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Student Accommodation Types in Australia: Comparing Housing Options for International Students

Vidushi Vidushi
Study Abroad Expert

Australia is among the top countries preferred by both students and tourists. Due to its vibrant multiculturalism and reasonable study costs, Australia attracts students from everywhere. The Universities in Australia also provide wonderful options in globally recognized courses, without costing as much as the United States and the United Kingdom; which is why so many students want to study in Australia.

One of the most advantageous aspects of Australia is its comparatively affordable accommodation. However, cost and availability are big determining factors while searching for accommodation in Australian cities. For International students, on-campus living facilities are very popular but are limited in number. Hence, there is no dearth of off-campus residence options.

To weigh both options, here are a few important factors to keep in mind while considering living in Australia:

Comparison: On-campus and Off-campus Accommodations

Average Cost(Weekly)160-470 AUD Prices vary for lodges, studio, single room, twin sharing and number of meals opted85-440 AUD Prices vary depending on city, rent, number of people sharing, and amenities.
AvailabilityLimited number of seats, differs with each collegeEasily available
DurationDepends on courses; 4-52 weeksVaries with type of accommodation; short term to long term
AmenitiesIncludes water, food, electricity, internet, etc;
Different Halls and Lodges have different charges according to needs and budget of the student
Everything needs to be arranged if living in a rented house;
Homestays are inclusive of most amenities with options to out of desired services
TransportationConvenientVaries with area, may cost a lot of time and/or money

Students need to be aware of the limited number of university housing. In Australia, on-campus housing options exist sparingly as there are not many universities. While there are residential colleges that offer furnished rooms with good amenities, the majority of the students live off-campus because it is generally cheaper than average university-managed accommodation. All the options have their own pros and cons and ultimately depend on the needs and budgets of the student.

Homestays in Australia

While there are options like private rentals, apartments, guesthouses, boarding houses, and Au Pair, homestays have been gaining popularity because of their enriching experiences and availability in varying budgets. Homestays are an affordable option for accommodation in Australia and are usually charged on a weekly basis. Here are some benefits of living in a homestay:

  • Enhanced English Language skills

Most students may not have English as their first language. Even if they have passed the required tests to study in Australia, living in a homestay provides them with an opportunity to practice their English comfortably with the hosting family. This is extremely helpful for studies and communication in a foreign country.

  • A Cheaper Alternative

Not everyone finds accommodation on campus. While house-sharing may be an option for some, it is still too expensive due to rising rent prices. An average homestay can cost anywhere from 110 AUD to 370 AUD per week. This includes a lot of amenities like water, food, the internet, etc., which students have to arrange otherwise at extra costs. Even though there are plenty of scholarships and loans that students can apply for if they need financial aid, it is always better to be economical.

  • Learning Australian Culture

Living with a local Aussie family will help foreign students get comfortable with the new culture and local knowledge. The family will definitely guide you around local transport, food options, destinations and local way of life. Homestays can be a home away home where students can experience the new changes while they look for accommodation

Homestays in Australia- Where to Find?

There are many ways to find a homestay in Australia. These portals provide many services, varieties, budgets, and options so that they can cater to everyone’s requirements. Here are some popular options:

  • Australian Homestay Network (AHN)

Formed in 2008, AHN is an online, national management system which ensures great standards for homestays throughout Australia. AHN makes it easy to facilitate and resource good homestays and supervisors. It meets all relevant legislation and provides National, State, and Regional compliance standards. Currently, overall 11 cities from six states offer affordable homestays throughout Australia.

AHN provides everything online- including training, applications, and payments. It also provides 24x7 emergency phone support for hosts and students.

Placement FeeOne time only, Non-refundable varies according to the region
Minimum Stay Period28 nights
Average Stay PeriodThree months
Max. Distance From Place Of StudyWithin 60 minutes from Public Transport
Notice Period For LeavingTwo weeks
Facilities ProvidedInternet, Laundry facilities, Utilities, Private bedroom, meals
No-meal OptionYes
InvoicingEvery four weeks

Cost of Living in Australia When Opting For AHN

Australia has a lot to offer in terms of work, higher studies and tourism, making it an expensive place to live in. There are student homestays in major cities like Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney. Due to student-specific pricing, prices differ for every homestay. Estimated costs of major Australian cities are tabulated below:

  • Homestays for students in Sydney
    • National Matching Fee: 290
    • Airport Pickup: 160
PackagesPrivate RoomShared Room
Traditional Homestay (2 Meals Monday- Friday, 3 Meals on weekends)330AUD300AUD
Complete Homestay (3 meals, everyday)350AUD320AUD
Dinner Only295 AUD265AUD
No-Meals250AUD220 AUD
  • Homestays for students inCanberra
    • National Matching Fee: 290
    • Airport Pickup: 130
PackagesPrivate RoomShared Room
Traditional Homestay (2 Meals Monday- Friday, 3 Meals on weekends)325AUD295AUD
Complete Homestay (3 meals, everyday)345AUD315AUD
Dinner Only295AUD265AUD
No-Meals250AUD220 AUD
  • Homestays for students in Melbourne
    • National Matching Fee: 290
    • Airport Pickup: 160
PackagesPrivate RoomShared Room
Traditional Homestay (2 Meals Monday- Friday, 3 Meals on weekends)325AUD295AUD
Complete Homestay (3 meals, everyday)345AUD315AUD
Dinner Only290 AUD260AUD
No-Meals250AUD220 AUD
  • Homestays for students in Brisbane
    • National Matching Fee: 290
    • Airport Pickup: 135
PackagesPrivate RoomShared Room
Traditional Homestay (2 Meals Monday- Friday, 3 Meals on weekends)320AUD290AUD
Complete Homestay (3 meals, everyday)290AUD260AUD
Dinner Only265 AUD235AUD
No-Meals230AUD200 AUD
  • Homestays for students in Perth
    • National Matching Fee: 290
    • Airport Pickup: 130
PackagesPrivate RoomShared Room
Traditional Homestay (2 Meals Monday- Friday, 3 Meals on weekends)325AUD295AUD
Complete Homestay (3 meals, everyday)290AUD260AUD
Dinner Only265 AUD235AUD
No-Meals210AUD180 AUD

AHN also has a VIP Homestay package at an additional price of 75AUD to the traditional package.

Students requiring a special diet( Halal, Kosher, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian) may be charged extra fees.

  • Homestay Australia

This website lists trusted homestays in six cities. It has filters according to budget range, whether the guest is a student or tourist, and if they want to opt for pickup and internet facilities. The website lists accommodations in different cities along with price, preferences and genuine reviews.

Official website: Homestay Australia

  • Homestay Direct

Since 2006, Homestay direct has been helping national and international students find affordable accommodation in Australia. It provides living arrangements in eight major Australian cities. It has options for different living arrangements, including shared rooms, private rooms, VIP homestays for students under and above 18 years of age. However, the internet will be provided at a weekly fee of 10 AUD unless the student has selected the VIP package.

Official website: Homestay Direct

  • Student Accommodation Services

Established in 1998, SAS has received a quality management certification that ensures the highest standards of customer service. However, it only provides homestays in Victoria.

Official website: SAS

Rentals and Shared Accommodations

Many students coming for higher education in Australia prefer living off-campus with other international students, which is a good way to cut down expenses as well as have a multicultural experience. Australian Colleges have a team of housing advisors dedicated to help and guide new students to consider their housing arrangements. Some of the popular listing sites are mentioned under:

There are also university-provided housings which students can consider. These colleges provide accommodation related information and guidelines regarding legal, economic and social details concerning their stay in Australia.

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