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Home ยป Finding Accommodation in Australia: Tips for International Students

Finding Accommodation in Australia: Tips for International Students

Behold the grand quest of finding a suitable abode in the land of kangaroos! Accommodation, a magical ingredient that can make or break your experience, can either be a wonderful friend or a dangerous foe. It has the power to transform your academic journey into a rollercoaster ride, and can either grant you inner peace or become a thorn in your side. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick the right one. Fear not, for in this article, we shall enlighten you with a comprehensive guide to finding accommodation in Australia. We shall take you on a journey that will help you make a wise decision in terms of the different types of accommodation available, factors to consider when choosing a place to live, tips for searching for accommodation, and advice on budgeting and applying for housing. Whether you’re a first-time international student or a seasoned traveler, we promise to be your guiding star in the treacherous path of finding a home away from home in Australia.

Types of accommodation

Many faces of accommodations are available to international students in Australia. Each option comes with its own set of blessings and curses, much like a double-edged sword. The main types of accommodation are:

Student Dormitories

Behold, the shiny, alluring on-campus dormitories, tempting international students with their promises of easy access to campus facilities, a built-in social community, and meal plans. But beware, dear students, for this glittering facade may come at a hefty price, and the cost of limited privacy and freedom may be more than what you bargained for. Off-campus options may not have the same glamour, but they do offer a degree of independence and affordability that is hard to ignore.


A wondrous opportunity to dive headfirst into the ocean of Australian culture and language. Homestays, are a safety net for the homesick and lost, providing warmth and nourishment in the form of home-cooked meals and covered utilities. But alas, tread carefully, dear students, for finding a compatible host family can be as elusive as finding a needle in a haystack. And even when you do, the chains of restrictions may bind you from fully embracing the experience, limiting your activities and socializing opportunities.

Shared Apartments

Shared apartments, where the brave and budget-conscious come together to form a community of young professionals and students. Here, you’ll find the sweet spot of independence and flexibility, with the bonus of socialization and a lighter wallet. But, be warned, the path to blissful cohabitation is fraught with danger. The search for a suitable roommate is akin to finding a diamond in the rough, and even when you do, differences in lifestyle and shared responsibilities may be the fire-breathing dragon that stands in the way of your happily ever after.

Rental Properties

The dream of renting your own studio, apartment, or house, where you reign as king or queen, basking in the glory of maximum independence and privacy. The price may be right, depending on where you choose to lay your hat, but be prepared to roll up your sleeves and put in the effort and responsibility to find and maintain your rental property. But, dear student, beware, for with great power comes great responsibility. The solitude may be sweet, but it comes at a cost, as the lack of community may leave you feeling like a lone wolf, howling into the void.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Accommodation

The decision of choosing accommodation for international students studying in Australia, a decision that can make or break your study abroad experience. With the plethora of options available, it’s like navigating a labyrinth blindfolded, unsure of which path to take. You must take into account several factors, including how close you are to campus, the cost, safety, amenities, social opportunities, and personal preferences. In this section, we’ll hold your hand and guide you through each of these factors, giving you insider tips on how to evaluate them to make your decision a little less daunting. By carefully considering these factors, you can avoid the pitfalls and find the accommodation that best suits your unique needs, leading to a study abroad experience that is as sweet as honey.

Proximity to campus

Consider the distance between your accommodation and your university or college, and ask yourself, can you walk there without collapsing from exhaustion? Or is public transportation the only thing standing between you and an endless commute? Living close to campus is like striking gold, as it saves you precious time and money on transportation, and makes it easier to participate in campus activities. Don’t be the unfortunate soul stuck in the suburbs, watching from afar as your fellow students bask in the glory of campus life. Choose wisely, dear student, and reap the rewards.


A process that’s sure to bring a smile to your face! As you evaluate your accommodation options, don’t forget to factor in those pesky additional expenses, like utilities, internet, and food. After all, who doesn’t love a good surprise expense to add some spice to their life? And let’s not forget the cost of living in the area. Some cities and neighborhoods may drain your wallet faster than a speeding bullet, leaving you feeling like you’re living on a shoestring budget.


When choosing your accommodation, make sure to inspect the neighborhood with a fine-tooth comb. Look for the appropriate safety features like locks and smoke detectors that are sure to make you feel like you’re living in Fort Knox. Don’t forget to take into account the reputation of the area and the property itself. Who needs a good night’s sleep when you can spend your time worrying about the sketchy reputation of your surroundings? And if you’re feeling unsure about your choices, why not read some reviews from other tenants? Nothing like reading about their horror stories to put your mind at ease!


When choosing accommodation, it’s crucial to consider what bells and whistles are included in the package. Does the place offer laundry facilities or will you have to resort to washing your clothes in the creek? Is there internet access, or will you be forced to use a carrier pigeon to send messages? Is there parking available, or will you need to use a hovercraft to transport yourself to and from your car? And if cooking is your thing, make sure to check if the property comes with kitchen appliances or if you’ll be roasting your food over an open flame.

Social opportunities

Why bother with friends when you can live like a hermit crab? But if you do decide to socialize, consider whether the accommodation provides opportunities for it. Maybe there are organized activities or common areas where you can make connections. Or perhaps you prefer sharing living spaces with other international students, and bonding over cramped quarters and petty disagreements. Either way, living in a community can provide a welcome distraction from the monotony of studying.

Personal preferences and lifestyle

Consider whether you’d like a silent, peaceful environment or a bustling, social community. Think about whether you want to live with others and share living spaces or be the king or queen of your own castle. And don’t forget to take into account any special needs or requirements you have.

Searching for accommodation

When searching for accommodation as an international student in Australia, it’s important to be organized, thorough, and flexible. Here are some tips to help with the search process:

Start early

Don’t wait until the last minute to start your hunt for accommodation, unless you enjoy the thrill of a high-stress situation. If you’re looking for a place to live in a popular area, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, so you’ll want to start as soon as possible. You can also try hitting up your college or university for some help, but don’t count on it – they might not have your back.

Use online resources

Using the internet is the perfect way to track down the ideal accommodation for students. You can scour through student accommodation websites, Facebook groups, and classified ads like a detective on a case. But don’t forget to be on guard for any scammers or fraudulent listings that might pop up along the way. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, after all!

Narrow down your options

You’ve finally made it to the exciting part of the accommodation search – creating a shortlist of potential properties. You can think of this as your personal VIP list of accommodations that are ready to compete for your attention. Go ahead and be picky, consider all your needs and preferences, and don’t settle for less than you deserve. Once you have your shortlist, it’s time to start grilling those landlords and property managers with your questions, so don’t be afraid to ask. Remember, you’re the one with the power in this situation, so make sure they impress you during those viewings.

Attend viewings

You finally get a chance to put on your detective hat and investigate potential accommodations up close and personal. Stroll around the property like you’re on a date with it and examine everything thoroughly, from the roof to the floor. Keep your eyes and ears open for any red flags, such as odd smells, squeaky doors, or nosy neighbors.

Ask for references

Asking for references from previous or current tenants might just give you a glimpse into the hellish nightmare you’re signing up for. But hey, at least you’ll be making an informed decision, right?

Be prepared to negotiate

When you’re ready to sign on the dotted line for your new pad, don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. You might be surprised at what you can get if you ask. Consider asking for some extra sugar to sweeten the deal, like a shorter lease term, or maybe even a swimming pool thrown in. But beware, you don’t want to sink yourself into a bad situation, so make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the lease agreement before you dive in.

Consider a trial period

Landlords who offer them are like chefs who let you taste their dishes before ordering the full meal. It’s a wise move to take advantage of such offers as it saves you from committing to a long-term lease with a property that might turn out to be a nightmare. Make the most of the opportunity to test out the property and see if it meets your needs and preferences.

Applying for accommodation

Once you have identified suitable accommodation, the next step is to apply for it. Here’s what you need to know about the application process for accommodation in Australia:

Application form

Landlords and property managers just love paperwork! So, when you find that perfect place to call home, be prepared to fill out an application form. They’ll want to know everything about you, from your favorite color to your deepest, darkest secrets. Okay, maybe not that last part, but they will want to know your personal details, rental history, and employment status. It’s almost like you’re applying for a job, except you get to pay them instead of the other way around.

Supporting documentation

Landlords or property managers may ask for a bunch of documents from you, such as your birth certificate, passport, tax returns, bank statements, and even a letter from your mother saying what a great tenant you are. It’s always good to be prepared, so make sure you have all the necessary documentation handy when submitting your application.

Rental agreement

If you thought filling out the application was tough, wait till you get to sign the rental agreement or lease. This legally binding document is where you’ll find all the terms and conditions of your tenancy, such as how much you’ll have to shell out each month and how long you’ll have to stay. Make sure you read it thoroughly and don’t hesitate to ask questions or negotiate any terms that don’t sit well with you.


As a tenant, you may be asked to pay a bond or security deposit, which is essentially a wad of cash held hostage as insurance against any potential damage or unpaid rent. The amount of this bond will vary, and you’ll have to be willing to part with your precious savings to secure your place in the property.

Move-in inspection

Move-in inspection, a crucial step in the process of renting a property. Before you can fully embrace your new home, you must spend time carefully scrutinizing every nook and cranny, and playing detective to uncover any existing damage or problems. This inspection is often a delightful opportunity for you to bond with your landlord or property manager as you comb through the property together, painstakingly documenting any blemish or imperfection that existed before you even set foot in the place.

Ongoing responsibilities

You’ll have the delightful task of paying rent on time, making sure that the property is kept in tip-top condition, and following all the rules outlined in the rental agreement. It’s like having a never-ending to-do list!

Budgeting for accommodation

Budgeting for accommodation is a critical aspect of the study abroad experience in Australia. Here are some factors to consider when creating a budget for accommodation:


If you’re lucky, rent might just be a small crack in your wallet that won’t suck up all your hard-earned cash. But let’s face it, for most of us, it’s a massive sinkhole that threatens to swallow us whole! To avoid being dragged into the abyss, make sure to calculate how much you can afford and don’t let rent devour more than 30% of your income.


Are you ready to add some more green bills to your expenses? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of utilities like electricity, gas, and water – they may come included in your rent or billed separately.

Internet and phone

Access to the internet and a working phone line are almost as important as oxygen nowadays. Be prepared to fork out some extra cash for these essential services, which may or may not be included in your rent. Look for providers that offer deals and discounts, or you’ll find yourself spending more than a king’s ransom. If you’re a student, keep an eye out for student discounts or bundle packages that can help you save some hard-earned dough.

Food and groceries

depending on your accommodation, you may have to share a kitchen with your fellow inhabitants or be left to fend for yourself in the culinary arena. But hey, don’t forget to consider the cost of food, both the groceries, and the occasional splurge of dining out when planning your budget.


Don’t forget to account for the cost of getting from point A to point B. Whether you’re taking the bus, filling up the tank, or repairing your bicycle, it’s important to factor in these expenses when planning your budget.

Miscellaneous expenses

It’s always thrilling to see what kind of surprises life throws your way, like a burst pipe, a broken window, or a pet who decides to eat your shoes. So, it’s wise to allocate some funds for these delightful little emergencies. You never know when you’ll need to buy a new toilet brush, a plunger, or a box of tissues for those inevitable colds. Don’t forget to add some cash to your budget for those pesky personal care products too.


As an international student, finding suitable accommodation in Australia can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. You’ll need to consider a variety of factors, such as the accommodation type, location, and cost. It’s like solving a puzzle, where every piece counts towards a comfortable and enjoyable experience during your time in Australia.

To make things worse, the application process can be a bureaucratic nightmare, and creating a realistic budget can feel like trying to catch a greased pig. It’s like navigating through a maze of paperwork, numbers, and fine print.

But don’t worry, you can always seek help from student services or tenancy advocacy organizations, just like a sailor navigating through stormy waters with a compass. They can provide you with valuable support and advice to ensure your accommodation search is smooth sailing.

So, grab your life jacket and dive in! With careful research, a pinch of luck, and a lot of perseverance, you can find the perfect place to call home during your study abroad adventure in Australia. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!