There are a range of different types of accommodation for international students available in Australia. The accommodation type you choose will depend on what type of living arrangement you prefer, what facilities you want or need, and your budget.
When choosing your accommodation some things to consider are:
- Do you want to live alone or live with others?
- How far is it from your study location?
- Is it close to public transport such as buses or trains?
- What facilities are close, like shopping centres or hospitals?
When you first arrive in Australia you may want to organise short-term accommodation in a hotel, motel or hostel while you settle into your area and look for a permanent place to live.
In hostels you can rent a bed (often a bunk bed in a dormitory style room) with shared bathroom, common areas, and sometimes kitchen facilities provided. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, and private rooms may also be available.
In hotel, motel, or Airbnb accommodation you'll usually rent a whole room or apartment. You'll generally have your own private bathroom, and as such, the costs are usually more than staying in a hostel.
Homestay providers may also provide short-term homestay packages to help you settle in and familiarise yourself with your local area.
Some useful websites to get you started include:
- Youth Hostels Australia (hostels)
- Wotif (hotels/motels)
- Lastminute (hotels/motels)
- Airbnb (holiday rentals)
- Stayz (holiday rentals).
Homestay gives you an opportunity to live with an Australian family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have a supportive family environment and a home away from home. Some homestay options include meals and others are self-catered so you can choose an option that suits your needs.
Before accepting a homestay family, you can specify any special needs and the Homestay provider will try and find a homestay to suit. Families offering homestay accommodation are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students. Homestay usually costs between $200 -$300 a week depending on how many meals per day you would like.
You might like to consider the following homestay providers to get started:
- International Student Care Australia
- Australian Homestay Network
- ASAP Homestays Australia
- Eastern Shores International (Gold Coast only)
- Study Match (Gold Coast only).
There are a range of purpose-built student accommodation providers throughout Queensland that cater for international students. This accommodation gives you a great opportunity to meet fellow students while still having your own space. Many student accommodation providers have additional facilities such as common areas, social events, and after-hours security.
Most student accommodations have features and facilities including:
- bedrooms with or without en suite
- fully furnished options
- cabled internet in rooms, and wireless hotspots in lobby
- in-house residential coordinators who organise social, cultural and sporting activities.
Some student accommodation providers include:
You may decide to rent your own house or a room. Renting with others is a good way to keep costs down. The price of shared accommodation will depend on the area and how many people you live with. In a shared apartment, flat, or house each person usually has their own bedroom and shares the bathroom, kitchen and living areas with others.
Some real estate search websites in Queensland are:
Signing a lease
When renting a property you will need to sign a lease. A lease is a binding legal document between a tenant (you) and a landlord (the owner) that describes the responsibilities of each party. Your responsibilities include paying accommodation expenses on time and keeping the property neat and tidy. It's the landlord’s responsibility for maintaining the property and fixing any maintenance issues.
You can rent or lease a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done privately or through a real estate agent. When renting a property you will need to pay a security deposit or bond (usually four weeks rent) as well as rent in advance (usually two to four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that is caused to the property while renting. Some or all of this amount may be refunded to you once your lease has ended. Think carefully before signing a lease because you will be held responsible for any damage to the property or for any unpaid rent, even if you are sharing with others.
Residential Tenancies Authority
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) is a government body that helps tenants with general rental advice. If you have any questions regarding rental properties the RTA can help you. They have an interpreting service and factsheets translated into many different languages. If you have problems with your landlord or real estate agent that you can't solve, you can lodge a dispute with the RTA who will then help to resolve the problem through a formal process.