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Best Student Accommodation Options in Australia

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Are you looking to move for Uni in Australia? Do you want to live close to Uni?

Here are all the best options for student accommodation in Australia.

Finding the ideal student accommodation in Australia can sometimes seem difficult, especially since there are numerous options available. Nevertheless, finding the ideal spot that’s everything you’ve always wanted from your university years is possible!

We’ve outlined some of the key points you should think about when choosing where to live while going to University.

What are the Options for Student Accommodation in Australia?

No single student accommodation design is necessarily better than the rest since this will always depend on your unique requirements!

There are a few different student accomodation design options:

  1. University On-Campus College Accomodation / College Dorms

  2. University Owned share housing

  3. Third Party Share housing or Student Accomodation Company like Amber

  4. Staying with Parents / Relatives

When looking for the right “student accommodation near me” for your years at Uni, consider the following points.

4 Students drinking coffee in common room in student accomodation in Australia
Uni students in college common area

1. University On-Campus College Dorms / Student Accommodation in Australia

If you’re looking for the classic "college experience" for your time at uni, you will want to consider College Accomodation / College Dorms.

When selecting your college accomodation, there are different levels of "privacy".

A. Fully Private - You might pick a private room that has a private bathroom and kitchenette. This might suit you if you're a little anxious and / or really value your privacy.

B. Fully Shared - However, most students who choose college are looking for that "college experience" where they can make friends. If this is you, you may choose a shared room with a shared kitchen and bathroom. This gives you more opportunity to interact with other students in your dorm, meet new people and make life long friends.

C. Semi-private - You can also pick something in between - something like a private room with shared kitchen and / or bathroom.

One factor that’s worth keeping in mind here is that, no matter which "privacy" option you choose, college student accommodation is generally designed to at least have communal dining and lounge areas.

On-campus College is an excellent option if you’re looking for an easier way to meet new friends during your time at university.

Fully Catered vs Semi Catered College / Student Accomodation in Australia

Since on-campus college dorms are often owned by the university or in partnership with the university, these accomodation options normally offer a lot of inclusions, making them excellent if value-for-money is important to you.

Depending on your choice between fully catered and semi catered, common inclusions include meals, internet, gym memberships, cleaning services, tutoring, event hosting, printing services, and the like.

Fully catered college accomodation will often be all inclusive. The exact services included will depend on the college.

Where as, Semi catered college options offer a more independent experience. They might provide the room and internet and you prepare your own meals and source your own gym membership for example.

One of the benefits of on-campus accomodation is that these college dorms are generally located in an excellent position, making attending classes and uni social events very convenient.

Notably, on-campus college dorms are more pricey than other accomodation options. The cost will really depend on the room type, the college and the inclusions that you choose!

How Long Do I Have to Commit To?

When considering on-campus college or even university owned share housing, it's important to realise you don't need to commit for the whole duration of your course. You can start with fully catered college and move progressively towards more independent living options.

Generally speaking, college accommodation will require you to commit for around one term, at the minimum. This makes it a brilliant option while you’re settling into the university for the first semester, especially.

5 University Students carrying books and boxes, moving into their student accomodation in australia
University Students moving into College Accomodation

2. University-Owned Share Houses

Most people have heard of standard college dorms when looking for university accommodation – but there are other options that are similar and potentially more affordable.

While not all universities will actually offer this, some will offer share houses outside of the college campus that provide greater autonomy than a regular dorm.

Compared to college dorms, university-owned share houses generally provide fewer features and activities; this more independent living is often sought out by 2nd or 3rd year students and is often more affordable in terms of weekly rent.

The benefit of university-owned share housing over a normal rental is that they’re usually just a short distance from the university, shared with other students and you won’t have to worry about unscrupulous landlords.

4 friends, 2 females and 2 males sitting on a yellow velvet couch eating pizza
University flat mates sharing pizza in their lounge room

3. Third-Party Student Accommodation in Australia

As a third option, if you don’t want the rules / price tag that comes with staying in university-owned student accommodation, you could always consider third-party rental properties instead.

With this option, you can find a room to rent in an independent share house. You can either find the rental property through realestate agents and rent a studio apartment by yourself or find housemates to share the cost of rent.

You can find housemates on University facebook pages or websites like You might want to vet your potential housemates by setting up an interview or coffee date before agreeing to move in with them!!

Sourcing your own rental property can be overwhelming - especially if it's your first time moving out.

There are actually companies who help with this by offering third party accommodation that’s made specifically for university students!!

One such example is Amber Student (which has over 1 million properties). This provides a far greater choice of properties & takes the stress out of sourcing a rental.

So, if you want a great student accomodation option, sharing with other students - Amber could be a good place to start.

It’s worth noting that these properties through companies like Amber will be tailored to suit the student experience.

2 girls with moving boxes, moving into a dorm room.
University students moving into their student accomodation

Be Careful When Considering Expensive Private Rentals

It’s worth remembering that third-party accommodation can become very expensive if you don’t find a room in an already established share house or if you decide to rent a property solo.

While the weekly rent may appear cheaper than university offered accomodation like college, it's important to remember that there are extra costs on top of rent that are already included in college fees. For example: wifi, utilities, food, gym memberships etc.

As such, always consider your budget carefully before making this decision.

Consider Distance and Travel

Opting for third-party student accommodation means that you may want to look farther afield from the university campus, so having some form of transport can help. Having a bike or car may be the ideal choice here.

2 girls sitting in back of a red car with luggage, ready to move to college
University students pack their car to move to their student accomodation

Finding Third-Party Student Accommodation in Australia

If you decide to go down the route of third-party accommodation, here's how you can find a property:

- Asking through social media or word of mouth if there are any unoccupied rooms in an existing share house (or looking for social media adverts).

- Finding a company that specialises in student share houses (such as Amber Student). This provides an efficient and simple way to find properties that you can share with other students.

- Teaming up with a group of friends to rent a large, multi-room property from a private landlord with multiple people on the tenancy.

It’s worth noting that if you don’t know other people at your university yet, you can often find people to share with platforms such as

4. Staying with Parents / Relatives

Living with your parents is a good option if you’re staying in your hometown or studying online. Not everyone will necessarily want to remain at home while studying, of course; still, it does provide much more support than some other options, and it also helps reduce financial pressure while you’re preparing to start your degree.

Mother, Father and university student posing as a happy family
Univeristy students might stay with Aunty and Uncle who lives near the university during the week

Finding the Best Student Accommodation in Australia for Your Degree

If you have been looking for the best “student accommodation near me,” knowing about the different design options can really help.

Indeed, while there are plenty of different options you could potentially consider, the ideal one for you will depend on the type of uni experience that you’re looking for as well as your budget.

If you need more specific support for your university experience, please don’t hesitate to contact our team here at Yourcompass today. We’re here to help make this journey right for you.


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