About to embark on a study journey to Australia? Once you’ve picked a city to study in, the next step is to figure out where to live. You have a few different options, including managed student accommodation, private rentals, share houses and homestay, with each offering its own advantages.
You might be curious as to whether you can organise your accommodation before getting to Australia. The good news is that you can, but there are some key things to keep in mind when looking for accommodation ahead of your arrival.
First things first
The first two considerations to take into account during your accommodation search are location and budget.
While the location of your new home will likely depend on where you will be studying, you will need also to decide whether you’re willing to commute a little further to and from classes to get a better price.
Make sure to research public transport and employment opportunities and talk to your parents if they will be contributing financial support, then figure out a budget to work with before you start looking for a place to live.
Managed student accommodation
All major Australian cities offer a range of managed student accommodation providers. The majority of managed student accommodation includes a mix of shared and private rooms of different sizes to suit most budgets, as well as additional amenities like common areas, gyms, study spaces and more. Managed student accommodation can offer an easy way to settle into your studies and make friends, which is ideal when you’re new to Australia.
If you want to have your living situation locked in before departure, managed student accommodation is a great choice because you’re dealing with a reputable provider and you’re able to reserve your room in advance. You should be able to see photos of the space and read reviews from previous students online before you make any commitments, as well as communicate by email or phone with the accommodation provider if you have any questions.
It’s best to organise your spot at least three months in advance, as managed student accommodation is a popular option and can fill up quickly.
Many Australian universities have arrangements with the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), which matches international students with local families for a unique cultural experience. All hosts undergo a background check and training, and the AHN manages the payment and communication between students and their hosts.
Before you book your homestay, you will need to know which educational institution you will be attending, your study dates and flight details. Once you have that information you can begin the process and completely organise your homestay from the comfort of your home country. AHN will support you throughout the process and help with any issues that may arise once you arrive in Australia.
Like managed student accommodation, you should organise a homestay at least three months in advance to guarantee a placement.
Private rentals are great if you want independence and the ability to establish your own home in Australia.
While you do have the option to organise a private rental before you arrive in Australia, there are a few things to take note of. Most real estate agencies will only consider applicants who have visited the property, so it can be tricky even getting through the application process. Plus, you may be at risk of getting caught up in a rental scam – find out more here.
For these reasons, it’s much easier to secure a private rental once you’ve already arrived. If a private rental is an appealing option, you could organise temporary accommodation for your first few weeks until you find a rental of your own.
Finding a room in a share house is one of the more difficult types of accommodation to organise from a distance. Living in a share house can be a cheap, social solution to your accommodation dilemma, but if you haven’t arrived in Australia yet, the process of finding a good match under pressure can be stressful.
Most share houses expect you to move in within a week or two of expressing interest. The lack of institutional or legal support also means it can be risky to commit to a room without seeing it or meeting your future housemates. It is recommended that you visit the house and work out a formal contract with the landlord and other housemates before you move in.
If you are interested in a share house and want to get the process started before your arrival, you can research what’s available using websites like Flatmates.com.au from wherever you are in the world.