. Expect to pay a fee in advance.

University Apartments are in most cases for postgraduate students, visiting faculty and married students only on a self-contained and fully furnished basis.

Shared accommodation (about $50 to $160 a week) and rental
accommodation (about $200+ a week)

Renting a house, flat or apartment by yourself or with other students is an excellent option for many international students. Though there is a limit of rental properties for all people looking for a place to live in Australia, especially in the bigger cities. If you are choosing to rent it is worthwhile knowing exactly what your rights are. Through university noticeboards, real estate agents, newspapers and other local institutions you can find out information on properties that are available. The internet is particularly useful as you can gather information from a wide variety of sources and you can usually find pictures of the place without having to go there.

Many International and Australian students will go into shared accommodation. This is off campus accommodation. Here students will need to apply through a real estate agency, send in an application, pay a bond and sign a tenancy agreement. Usually there will be 3 or 4 students staying in the same house, this brings the price of rent and utilities down.

Shared Accommodation will cost a student between AU $50 and $160 per week. Once a student has found a property in an advertisement the next step is to contact the listing agency and organise to inspect the property. During the inspections the applicant can decide whether or not the property will meet their needs, if it does they can get an application form off the real estate agent. When attending an inspection dress appropriately and make a good impression

Homestay (approx $100 to $300 a week)

A similar option to the homestay is the farmstay. This accommodation option offers the perks of the homestay option but in a rural setting. Talk to your Educational institution about your interest in this style of accommodation. Most institutions maintain a register of reputable families that provide board to international students during the academic year.

You should ask your home or farmstay the following questions before signing any papers:

  • What are your house rules?
  • What bills am I expected to pay aside from rent?
  • Are meals included?
  • Do I need to pay to use the phone?
  • What are your rules for using the kitchen and laundry?
  • Am I allowed to have friends visit me?
  • Do you have a curfew?
  • Can I receive calls from your home phone?
  • How much notice do you need if I decide to move out? When can I expect to get my deposit back?

International students who are aged 14 years or older may enter a Homestay accommodation or boarding school arrangement.

International High School students who are under 14 years old can reside with a close family relative:

    * A parent or step-parent
    * An aunt or uncle
    * A Grandparent or step-Grandparent

The education department will closely monitor the residency status of
the close family relative to ensure the best possible care and support
of international students who are under 14 years old.

Inspecting a property

When you are having a look at a property either through a private agent or a real estate agent it is a good idea to come prepared, having the relevant documents such as references, study and work details etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions with the person that is showing you around. Have a good look around the place and take your time. How furnished is the place? Is it in the right location? Is it big enough? Is there any major structural damage to the premise? Can I afford the place? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you consider putting in an application.

Bond and tenancy agreement

If you have been triumphant in getting a place you will have to pay for a bond. A bond is essentially a deposit on the place, it is usually the equivalent of about four to six weeks rent. This amount cannot be paid by cheque or credit. This will be paid to the landlord or real estate agent. This amount that you have paid will be returned to you when your lease finishes (if the place is in the same condition as when you got it). Now the tenancy agreement is a document that both you and the person renting the property both sign. There will be a list of guidelines that state when the rent is to be paid, when the inspection’s are and the current condition of the place. The condition of the place will be recorded by the real estate agent or landlord and any problems or house defects will be noted down so you are not responsible. However, it is good idea for yourself to note these yourself, take a photo of any problems you see, e.g – a crack in the wall or a burn in the carpet.


The rent what you will be pay to the landlord or real estate agent either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. This amount will usually not change unless an extra person moves in or you are on a periodic tenancy agreement. (see below)

Period of tenancy

There are two main kinds of tenancy agreements, fixed and periodic. A fixed-term tenancy (the most common) is usually for six months or a year. During this time your rent cannot legally go up. A periodic tenancy has no fixed end date. So it could be from month to month and the rent could potentially go up. A fixed-term tenancy means that you know you have that place for a certain period of time and you can relax knowing that you do not have to look for another place. However, if you decide you don’t like the place then you either have to break your agreement or put up with the place until the lease ends. A periodic tenancy agreement does give you security like the fixed-term does, however you are not bound to a lengthy agreement like the fixed-term. Both have positives and negatives.



Inspections will usually occur ever two or three months, sometimes every month, or maybe even only twice a year. It all depends on the person renting the property. However, the landlord or real estate, by law has to give you at least two weeks notice before inspecting the property. You can usually organise a day and a time when all parties are free. Do your best to make the place look as good as when you got it.

In the event your real estate agent is not satisfied that the property is being looked after adequately or in a satisfactorily clean condition, they will generally make an additional appointment for another inspection. You will then have time to clean the property. However, if the property is still considered unclean or damaged on the second inspection, you might be asked to leave the premises. Consequently, as an international student, you should do your best to avoid this incident by maintaining your rental property; why waste time on looking for a new rental property when you could be studying or going out and meeting new friends!


The proprietor has to keep the place in good condition, for example the electricity, the plumbing or the breaking down of important services in your house. In the tenancy agreement you will be showed what you are responsible for and what is the responsibly of the property owner.

In general, your landlord is responsible for the following:

  • fixing broken appliances and fixtures such as burst water pipes and roof leaks
  • ensure all electrical equipments and outlets are safe and working
  • address and faulty or breakdown of essential services (like the toilet and shower)

For more information, you can speak to your real estate agent. They should be capable of providing you with details as to what the landlord is responsible for fixing and maintaining. They should also provide you with contact number and directions on what to do in an emergency (.e. should the electricity stop functioning at night, the name and number of their electrician).



Usually, you will be responsible for setting up the power, gas, electricity, water, internet etc and will be charged for the setting up of these services.

Payment for utility services (such as connecting gas, water, electricity and telephone to the property) can either be managed or paid for by you or the landlord. You will need to speak to the real estate agent on what your rental agreement terms state. Utility arrangements vary greatly in each state and territory.

End of tenancy

However, if you the tenant decide to leave before the tenancy agreement period has finished, you must provide written notice of your intention to vacate at least four weeks before you leave. In this event, you could lose you deposit bond as a result. However, some landlords are flexible about such matters if they find a new tenant within the 4-week period. You will need to thoroughly examine the rental property laws in your state as well as speak to the real estate agent directly.  But, if the reason for your early departure is not your decision, rather because the owner decides to end the tenancy, (i.e. you are being evicted for breaching your contract or perhaps they might be selling the property or moving back in themselves), they will need to provide you with a written notice to vacate. This notice is usually given six weeks in advance before you a required to leave. The length of notice does vary from state to state, so examine your tenancy agreement carefully.


It is a good idea to try and be friendly with your real estate agent you can get along with them well. Try and be polite and treat them with respect. However, if you deem them unreasonable, if they are inspecting your property when not advising so, remember you have rights. It is always best to try and sort these problems out yourself, however, if the problems persist you can contact the Residential Tenancy Tribunal in you state. They will provide you with information on your rights as a tenant and if necessary a lawyer.


Condition report:  When your real estate agent hands you your copy of your tenancy agreement and the keys to your new place.  Also included in your documents is your condition report, where presents when you can movie it, list the damages, such as cracks, dirty spots, appliances already included and other conditions.  Anything you noticed that came with the place and is not on the list you can add it and notify the agent.  Is also a good idea to take photos of the items you are adding to the list.  You will have three days to return a copy of the complete condition report to the real estate agent and always stay with a copy for yourself.

Make sure to check:


  • all evidence of mildew in the bathroom
  • all wall cracks
  • every stain, mark or dirt spot on the carpet
  • the condition of every light fixture
  • the condition of every appliance (such as the heater and kitchen stove)
  • the condition of the bathroom fixtures
  • the condition of any appliance or fixture not mentioned in the report
  • add any scratches on floorboards or counters missing from the report
  • take photos of any damage (before you move in and date them) as proof of your claim

Another way of protecting yourself from false claims is to take a picture of the premise and hand a copy to your real estate agent as a supporting record. (You should also keep a copy of the photos and condition report for your own records): generally, when you return your signed condition report (which is usually due within three days of your tenancy start date), you will more likely receive your full bond deposit back when you vacate the premise at the end your contract.



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