There is a variety of accommodation available to suit different budgets and needs, including on-campus accommodation or a home stay with an Australian family. Shared accommodation with other students is a popular option, and student noticeboards and newspapers often advertise rooms, apartments and houses for rent. Some institutions also post accommodation vacancies on their website.

Homestay (about $110 to $270 a week)

Homestay is popular with younger students and those studying short-term English courses. Single or shared rooms are available and the costs vary accordingly. Meals are usually included, but cheaper self-catering homestay is available. Another option is farmstay, which offers the same services in a rural setting. Educational institutions maintain a register of reputable families prepared to board international students during the academic year.

Hostels and guest houses (about $80 to $135 a week)

Hostels are usually run by organisations such as Youth Hostels Australia (YHA) and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Students share kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Shared accommodation (about $50 to $160 a week) and rental accommodation (about $70 to $350 a week)

Students often share with other students. When renting a house, apartment or bed-sit, the landlord (the owner of the property) will require rent to be paid in advance together with a security bond equal to four weeks’ rent. Make sure you get receipts of these payments. This bond is refundable at the end of the lease, provided that no damage has been done to the property and adequate notice has been given to the landlord when you vacate the premises.

Boarding schools (about $8,000 to $11,000 a year)

Many private secondary schools provide accommodation, meals and laundry services for international students. Tuition fees are in addition to the boarding fees. You will live in a dormitory with other students of the same sex and will be supervised by adults.

Campus accommodation (about $80 to $250 a week)

Most universities and some vocational institutions offer a variety of accommodation on or near campus, such as apartments, residential colleges or halls of residence. The cost varies depending on the type of accommodation.

Residential colleges are slightly more expensive and provide accommodation with meals. They may also have sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and computer facilities.

Women-only or men-only accommodation

In boarding schools and university halls of residence you will only share rooms with people of the same sex. With all other types of accommodation, it is acceptable for you to specify that you prefer to share with either men or women only. Most advertisements for private share house living will state a preference for tenants to be a specific gender.