Studying Abroad in Australia- Student Accommodation or Homestay? Take Your pick!

 

There’s lots of things to plan before you study abroad. One of things you should consider plenty of time in advance is accommodation.

Figuring out where you want to live for a few months in another country does sounds scary- but it’s really not that bad.

I’ll break down the main options to make it simple, there are two main types:

  1. Student Accommodation (This would be my preference)

This is probably what you’re already used to if you are a second or third year student. Student accommodation buildings are usually pretty big, so there’ll be lots of other students there you can make friends with. They are usually in the city too which can be handy to getting around. Plus, big universities are usually near city centres so that means less travelling which is great for getting to class.

There are different kinds of apartments in these buildings, like shared rooms, or en-suites, that kind of thing. If you want to save some dollar for extra travelling when you’re in Oz, you might want to look into sharing an apartment, as these can be a fair bit cheaper!

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Student accommodation example (outside view)
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Student accommodation example (inside view)

Click here to search for student accommodation in Australia

2. Home Sweet Home-stay

Homestay is when you pay a local family to live with them for a set period. As you can imagine, homestay experiences can vary quite a lot, depending on the people you live with and their homes.

This can be the best/worst part about homestay- you don’t know for sure what it’s going to be like. You could get on well with your homestay family, or not so well. But don’t let that thought put you off, homestay families WANT someone to come and stay with them, which is why they do it. It’s just something to bear in mind.

With homestay, you aren’t restricted to either rural or urban areas as people offer the homes up to students all over. So, you have more choice of whether you want to live in the heart of the city, or somewhere more rural.

With some families, you can arrange a meal plan. This way, you pay them a bit extra to cook for you (you can arrange how many days a week for example). This would save a lot of cooking and is just easier than cooking yourself.

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Homestay housing example
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Homestay housing example

Click here to search for homestay options in Australia

Some tips to deciding on where to stay:

  • Consider BOTH types of housing, so you know what other options you have
  • Think carefully about pricing- e can you afford an en-suite with a double bed? If not, look into single-bed shared apartments
  • Have a chat with parents, friends and your study abroad advisor from either your home university or one you’re thinking of going to
  • Take your time- don’t rush into making a decision too soon. Just have a look around and have a think about it
  • Most importantly, don’t worry! There are honestly so many places to choose from, there will always be somewhere available

 

To help understand the difference between the two options, have a look at this table!

Homestay

Student Accommodation
You don’t tend to live with other students, so It can make it harder to make new friends You get to meet lots of new people
Food can be included (which you do pay more for), which saves you cooking! You cook your own meals and buy your own groceries
Usually cheaper More expensive
Possibly more restricted i.e coming in late at night, house rules etc. Freedom to come and go whenever you please
If there’s any issues, you speak to your homestay family/ person There’s normally 24 hour security, so there’s always someone to go to
Good for solo travelling Good for doing things in groups

I hope this blog is helpful, if so please like and comment any questions below – thank you 🙂

 

A month in Australia

So today is officially my month ‘anniversary’ being down under.

Travelling from the UK to Oz was quite a painless experience to my surprise, despite it taking twenty four hours to get here.

I think the flow of free drinks, having my own screen in front of me with so many films and programmes to pick from and the NICE plane food, made the journey pretty good.

Needless to say I would 100% recommend flying with Emirates, their economy feels like business class compared to other airlines!

I landed in Brisbane, Australia at around 7.30 AM on the February 9 where I was picked up at the airport by a ‘Royale’ limousine as they call them here (not a limo, a fancy taxi)- paid for by my Australian university.

When I first arrived, every hour felt like it was dragging and the thought of being here for twenty one weeks was quite overwhelming.

The first few days I found myself sat on my bed feeling confused as to what to do with myself, and had very little appetite.

But, I would say within a matter of a week, or maybe less, I was settled in pretty well.

Before I knew it I was out with my new friends in search of Australian cuisine and adventure- and I haven’t really looked back.

I made some awesome new friends from my accommodation, who so far I have shared some amazing moments with, which I won’t forget and am so grateful for.

I feel like I’ve packed a life-time of experience into the space of a few weeks!

It’s like I’ve been on holiday since I arrived- definitely  not a bad thing!

Here’s some of the things I have done so far I can now confidently tick off my mental bucket list that I never thought I would be able to:

  • I held a koala, called Cinnamon (and I love cinnamon)
  • I stoked a kangaroo
  • I skydived (still can’t believe I did it)
  • I went kayaking
  • I tried, to surf
  • I went to the Sydney Opera house (sad I didn’t see 42 Wallaby Way though)
  • I have stayed in two hostels (this was a big deal for me)
  • I went to the famous Australia Zoo

I’ve done loads of other cool stuff too, but these were the main ones.

As much as I love being here and doing all the amazing things I’m doing, I do miss home, my family, my boyfriend and my dog- a lot.

But hey, life’s short, before I know it I’ll be back in my hometown complaining about the weather etc- so I intend to make the most of this time.