Finding the right accommodation is Australia is one of the biggest challenges facing any new international student, and finding a place in your price range can be even harder.

If your educational institution has an International Office, contact the staff well in advance of your arrival for information on housing options on and off campus. They might be able to provide you with links to accommodation boards on your institution’s website, or within the community. Also, regularly check websites such as www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au that list rental accommodation as well as share accommodation, as does www.gumtree.com.au. On arrival, your college or university notice boards are also good places to find opportunities for shared and independent rental accommodation.

If you have rented accommodation in your home country, consider getting references from your former landlord(s). Providing copies of these to an Australian real estate agent when you apply for a property can show that you have a proven record as a good tenant. You should also be prepared to provide the real estate agent with a bank account statement showing that you have enough money to pay for your accommodation.

There are many different types of accommodation available in Australia, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs. Most accommodation, except homestay, does not include electrical items, furniture, bedding or kitchen utensils. Cheap household goods are often advertised for private sale in newspapers and on campus notice boards, and can also be purchased from charity or opportunity shops and secondhand stores.

Here’s a outline to what to expect from various accommodation options. Figures quoted are for accommodation only. Other living costs are additional (except homestay, which usually includes some meals).

Types of accommodation

Homestay (about A$180 to $290 a week)

Homestay is when you live with an Australian family in their home. It is popular with younger students and for those studying short-term English courses. Single or shared rooms are available and the costs vary. Meals are usually included, but cheaper self-catering homestay is available.

You should pay for your homestay rent and deposit (usually the equivalent of four weeks’ rent) on arrival (if you have not paid before arriving in Australia). Make sure you get a receipt each time you pay the rent.

Hostels, backpackers and guest houses (about A$90 to $160 a week)

Hostels are usually run by organisations such as Youth Hostels Australia and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) but may also be operated by private or commercial organisations. Students share kitchen and bathroom facilities. This accommodation is usually a short stay option.

Boarding schools (about A$10,000 to $15,000 a year)

Many private secondary schools provide accommodation, meals and laundry services for international school students. Tuition fees are in addition to the boarding fees. You will live in a dormitory with other students of the same sex and be supervised by adults.

Campus accommodation (about A$150 to $280 a week)

Most universities and some VET and English language colleges offer a variety of accommodation on or near campus such as apartments, residential colleges or halls of residence. The cost varies depending on the type of accommodation.

Residential colleges are slightly more expensive and provide accommodation with meals. They may also have sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and computer facilities.

Halls of residence are located on or near institution campuses and are generally cheaper than residential colleges. Students usually have meals and some cleaning services provided.

If you are interested in this type of accommodation, contact your institution and apply early. Places are in high demand, and in Australia you are not guaranteed a room by simply being accepted for study.

Student Visa Expert is a leading organisation promoting Higher Education abroad for students from India and Middle East.If you’ve already decided on an institution contact Student Visa Expert to find out about the application process and visa requirements. If you haven’t decided yet, let our Student Councilors help you in selecting a course, enrolling to study in Australia, visa application guidance and much more like finding an accommodation for you in Australia.