How To: Pack For Your First Year at University

Packing for University can be an overwhelming task, especially when moving to another state or country. After all, how are you meant to pack your whole life into a few measly boxes? The answer is simple— you shouldn’t.

Here at Liveable, we’ve come up with a handy little checklist for you to tick off as you go. Aside from some decorative items that should be packed along to ensure that your new dorm would feel more like home, we’ve narrowed down the absolute essentials that you would need in order to leave for University with a peace of mind.

How To: Pack for your First Year at University

How To: Pack For Your First Year at University

Best Suburbs for Students in Sydney

Best Suburbs for Students in Sydney

With the new semester just around the corner, it is not uncommon for students to start looking for a change of scenery in terms of their accomodation.

After all, it can get frustrating having to share living facilities, such as the bathrooms and kitchen, between a whole floor of students. As such, many students often bid goodbye to their student accomodation and in turn, look towards renting off-campus accomodation either individually or with a group of friends.

With the help of results generated from Liveable, we’ve narrowed down the most popular suburbs amongst students that are both close to their chosen university, and have a buzzing student community that resides in the area.

University of Sydney (USYD)

 

  • Newtown

    Newtown is a favourite amongst Usyd students, not only because its conveniently located just 10 minutes away from the university, but also due to the vast number of pubs, bars and restaurants in the area.

    The University of Sydney has also recognised the convenience of this location and hence, has established one of their biggest student accomodations, Sydney University Village, in this friendly suburb.

    Furthermore, Newtown is vibrant and pulsing with life— with the Enmore Theatre, a popular music venue often drawing large crowds on the weekends.

    It costs $288/week for shared housing or $500/week to live in a 1 bedroom apartment.

  • Enmore

    This inner-west Suburb is another popular area that students choose to reside in. Despite being a little bit further away from the University of Sydney compared to Newtown (18 minutes via public transport), its appeal lies in its contemporary grunge vibe.

    Furthermore, Enmore is home to many up and coming foodie hotspots and has a ton of hidden gems that are tucked away, just waiting to be found.

    Similarly, it costs $288/week for shared housing or $500/week to live in a 1 bedroom apartment in this suburb.

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

 

  • Randwick

    Randwick is often the suburb of choice for UNSW students because of the fact that it only takes a mere 9-minute bus ride to get you from lectures to the comfort of your home.

    Due to this fact alone, there is a thriving student community in the area. This is complemented by lots of cheap eats (Randwick is particularly well known for its asian cuisine) and supermarkets— making it extremely convenient for students to adapt to living alone.

    Living in Randwick would set you back $334/week for shared housing or $510/week for a 1 bedroom apartment.

  • Kingsford

    If you’re after a slightly more affordable option, Kingsford may be the suburb for you. With an average rent of $275/week for shared housing or $430/week for a 1 bedroom apartment, many UNSW students also choose to call Kingsford home.

    Because of the large student population, it is not uncommon to chance upon restaurants and pubs with great student discounts. It also doesn’t hurt that this suburb is just a short 13 minute journey from the University.

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

 

  • Ultimo

    Interestingly, the price of shared housing in Ultimo is comparative to a 1 bedroom apartment, with the former costing $390/week and the latter costing $380/week— not too steep of a price considering you’re a quick 6 minutes from UTS, and also incredibly close to Broadway shopping centre.

    With that said, it may be of interest to note that this suburb is known for having a relatively high crime rate, hence, students should be a little wary should they choose to walk home from late night study sessions or a night out.

  • Chippendale

    Chippendale was predicted to be Sydney’s next “it” suburb by Vogue Australia in 2015 and it has well and truly lived up to this reputation. In recent years, Chippendale has managed to redefine itself as one of the prominent art precincts, with regular gallery walks taking place in the area (eg. BEAMS Art Festival).

    It is a 6 minute journey to UTS and would cost an average of $338/week for shared housing or $510/week for a 1 bedroom apartment.

Macquarie University

 

  • Marsfield

    Marsfield is a great location for students who don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of city living, but still crave the convenience of having a variety of shops and restaurants at their doorstep.

    This suburb is just a 4 minute drive to Macquarie Centre and a 13 minute bus ride to Macquarie University; needless to say, this is why Marsfield has such a concentrated population of students living in the area.

    Rent here would set you back $229/ week for shared housing, or $368/ week for a one bedroom apartment.

  • Pennant Hills

    Despite being 28 minutes away from Macquarie University, the commute would be well worth it for students who enjoy living amongst nature.

    After all, this safe and peaceful suburb is nestled within two large national parks. With a ton of walking trails to choose from, as well as a huge number of sporting facilities, your weekends will never fail to be dull in this Northern suburb.

    Rent in this area is an average of $217/ week for shared housing, and $385/ week for a one bedroom apartment.

Best Suburbs for Students in Sydney

How To: Survive Student Orientation Week

Survive Student Orientation Week

Whether its deciding between staying out late for a student mixer or making it to your 8am lecture the next morning, or deciding if throwing your pink shirt into the washer with your whites is a good idea (it isn’t), navigating your first week at University during orientation week may seem like a little bit of a minefield.

With a multitude of events going on left, right and centre, its important to prioritise whats important to you so as to ensure that you don’t burn out.

Here are our best tips to ensure that you come out of Orientation Week in one piece:

Get involved at orientation

Of course its intimidating to start university not knowing a single soul, but spending the whole day holed up in your room isn’t going to make matters any better. Take a deep breath, go forth and socialise— show up to events with a smile and take initiative to introduce yourself to others. Although you may feel awkward, remember that all of you are in the same unfamiliar boat and more likely than not, others would appreciate your efforts to break the ice!

Socialising may not be your strongest suit but seemingly small actions, like making the effort to remember the names of the people you meet, can go a long way. A handy tip to remembering names is to casually use the person’s name throughout the conversation; for example, “Good to meet you, Sam“, or “What’s your timetable looking like, Sam?”

Don’t sign up for the first society you see

On the flip side, don’t get ahead of yourself and sign up for every single society that hollers at you. Yes, societies are a great way to meet people outside of your course, and they’ll look great on your CV, but think, are you REALLY keen on joining the crocheting society? Or are you signing up for the sake of it? Furthermore, many societies ask for an upfront registration fee— so unless you’re 100% sure that you’ll stick to it, perhaps have a look around to see what other societies interest you more before making a final decision.

Ration the events you choose to go for

We all know the saying, “go hard or go home“, but partying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will more likely send you to the hospital. Missing one or two events may give you some serious FOMO, but don’t fret, the world will keep turning.

Taking some nights off will not only allow you to nurse your hangover from the night before and ensure that you are feeling 100%, but it will also allow you to get to know the people living in your vicinity better. Rather than attempting to get to know people via broken conversations over blaring music and overpriced drinks, a cosy night in playing card games or watching feel-good movies with your flatmates may pleasantly surprise you.

Customise your timetable (the earlier the better)

With so many activities going on in your first week of university, customising your timetable will probably be the last thing on your mind. However, take 15 minutes out of your busy schedule to pick and choose exactly which tutorial slots work best for you. This will allow you to best align your semester with your study habits.

For example, some students thrive when they are able to squeeze in some extra hours of sleep in the morning, hence, tutorials after lunch may work well for them. On the other hand, if you prefer to get your lessons over and done with, opt to start you days with back-to-back tutorials early in the morning.

Get crackin’ on the student discounts

From discounts on meals to university events and parties, student discounts are basically a god-sent when you are attempting to survive University on a student budget. With that said, student union cards often require you to pay a rather substantial annual membership fee, however, signing up will often be worth it in the long run.

Other sites like Unidays also offer heaps of discounts (sometimes at 40% off) to students, with no registration fee required at all.

 

Once you’ve navigated orientation week successfully, Liveable can help you find your ideal place to live that’s within your budget and close to campus.

How To: Survive Student Orientation Week

How To: Make Your Student Accommodation Feel More Like Home

636060609028134440-1662337188_cover.jpgStarting University is a milestone that many strive to reach; and when University finally rolls around the corner and the day comes for students to move out of their homes and into student accomodations, although exhilarating, may still take some getting used to.

This is because often, people don’t realise how accustomed they have grown to living in the comforts of their own home. Hence, when faced with a 180 degree change— a barren dorm room that looks as if has been churned out of a factory production line— it may seem a tad bit unwelcoming.

Now you may choose to leave your accomodation in this sorry state; after all, its likely that you’re only going to be slumming it out for the first year or so in here. However, don’t let the temporary nature of your living situation stop you from getting cozy in your new place. Believe it or not, your dorm is where you will be spending a huge bulk of your time— whether catching up on your weekly readings, or coming home dead-drunk from a night out, it will more often than not, become your sanctuary.

Thankfully, it really isn’t difficult to add a personal touch to your living space. Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or wildly time consuming, but could make a world of a difference when it comes to making your student accomodation feel more like home.

Customise your bed

A cosy bed is one of those little luxuries that make you feel immediately comforted. With your bed being one of the most prominent features in your room, splurging on some new bedding is a smart investment. A new duvet cover with matching pillow cases can help to give your room some personality.

Often, your bed also serves as a couch to lounge on throughout the day. To up the comfort-factor, throw on some additional cushions or line them up against the wall. After a hectic day of socialising, you’ll be glad to be able to come home to an inviting bed.

Adjust the Lighting

A little lighting can go a long way. Switching the bulbs of your lamps to those that give off an orange glow is known for its ability to transform a cold space into one that is illuminated and filled with warmth.

Cheap fairy lights can also be purchased and draped across the walls of your room to add to the atmosphere. If you feel that fairy lights are too feminine for your taste, perhaps go for some paper lanterns or small coloured lamps that can easily be bought from Kmart or Ikea.

Don’t be afraid to decorate

Not only will posters add some colour to your blank walls, but they could also act as a great conversation starter when meeting new people in your first year.

Alternatively, decorating your walls with pictures of family and friends may act as a source of comfort when the homesickness kicks in. It will also act as a constant reminder to keep in touch with old pals when life gets a bit hectic.

When decorating the walls of your dorm, some good advice is to forgo the Blu Tack and instead, use Washi Tape to ensure that zero residue is left behind. Washi Tape can be purchased in a variety of different patterns and colours to suit the style of your room.

Invest in some scents

Never underestimate the power of scent. Often overlooked, it has the ability to conjure up familiar or heart-warming memories. Trade the unpleasant musty smell typical with dorm rooms for scents that remind you of home.

Although many student accomodations don’t allow for candles, essential oil diffusers are a safe alternative. Aside from keeping your room hazard-free and smelling fresh, they are also known to help with congestion during the pesky hay fever season.

A tip for those who are more prone to homesickness: purchase the same fabric softener or detergent that is used back home. This will give you a surprising whiff of familiarity and comfort throughout your day.

Add a bit of greenery to your room

When buying supplies to decorate, don’t hold back from picking up some flora to liven up your room. Cacti are the standard no-brainer option to go to, as these sturdy little plants look attractive while requiring almost zero effort to maintain.

 

Now that you know the tricks to help make your student accommodation more like home, Liveable can help you find your ideal place to live.

How To: Make Your Student Accommodation Feel More Like Home

London on a Student Budget – Survive and Thrive

London on a Student BudgetWith its vibrant, cosmopolitan way of life, coupled with its rich history and cultural diversity, London is, dare I say, one of the most lusted-after countries that students dream of studying abroad in. Furthermore, with more internationally-acclaimed universities than you can count on one hand, its no wonder that there are more international students flocking to London than any other city in the world.

However, whilst London is full of glitz and glamour, it may come to a nasty shock to some when they realise how quickly the cost of living can add up to if they are not careful. Hence, apart from checking out the Big Ben and other famous landmarks littered across the city, it is likely that students will also spend the first few weeks in London searching out ways to scrimp on cash.

Well, we’re here to make your life a little easier. Presenting, Liveable’s guide to surviving London on a student budget

Find the right accomodation IN LONDON

Looking for accomodation should be the first thing on your to-do list upon being accepted to a university in London. Seeing how leases generally require you to rent for six months to a year, it is vital that you have enough knowledge to make an informed decision.

This is where sites like Liveable come in handy. Liveable allows you to discover potential suburbs to live in based on what is important to you— whether it is by affordability, convenience or safety of the area.

A good tip for students on a budget would be to live outside central London. Not only will you be able to get accomodation at a cheaper price, but generally, your living space tends to be bigger too. With that said, for convenience sake, ensure that your accomodation is within walking distance to a tube station.

Get a Bicycle TO EXPLORE LONDON

If you’re keen on owning a set of wheels, consider getting a bicycle instead of a car. Not only will you avoid the pesky crowds during rush hour, but you will also avoid falling victim of the dreaded Freshman Fifteen by getting great exercise.

Cycling would also be a cheaper alternative to taking the tube, especially when travelling shorter distances. London’s bike sharing scheme— Santander Cycles is available 24/7 and can be hired from as little as £2. 

Plan for a night out

One of the most exciting aspects about living in London is undeniably its nightlife. As a student, the temptation to spend your week’s allowance on a night out, downing shots and sweating it out on the dance floor can be overwhelming.

However, you can save a substantial amount of money by starting your night having pre-drinks with some friends, before hitting the town. After all, what’s the difference with a pint of beer from a supermarket and a pub, aside from saving a good few pounds?

Eat Smart

Although you may be used to having Vegemite with your toast every morning, don’t get caught up with brands that you are familiar with. When it comes to grocery shopping, imported goods tends to be pricier than local products; and choosing Tesco’s digestive biscuits as a cheaper alternative can be just as satisfying as a packet of Poptarts.

When it comes to eating out, keep your eyes peeled for restaurants that have decent lunch specials and of course, happy hour. Also, investing in something like a Gourmet Society Membership will allow you to save heaps of money on participating restaurants that range from local family favourites to Michelin-starred restaurants.

Want to travel Out of London?

We all deserve to treat ourselves a little every now and then, and what better way than to explore the rest of Europe? Now, you may think that travelling seems counterintuitive, especially in a guide teaching you how to live affordably. However, there are multiple ways to get across the country for close to nothing.

Coaches are your best bet, with services such as Megabus offering bus tickets from one city to another for as little as £1. However, for those with a little less time and patience to spare, look out for sales and special offers for flights on sites like Ryanair and Easyjet.  A nifty trick is to always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode in order to see the lowest prices.

London on a Student Budget – Survive and Thrive

Roommate Etiquette 101

o-COLLEGE-ROOMMATES-facebook.jpgWhether you’ve gotten closer to a friend throughout the years and decided to take the friendship up a notch, or are moving to a new country and can’t afford to live alone; at one point of time or another, many of us will be faced with the dilemma— do we want to live with a roommate?

Sure, there are multiple benefits about having a roommate– you will be able to share the cost of your living space, you will also have constant companionship so you never get too lonely, and in the event where you are gone for extended periods of time, your roommate would be able to help with mundane chores like watering the plants or picking up your mail.

However, like a game of Russian Roulette, finding the perfect roommate may be tricky. Even if you choose to move in with your best friend, this is not a sleepover; and overtime, you may realise that both your lifestyles clash head on. On the flip side, what starts of as living with a complete stranger out of convenience may blossom into a lovely friendship.

Either way, here are some helpful tips to keep the “mate” in “roommate“:

Pick a location that works for everyone

If you’ve decided to move in with friends, have a quick chat about what suburb works best for your various lifestyles. It is vital to consider the characteristics that are essential to each individual.

For example, the safety of the suburb might be of utmost importance to someone who often works late, whereas the affordability of the area might take precedence for a student living on a budget.

Sites like Liveable may come in useful at this stage, as it takes these factors into consideration and efficiently churns out a list of potential suburbs that would be able to satisfy your overarching criteria.

Establish Ground Rules

To ensure that miscommunication is kept to the minimum, lay out some ground rules within the first few days of moving in with each other. Are basic condiments and cleaning supplies going to be shared between roommates? Is smoking inside the apartment tolerated? Should the noise level be kept to a minimum after a certain time? Questions such as these help to ensure that everyone is on the same page from the get-go.

A cleaning schedule should also be agreed upon—perhaps one roommate absolutely detests vacuuming while another would rather that over dusting. Divide the chores up and determine how often they should be done. To enforce this schedule, perhaps note it down on a calendar and pin it on the fridge as a constant reminder, and to keep each other accountable.

Discuss how utilities should be split

Splitting up household expenses can be tricky, hence, it is essential to discuss how utilities, such as electricity, water and the internet bills should be split. An easy way to do this is to split the bills equally amongst roommates, but if not, think up a solution that everyone is satisfied with.

A shared money pot may also come in handy when it comes to buying shared household staples.

Respect Shared Spaces

‘Messy’ could be your middle name, but when it comes to living with roommates, it is important to remember that everyone has a different threshold when it comes to messiness. Limit your mess to your own bedroom, and ensure to always clean up after yourself in communal areas, such as the living room or the kitchen.

Actions as simple as refilling the toilet roll if you use the last of it will also definitely be appreciated by your roommates.

Be Mindful about each other

Mutual respect and consideration for each other is the cornerstone of every good roommate relationship. Don’t borrow their belongings before asking, if they have an early start to the day, don’t go blasting punk rock at 3am in the morning, and always extend basic courtesies to each other.

It may also be useful to find out how comfortable they are with people staying over. They may be cool with an odd couch-surfer every now and then, but if your significant other is staying over six times a week, it may be another story.

Communication is Key

When living in such close proximity with others, problems will definitely crop up at one point of time or another. If you have an issue with your roommate, TALK IT OUT.

Yes, this may seem daunting and the idea of leaving passive-aggressive notes for your roommate to find may sound tempting, but trust me, this won’t solve anything. Although confrontation is never comfortable, nipping a problem in the bud would stop resentment from breeding.

Roommate Etiquette 101

How you can afford to move out of your parents basement

Are you a young millennial looking to move out of home, but not quite keen on giving up your morning coffees and weekly avo smash? There are ways you can afford to move out of home while still enjoying this small luxury.

Follow the 50-30-20 plan

This plan is an easy rule of thumb to follow when learning how to budget.

It states:

  • 50% of your savings should be spent on “Needs”, such as rent
  • 30% should be spent on  “Wants”
  • 20% should be saved for a rainy day

This is a smart way to start living within your means and ensures that you always have a balanced budget. Of course, once you get the hang of it, feel free to shake things up and customize this rule according to what you see fit.

Live with roommates

Living with roommates makes economical sense, but some of us may be wary to do so. After all, we’ve all heard at least one “annoying roommate” story, whether its about the girl with no sense of any personal space or the guy who comes home absolutely hammered every morning at 3am. But it doesn’t always have to end in misery.

When it comes to living with roommates, its important that some house rules are laid out. Aside from ensuring that your temperaments match, agree on matters such as how much contribution is expected towards household bills and cleaning habits. By being honest about what is expected from each other, its a lot less likely for conflicts to arise.

Find a suburb outside the city

Living on the outskirts of the city centre doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less. Using Liveable, we churned out a couple of suggestions that take into consideration how far the suburb is from the city, whether there are things to do in the area and last but not least, its affordability.

For example, in Sydney, both Summer Hill and Ashfield are less than 30 minutes to the city via public transport. Costing an average of $246/week and $229/week respectively for shared housing, these suburbs are also convenient, with a high number of restaurants, bars and supermarkets in their vicinities.

Cook more

Put down Deliveroo and close your Ubereats app. That’s right – instead of collecting that piping hot pizza, pick up a bag of groceries instead.

Not only will this save you heaps of money, but restaurants and commercially prepared food are notorious for being high in fat and salt. By taking the time to prepare yourself a hearty home-cooked meal, you’ll get a peace of mind knowing that your food is more nutritious and healthier for you in the long-run.

How you can afford to move out of your parents basement

Best Student Suburbs in Brisbane

With Brisbane being well-known as a city that provides its dwellers with an extremely balanced lifestyle, it comes to no surprise that this sub-tropical city is home to more than 100,000 students. Not only is Brisbane packed with some of Australia’s most prestigious universities, but the cost of living is also much lower compared to other cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

For both domestic and international students who choose to study their tertiary education here, deciding which suburb to live in is highly dependent on which university you plan on attending.

Using Liveable, we found the best suburbs for students to settle into, depending on where you plan to study:

Students going to the University of Queensland:


St Lucia 
might be the suburb for you. A mere 15 minutes ride on public transport will get you to your classes in no time at all. This makes it a popular suburb for a huge number of university students— perfect if you’re looking to effortlessly integrate into the University’s social scene. Rent is also extremely affordable in this area, with shared housing starting at $197/week. 
Rental Availability: High

Students going to Griffith University:


Robertson 
is a favourable option for Griffith University students. This suburb does not only offer great value for money, with the average price of a one bedroom apartment going for $200/week, but it is also an extremely convenient location to live in! It is central to all amenities— shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores and even a hospital; you name it, they’ve got it.
Rental Availability: Medium

Students going to James Cook University:


Fortitude Valley 
is located 12 minutes away from James Cook University. Although housing here is a little pricier than the aforementioned neighbourhoods, setting you back approximately $235/week for shared housing, living here is well worth it. Dubbed as the suburb that never sleeps, this entertainment precinct is best known for its wild nightlife. From trendy nightclubs to rooftop bars, you’ll be sure to have a fantastic experience living here.
Rental Availability: High

Best Student Suburbs in Brisbane

Top 3 suburbs for Students in Melbourne

Starting your life in a new country is a big deal for anyone, but can be an especially daunting task if you’re a student moving away from home for the first time. While the prospect of meeting new people and exploring a foreign country is exciting, it is also important to remember that finding a decent place to live abroad can be difficult— But it doesn’t have to be.

As a student, it is important to consider certain priorities when looking for accommodation: how close it is to the location of your main campus, whether or not the suburb is safe and of course, the price tag of the place.

We took these three factors into consideration and used Liveable to quickly churn out results tailored specifically to your needs. Setting the commute, affordability and safety of the search to ‘Very Important’, here are our results:

  1. Carlton
    – $208/week for a shared house
    – $335/week for a 1 Bedroom
  1. Melbourne CBD
    – $205/week for a shared house
    – $385/week for a 1 Bedroom
  1. Docklands
    – $299/week for a shared house
    – $430/week for a 1 Bedroom

Besides fitting all our aforementioned requirements, these suburbs also have high accessibility to numerous cafes and restaurants that will definitely get you excited about Melbourne’s famous brunch culture. On a student budget? No problem. Liveable results show that there are also various grocery stores in the vicinity so you’d be able to whip up a scrumptious meal with no effort at all.

With all this information at your fingertips, deciding where to live doesn’t seem so unnerving anymore, does it?

Top 3 suburbs for Students in Melbourne