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The ultimate guide to student accommodation

4 min read
9 Sep 2020
Students waving at one another

Australia is home to some phenomenal education institutions and choosing which one to enrol with can be an important (and often tricky) decision. However, while tuition is a vital aspect when deciding which institution to study with, your choice of accommodation can impact your university experience even more. has created the ultimate student accommodation guide for Australia, specifically created to help students find the right accommodation while studying. The guide looks the pros and cons of all available options including living on campus, shared student accommodation, private renting, staying with relatives, hostels and homestays.

Living on campus (halls of residence)

Although not all universities have this option, it is a convenient way for students to immerse themselves in the full college experience. It’s also a great choice for 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, there could be limited availability and you’ll have to get in earlier to secure your room.

Some pros of this option are convenience, the ease of socialisation and extra-curricular involvement, and reduced transportation/parking costs. Cons include the typically higher costs, lack of privacy and strict guidelines.

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, then shared student accommodation could be the right choice for you! Spaces are specially designed for students to get the most out of them, including quiet areas and study spaces decked out with computers.

Pros of shared student accommodation include independent living, good value for money and a central location. Some cons are the lack of a full college experience, the extra time it can take to get to class and having to organise your own meals.

Renting private accommodation (off campus)

Having the freedom to do your own thing can be great, but that can come with a price tag and a pretty serious commitment. Renting out your own property can be a suitable option for some students, especially if you’re still able to work and earn enough money to cover rent and other expenses.

The pros? More freedom, fewer rules and more accommodation options to choose from. The cons include extra responsibilities, a more significant commitment and a potentially higher cost.

Staying with parents or relatives

The reality is, full-time study doesn’t always allow for full-time work and wage earning. If this is the case and you need to cut back on costs, then getting cheaper accommodation with mum and dad (or other relatives) might be the best option for you financially.

The pros of this option are the generally cheaper costs, the perks of living at home (home-cooked meals!) and the ability to focus on studying without the added pressure of working and paying higher rent. The cons include less freedom, a potential lack of convenience depending on the location, and difficulty in getting involved in university activities from a distance.

Living in a hostel

Hostel living is a popular option for students in Australia, especially those from interstate and international locations. Not only is it one of the cheaper living options, but it’s also a great way to make friends from all different cultures and connect to other like-minded people.

The biggest pro is that hostels are one of the cheaper accommodation options, as well as the ease of meeting new people and independence to do your own thing. Cons include less privacy, lack of quiet time and curfews (depending on the hostel).


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 to their chosen university.

Pros include the relative affordability, support and the ease of transition into a new culture if moving from overseas. Some cons of homestays are that you may not have your own space, the location could be quite far from your university and you may not get the full university experience.

Visit to see the full guide including costs, suggested accommodation locations across Australia and FAQs.

Student accommodation guide

A quick guide to student accommodation in Australia.

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avatar of author: Hannah Norton

Written by Hannah Norton

Hannah is the Digital PR Manager at Compare the Market and is a fan of all things that challenge the mind; be it jigsaw puzzles, reading as many novels as she can fit into a day, or trying to beat her existing personal best for solving a Rubik's Cube. As well as enjoying nature hikes and other outdoor activities, Hannah is a passionate animal lover and you can almost always find her down at the beach with her furry, four-legged friends.

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