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The Ultimate Guide On Student Accommodation in Australia


International students pursuing higher education in Australia have a wide range of housing options to choose from. When seeking student housing in Australia, you should know what your potential choices are and ways of budgeting for each option. Accommodation accounts for a large portion of your cost of living in Australia. On-campus accommodation (covering meal plans and utilities) in Australian universities is quite challenging to book due to heavy competition for the facility. Therefore, most international students go for off-campus housing. If you want a different type of student accommodation in Australia, there are many off-campus housing options with varying costs.

Cost of living varies based on many factors including your lifestyle, the accommodation type you choose, and the city you're living in. So, there is no solid number on it. Student accommodation is an important factor in determining what it costs to live in Australia, so let's get straight into the types of student accommodation in Australia and the best cities to consider for it.

Types of Student Accommodation in Australia

Accommodation in Australia for international students can be classified into four types: purpose-built housing, private rentals, residential colleges, and homestays.

The vast majority of international students choose to live with their friends or with an Australian family as paying guests or simply rent private accommodation. On-campus student accommodation in Australia may be available at some universities but it is not all that common. So, be sure to ask your university for on-campus accommodation to know what your available options are. The price of on-campus housing varies depending on location and many other factors, but it is usually $440 to $1,000 a month.

Some universities in Australia may provide a few different housing options as well, but those will generally come under the following categories:

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)

PBSA options are usually located around university campuses in Australia. These buildings may offer a fully-furnished room for you, but you will need to share the kitchen and bathroom with your fellow students. Additional facilities like a television room and a gymnasium are also available at this type of student accommodation in Australia.

The cost varies from one location to another, but it can range between $200 and $500 a week, including costs for utilities like power, water, internet, and gas. With this option, you may not need to arrange your own electricity or internet service provider. These are generally self-catered buildings, but some non-catered options may also be available in some locations.

Private Rentals

You can also rent a house or apartment in Australia through a real estate agent. If you choose this form of accommodation, you would usually have to pay rent to your landlord and spend on utilities and food as well. This means you may need to set aside more money for unforeseen expenses, but there will be greater freedom for you to choose your preferred residential location.

The price of this form of student accommodation in Australia will vary according to your location, but it can range from $100 to $500 a week. It is possible to find this housing option through a local real estate agent; ask your university for help with locating an agent.

Residential Colleges

The rate of a residential college apartment varies, but you can anticipate paying $200 to $750 a week for it, including utilities. These buildings are usually situated on or surrounding university campuses in Australia. Residential colleges do also have the provision of meals, alongside the services of a cleaner. You will not need to pay separate charges for utilities including the internet, and you will have access to a fully-furnished room.


This is perhaps a good student accommodation option if you are seeking a place to spend a few weeks in, while getting used to the lifestyle in Australia. You may also choose to stay with an Australian family until the end of your course, but international students do not usually do this. You can stay at the house of an Australian family for around a month after you start your education in the country. It may seem like a costlier option at first, particularly for a single room at a family's home, but it will usually come with meals and other utilities.

The price varies depending on the type of homestay option you select and the room, utilities, and meals, but expect to spend around $250 to $350 a week on it. With this option, you can fully familiarise yourself with the Australian lifestyle by spending time with an Australian family and meeting other locals. You may even seek suitable homestay recommendations from your university, or resort to online sites that can assist in finding the ideal option for you.

Top Cities for International Student Accommodation in Australia

The estimates we offer here apply to only the main city areas, which means the respective costs will be lower in the suburbs of each city. You can book on-campus accommodation in any of these cities, but it is limited. Therefore, you should start to look for on-campus accommodation a few months before moving in, as you will have to check some places before arriving at a decision.


For international students, Canberra is among the most suitable and affordable places to live. The average cost of living in Canberra would vary according to your way of life and choice of housing, particularly if you live off-campus. Housing costs also vary depending on the kind of accommodation you choose. The cheapest option for student accommodation in Canberra is usually a shared housing room. Depending on your choice of housing, it can cost you around $150 to $450 a week.


Adelaide may be a big Australian city, but it is easy to navigate. When it comes to the cost of living in Adelaide, it is around 15% more affordable to live here as compared to other major Australian cities. The approximate cost of student accommodation in Adelaide may range between $200 and $400, depending on your specific type of housing. Student accommodation also contributes to the cost of living in Adelaide, which in turn ranges between $350 to $700 a week. International students in Adelaide will walk into a welcoming population with a laid-back attitude.


Brisbane is also known for its welcoming population of expatriates, international students, and job seekers. The cost of living in Brisbane for international students varies between $550 and $1,200 a month, depending on your residential location. The approximate cost of student accommodation in Brisbane ranges from $200 to $650 a week, depending on the location as well. The aforementioned figure includes groceries, meals, rent, leisure activities, transport, and utilities.


The standard of living in Perth is high, but also very affordable. There are plenty of options for student accommodation in Perth, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury. The cost of housing can range from $175 to $375 a week, depending on the specific type of accommodation. With Perth, you will get to live in a cosmopolitan city at a more affordable cost compared to other Australian cities.


Melbourne may be the best student city in Australia, but what is the cost of living like here? Melbourne may seem costly at first, but you can find a budget-friendly lifestyle option here. For instance, you can choose shared accommodation further away from the main city areas, i.e., in Melbourne's inner suburbs. There are many other ways to reduce your living expenses in Melbourne, including the use of veggie box delivery services, co-op food, and a cheap phone card for international calls. Depending on the type of housing, the cost of student accommodation in Melbourne can be between $250 and $650 a week.


Sydney is among the best student cities in Australia that attract a large number of international students. Accommodation in Sydney can cost $200 to $600, depending on the type and specific location. The cost of living in Sydney may appear high initially, but you can reduce your living expenses in certain ways. For instance, there are cheap, nonprofit-run boarding houses around the so-called Inner West area that offer a collegiate experience similar to on-campus student accommodation in Sydney.

When Do You Have to Start Searching for Accommodation in Australia?

It pays to start exploring student accommodation in Australia soon after you enrol yourself at a local university. Take the time to explore different pieces of property, and seek recommendations from your university or any of your relatives or friends who have lived or studied in Australia.

Even if you want to rent an apartment or house, it may take a bit of time to locate a place you like. At the start of your house-hunting process, check with your landlord or real estate agent about the documentation you will require to confirm that you have everything in place after finding the right property.

Is It Cheaper to Live On-Campus or Off-Campus in Australia?

Off-campus housing in Australia is generally cheaper than on-campus accommodation for international students, but not always. For instance, if you live far away from your university, you may have to spend more on transportation. Likewise, if you rent an unfurnished apartment, you may have to spend on furniture, appliances, and so forth.

Though there are many student accommodations in Australia available for international student, not every option would be the right fit for you. We at AECC, are here to help you with every step of the process, from finding the right accommodation & university, to choosing the right courses & scholarships.

So, contact us right away!

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