Accommodation Options in Australia: On-Campus vs. Off-Campus

Rachit Tewari


07 Jul 2023

  • Student Life
  • Study in Australia
  • international students
Accommodation Options in Australia: On-Campus vs. Off-Campus


  1. On-Campus Accommodation
    1. Residential Colleges
    2. University-Managed Halls of Residence
    3. Student Apartments
  2. Off-Campus Accommodation
    1. Rental Apartments and Houses
    2. Homestay
    3. Shared Accommodation
  3. Factors to Consider
    1. Location and Accessibility
    2. Cost
    3. Facilities and Amenities
    4. Community and Social Life
    5. Privacy and Independence
  4. Making the Decision
    1. Assessing Your Needs and Preferences
    2. Budgeting and Financial Considerations
    3. Researching Accommodation Options
    4. Seeking Advice and Support
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Finding suitable accommodation is an important aspect of your study abroad experience in Australia. With a range of options available, it's essential to understand the differences between on-campus and off-campus accommodation. In this article, we will compare the two main accommodation types in Australia, on-campus and off-campus, to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.

On-Campus Accommodation

Residential Colleges

Residential colleges are an integral part of Australian universities and offer a comprehensive living experience. They provide fully furnished rooms, communal spaces, meal plans, and a supportive community. Residential colleges often have organized social and academic programs, fostering a sense of belonging and facilitating friendships.

University-Managed Halls of Residence

University-managed halls of residence are another on-campus accommodation option. These halls offer single or shared rooms with shared facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas. They provide a balance between independent living and a supportive environment, allowing you to connect with fellow students.

Student Apartments

Some universities offer student apartments on-campus, which provide more independent living options. These apartments typically include self-contained units with private bedrooms, bathrooms, and shared living spaces. Student apartments offer a greater level of privacy and autonomy while still being located within the university campus.

Off-Campus Accommodation

Rental Apartments and Houses

Off-campus accommodation includes renting apartments or houses in the surrounding areas of the university. This option provides more independence and flexibility in terms of location and lifestyle. Rental properties offer a wide range of choices, from studio apartments to shared houses, catering to different preferences and budgets.


Homestay is a popular option for international students, especially for those seeking a supportive family environment. It involves living with a local host family who provides a room, meals, and a cultural immersion experience. Home stays offer an opportunity to learn about Australian culture and practice English in a home-like setting.

Shared Accommodation

Shared accommodation, also known as flatting or house-sharing, involves renting a room in a shared house or apartment. This option allows you to split the rent and utilities with other tenants, reducing costs. Shared accommodation offers a social aspect and the opportunity to meet and live with other students or professionals.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between on-campus and off-campus accommodation, several factors come into play:

Location and Accessibility

Consider the proximity of the accommodation to your university, public transportation, and essential amenities. Evaluate the commuting time and convenience of accessing classes, libraries, and social spaces.


Compare the costs of on-campus and off-campus options, including rent, utilities, meals, and any additional fees. Take into account your budget and financial resources to determine the most affordable choice.

Facilities and Amenities

Assess the facilities and amenities provided by each accommodation type. On-campus options often offer amenities such as study spaces, recreational facilities, and 24/7 support services. Off-campus options may vary in terms of available facilities, so consider your needs and preferences.

Community and Social Life

Consider the social aspect and community opportunities provided by each accommodation type. On-campus options often have organized events, clubs, and a built-in support network. Off-campus options may require more effort to establish connections but can offer a diverse social environment.

Privacy and Independence

Evaluate your preference for privacy and independence. On-campus accommodations often have more structured living arrangements, while off-campus options provide more autonomy and flexibility.

Making the Decision

To make an informed decision about your accommodation, consider the following steps:

Assessing Your Needs and Preferences

Identify your specific requirements, preferences, and lifestyle. Consider factors such as privacy, social interaction, location, and budget.

Budgeting and Financial Considerations

Evaluate your financial resources and determine a budget for accommodation. Compare the costs of different options and ensure that you can comfortably afford the chosen accommodation type.

Researching Accommodation Options

Thoroughly research on-campus and off-campus accommodation options. Visit university websites, contact accommodation offices, and explore online platforms to gather information and understand the available choices.

Seeking Advice and Support

Consult university housing services, student advisors, or local accommodation agencies for guidance and support. They can provide insights, answer your questions, and help you navigate the accommodation selection process.


Choosing the right accommodation in Australia is crucial for your study abroad experience. Consider your preferences, budget, and lifestyle factors when deciding between on-campus and off-campus options. Both choices offer unique advantages, so weigh the pros and cons to find the accommodation type that suits your needs and enhances your overall student experience.


  • Can international students access on-campus accommodation in Australia?
  • Yes, most Australian universities provide on-campus accommodation options for international students. Check with your chosen university for availability and application procedures.

  • Are off-campus accommodations cheaper than on-campus options?
  • The cost of off-campus accommodations can vary depending on factors such as location, property type, and amenities. In some cases, off-campus options may be more affordable than on-campus accommodations. Conduct thorough research and compare prices to find the most suitable option within your budget.

  • Are there any additional fees associated with on-campus accommodations?
  • Some on-campus accommodations may have additional fees, such as residential college membership fees or facility usage fees. It's important to inquire about any potential additional costs before making a decision.

  • Can international students choose their roommates in on-campus accommodations?
  • Some on-campus accommodations allow students to request specific roommates, while others may assign roommates based on compatibility and preferences. Check with the accommodation office for their roommate selection policies.

  • Is it possible to switch accommodation options during the academic year?
  • In some cases, it may be possible to switch accommodation options during the academic year, depending on availability and university policies. However, it's important to communicate with the accommodation office and follow the required procedures for any changes.

Remember to visit the official university websites and relevant accommodation services for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding accommodation options in Australia.

Thanks for reading!

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