Living in Student Accommodation vs. Private Rentals: The Pros and Cons

This article is sponsored by The Student Housing Company

Studying overseas comes with many decisions, one of the main ones being where to live. Two of the most popular options among international students include managed student accommodation and private rentals, both of which have a few advantages and disadvantages.

To help you make the right choice, we explore the pros and cons of living in each one.

What are the pros of living in managed student accommodation as an international student?

If you’re wondering, ‘Is student accommodation worth it?’, some of these benefits might just convince you!

Managed student accommodation is incredibly convenient

Of the many benefits of living in managed student accommodation in Australia, one of the most important is convenience. Managed student accommodation providers, such as The Student Housing Company, are purpose-built for students, so you can enjoy amenities such as on-site gyms, study spaces, common areas, laundry facilities, round-the-clock security and the option of professional cleaning. Rooms are typically furnished with everything you need (including furniture, bedding and kitchen utensils) and the buildings are generally very close to local education providers. This means less time commuting to and from class!

There’s a lot of flexibility

Many managed student accommodation providers offer flexible bookings and short-term stays. That way, you’re not locked into a long-term lease that can incur fees to break or amend. As well, there are often different room configurations, so you can choose between living alone in a studio or a flat with other roommates depending on your preference and budget.  

It can be easier to make friends

At managed student accommodation, you will be living with other students, meaning you’re moving into a ready-made community. Managed student accommodation providers run frequent social events to ensure you have opportunities to meet and network with your neighbours. 

Student housing is an ideal option for under-18 students

Managed student accommodation providers in Australia can accept students under the age of 18 and generally have systems in place to make sure younger students are taken care of.

What are the cons of living in managed student accommodation as an international student?

You may not need everything you’re paying for

As with many purpose-built products and services, you will generally pay more for the convenience of managed student accommodation. Consider if it is worth the extra expense to have everything you need under one roof. 

You might not be able to decorate your room

There may be little opportunity to customise or decorate your room, so it may not feel very homely or representative of your personality. As a good alternative, here are 10 ways to make your student accommodation feel like home.

It can take more effort to experience local culture

Living among other students in managed accommodation, usually very close to campus, may make you feel removed from the “real world”. To help mitigate that, you will need to make a solid effort to immerse yourself in local culture to properly experience Aussie life. 

What are the pros of living in a private rental as an international student?

Curious about the advantages of living in a private rental? Read on to find out!

It’s great for building life experience

You will gain a lot of independence when you live in a private rental. You may be living out of home for the first time when you study in Australia, and learning how to submit rental applications, manage your finances, be a great housemate and keep yourself fed, healthy and safe is perhaps just as important as your studies!

Private rentals can be cheaper

Private rentals can be less expensive than managed student accommodation because they don’t include all the added extras. But, you will need to consider the cost of living expenses like bills (which usually aren’t included in your rent), entertainment and working out. Here’s our guide to managing your budget as an international student in Australia, as well as a few tips for splitting costs in a share house!

You’ll get a real taste of local living

Of the many benefits of living in a share house, international students often say that being immersed in the Australian way of life is a major highlight. You may choose a location further away from campus but closer to the centre of the city or town, where you can experience all the action of your adoptive home. Your housemates might be working 9-to-5, doing late nights in the hospitality industry, from different countries, or of varying ages and life stages. This exposure to other people and areas will open you up to new opportunities and different – perhaps more authentic – Aussie experiences that you may not be subject to otherwise.

What are the cons of living in a private rental as an international student?

You have to take care of everything

Unlike in managed student accommodation, you will be responsible for almost everything when you live in a private rental. This includes, but is not limited to, your rental application, communication with your landlord or real estate agent, setting up services like energy and Wi-Fi, paying bills on time and cleaning. However, some international students love the freedom and responsibility that comes with managing their share house responsibilities

You don’t always know who you’re moving in with

Living with housemates is always a gamble. Read our guide to being a great housemate to avoid issues with bills, cleaning and differing schedules. 

You’ll need to furnish your rental yourself

Private rentals aren’t always furnished, so you will likely incur more up-front costs when you move in. To save a bit of money on furnishing your rental, you can use swap-and-sell websites like Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree and check out our guide to decorating your home on a budget

We’re here to help! Here is some more information on private rentals and managed student accommodation in Australia: