International students are overwhelmingly happy with the standard of accommodation available in Australia, according to a survey of more than 37,000 students.
The survey, which was undertaken by Australian Education International (AEI), examined student satisfaction with accommodation in Australia by nationality, level of study and type of accommodation.
“Where international comparisons are available, Australia is generally performing at or above international benchmarks, suggesting that Australian education providers are largely doing a good job in terms of providing appropriate accommodation to international students,” the report said.
Key findings of the report include:
- Australia is generally performing at or above international benchmarks in terms of providing accommodation to international students, with a large majority of student respondents being satisfied with their student accommodation, in terms of safety, access, quality, and access to internet services.
- Overall, 84 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the quality of their accommodation, in line with the international benchmark for this measure (85 per cent)
- Just over half (51 per cent) of respondents were satisfied with the cost of accommodation, a result slightly lower than the international benchmark measure of 59 per cent, reflecting the high ongoing value of the Australian dollar and the comparatively high cost of accommodation in Australia.
Most students felt safe in their accommodation, with 94 per cent feeling safe. As with access to accommodation, there is no comparable international benchmark for this measure.
- The majority of students (77 per cent) were happy with access to internet in their place of accommodation, slightly below the international benchmark figure of 81 per cent.
Accommodation office services provided by Australian universities were highly regarded by students who used them (84 per cent satisfaction, higher than the international benchmark of 80 per cent), although usage of these services was relatively low.
Research has found that academic performance is positively correlated with satisfaction with accommodation, so providing suitable accommodation can improve the academic experience of international students as well as supporting their living experience in Australia.
Tips for International Students
Once you have confirmed where you will be studying, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Some tips when searching for accommodation include:
- The costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.
- Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees.
- Consider how far it is from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
- Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.
Short-term accommodation options you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:
- Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.
- Temporary housing which may be offered through your institution while you get settled. Talk to your institution’s international support staff or check their website for details.
You can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. When renting a property you will need to pay a security deposit or ‘bond’ (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.
For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia you should visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.
Campus living can be a great option to minimise travel. Most universities have comfortable and furnished apartment-style living on campus or close by, sometimes with cleaning and meals included. Contact your institution directly to find out the accommodation options they have available and how the costs compare with organising your own accommodation.
With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.
You have certain responsibilities to meet when it comes to paying accommodation expenses on time, cleaning and maintenance. You also have the right by law to feel secure in your property, maintained with working facilities. If there are any problems with your accommodation, talk to your agent or landlord (if renting), your international student support staff for on-campus living or the service where you found your homestay.
There are also organisations such as tenants unions and consumer advocates that can provide assistance. To find out more visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.