Host family (homestay)

Approximate cost: $235-325 per week*

You may be offered the opportunity to live with a host family during your studies; this is the most common type of accommodation for language students. It's a great way to practise speaking English and learn about Australian culture. You will be allocated your own private room, or possibly a shared room, and will be treated as a member of the family, sharing other facilities and being included in their activities. Students are also normally given morning and evening meals. You may be expected to help with household chores, and sometimes may also need to contribute financially to bills and costs. Your institution may be able to arrange, or provide contact details for, host families.

Find out more about homestay hosts and students 

You can find homestay hosts in Australia on Homestay Network, a website which provides you will full fee breakdowns for homestays across Australia in 2017. Each plan incurs a one-off placement fee of around $280 and an optional airport pickup, for a fee of around $160. You can save around $30-40 per week by opting for a shared room rather than a private room, and there are a number of meal packages from no meals to 3 meals, 7 days per week (opting for no meals will save you around $100 per week, but many international students find it easier and cheaper to opt for a package that includes meals).



Private rental

Approximate cost: $165-440 per week*, plus bills

Alternatively, you can rent a private flat, or room in a shared house. This usually entails your own private room with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. This option often suits those wanting independence. In most cases, bills will not be included in the monthly rent; you will need to agree how you are going to share these, as well as the cleaning duties, with your other housemates.

You should be aware that there may be a minimum lease; often six to twelve months, and a deposit is usually required to cover possible damage, which will be refunded when the tenancy ends. Students wishing to privately rent are advised to arrive in Australia a few weeks before their course starts in order to secure a place, as most landlords will not reserve accommodation without signing a contract. It is advisable to make sure you have seen the accommodation before handing over any money. Consult your institution's accommodation office for advice about renting privately.

Rental prices vary greatly in Australia. For instance, in the most expensive city Sydney, the closer you live to the centre of the city, the more expensive the housing is, but the closer you are to amenities and most institutions. If you don't mind travelling by train or bus to your university, you can find cheaper options in the suburbs.


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*Amounts from For more information and details about accommodation options in Australia, visit the Study in Australia website.