Home sweet home: How to find accommodation in Australia

You’ve chosen where you’re going to study, researched your student visa requirements, and decided on Medibank for your health insurance (good choice!), but what about your accommodation?

Written by Kasia Kaczmarek

Australia has lots of housing options for international students. You just need to decide where you want to live, and whether you want independence or a greater level of support. Choosing accommodation closer to shops, cafes and restaurants will be convenient but may cost a little more. And while student accommodation offers you lots of support, you may prefer the freedom of a private rental.

Here are some options to consider when deciding where to live in Australia.

On campus

Many universities offer housing for overseas students, some with included meals and cleaning. Contact the international student support team at your school for info on their accommodation options.

Boarding school

If you’re attending a private high school, check to see if they offer board. This means you live near the school with other students, and all your meals, cleaning and laundry are provided for. The cost will be included with your tuition and may also include social activities.


With homestay, you live with a family in their home. It’s a great option if you’re worried about being away from your family, and want to live in a similar environment. Your meals and some cleaning will be included, and families are carefully selected to make sure you’ll be safe and well looked after.

Hostels and guesthouses

Hostels can be good for short-term stays while you sort out something more permanent. You may be able to pay a little extra for a private room, but you’ll need to share a kitchen and bathroom facilities, and cook for yourself.


If you want independence, renting a home on your own or with other people gives you the greatest level of freedom, but you will need to manage your own bills in addition to the cost of rent. You can find homes or apartments on, or other people looking to share a house on Gumtree or Flatmate Finders.

Written by Kasia Kaczmarek

Kasia Kaczmarek is an actress, writer and dodgeballer living in Melbourne. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kashbot.

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