One of the most important tasks of moving to another country is finding a place to live and sometimes finding the right place is not an easy task!
Accommodation options can vary and let’s face it, where you live and who you live with can make or break your overseas experience!
There any many options for international students when it comes to accommodation but which one is right for you?
Living in student residence is a fantastic way to meet new friends where you will live and study. ACU’s offers accommodation for Sydney students at the Miguel Cordero Residence which is located in the student hub of Camperdown, close to Sydney’s city centre.
The furnished apartments are in a secure building with communal lounges and study spaces with public transport nearby and an onsite management team.
Raphael, Kelsey and Haowei in one of MCR’s common rooms.
ACU student Kelsey Plute says one of the benefits of living of living at MCR, particularly with other international students, is the common ground they share being away from home.
“Getting to know other cultures from a person is definitely something special. Living at MCR has helped me make some awesome new friends and I couldn’t be more comfortable here.”
ACU offers Managed Residences in Ballarat along with the Camillus Residential Village in Ballarat and Canberra also has Managed Residences.
Canberra also has the option of MacKillop House which offers fully catered, safe and affordable accommodation for young women who are studying in the ACT.
MCR is priced from $330/week – apartments and studios come fully furnished ready for you to move in.
Specialised student apartment accommodation is available in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra by Semester in Australia, Urban Nest, Uni Lodge, Uni Gardens, IGLU Student Accommodation and Student Housing in Australia.
This furnished accommodation is also a great way to meet other students who may be studying at your university or at another institution in your city.
Homestay offers international students the opportunity to live in a local home while studying in Australia. This will help you improve your English and gain an authentic understanding of Australian life and culture.
It is also a good option for short-term stay if you plan on finding a private rental or other accommodation when you first arrive in Australia.
ACU Homestay placements are arranged by the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) and cost about $AU250 to $300 per week and must be booked for a minimum of 4 weeks.
Fees cover students’ accommodation, utilities, meals, access to laundering facilities, 24/7 professional phone support and ongoing Homestay host and student support as well as the AHN insurance policy.
Renting an apartment or house is also an option many international students choose to do.
Usually a share house is the most affordable option and a way to make new friends in your home away from home!
First off- unless you have family or friends in Australia that you absolutely trust it is not a good idea to sign a lease before you arrive in Australia – you wouldn’t buy a car sight unseen, would you?
Consider sharing housing with friends for affordable accommodation.
If you choose to live in a private rental, you will most likely have to buy furniture and your initial costs can be quite high.
You will pay a bond up front before you move into the property. A bond is a refundable security deposit that will cover damages that occur while you live at the property and is usually equal to four weeks of rent but this can vary.
As long as you do not damage the property and leave it as clean as (or cleaner!) than when you found it, you should receive your bond back in full.
You will also sign a lease (a rental agreement) before moving into the property and usually this is a 12 month contract but shorter term options may be available. The lease sets the terms of tenancy and will include information such as your rental payments – whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly – and will have the names of all tenants listed. A lease also includes conditions you will adhere to such as damage to property, your rights if they choose to sell the property, keeping of pets etc.
Ensure you read the agreement very carefully before signing it!
You can find rental properties on sites such as Domain and realestate.com.au.
Cost: When sharing, rent can range from $150 – $300+ per week and bills quarterly bills are usually split between housemates.
Another option is flatmate finding websites where you create a profile about yourself which includes what kind of place you are looking for, what you are willing to pay and some information about you. You can send enquiries to other users about their properties and they can contact you too.
This is a very popular way for people to find share accommodation but it carries with it a number of risks.
Moving in with strangers can be a risk and you need to make sure that you are paying a reasonable amount of rent and you are not getting taken advantage of.
If this is the option you choose, be safe and visit these properties with a friend. Also, it is important to ask as many questions as possible!
The last thing you want is to move into a place where the lease is up in a month, it doesn’t get renewed and you have to go through the process of finding somewhere to live all over again!
The cost for living with flatmates can vary, with anything from $100 a week to $300+.
The International Office has created accommodation guides to help you find suitable accommodation in your city so for more detailed information, visit the site.
Do you have any advice for finding accommodation in Australia?
Comment and let us know!