Finding Accommodation: A Guide for International Students

Written By Educonnect on May 24, 2022

Do you wish to have your own accommodation while studying in Australia? Depending upon your budget and requirements, you can find exactly what you are looking for. After all, Australia is known to be helpful to its student community, both local and international.

In case you are still confused, we bring you a step-by-step guide to finding an accommodation that suits you best.

Let's get started:

1. Know when to rent

It is not recommended that you rent a property before physically inspecting it. Any rental property should first be toured by the future tenant. Keep in mind that unless you have a trusted contact who can go to the property and inspect it for you in person, you should consider doing so yourself. Once a lease is signed, moving out of a property becomes a lot more difficult than scheduling a visit before moving in.

If you do not have the option of conducting a physical inspection yourself and have no one to rely on to do it on your behalf, virtual tours may help you develop an idea of what the property is like.

Consider checking into a nearby hotel or hostel right after you land. This will give you a safe place to stay before you visit some properties. Browse properties online, and make a list of the ones you think are going to be good for you.

2. Determine what type of accommodation you want

For university students in Australia, accommodation ranges from studio apartments to townhouses that are private rentals. Choosing a rental property depends entirely on your needs and budget.

Pick the property that is right for you: location, size, and occupancy are the variables that will affect your decision. Most students opt to rent an apartment - either alone, or with roommates.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1) Where do you want to live?

It could be a short walk from campus, or in the heart of a nearby city. This is contingent upon your needs. A place to call your own could be five minutes away from campus if you spend long nights at the library, but one in the centre of the city could be exactly what you need if you want to commute to a job location.

2) Do you want a small or large accommodation?

When it comes to living spaces, size matters. Your budget and preference will determine what size your accommodation can be.

Do you want to share your living space with roommates? Would you prefer a quiet arrangement and not have any roommates around, or would you prefer some liveliness in the apartment? Are you looking for parking or garage space for your car, if you drive one?

Once you have pondered over these questions, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Do the Math

As stated above, your budget is a very important determinant in choosing your accommodation. You will need to calculate your approximate rental expenditure for the year and factor it into your total cost of studying in Australia. Renting an accommodation in Australia can cost anywhere between AUD 100 to AUD 450 per week, depending on the type of accommodation and its location. Costs will lower if you live in a shared apartment. Always remember to check for available public transport to add the cost of travelling to your total expenditure. Additional costs such as groceries, entertainment and dining out should also be a part of your budget. In Australia, utilities and the internet are usually billed separately. Be mindful of this when determining your final cost of living.

If you are looking for employment opportunities for international students in Australia, read this.

Step 4: Read the fine print

You are now ready to sign a lease and move into new lodgings. But first, remember to go over the lease documents line-by-line.

A lease is a legally binding document signed between a tenant and a property owner. It describes in detail the conditions under which a property is rented. It should state the length of a tenant's stay, the rent payable, and the names of both parties involved. The conditions may range from a pet policy to a damage policy, depending on the owner. If the terms are agreeable to you, go ahead and sign the lease.

Always know that if you have any doubts, consulting a parent, guardian, or even a lawyer, is the smart thing to do.

Step 5: Move in!

After conducting your research, choosing a property that is right for you, and signing all the documents required, prepare yourself to move in! Figure out the logistics and pat yourself on the back once everything is sorted.

A whole new world awaits you. While this may seem exciting, do keep in mind that you are in a rented accommodation. Strive to be a good tenant and respect the terms of the lease.

Moving into a new place, especially in a new country, can be rather overwhelming. Take your time to make the final decision. Haste makes waste. The property you rent will be your home for the period of the lease and you will make a lot of memories in it. So, make sure you choose the right one.

If you need more assistance, a certified consultant at Educonnect is always available!

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