Accommodation can be one of the most worrying things for any international student arriving in Australia. Why is that? Well, it not only affects your living expenses in Australia but also the cost and time for travel to the university. For those who have never been to Australia, they have no idea how to find a place to live when they arrive and that can be quite daunting. So, let me share my experience as an international student who has lived in Australia for more than two years.
- Register for a homestay:
As an international student who had no friends or relatives in Australia when I arrived, I chose to stay in a homestay for the first four weeks. I wanted to know more about Australian culture and life, and homestay was the best place to start. Also, I wouldn’t be worried about food and cooking as normally breakfast and dinner are included in the package. I found the Global Experience website to be the best place to register and I found my homestay here.
- Find a shared apartment/house:
After living with my host for two weeks, I decided to find shared accommodation with some friends that I had made at CQUni. Living with a friend is more fun and my homestay was 45 minutes by public transport from the uni. I found the long travel time inconvenient. I started to look for shared accommodation on several websites. After searching and inspecting a lot of accommodation, myself and my friend found our accommodation via a website called Easy Roommate. I recommend you do the same!
- Rent my own studio:
For a student who wants to apply for an accommodation via real estate agencies, it seems to be very difficult as the owners prefer tenants with more credit and stability. I approached some agencies that provide support for students (I called each of the real estate agents and explained my situation). When I went to inspect a studio I always had the necessary documents ready to submit to the agencies on the day. Competition is very high in the cities such as Melbourne and Sydney so you need to be prepared.
The documents you need are:
- Application form (you should download an application form on the agencies’ website as each agency has its own form). Some agencies accept online applications such as Domain and Realestate so I registered one account with 1form application and applied for the one that accepted the online application.
- Work documents: Payslips (the most recent three to six payslips) or Job agreement provided by the company you are working with.
- For those who have not got a job yet, you can print out a bank statement that shows you can cover at least 6 months of the rent.
- A copy of your passport, Driver’s license and a credit/debit card.
- A recommendation letter from previous owner/accommodation provider.
It took me almost a month to get my own studio so make sure you allow yourself at least that amount of time for the process prior to moving out of your current accommodation.
Hope you found my post helpful. If you need more info, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.