Ultimate Australian student accommodation guide

Michael Tabet

Jun 4, 2020

Australia is home to some of the best universities in the world, and choosing which one to study at is an important (and often tricky) decision. But, while you might struggle to pick the right institution for your tuition, your choice of accommodation can impact your university experience even more!

That’s why we’ve created the ultimate student accommodation guide for Australia – to help you find the right accommodation while you study.

What do you need to know?

Want to find out what it’s like living on campus versus staying with family or in specialised student accommodation? We’ve broken down student accommodation options in Australia to help you find the right place to live while you study.

Living on campus (halls of residence)

Also known as halls of residence, some universities and colleges offer this accommodation option to allow students to live on campus (or somewhere nearby).

Living on campus is a convenient option for those who want to immerse themselves in the full experience and culture of college – and those who don’t want to be late to class after a night of studying (or partying).

However, because these residences may be owned by the institution (or connected to them in some way), availability may be limited and you’ll have to get in early to secure your room!

Pros:

  • universities impose strict guidelines to create a safe environment
  • it’s convenient and easy to get to class
  • it’s easy to socialise with other students
  • you can get the full university or college experience
  • it’s easy to get involved in co-curricular activities (i.e. sporting teams, student clubs)
  • you often get access to university facilities (i.e. gym, swimming pool)
  • you can reduce petrol/parking/public transport costs.

Cons:

  • it could be very costly (paying for convenience)
  • you may have less privacy
  • it could be distracting trying to keep up with social events
  • there may be a lot of rules regarding partying, noise levels, guests, and usage of shared spaces and equipment/appliances.

Your college or university might offer studio-style apartments, which will give you more privacy and a private bathroom or kitchenette, or will have the option to rent out a bedroom (with a shared bathroom).

You’ll also be able to cook your own meals in a common kitchen, or be provided with daily cooked meals (depending on the university and accommodation arrangement).

Accommodation pricing may differ significantly between universities – especially rural universities compared to universities in metropolitan cities (see Estimated costs of student accommodation in Australia). Your accommodation fee will usually include your expenses for utilities (i.e. electricity, gas and water), amenities (library, gym, sport and recreational facilities) and possibly your internet access/usage (this may cost extra). Fees for room cleaning services may or may not be included.

Tips: If you’re struggling with fees, try and get assistance or apply for a scholarship or bursary to help with the costs of student accommodation. Also, if you get a place within the halls of residence, make sure you take advantage of your living situation; use the university’s gym or swimming pool, and get involved in university life – this is (typically) a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you’ve got a front-row ticket!

Living in shared student accommodation (offsite)

If you need to cut back on some costs while you’re studying and don’t mind sharing spaces and living with other students, then this could be the right choice for you!

Pros:

  • it often has fewer rules than living on campus
  • you can live independently in self- contained accommodation
  • you’ll have the support of other students in the building
  • the building will have recreational and social events for residents;
  • it helps build life skills
  • it’s good value for money
  • you’ll have access to specialised student amenities to help with studying, as well as access to shared living spaces
  • it’s usually in a central location – close to a university or public transport.

Cons:

  • you might not get the full college experience (compared to living on campus)
  • it takes longer to get to class than if you lived on campus
  • it may be harder to get involved in college life
  • you’ll have to organise your own meals (and possibly learn to cook)
  • you may still have to budget for transport costs.

Companies like Urbanest and Atira (among others) own specialised buildings in different locations around some of Australia’s capital cities. These buildings aren’t affiliated with particular universities, but offer tailored student accommodation.

So, how exactly is shared student accommodation tailored to students?

  1. These buildings are specially designed and operated for students to get the most out of, often including quiet areas and study spaces decked out with computers.
  2. The buildings create a safe and social environment to live in, such as a communal kitchen and dining and recreational hubs (i.e. gym, terrace, cinema room), and security and support from management.
  3. Specialised student accommodation is usually conveniently located close to universities (or public transport access) in a centralised location.
  4. Expenses can be more predictable, as rent may often cover utilities like water and electricity, as well as sometimes including contents insurance and internet expenses.
  5. It’s full of other students; this means you can easily make friends and have a good social support network while you’re navigating your course.
Tips: Shared student accommodation buildings may have certain rules and restrictions – make sure you’re fully aware of these before you sign up to live there.

Also, make sure you’re respectful of other people’s belongings, space and food – you don’t want to be in the bad books of someone you have to live with or see every day around the building!

Renting private accommodation (off campus)

Sometimes you need your own space to do your own thing, but that can come with a bit of a price tag and a long-term commitment. Renting out your own property can be a suitable option for some students, especially if you’re still able to work and earn a decent amount to cover rent because private rentals can be expensive.

Pros:

  • you can live independently and have more freedom
  • you’ll have your own space with fewer rules
  • there are more accommodation options to choose from
  • you’ll learn how to be responsible.

Cons:

  • it may cost more than other options
  • it’s a more significant commitment
  • you’ll have extra responsibilities

Staying with parents or relatives

The reality is, when you’re studying at university, you might not be able to work full time and earn a decent amount of money (which can limit your accommodation options).

If this is the case, and you want to cut back on costs, then getting free accommodation – or, at least cheaper accommodation – with mum and dad (or other relatives) might be the best option for you and your wallet.

Pros:

• it’s generally cheaper than other accommodation options and can help you save money (even if you have to pay some board)
• you can focus on studying with less pressure to work heaps of hours and pay rent
• you get to enjoy the perks of living at home (i.e. home-cooked meals) and the support of relatives
• you may have your own quiet space to study (which you might not get in shared accommodation).

Cons:

• you may have less freedom to do your own thing than you would if you were to rent your own place
• it may not be as convenient if your parents or relatives don’t live close to your university
• if you’re living a distance from your university, you may have to budget for transport costs and take into account transport times to and from home
• it may be harder to get involved in social activities at university, and you could feel neglected from social groups. While you might not have the freedom of your own place or the convenience of living on campus, staying at home can be one of the cheaper accommodations options and can make things a bit less stressful money-wise.

However, even if your parents or relatives don’t expect you to pay board, it’s still a nice gesture to help out a bit around the home or contribute to the bills every so often (or buy them a thank you gift), and always be respectful of their home – you are living under their roof.

Tips: Don’t spread your classes out over the week; try and fit your classes all in one or two days, because you’ll want stay home if you have to make the trek to university just for one lecture.

Also, make sure you create a dedicated study area (possibly outside of your bedroom) where you can concentrate on your work without any distractions.

Living in a hostel

Student accommodation can be relatively expensive in Australia, which is why hostel living is a popular option – especially for interstate and international students.

Not only is hostel living a cheaper way to have a roof over your head, but it’s also a great way to make friends from all different cultures and connect to other like-minded people who are in similar situations.

Pros:

  • it’s one of the cheaper student accommodation options
  • some hostels may even let you help out in some way to get free accommodation
  • it’s easy to connect with people from different backgrounds and make new friends
  • it’s always a fun time with plenty of social events
  • you’ll have the independence to do your own thing
  • hostels typically have a central location.

Cons:

  • you’ll have less privacy
  • you might not get quiet time to study (it may get quite loud)
  • you’ll have to share a bedroom, bathroom and even cutlery
  • there may be limited staff for support
  • there may be curfews (depending on the hostel).

While the social aspect is a compelling reason to choose this option, it has its drawbacks.

If you prefer having your own space and privacy, living in a hostel may not be the right choice, as rooms and facilities are usually shared (which is why it’s a cheaper accommodation option).

Also, you’ll probably have to live with people you don’t know; this can be a problem for some, but, if it isn’t, then you could be right at home in a hostel.

Tips: If you’re living in a hostel as a student, make sure you always lock up your valuables; you don’t want to lose your laptop with the assignment you’ve been working on for weeks!

Also, if possible, learn some basic phrases in other languages to communicate with international guests (or download a translator app) – this will make it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Homestays

If you’re moving to Australia to study as an international student, you could consider trying a homestay to help you settle in or give you a feel for a new city. Homestays match up students with an individual or family host in Australia – who hopefully live close their chosen university.

Homestays are a particularly good option for international students who have never visited Australia before and want a bit of help adapting to the lifestyle, learning about the culture and improving their English language skills.

Pros:

  • it can be relatively affordable
  • you’ll receive support (and maybe even home-cooked meals) from your host
  • it will make moving to Australia easier
  • it should include a comfortable environment for studying; and
  • you may feel safer living with a host family.

Cons:

  • you may not have independence or your own space
  • your host may not live close to your university
  • you might not get the full university experience (as you would living with other students or on-campus).

Homestays provide more than a place to sleep and eat; this will essentially be your home away from home, and your host may even become your second family – one that you keep in touch with for the rest of your life! With this option, you’ll pay your host to provide accommodation and support for a certain amount of time. Some homestay providers may even include meals and internet in the fees, help you with the application, or offer phone and ongoing support.

Tips: Make sure you’re respectful of your host by finding out what’s expected of you and abiding by the house rules. If you have different living or cultural customs, make sure you let your host know so they can understand why you might do things a particular way.

Your host can help you have a great experience, but only if you help them, too – consider teaching them some words or phrases in your language so you can communicate more easily.

Also, try and become friends with other students and go to university events; this will make your experience much more memorable.

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Estimated costs of student accommodation in Australia

N.B: The information in this table is indicative only; it provides an idea of what accommodation may cost. Students should do their own research, as costs and charges in this table are subject to change and may differ.

All information and costs were sourced in November, 2019.

On campus/Halls of residence

Weekly cost (~AUD)

Fully catered: $423-$720
Self-catered: $280-$380

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

One-off costs

Application fee: $100-$110
Bond deposit: $1,000-$2,500
New residents registration fee: $250-$300
Late payment fee (every time you pay late): $250

Annual costs

Student club membership fee/members’ association: $250-$400
Alumni Association: $110

Misc. costs

Food (if you choose self-catered): cost varies

Notes

Catering includes a certain number of meals per week. Price ranges include two bedrooms, studio and single bedroom. Costs based on list of 2019 fees for International House at University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of Queensland.

 

Specialised student accommodation

Weekly cost (~AUD)

Sydney: $385-$659
Melbourne: $305-$619
Brisbane: $179-$459
Adelaide: $195-$414

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

One-off costs

Room cleaning: $55-$59 per clean
Departure bond clean: $99-$145 (subject to inspection)
Airport shuttle: from $72-$120 per person (depending on location)
Linen & towel kit (bedroom sheets, quilt, pillow, bathroom towels and mats): $153-$259
Kitchen kit (kitchen utensils, cutlery, bowls and plates): $105-$259

Annual costs

Weekly clean for a year: $990

Misc. costs

Food: cost varies
Public transport (if needed): cost varies

Notes

Weekly costs calculated per person per week, based on costs presented on Urbanest, Scape and Atira student living. Some companies may include add-ons in the weekly cost.

Rent private accommodation

Weekly cost (~AUD)

Sydney: $120-$635
Melbourne: $99-$512
Brisbane: $115-$469
Adelaide: $130-$414

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

One-off costs

Bond: Usually the equivalent of 1 month’s rent

Ongoing costs

Utilities (water, electricity, internet): varies depending on number of housemates, usage and provider (may be included in rental fee)

Misc. costs

Food: cost varies

Notes

Weekly costs sourced on flatmates.com.au and may or may not include bills. Options range from shared bedrooms to shared apartments (own bedroom) and studios.

Staying with family/relatives

Weekly cost (~AUD)

$0-$200~

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

Misc. costs

Food, internet, laundry, electricity, using the family car/public transport: charges vary

Notes

Boarding fees and add-on costs may vary greatly depending on what your family or relatives decide to charge, if anything at all.

Living in a hostel (quoted prices for 1 March – 8 March 2020)

Weekly cost (~AUD)

Sydney: ~$108-$788
Melbourne: ~$115-$433
Brisbane: ~$112-$514
Adelaide: ~$150-$333

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

Usage costs

Internet/Wi-Fi: communal area is free, premium access in room is $5/day, $10/3 days or $15/week
Sheets and towels: $0 – $10
Laundry facilities: $4/wash, $2-$4 per dry

Misc. costs

Tours/activities: prices vary
Food: prices vary (some food may be included in accommodation fees)
Public transport (if needed): cost varies

Notes

Weekly costs based on hostels found on Compare the Market’s hotel comparison service. Add-on costs based on findings by OneStopAdventures and TripAdvisor reviews, but may vary depending on the hostel’s charges.

Homestay

Weekly cost (~AUD)

Incl. 2-3 meals/day: $260-$375
No meals: $180-$250

Potential extra costs/add-ons (~AUD)

One-off costs

Placement fee: ~$290
Airport pickup:

Misc. costs

Food (if meals aren’t included): prices vary
Public transport (if needed): cost varies

Notes

Fees based on pricing for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide student homestays through Australian Homestay Network.

Sydney

Are you looking to study and live in Sydney, one of Australia’s most well-known and busiest cities?

Whether you want the full college experience on campus, live in private student accommodation with some cool housemates, or go with another option altogether amongst the hustle and bustle of Sydney city, we’ve outlined websites and ways you can find the perfect place to live.

Also, don’t forget to check the notice boards (or online portal) at your university or college. You could find housing options, other students looking for a housemate (or friends), items for sale, events and parties in Sydney, jobs and internships with local Sydney companies, textbook exchange and campus tips!

University accommodation

Each of Sydney’s major universities (listed below) have both on- and off-campus housing. If you’re a Sydney student, you can browse and apply for the student accommodation options available to you on each university’s website.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer offsite, non-university-affiliated specialised student accommodation, then there are plenty of options for Sydney students to choose from, including:

  • Campus Living Villages
    • Locations (nearby or within the campus): Macquarie University, UNSW Australia, The University of Sydney, Western Sydney University (Bankstown, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Nirimba, Parramatta and Penrith campuses).
  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): Australian Catholic University (North Sydney), Centre for Continuing Education, Charles Sturt University Study Centres (Sydney), EF International Language Campus (Sydney), Embassy English Sydney, International College of Management, Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney campus), Macquarie University, North Sydney English College, S P Jain School of Global Management, Sydney College of English, Sydney Film School, Taylor College, The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney Institute, Western Sydney University (Bankstown, Campbelltown, Nirimba, Parramatta and Penrith campuses).
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: Ultimo (near University of Technology Sydney and University of Sydney), Kensington (near University of New South Wales).
  • StudentAccommodationSydney.com

  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Sydney’)

  • Urbanest
    • Locations: Redfern, Sydney CBD, Darling Square, Darlington, Glebe, Haymarket.
  • scape.com
    • Locations: Abercrombie.

Private accommodation

As Australia’s largest city, there’s no shortage of real estate in Sydney. If you have the means and prefer to rent a private property while studying in Sydney, you can browse rental properties on real estate websites like:

For international students, homestays can be a home-away-from-home – even if your own family may be many kilometres away.

You can find a homestay through the many homestay organisations that operate in Australia and around the world, such as:

Your university may even provide support in organising a homestay.

If you’re looking for a homestay to get a feel for Sydney, or to bridge the time between your old lease ending and your new place becoming available, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Sydney for up to 30 days.

Hostel accommodation

Sydney is home to many hostels, with hostel companies like YHA Australia, Hostels Australia and independent hostels all around the city!

You can also use our hotel comparison service to potentially find accommodation in Sydney hostels for up to 30 days. Just search for Sydney on the service and refine your search by selecting ‘hostel’. Simples!

Facebook groups for Sydney students

Lastly, make sure you check out relevant Facebook pages which can potentially help you find student accommodation, student resources or simply connect with other students. Here are some Facebook pages for Sydney students:

Wollongong

Looking to study in the seaside city of Wollongong? Whether you want to close to the University of Wollongong or just somewhere close to the sea, we’ve compiled some websites to help you out.

Also, don’t forget to check the notice boards or online portal at the University of Wollongong, as you could find ads for local housing options, potential roommates, textbooks for sale or to be exchanged and campus tips!

University accommodation

The University of Wollongong, the city’s only major university, offers on-campus accommodation as well as information on other types of student accommodation on their website: https://www.uow.edu.au/study/accommodation/.

Off-campus accommodation

For those wishing to live off-campus, you may find specialised student accommodation through the following websites:

Private accommodation

If you’d like to stay in a private, non-university-affiliated property while studying in Wollongong, you can browse properties for lease through:

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to connect with the locals by staying with a local family while you’re studying, and there are some easy-to-use homestay organisations and networks, such as:

If you want to get a taste for Wollongong life, or need temporary accommodation while you’re waiting to move into a new place, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Wollongong for up to 30 days.

The University of Wollongong may also be able to help you organise a homestay.

Hostel accommodation

Wollongong may be home to some independent hostels, which you can potentially find through a google search or through our hotel comparison service, for up to 30 days accommodation. Just search for Wollongong and refine your results by selecting ‘hostel’. Simples!

Facebook groups for Wollongong students

Lastly, if you’re wanting to find local accommodation or meet other students, check out some Wollongong student Facebook pages:

Newcastle

If you’re looking at studying in the harbour city of Newcastle, we’ve got some resources to help you find somewhere to live.

However, if you’re still stuck for accommodation, it’s a good idea to check your university’s notice board or online portal, which may link you to some local housing options or other students who are looking for roommates to live with!

University accommodation

As the city’s only major university, the University of Newcastle offers both on- and off-campus student accommodation, as well as homestay services for international students, with information available on their website: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/future-students/study-at-uon/accommodation-options/uon-student-living/living-on-campus.

Off-campus accommodation

For those who want to live off-campus, you may find specialised student accommodation on websites like:

Private accommodation

You can find private, non-university-affiliated rental properties in Newcastle through sites like:

Homestays

If you’re new to Newcastle, and you’re wanting to stay with a local, homestays are a great option, as they connect you with a local host family. Your university may help you organise a homestay, or you can utilise some homestay organisations and networks in Australia, such as:

Hostel accommodation

If you’re looking to stay in a hostel, you may be able to find Newcastle hostels through our hotel comparison service, for up to 30 days of accommodation. All you need to do is search for Newcastle accommodation and refine your search results by selecting ‘hostels’. Simples!

Facebook groups for Newcastle students

Lastly, if you need help finding local accommodation or connecting with other local students, check out some Newcastle student Facebook pages:

Regional New South Wales

Looking to study in regional New South Wales? If you want to live close to your university – or somewhere else – we’ve outlined websites to help you find a place to live.

Also, it’s a good idea to check the notice boards or online portal at your university or college. These boards may have listings for housing options, other students looking for a housemate, textbooks to swap or sell and more!

University accommodation

New South Wales’ regional universities (listed below) offer student accommodation on campuses across the state.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer to live off-campus, you may find specialised student accommodation options on websites like:

  • gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation’ along with the area you want to live in)

Note: Off-campus accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Private accommodation

You also have the option to rent a private, non-university-affiliated property for the duration of your studies in regional New South Wales. You can browse available rentals on websites like:

Homestays

Moving out to a regional area can be tough for anyone – especially if you’re visiting from overseas. However, if you’re looking for a homestay family to stay with, you may be able to find a homestay through your university or through homestay companies.

Note: Homestay accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Hostel accommodation

Regional New South Wales may be home to some independent hostels, which you may be able to find for up to 30 days using our hotel comparison service. Just search for your city or town on our service and refine your results by clicking on ‘hostel’. Simples!

Note: Hostel accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Facebook groups for regional NSW students

Lastly, you may be able to find local accommodation or connect with other students by checking out Facebook pages and groups for regional NSW students, such as:

Melbourne

Looking to study in the cultural capital of Australia? Whether you’re wanting to live on campus or in private student accommodation close to trendy cafes, we’ve outlined websites to help you find the perfect place to live in Melbourne.

Also, make sure you check your university or college’s notice boards (or online portal), which may connect you with other students and potential housemates, or show you housing options, items and textbooks for sale or exchange, events and parties in Melbourne, jobs and internships with local Melbourne companies, or provide you with campus tips!

University accommodation

Below we have provided a list of Melbourne’s major universities, with links to their accommodation services (on and off campus), as well as guides to renting.

Off-campus accommodation

Melbourne is also home to a range of non-university accommodation options for students. You can find specialised Melbourne student accommodation on websites like:

  • Campus Living Villages
    • Locations (nearby or within the campus): Melbourne Polytechnic, RMIT University, University of Melbourne.
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Melbourne’)
  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): ATMC-University of Sunshine Coast (Melbourne campus), Australian Catholic University (Melbourne), Central Queensland University (Melbourne), Danford College, Deakin University, Impact English College, JMC Academy (Melbourne), La Trobe University, Melbourne Polytechnic (Fairfield campus), Monash University (+Caulfield campus), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (+Bundoora Campus West), Southern Cross University (Melbourne), Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria University (+City Flinders campus), William Angliss Institute.
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: Melbourne CBD (near The University of Melbourne and RMIT University), Carlton & Parkville (near The University of Melbourne), Footscray (near Victoria University), Hawthorn (near Swinburne University of Technology), Windsor.
  • The Student Housing Company
    • Locations: Melbourne CBD (Carlton) – short walk to University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and The Melbourne Business School.
  • SHA.com.au (Student Housing Australia)
    • Locations: Box Hill, Brunswick East, Burwood, Camberwell, Carlton, Clayton, Collingwood, Footscray, Hawthorn, Macleod/Bundoora, Malvern East, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Noble Park, North Melbourne, Prahran and South Yarra.
  • Scape.com
    • Locations: Swanston, Franklin (coming soon) and Carlton (coming soon).
  • Unilodgers.com
  • Urbanest
    • Locations: Carlton, Melbourne CBD.
  • Atira Student Living:
    • Locations: Melbourne City, North Melbourne.

Private accommodation

If you’re looking for to rent your own property or a shared rental with other housemates, you can find properties in Melbourne through sites like:

Homestays

A great option for international students is homestays which place you with a local host or family who can help you settle in to Australia.

If you want a homestay to trial out Melbourne, or to bridge the period after your old lease has ended and before your new place has become available, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Melbourne for up to 30 days.

There many homestay networks in Australia to help you find the perfect place to live, such as:

Your university may even help you organise a homestay.

Hostel accommodation

Melbourne is home to many funky hostels, with hostel companies like YHA Australia, Hostels Australia, Nomads World and independent hostels all around the city!

You can also use our hotel comparison service to potentially find hostel accommodation in Melbourne for up to 30 days! Just search for Melbourne on the service and refine your search by selecting ‘hostel’. Simples!

Facebook groups for Melbourne students

Lastly, check out relevant Facebook pages for Melbourne students. These pages can potentially help you find student accommodation, cheaper textbooks or simply connect with other students. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Melbourne:

Victoria University, Melbourne Australia (official Facebook page)

Brisbane

Looking to study in the laid-back city of Brisbane? We’ve gathered some websites to help you find the perfect place to live in Brisbane – whether it’s somewhere close to your university or in a leafy suburb close to some trendy cafes!

Another great way to potentially find accommodation is to look at the notice boards or online portal at your university. As well as rooms to rent, these boards may help you find roommates, friends, textbooks for sale or exchange, events and parties in Brisbane, jobs and internships with local Brisbane companies and provide campus tips!

University accommodation

Brisbane is home to a few major universities which may offer on- and off-campus accommodation options, links to non-affiliated accommodation providers and homestay options on their websites.

Off-campus accommodation

Finding specialised off-campus student accommodation in Brisbane can be easy, with many organisations and websites available, including:

  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): Central Queensland University, Charles Sturt University Study Centres (Brisbane), EF International Language Campus, Griffith University (Nathan, Mount Gravatt and South Bank campuses), James Cook University (Brisbane), Le Cordon Bleu (Brisbane), Queensland University of Technology (Kelvin Grove campus), Queensland Brisbane, University of Queensland.
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: St Lucia (near University of Queensland), Brisbane City (near QUT), Kangaroo Point (near QUT), Southbank (near QUT), Kelvin Grove (near QUT Kelvin Grove campus and UQ Herston campus), Woolloongabba.
  • BrisbaneStudents.com.au
  • Atira Student Living
    • Locations: Toowong, South Brisbane.
  • Unilodgers.com
  • Urbanest
    • Locations: South Brisbane (South Bank)
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Brisbane’)
  • Scape.com
    • Locations: Toowong and South Bank.

Private accommodation

If you’d prefer to rent private accommodation for the duration of your studies, you can search for rental properties in Brisbane through the following websites:

Homestays

Homestays can make you feel like you’ve never left your family, which is why they are a good option for international students who may need help adjusting to a new country.

Australia has a number of homestay networks and organisations which can help you find the right host family to stay with, such as:

If you want to trial out Brisbane through a homestay, or need accommodation to stay in while you’re waiting to start a lease on a new place, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Brisbane for up to 30 days.

You may also be able to organise a homestay through your university.

Hostel accommodation

Brisbane is home to some great hostels, with hostel companies like YHA Australia, Hostels Australia, Nomads World and independent hostels all around the city!

We can also help you find accommodation in a hostel for up to 30 days by searching for Brisbane hostels through our hotel comparison service. Simples!

Facebook groups for Brisbane students

Lastly, it’s a good idea to look at relevant Facebook pages for Brisbane students. These pages can potentially help you find textbooks to swap, cheap student accommodation or just connect with other students at your university. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Brisbane:

Gold Coast

How to find student accommodation on the Gold Coast

If you want to study on the glitzy and glamorous Gold Coast, we’ve provided some websites to help you find accommodation that suits your needs – whether that’s somewhere close to all the action or somewhere far from all the noise!

Also, if you still need more help finding local housing, a roommate, textbooks or campus tips, check out your university’s notice board or online portal. You may even find notices about local events or jobs and internships with companies on the Gold Coast!

University accommodation

If you’re looking for on-campus accommodation at one of the Gold Coast’s major universities, check out their websites below.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer to live off-campus while studying on the Gold Coast, you may find specialised student accommodation through websites like:

  • Campus Living Villages
    • Locations (nearby or within the campus): Griffith University.
  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): Griffith University (Gold Coast) and Southern Cross University (Coffs Harbour Campus)
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Gold Coast)
  • Unilodgers.com

 

Private accommodation

Renting your own private property while studying on the Gold Coast is also an option; you can browse available leases through websites like:

The Gold Coast is a great place to live, but if you want to make your move a bit easier, a homestay is a great option. Homestays will connect you with a host family on the Gold Coast and there are plenty of Australian networks to help you organise a home stay, including:

Regional Queensland

Looking to study in regional Queensland? We’ve compiled some resources to help you find a suitable place to live.

But, if you still can’t find the right accommodation, make sure you check out the notice board or online portal at your university – it may have listings for local housing or roommates wanted.

University accommodation

Queensland’s regional universities offer on-campus student accommodation, which you can apply for through their websites below.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer to live off-campus, you may be able to find student accommodation on sites like:

  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): James Cook University (Cairns campus), YouSTUDY International College.
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: Smithfield (near James Cook University).
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation’ along with the area you want to live in)

Note: Off-campus accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Private accommodation

If you want your own private place, you can search for private rental properties through websites like:

Homestays

For international students, homestays can be a home-away-from-home, a way to still feel part of family life even though your own family may be many miles away.

There may be limited options for homestays in regional parts of Australia, however, your university may help you organise a homestay.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to trial out life in a particular area or need temporary accommodation while you’re in between places, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Cairns, Rockhampton and Toowoomba for up to 30 days.

Note: Homestay accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Hostel accommodation

Regional Queensland may be home to some independent hostels, which you can possibly find through our hotel comparison service for up to 30 days of accommodation. Just search for your city or town on the service and refine your search by selecting ‘hostel’. Simples!

Note: Hostel accommodation options may be limited in some regional areas.

Facebook groups for regional Queensland students

Lastly, you can possibly find accommodation by checking out Facebook pages and groups for regional Queensland students in Australia, such as:

Adelaide

Looking to study in the famous ‘city of churches’? We’ve provided some websites to help you find a place to live while you study – whether that’s in private student accommodation close to the art scene or local wineries or somewhere closer to your campus!

If you need more help settling in and finding a place to live, check out your online portal or notice boards at your university or college. This may give you some helpful campus tips or may have ads for potential housemates, places to live, textbooks to exchange, items for sale, events and parties in Adelaide, and jobs and internships with local Adelaide companies!

University accommodation

There are a few major universities in Adelaide, which all offer accommodation services and support through the websites below.

Off-campus accommodation

Of course, you may want to live off-campus to put some space between your personal and academic lives. If you’d prefer this option, you may find specialised off-campus student accommodation in Adelaide on the following websites:

  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): Australian Catholic University (Adelaide), Carnegie Mellon University, Flinders University (+Tonsley and Victoria Square), Le Cordon Bleu (Adelaide campus), University of South Australia (+City West campus).
  • AdelaideStudentHousing.com.au
  • Urbanest
    • Locations: Adelaide CBD, at The University of Adelaide campus.
  • Atira Student Living
    • Locations: Adelaide CBD.
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Adelaide’)
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: Adelaide CBD (near The University of Adelaide), Magill (near University of South Australia – Magill campus).
  • Unilodgers.com

Private accommodation

If you’re considering renting a private property while you study, you can search Adelaide’s real estate market on sites like:

Homestays

When you move away from your family, it can be hard to settle in to a new country – that’s where homestays can help, as they connect you with a host family in Australia.

Your university may help you organise a homestay. Alternatively, Australia has many homestay organisations which can help you find a suitable homestay:

If you want to get a feel for Adelaide or need accommodation to bridge the time in between vacating your old place and getting the lease for your new place, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Adelaide for up to 30 days.

Hostel accommodation

Adelaide is home to some independent hostels all around the city. You can find Adelaide hostels through hostel companies like YHA Australia or Hostels Australia or up to 30 days of hostel accommodation by searching for Adelaide hostels through our hotel comparison service. Simples!

Facebook groups for Adelaide students

Lastly, you should consider checking out some Adelaide student Facebook pages. These pages can potentially help you find affordable student accommodation, textbooks to swap or buy cheaply, or just provide a way connect with other students in Adelaide. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Adelaide:

Perth

Looking to study in Perth? Whether you want live next to the beach or closer to your university’s campus, we’ve detailed some ways you can find the perfect place to live in Perth.

Also, your university or college should have an online portal or nice boards, which may have ads for housing options, potential housemates, textbooks to buy or exchange, parties and events in Perth, and jobs and internships with local Perth companies.

University accommodation

Perth’s major universities are listed below and offer accommodation options and support through their websites.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer to live off-campus in Perth, you may find specialised student accommodation on the following websites:

Private accommodation

Of course, if you have the means and a preference for privacy, you may wish to rent a private property. You can browse properties for lease in Perth through:

Homestays

International students may find their move to Australia a little easier by living with a host family through a homestay. There are a number of homestay networks in Australia, such as:

If you want to check out Perth before you permanently move there, or need temporary accommodation while you’re in between places, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Perth for up to 30 days.

If you still haven’t found the right homestay, your university may help you organise one.

Hostel accommodation

Perth is home to some accommodating hostels all around the city, which you can find through hostel companies like YHA Australia or comparing Perth hostels accommodation for up to 30 days through our hotel comparison service. Just search for Perth on the service and refine your options by choosing ‘hostel’. Simples!

Facebook groups for Perth students

Lastly, remember to check out Perth student Facebook pages. These pages can potentially help you find accommodation to live in, a new housemate or even textbooks to buy or swap nearby. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Perth:

Canberra

Looking to study in the nation’s capital? Whether you’re wanting to live in student accommodation close to your university or closer to Parliament House, we’ve gathered some websites to help you find a great place to live while you’re studying in Canberra.

Also, don’t forget your university or college should have an online portal or notice boards to help you find accommodation options and connect with other students looking for a housemate (or friends), textbooks to exchange or purchase, as well as providing campus tips.

University accommodation

Canberra’s major schools offer accommodation, which can be found on their websites.

Off-campus accommodation

If you’d prefer to live away from campus, you may find specialised off-campus student accommodation through:

  • Student.com
    • Locations (near to): Australian National University, Canberra Institute of Technology, CELIA Centre for English Australia, Top English, Navitas English Canberra (AMEP), University of Canberra.
  • Unilodge.com.au
    • Locations: Canberra City (near Australian National University), Bruce & Belconnen (near University of Canberra).
  • Unilodgers.com
  • Gumtree.com.au (search ‘Student Accommodation Canberra’)

Private accommodation

Renting a private property while studying in Canberra could be costly, but you can use the following websites to find rental properties to suit your means:

Homestays

Homestays are a great option for international students who may find it easier to live with a local family or host. You can potentially find a homestay through one of the homestay organisations operating in Australia:

If you want to trial Canberra life, or need short-term accommodation while you’re waiting to move into a new place, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Canberra for up to 30 days.

If you need more help finding a homestay, your university may connect you to a homestay network.

Hostel accommodation

Canberra is home to a few hostels around the city. You can potentially find a hostel through hostel companies like YHA Australia or by searching for Canberra hostels on our hotel comparison service, which allows you to get accommodation for up to 30 days. Simples!

Facebook groups for Canberra students

Lastly, check out some Canberra student Facebook pages, which can help you connect with other students and potentially find accommodation. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Canberra:

Darwin

Looking to study in the Northern Territory? Whether you’re wanting to live close to your university or just somewhere far away from any crocs, we may be able to help you out!

Your university should also have a notice board or online portal which can help you find somewhere to live or a potential roommate – don’t forget to check it out!

University accommodation

The Northern Territory’s only major university, Charles Darwin University in Casuarina, offers on-campus accommodation for students as well as information on other accommodation options on their website: https://www.cdu.edu.au/study/student-life/accommodation.

Off-campus accommodation

Off-campus specialised student accommodation may be available through websites like:

Private accommodation

Renting a private property in Darwin is an option for those studying in the city, but not wishing to live in the thick of student life. You can find Darwin rentals on websites such as:

Homestays

International students may find it easier to settle into Darwin by staying with a host family – which is how homestays work. You can potentially find a homestay through organisations such as:

If you want to see what it’s like living in Darwin, or need somewhere to stay for a little bit while you’re waiting to get the lease for a new place, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Darwin for up to 30 days.

Your university may even help you find a homestay.

Hostel accommodation

Darwin is home to a few hostels, which you can find through hostel company YHA Australia or by comparing Darwin hostel options for up to 30 days through our hotel comparison service. Simples!

Facebook groups for Darwin students

Lastly, log in to Facebook and check out some pages for students in Darwin to help you potentially find accommodation or find other students to connect with. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Darwin:

Hobart

Looking to study in Tasmania? Whether you want to live close to a great nature trail or somewhere close to your university, we’ve found some websites to help you find the perfect place to live in Hobart.

However, if you’re still stuck for accommodation, check your university’s notice board or online portal – they could have some house options or other students looking for a roommate!

University accommodation

Tasmania’s only major university, University of Tasmania in Hobart, offers student accommodation on several campuses across the state on their website: https://www.utas.edu.au/student-living.

Off-campus accommodation

You may find off-campus student accommodation in Hobart through websites like:

Private accommodation

If you’re looking to rent a private, non-university-affiliated property for the duration of your studies in Hobart, you can browse properties for lease through:

Hostel accommodation

Hobart is home to a few hostels, which you may be able to find through YHA Australia or our hotel comparison service, for up to 30 days of accommodation. Just search for Hobart accommodation on the service and refine your options to hostels. Simples!

Homestays

If you’re an international student who is more comfortable staying with family, you may be able to organise a homestay with a host family through homestay organisations and networks, such as:

If you want to trial out life in Hobart, or need short-term accommodation while you’re in between leases, our hotel comparison service provides access to homestays in Hobart for up to 30 days.

If you still can’t find a suitable option, your university may help you organise a homestay.

Facebook groups for Hobart students

Lastly, check out some Facebook pages help Hobart students find accommodation or connect with other students. Here are some Facebook pages for students in Hobart:

What accommodation options are there for international students?

If you’re an international student, you’ll have an array of accommodation options if you decide to study in Australia. These are the same options that are available to locals: living on campus, private accommodation, shared student accommodation, living in a hostel and homestays.

Homestays are a particularly good option for international students, as it connect you with a host who can show you around and introduce you to the Australian lifestyle.

Make sure you check out Facebook pages for international students in Australia and your chosen city, where you can submit enquiries and see what options are available for you.

Here are some international student Facebook pages to get you started:

Are there Facebook groups and support for students?

Fortunately, finding student groups and support is easy. There are usually plenty of groups on Facebook, including pages for students in different cities or at particular universities, or general student support pages. Here are examples of the types of support pages available

Keep in mind, your university should have a support network in place for you to access should you need things like counselling or financial help.

How do I find a flatmate?

You can find flatmates and shared accommodation on websites like flatmates.com.au and flatmatefinders.com.au, or even Gumtree. Even real estate websites, like realestate.com.au, have shared accommodation options.

Of course, you can always ask a friend or family member if they want to be your flatmate, or check out Facebook pages or the notice boards at your university or college to see if other students are looking for a housemate.

Why is student accommodation so expensive?

Student accommodation expensive because you’re paying for the convenience of living on campus or to be able to use the facilities and amenities that are offered by specialised student accommodation.

How can I afford student accommodation?

Student accommodation and other costs associated with studying can be expensive (i.e. textbooks, school fees). This is why, as well as getting a job, learning how to save money and budget your money is essential. You can do this with our money-saving guide, which includes tips and tricks that could help you afford student accommodation

How do I apply for accommodation (and what do I need)?

If you want to live at your university, you’ll need to apply through their website up to a certain date before the semester starts. Different universities and colleges may have different criteria and may require different information, such as bank statements or references.

If your application is accepted and your university sends you out an offer for accommodation, you must accept it within a certain amount of time (usually 48 hours). Otherwise, your offer will expire. You may need to pay a deposit and bond, after which you can work out a suitable payment plan with your university.

If you’re looking at renting private accommodation that isn’t affiliated with the university, what you need to provide will depend on the landlord or property manager. As an example, you may need to provide:

  • bank statements (to show an income)
  • verification of employment
  • photo identification
  • your last utility bill
  • your rental history
  • personal references (if you haven’t rented before).

What’s the process of renting accommodation in Australia?

Once you’ve applied and been approved for your rental accommodation, you may need to pay a bond (which is usually the first month’s rental fee) and sign your Tenancy Agreement.

How do I pay for student accommodation?

Some student accommodation options require you to pay your rent or bond upfront. You can generally pay for accommodation with cash, direct debit or with a credit card – although, there may be extra costs associated with credit card payments. However, some landlords and student accommodation companies could be more lenient and may allow you to pay in instalments or may offer a payment plan.

How do I decorate my student accommodation?

The specifics of how to decorate your student accommodation will probably depend on the type of accommodation you have and your style. However, there are several things you can do to transform your room.

Plants, lighting (like lamps and fairy lights), photos and personal items are all great ways to decorate your new home. Minimising clutter with storage and using neutral tones may also have a calming effect (helpful during exams!). Remember that your landlord or building manager may need to approve any significant changes you want to make.

Are there student accommodation options for couples?

Finding student accommodation for couples is possible through most accommodation websites and organisations. You might even find that some providers advertise student accommodation options that are suitable for couples, as they may be more spacious than other options.

How can I be a good housemate?

To make sure you’re a good housemate and don’t get on others’ nerves, have your housemates make a checklist of their five biggest pet-peeves. Also, ask them to include the top five ways you can make their lives better (make sure you do the same too!). Setting clear expectations and ground rules from the beginning is crucial in creating a happy home environment.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re a good housemate:

  • share cleaning duties (including the dishes);
  • take turns cooking for each other (and label your food);
  • respect your housemates’ space (and belongings);
  • try not to be loud when they’re trying to study or sleep;
  • communicate regularly with your housemates (whether through post-it notes or a chat app);
  • try and hang out together to strengthen your bond;
  • be understanding, helpful and friendly; and
  • don’t get angry over little things; try and remain calm even when you’re stressed.

Should students get contents insurance for their belongings?

While you don’t have to worry about home insurance (the building’s owner usually covers that), you should consider protecting your belongings. You might come back to your room one day and discover a break-in, or your laptop might break during the middle of your exam periods.

Contents insurance can help you in these situations and more. Head over to our contents insurance comparison service to search and compare policies today!

Brought to you by Compare the Market: Making it easier for Australians to search for great deals on Home and Contents Insurance.