Different types of accommodation when studying overseas
Accommodation is an integral factor when it comes to studying overseas. It is important to study at a top-notch University. However, you can’t expect to be sleeping in the University’s Library throughout your studies (although some of you would probably end up doing so). You will need a sound place to stay during your studies, and finding the right accommodation for you will only make your overall experience while studying overseas an enjoyable one.
There are different types of accommodation to choose from, such as Residential College, Private Student Accommodation providers, Homestay, and off-campus housing. Given there are many options available, choosing the right accommodation can be a daunting task. So, to help you in this, we have provided the description of each of the accommodation type. This will allow you to see the difference of each of the accommodation and, hopefully, enable you to decide on the accommodation that is the right fit for you.
Source from Monash University
These are typically on-campus accommodation that is being run and looked after by the University. Residential Colleges are usually located within the University campus, and given the location, it is generally perceived to be safe and convenient.
The Residential Colleges are also focused on bringing in a good mix of student Nationalities to their accommodation. Furthermore, students are encouraged to take part in many social activities, such as the Inter-Colleges Sport Competition. Hence, not only that students will have the chance to be active and participate in many activities, students will also have a good opportunity to interact with both Local Australian students, and also students from other Nationalities.
Majority of the meals are normally being catered for the students. Hence, students do not need to worry about cooking for their own. However, given the convenience, as well as the many activities students can choose to partake, the cost of staying in these Residential Colleges are generally quite high. The cost of these Residential Colleges can range between AUD $16,000 – AUD $25,000 per year.
There is an application window that students need to adhere to if they wish to apply to these Residential Colleges. As part of the application, students are required to write a Personal Statement as well. Meaning to say, it can be quite competitive to get into the Residential Colleges, especially if that particular Residential College is popular amongst the students.
Source from Urbanest: Sydney Central
Private Accommodation Providers
Almost similar to the Residential Colleges, Private student accommodation providers are a student accommodation that are being run by private companies. These private accommodation providers can be located within the campus, just few blocks away from the University campus, or completely off-campus.
Similar to the Residential College, the private accommodation providers do try to encourage community student living. Weekly students outing are normally being organised, such as field-trips, karaoke nights, etc. However, students have the freedom to choose as to whether or not to partake in these activities.
Different to the Residential Colleges, is that meals are generally not included. Students are normally required to cater their own meals. So those considering this option, better start to learn how to cook!
Some of the well-known Private Accommodation providers in Australia includes UniLodge or Urbanest. It is important to note that application to these accommodation is on a first come first serve basis. So, if you are interested in staying in one of these private accommodation providers, better start applying early!
Source from Homestay, Bond University
Homestay is where students stay with a local host family’s house in Australia. Normally this option is more applicable to students who are of younger age, i.e. U-18, and require welfare arrangements and supervision.
As students are staying with a host family, students will have the chance of experience living with an Australian family, to the extent that they can also become part of the family. This is the easiest way for students to learn about Australian culture.
Meals are also generally included as part of the cost, and the overall cost of staying at a Homestay is generally cheaper compare to On-campus living. However, given the location of where the host family is staying, students will need to expect travelling time to the campus. To add on, if there is a house rule set by the Homestay family, students would need to adhere to it.
This normally refers to private rental. Meaning to say, students would need to source and rent a room/apartment/flat/house on their own.
The cost is much cheaper compare to any of the options above. However, it is important to note that many of the utilities, such as electricity, water, gas, and internet connection, are not included as part of the rent. Students are expected to arrange this on their own. Few other factors that students should also consider on off-campus rental is not only on the location and transport, but also on the safety of the location. Normally this option is more suitable for students who are more independent, do not want to be involved with many activities, or just enjoy their personal space.
What some students have done in the past is they live on-campus (i.e. Residential College or Private Accommodation provider) during their first year of studies. Once they’ve become familiarised with the cities and surrounding, only then they consider and choose to stay off-campus.
Hopefully the information above will give you some insight into the different accommodations. Remember, the key to choosing the accommodation that fits your bill. For example, you can be an introvert, but if you have always wanted to get involved in the many activities, there is nothing wrong in choosing either the Residential Colleges or the Private Accommodation provider.