International Students in Australia: Accommodation and Living Costs

Finding student accommodation in Australia for international students is an important part of planning your study abroad adventure. Sometimes it can be a frustrating task to decide on a place of residence without physically visiting it. Australia offers a variety of student housing options such as University accommodation, Scape, Unilodge, Urbannest, etc. International students should be careful while deciding their accommodation as sometimes there are some accommodation scams but the right guidance & ability to identify red flags can improve your chances of finding the best accommodation for you in Australia.

Before we proceed into exploring student options across Australia, let's understand what is University accommodation, Scape, Unilodge, and Urbanest:

1. University Accommodation: On-campus housing is available at many Australian institutions, allowing students to live close to classrooms and facilities. It's convenient and a good way to connect with other students.

2. Scape: Scape is a company which provides purpose-built student housing in various cities around Australia. They provide modern, fully-furnished apartments with amenities such as study areas, common spaces, gyms, and movies. Scape tries to provide a comfortable and helpful residence for students.

3. Unilodge: Unilodge offers student housing options, including on-campus and off-campus residences. UniLodge offers furnished rooms or apartments in major Australian cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Amenities include Wi-Fi, laundry, and public spaces.

4. Urbanest: Urbanest is a modern and trendy student accommodation provider in Australia that caters to their needs. Urbannest residences may include individual bedrooms, communal kitchens, and social areas allowing tenants to socialise.


Exploring Student Accommodation Options Across Australia


1. Melbourne:

Melbourne is a popular destination for students looking for accommodation. With roughly 182,000 students from over 120 countries, Melbourne's student housing market is continuously booming. Student accommodation in Melbourne, including off-campus options such as student apartments, provides reasonable costs, good locations, and a safe atmosphere, making them suitable for an enjoyable college life. For overseas students, Melbourne accommodation starts at A$250 and goes up to A$600 weekly. Rent includes utility expenses, and making additional payments is hassle-free. Melbourne student housing is close to many of the city's best universities. The popular 5 areas of Melbourne where students easily get accommodation are Carlton, west Melbourne, Melbourne VIC, South Yarra, and North Melbourne.

Ideal cost of living in Melbourne:

It depends on students’ lifestyle preferences, but overall, apart from your Melbourne student accommodation rent, other expenses cannot be ignored. But we will help you to save money while living in Melbourne. 

1. Food: On average, students spend AUD$460–AUD$738 per month on food expenses. To save, consider cooking meals at home and shopping at budget-friendly grocery stores like Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi.

2. Transportation: Students typically spend AUD$147 to AUD$369 per month on transportation. Opting for a Myki Pass at AUD$52 per month can provide you with significant discounts on public transportation fares.

3. Rent a bicycle from oBike: For an affordable commute option, renting a bicycle from oBike costs around AUD$5 per day.

4. University bike schemes: Take advantage of discounted bikes offered by universities like the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, and RMIT University to save on transportation costs.

5. Buy a new bike: Investing in a new bike for around AU$286 can be a cost-effective transportation solution, equivalent to one month's rent and offering year-long benefits.

Famous Universities in Melbourne

1. RMIT University: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is a public research university in Melbourne(Australia). It was founded in 1887 by Francis Ormond and It has a population of over 97,000 students at its Australian base and international campuses.

2. Monash University Clayton campus: On its main campus, which is located next to Parkville's University of Melbourne, is the Victorian College of Pharmacy, which is amalgamated with Monash University. Founded in 1958, Monash University is the second oldest university in the state of Victoria and the largest university in Australia.

3. Swinburne University of Technology: It is based in Melbourne, Australia, It was founded in 1908 as a technical college. It is in the top three per cent of universities across the world and stands at 296th position in the world according to QS World.


2. Sydney:

Sydney is the most beautiful and welcoming city that welcomes over 96,000 international students every year. The city also has many prestigious universities, private institutions, Technical and Further Education (TAFEs) institutions, and other tertiary and vocational academic providers. As a top study abroad destination, Sydney also provides a variety of possibilities for student housing, making it simple for students to start their housing search. 

There are many alternatives for the best student accommodation in Sydney, either off-campus or on-campus. Sydney's student housing offers include utility bills, so there are no additional costs beyond rent. The lodging provides a variety of accommodations, including shared student flats in Sydney, studios, and en suites. Some of Australia's top institutions, like the University of Technology Sydney, UNSW Sydney, University of Sydney, and others, are conveniently located near the student housing in Sydney. The popular areas of Sydney where students easily get accommodation are Marfield, Macquarie Park, North Sydney, Sydney NSW, and Redfern.

Ideal cost of living in Sydney

When you're living in Sydney as a student, your expenses can vary depending on your lifestyle. Besides your rent and other bills, there are some tips to help you save money:

1. Food: On average, you might spend between AUD$350 to AUD$600 a month. To save, try buying groceries for around £200 a month and cooking your own meals.

2. Transportation: It typically costs around AUD$50 to AUD$70 per month to get around. Opting for public transportation instead of rideshare services can lead to significant savings over time. Plus, walking or biking for short distances can be both economical and good for your health.

3. Get an Opal Card: This card gives students discounts and capped fares, making it a smart choice for saving on transportation. Additionally, consider purchasing a weekly or monthly pass if you frequently use public transport, as it can offer even more savings.

4. Buy a new bike: You can get one for about AUD$300, which is the same as a month's rent. It's a great way to save and have fun exploring the city on two wheels. And if you're up for it, walking is always free and enjoyable! Another benefit of biking is that it's environmentally friendly and can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Famous Universities in Sydney:

1. The University of Technology Sydney: The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is a public research university, and it is located in Sydney, New South Wales Australia. The university was founded in its current form in 1988, though its origins as a technical institution

2. Western Sydney University: It is an Australian multi-campus public research university. it is in the Greater Western region of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The University of Western Sydney experienced a rebranding and name change to become Western Sydney University in 2015.

3. Australia catholic university: If I am talking about this university it has many campuses around Australia. Australian Catholic University is a publicly financed institution of higher learning. It follows the amalgamation of four Catholic institutions—Catholic College of Education Institute, McAuley College, and Signadou College of Education. it was founded in 1991. Students of all origins and religions are welcome to enrol.

3. Brisbane:

If you are searching for the best student accommodation in Brisbane, we can simplify the process for you. First, let's discuss the city itself, which is among the best places in the world to study abroad. Brisbane offers a variety of accommodation options to meet the needs of any student. There are two main categories of student housing in Brisbane City: on-campus and off-campus.

Due to the more affordable nature of off-campus housing compared to on-campus options, most international students choose to live off-campus. Some popular off-campus accommodation choices include UniAcco's UniLodge Twelfth Avenue, Scape South Bank, UniLodge Park Central, and Scape Merivale. These cost-effective options are great for students who want to live comfortably and manage their living expenditure more easily

Now, let's provide a basic overview of the cost of living in Brisbane.

Ideal cost of living in Brisbane:

Other costs cannot be ignored, aside from the rent on your Brisbane student housing. This alters based on the lifestyle preferences of the students. Here are some ideas to help you cut costs as a student living in Brisbane:

1. Food: The average food cost estimate ranges from AU$446 to AU$714 per month. To save money, consider buying groceries, which typically cost around AU$357 per month, and cooking your meals. Look for student discounts at grocery stores such as Coles, Woolworths, IGA, FoodWorks, Harris Farm Markets, and Metroimall.

2. Transportation: On average, expect to spend between AU$89 and AU$125 per month on transportation. Consider carpooling with friends or classmates to split costs, or explore alternative transportation options such as walking or biking for shorter distances.

3. Get a Student Go Card: For AU$405 per semester, you can enjoy a Student Go Card, which offers 50% off Translink bus, train, ferry, and tram services. Take advantage of off-peak travel times to save even more on transportation expenses.

4. Rent a bicycle: Consider renting a bicycle for your daily commute, which typically costs around AU$20 per day. Look for weekly or monthly rental options to save money in the long run.

5. University bike schemes: Some universities, such as UQ, QUT, and USQ, offer discounted bikes to their students. Check with your university's transportation services to see if they have any bike rental or purchase programs available.

6. Buy a new bike: Instead of renting, you can purchase a new bike for approximately AU$548. Investing in a bike is equivalent to one month's rent and will benefit you for the entire year. Look for student discounts or sales events at local bike shops to save on your purchase.

Famous Universities in Brisbane

1. The University of Queensland: It is located in the capital city of Queensland, Brisbane. The University of Queensland is a top favourite university with international students from diverse academic backgrounds. It has a global rank of 48 (QS World University Rankings, 2018), and it offers 350+ world-class degrees to choose from the public research university occupies four campus sites in Brisbane.

2. Queensland University of Technology: Queensland University of Technology is a public research institution in Australia. It is 189 ranked in the QS World University Rankings. They offer 213 UG programs and 69 PG programs. The average tuition fee at Queensland University of Technology is A$30,000 to $40,000 per year.

3. Griffith University:  It is Located in South East Queensland on the east coast of Australia, Griffith University is a favourite university for international students from diverse academic backgrounds. It has a global rank of 329 and it offers world-class degrees in the areas of Business and Government, Criminology and Law, Education, Engineering and IT, Humanities and Languages, Music, Science and Aviation, Medicine, and more.

In Brisbane, students often prefer to reside in the most affordable accommodations that offer the best experience in terms of enjoyment, security, and overall well-being. Below are three types of accommodations available:

1. Student housing: Student housing is a home that you want to stay in comfortably without any hassle. It is a safe, budget-friendly accommodation if you would like live private and independent living. You get to enjoy a lot of freedom staying in this off-campus accommodation in Melbourne. The location is in the city centre and is close to universities. In this, they provide all the necessary facilities.

2. Private student apartments: Private Student apartments are a great option who want to build a network and make friends. You have many choices to choose from, whether it's a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom apartment, and so on. You can select them as per your needs and appropriation. Taking a shared accommodation in Melbourne can save you money on the cost of living. All the apartments are fully furnished with all the facilities.

3. University hall: It is a good option for newbies and freshers. the halls are on-campus or close to the university. They provide halls for students who are studying at university. It comes with a basic room, limited privacy, and facilities.


Choosing student accommodation in Australia, especially for international students, is an essential decision. With so many alternatives in places like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, it's important to consider living costs, budget, and location in order to help students make the most suitable decision. Scape, UniLodge, and Urbanest are among the suppliers that provide high-quality accommodations. Whether on-campus or off-campus, careful preparation is required to ensure a comfortable stay while studying in Australia. 

For further assistance and guidance on academic matters, students can also explore resources provided by Oz Assignments.

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