Types of Student accommodation, their advantages and disadvantages – Student Accommodatioin

by David Thompson June 19, 2020

Author’s advice:

While you are the best judge of what type of accommodation would suit you the best, I am providing a helping hand so that you make a wise call. Your decision on whether or not to opt for a specific type of accommodation must depend, to a great extent, on the four aspects mentioned below:

1. Location:
Is it important for you to stay in close proximity with the University or are you willing to travel? Would you be happier living in the hustle-bustle of the city or would the suburbs suit you better?

2. Lifestyle:
Are you a social individual or do you like spending time by yourself. If you were to believe me, the answer would largely impact your accommodation choice.

3. Affordability:
With the wide array of options available, budget proves to be a major factor in deciding the kind of accommodation you wish to opt for. Consider this facet wisely before taking a decision.

4. Commitment:
Make sure that you not only choose an appropriate accommodation for yourself, but also give due consideration to who you would be willing to share it with, in case you opt for shared accommodation. If not thought about wisely, changing accommodation in the mid of your course could prove to be a huge burden.

5. Purpose:
You must define a purpose while choosing an accommodation for yourself. If graduating with distinction is your primary objective, you would prefer opting for an accommodation, such as On-campus housing, that saves on travel time and allows maximum time for self-study. However, if you wish to learn about a foreign culture in depth, staying in a homestay would probably be the best option for you. Hence, get your priorities straight.

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This article intends to aid international students, currently pursuing or aiming to pursue education in Australiafind an accommodation. International students often find it extremely challenging to look for a place to stay in a new country taking into consideration lack of geographical know-how. This is where this article proves to be of immense help to you.

In order to rent an accommodation in Australia, you will require getting into a rental agreement with the landlord. Once the rental agreement is signed, you should receive the following documents from the landlord:

• One copy of information statement
• Two copies of property condition report which must ideally be received within 7 days of your occupancy of the new house
• In case you pay a security bond, you will need to sign a bond lodgment form

 

What type of accommodation would suit you the best

Lodging:

Students have the flexibility of choosing the most suitable from several accommodation options available to them. However, they take the decision only after conducting a detailed comparison among all listed options. This could have setbacks associated with it. The process of comparing among options is not only time-consuming; it may also prove to be unfruitful in the end. Hence, given below is a comparative list of possible lodging arrangements.

1. Boarding houses:

Boarding houses, also known as lodging houses provide accommodation for a rent that is similar as that for bedsits. A boarder has fewer rights as compared to a tenant. Students wanting to live alone at a budget price usually opt for a boarding house. You could refer to the list of registered rooming houses in Australia using this link.
Approximate rent: AUD$250–$350 a week

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 Advantages:
1. The rent for a boarding house cannot be increased without the consent of the boarder as per law.
2. Rent is often low.

Disadvantages:
1. The owner may ask you to leave his premise within a specific time frame, even without a valid reason.
2. The boarder shall only have the right to occupy a single room and shall be expected to share the kitchen and bathroom with the owner or other boarders.

2. Shared Apartments and Rental Properties:

Students also have the option of sharing an apartment or rental property with fellow mates. Shared apartments would ideally imply that you would be sharing the house with one or more people. A rental property does not necessarily imply that you would be required to share the accommodation.

However, most students go for sharing the house with others to save on expenses. Groups of students studying at the same University find it convenient to share an apartment and split the rent. You could refer to the following links while searching for a shared apartment or flatmates.

  1. https://www.realestate.com.au/share
  2. https://flatmates.com.au/
  3. https://www.flatmatefinders.com.au/

Approximate rent:AUD$100–$350 a week

 Advantages:
1. You can live with your friends.
2. Rent is shared which makes it affordable.
3. Rental accommodation can be easily found online, in local newspapers, housing services department of universities, on student bulletin-boards etc.

Disadvantages:
1. Rental properties are usually unfurnished.
2. An advance rental and security deposit is to be paid to secure the booking of the apartment.

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3. Homestay:

A Homestay is where the student stays in an Australian Family almost like a family member. Most Universities maintain a diary with necessary information about approved homestay options. A homestay happens to be one of the most preferred choices of accommodation for international students who wish to learn and imbibe Australian culture. However, it is important that you stay open to adapting to a new culture before choosing to opt for a homestay, lest you should face a culture shock.

Please refer to the below mentioned links for a deeper insight.

  1. https://www.homestay.com/australia
  2. http://www.homestay.net.au/
  3. www.couchsurfing.com
  4. https://www.airbnb.co.in/

Approximate rent:AUD$235–$325 a week

Advantages:
1. Living with an Australian family
2. Single as well as shared rooms are available.
3. Meals are usually included in the rent and are cooked at home, thus providing a greater nutritional value.

Disadvantages:
1. You may not necessarily find a homestay close to your University location.
2. You may feel that your privacy is invaded since you live with an entire family with little scope for calling friends over or partying at home.

 

What type of accommodation would suit you the best

4. Off-campus Hostel/Guest House:

Hostel and guest house accommodation options happen to be the hot choice for newcomers and first year students. A hostel is opted for by several students, particularly those exploring pocket-friendly options. You could find the below mentioned link useful if you’re looking for an off-campus hostel.
Approximate rent:AUD$80–$135 a week

Advantages:
1. It is one of the most economical accommodation options available.
2. Students have the liberty of cooking by themselves.
3. This type of accommodation provides great scope for interaction with other international students.

Disadvantages:
1. Hostels require you to share all amenities such as bathrooms and kitchen.
2. You may end up feeling that you are not being delivered value for money, especially in some cases where you could be required to pay for meals separately.

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 5.  Residential Colleges:

Colleges having options for residence are usually opted for by students looking for ease of convenience as these residences are well equipped with facilities like laundry and free meals. Since this type of accommodation is one of the most expensive out of available options, students willing to shell out a large amount of money consider them.

Approximate rent:AUD$50–$300 a week

Advantages:

  1. College residence includes meals and laundry services.
  2. Support services related to studying as well as performing various activities are also available.
  3. You live within the campus which saves transportation time and money.

Disadvantages:

  1. College residences are often extremely expensive due to the wide array of facilities offered.
  2. You may have to apply for college residence as early as possible due to limited availability.
  3. The fees may vary drastically from University to University.

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6.  Apartments:

Apartments are generally rented by students who are in the final year of their degree and are looking for independence along with security of college-based housing.

Please refer to the following links for an estimate of rentals in different cities of Australia.

  1. http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/where-are-the-cheapest-places-to-rent-in-australia/story-fndbatbk-1226833906956
  2. https://www.sublet.com/state_rentals/australia_rentals.asp
  3. https://www.stayz.com.au/budget-accommodation

Approximate rent:AUD$50–$400 a week

Advantages:

  1. You get to live independently while staying in close proximity with the University.
  2. Apartments are often self-contained residential places with a kitchen and a bathroom along with a small living area.
  3. Transportation costs to and from the University are minimal.
  4. Societies are self-contained and have provisions like recreational spaces and community clubs

Disadvantages:

  1. You are expected to pay extra for meals, phone services and internet access. At times, you may be required to make necessary arrangements for the same.
  2. You may feel deprived of living in the campus and imbibing its culture.
  3. Since you are responsible for buying your own grocery and maintenance of the house, your expenses increase.

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7.On-campus Housing:

Living within the campus is also a popular choice among students for whom budget is not a constraint. There could be several options for a student willing to opt for on-campus housing such as

  1. University housing: Includes various facilities like meals, laundry, means of rejuvenation etc. It is fairly expensive as compared to other available options for accommodation.
  2. Hostel: This is the cheapest form of accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchens. You are expected to prepare your own food.
  3. Halls of residence/ University dormitories: It has fewer facilities than University housing and includes accommodation, cafeteria and laundry services.

You could refer to this link to know more about accommodation options at the University you wish to be a part of.

Approximate rent:AUD$50–$350 a week

Advantages:

  1. Living within the campus saves commutation times and expenses.
  2. On-campus housing provides greater opportunities for interacting with fellow batchmates.
  3. You get to be a part of the several parties hosted in campus which helps you make friends in a new place.
  4. You shall not be devoid of comforts like swimming pools and gymnasiums in most Universities.
  5. You could engage in extra-curricular activities like sports and music without compromising on time.

Disadvantages:

  1. Accommodation may be expensive, even though costs vary greatly from area to area.
  2. The University could have laid down a set of rules and regulations that you will have to abide by while living on-campus.
  3. Socializing too much with fellow students could also prove to be a potential distraction from studies.

Now that you are comfortably settled in your new accommodation you should concentrate on getting an A+ for you first assignment.

Other articles under blog series of “Finding affordable student accomodation in Australia”

    1. Complete Guide On Student Accommodation In Australia
    2. Types of Student accommodation, their advantages and disadvantages
    3. How To Find Cheap Student Accommodation
    4. A Guide To Rental Terms, Rules and Regulations For Students

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