After the visa process is complete and the excitement is rising, there is an underlying stress under all this excitement about managing your finances and finding the proper place to live and mode of travel during your studies in Australia. This is not a piece of cake and requires a good understanding of what your needs are as well as your budget and lifestyle.
Your friend might have found it easy to live in a shared apartment but you might find it stressful and distracting. To resolve these mysteries for you, you can read through this guide and find a reasonable solution as you are adjusting to a new life in Australia.
Types of housing available in Australia
All these new Australian words and terms for accommodation options that you must be coming across during your online searches must have overwhelmed you by now. Let’s look at what each option means and how much it can cost you.
Options for student accommodation in Australia
You need to know all your options so that you don’t have any regrets when you finally choose one and pay for it
- On campus living: This includes the housing facilities provided by the university. The administration pays for the utilities, bills and other services in this pre-furnished house. You can contact your university campus to find out more
- Hostels or guesthouses: These are shared spaces where travellers and other temporary residents besides students usually live for a short time
- Student apartments: Apartment buildings dedicated to housing students. There are options to live alone or in a shared apartment
- Share houses: You can rent a room in a house and share it with other people
- Shared apartment: One apartment where you and your flatmates or friends can contribute in the rent and live together
- Homestays: Living with an Australian family and getting a private room in the house
Choosing the best location for your housing in Australia
Now that you’ve looked at your options, you might be inclined towards one or two of the housing facilities but still, you can not make a decision because it has to be a favourable location for your daily commute. So how do you choose the best location? Ideally, it would be best to get a place which is closest to your campus and then you can even go there walking on foot or bicycle. Once you are clear about the mode of transportation that you will be using, it can get easier to choose the location of your future home.
Pros and cons of different housing options
- On campus living: With this option, you will be very close to your campus and there will be no commute cost. However, you will have to share the room with other people and it might also cost you a lot- 80 AUD to 250 AUD per week. This can also get booked really quickly so you might not find vacant rooms when you reach the country
- Hostels/ guesthouses: This is cheaper than university accommodation and an excellent opportunity to interact with travellers from all over the world. If you are looking for a temporary place to spend some days while you figure out your permanent residence, you can easily get a shared room here. Bathroom and kitchen are shared as well and this will cost you 80 AUD to 135 AUD per week
- Student apartments: Here you will not be expected to share the room and can get a single apartment for yourself too. The prices for these can vary from city to city but you can browse your options at SemesterinAustralia, Campus Living Villages, UniLodge, etc.
- Shared house or apartment: Getting a private space and sharing it with like-minded friends is usually the best option if you want to focus and have independence as well. This can cost you around 100 AUD to 400 AUD and this rent can be split with your housemates. This is the most common option of residence for international students in Australia
- Homestay: This can get expensive as it costs around 110 AUD to 270 AUD per week but you get a homely environment. Food and other utilities will also be paid by the student
These are some of the factors to consider when evaluating different housing options and if you are planning to reside long-term, you can explore how leasing or home ownership would be better than renting.
Resources for finding housing in Australia
Finding and securing housing in Australia can be tough especially when there are so many new international students coming in at once. You can start your search early by exploring these websites:
Types of transportation available in Australia
You can either avail the public transportation options, ride sharing services, taxis or get a private bicycle or car. Public transport is available in the following ways:
There are pros and cons of different transportation options but with a public transportation card, you can get student concessions and afford it easily. However, even cheaper options are bicycle and pedestrian transportation options in Australia (through any of the bike sharing options (Cycling Brisbane, Adelaide free bikes, Melbourne Bike share, etc.) and saving more than 700 AUD per year.
Safety considerations for transportation in Australia
All public transport systems are well maintained by the authorities so that the passengers do not face any inconvenience due to overly packed trains or buses. There are 24/7 CCTV cameras and security guards monitoring the stations and often ride the vehicle to make safety rounds. Hygiene practices are followed as well.
Navigating the public transport system in Australia
For every city, there is a dedicated website to understand the public transport schedules, routes and pricing within the area.
You can find similar apps for your smartphone as well. Through the reusable smart card (available at airports and train stations) system, you can get student discounts, get an automatic top-up with a debit card and just need to tap it at the bus, ferry, train or tram stop for automatic ticketing.
Using rideshare services in Australia
If you’re short on time and need to get somewhere quickly, you can get an Uber, DiDi or Ola. There are also taxis that you can hitch from anywhere and charge by the metre. Owning and maintaining a car in Australia is quite expensive due to the fuel and maintenance costs. The average running cost of a medium car is around 13, 782 AUD per year.
Resources for finding transportation in Australia
For each city, there is a different smart transport card service. Explore the website relevant to you and see which card offers the best package for you. Remember to look for international student discounts as well
- For Brisbane: Translink card (works on trains, trams, buses and ferries)
- For Canberra: My Way (works on buses)
- For Melbourne: Myki (works on trains, trams and buses)
- For Sydney: Opal card (works on trains, trams, buses and ferries)
- For Adelaide: Metro Card (works on trains, trams and buses)
- For Perth: Smart rider (works on trains, trams and buses)
- For Hobart: Metro Green Card (works on buses)
There are bike sharing apps as well but you will have to check if there are any stops near your house or if the service is available in your city.
Planning and coordinating your housing and transportation needs in Australia
The best way to navigate your options is to know as much as you can about cheaper houses and commuting ways that can help you when you are out of budget or struggling. For example, when moving houses or figuring out where to live, it is best to use the hostel living space as a transition. Get a bike on rent when public transport seems too expensive for a certain route. As hard as your academic work is, you should figure out your part-time work situation as well so that you can afford to save some money while you manage the budgeting for transport and housing. Ask our expert team of mentors about any other queries you might have about moving to Australia.