You can choose where you live in Australia. IIEC can provide information and help you find accommodation. Your choice may depend on your level of education, personality, study style and financial situation.
The accommodation options for international students are:
- On-campus residences
- School boarding houses
- Rented accommodation.
When you first arrive, you may stay in a hostel or guest house while you are working out your accommodation. Institutions often have links with local hostels which may provide discounts to students. Hostels and guest houses are about $80 to $135 a week and hotels are $50 to $100 a night.
On-campus residences or colleges
These are offered at universities and some vocational institutions. Depending on the level of services, they cost between $100 to $400 a week. You’ll usually have a separate bedroom but share other facilities such as the bathroom, recreation area and laundry. Some residential colleges provide three meals a day in a common dining room, while others have a shared kitchen where students cook their own meals. Some are single-sex, while others are co-educational. Some have a religious affiliation.
School boarding houses
Most primary and high school international students live in boarding houses on the school grounds. You’re likely to share a room with other students. Bathroom, dining and recreation areas are shared. You’re provided with three meals a day. Students are supervised at all times. Boarding fees range from $10,000 to $20,000 a year.
Homestay with a local family
Homestay means living with an Australian family and immersing yourself in the Australian way of life. Homestay can be either a “room only” arrangement or “full board” where the host family provides meals. For many parents of international students, homestay means security as their children are living at home with responsible adults. Homestay is often arranged through the education institution to ensure that students are placed with an appropriate family. This is often a good option for younger students including high school students and English language students. Homestay fees are from around $110 to $270 a week.
Rented apartments and houses
In Australia, students often share an apartment or house with others. There are usually two to four students in a share house. You have your own bedroom but share living areas, kitchen and laundry. Rent, electricity, gas and telephone costs are shared. You can live alone if you prefer. This is also a great option for students with families. Universities often have an accommodation office to help with finding a rental home. Rental costs depend on the area, city or regional location and style of house or apartment. For a single person in a shared house, costs are from $70 to $250 a week. To rent out an entire apartment or house can cost from $100 to $600 depending on the size and location.
Getting to your institution from your home country
Australia’s capital cities all have airports and most of these have international terminals. Many other cities and large towns also have airports. You’ll fly into a major city and then, dependent on the location of your institution, fly to another town or catch a bus or train.
Some institutions will arrange to meet you at the airport. At the beginning of each year, IDP sets up a meeting point at Sydney and Melbourne airports to help you. We also have an airport pick-up service that you can book for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Australia is a large country with an extensive transport network. Be aware that there are long distances between cities and towns. Planes, buses and trains link between cities and regional areas. Cars are popular, particularly in country areas. If you want to drive, make sure you have an international driver’s permit, usually available through your country’s motoring association.
Cities have public transport networks supported by buses, trains, trams and ferries. You can buy weekly tickets which give you a discount. Student concessions are available to international students in all states except NSW and Victoria.
Buses are the cheapest option between cities, followed by trains and the planes. Recent competition in the airline industry has meant cheaper plane prices – particularly when tickets are bought online.