Australia is one of the most attractive study destinations for international students, encompassing over 350,000 students in its higher education programs. Sydney, on another note, is one of the largest Australian cities where you can find some of the most sought-after universities. Finding student accommodation in Sydney, however, requires quite a lot of effort. But, with the right information, you will be able to find budget-friendly accommodation in Sydney in no time.
International students arrive in Sydney each year in hopes of pursuing a qualification that will jump-start their careers. With the excellence of the universities in Sydney, these students graduate with just the right skills to pursue their dream careers. Although being an international student in Sydney is one of the best experiences, knowing how to manage finances is a struggle each international student faces.
In this article, we will go through some of the ways you can find affordable accommodation in Sydney while avoiding sky-high expenses.
How Do I Find Student Accommodation in Sydney?
So, to begin the journey of finding accommodation in Sydney, we would suggest you look up options in the suburbs. Since suburbs are equipped to meet all your needs as a university student, they also offer affordable living options, in comparison to the city centre. Keep in mind, however, Sydney is not among the cheapest cities to live in Australia.
If your university is located in the northern suburbs, you can find some of the most affordable rentals in suburbs like North Ryde, Marsfield, or Eastwood. Additionally, if you are enrolled at the University of Sydney or University of Technology Sydney, you may find other fellow students accommodated in Newtown or Glebe.
Randwick, Coogee, Kensington are also among locations where students tend to look for low-cost rentals, with University of New South Wales being located in Kensington.
What Are My Accommodation Options in Sydney?
Depending on your circumstances and preferences, you may choose to live either on-campus or off-campus as an international student in Sydney. Let’s go through both options:
If you want to experience student life at the fullest, then living on-campus is the way to go. While it will be difficult to find some quiet time and privacy, you will basically have everything at arm’s length, meaning the dining hall, the university, the library, and even the gym.
Besides, when it comes to the pricing, you will not have to worry about utilities and your room will already have WiFi/internet. Another advantage of living on-campus is that you do not have to worry about commuting, i.e transportation costs. And, to top it all, there will always be someone you can hang-out with. Moreover, the accommodations at the university are limited so you won’t always be able to find a free spot.
How Much Does Living On-Campus Cost?
You might have to pay more in order to get a room on-campus. This is because of all the amenities included, including meals. So, it is possible that you will spend more/less money living off-campus, largely depending on what your needs are. The prices for on-campus accommodation, however, depend on the type of room as well as the location of the campus.
Living off-campus is also what many international students opt for when they want to live more independently or fail to secure a spot on-campus. There are many affordable options off-campus as well and with the growing numbers of international students enrolled in higher education institutions in Sydney, private student housing is increasing in demand.
When it comes to private housing, you can choose between the following:
Purpose-Built Student Accommodations
Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is private housing for higher education students in Sydney. In these student accommodations, you will find the likes of cinema rooms, BBQ areas, game rooms, as well as gyms, among others. Choosing PBSA means you will not have to worry about paying bills individually since they are usually included in your rent. You will get to be in close proximity to universities or anything else you find necessary.
The rooms offer enough private space as well as your own bathroom, depending on the type of room you choose. Additionally, you will also have WiFi and 24/7 security. This option is perfect for students looking for budget-friendly options, and it offers basically the same services as living on-campus at the university, with a few more advantages.
Privately Owned Apartment/Flat-Share
You also have the possibility of renting a private apartment or getting a flat-share. Both options are available, depending on your preferences. However, you should keep in mind that apart from paying rent, you will also have to pay for gas, electricity, internet, or furniture (if unfurnished). And depending on where you come from, living costs in Australia might not seem like the lowest. You will also need to pay a rental bond which is usually the equivalent of four-months rent. Additionally, if your apartment is not near the university, then you will have to pay for the transportation costs as well.
In Sydney, it is also possible you opt for homestay accommodation. However, this is only for a short period of time, in which your homestay hosts will help you settle into your new Australian community, gain everyday conversational skills, as well as learn the basics of Australian culture. You can stay with them for two weeks to one month, with the possibility of extending your stay. The cost of homestay ranges from $220-$375, depending on the package you choose (meaning the type of room, meals/no-meals, etc).