Moving out of home is often a big deal for students, and an essential aspect of ensuring that this progression into a new stage of your life goes smoothly is to ensure that you are picking the student accommodation option that best suits your lifestyle.
The following three forms of student accommodation are the more popular options in Australia:
Residential colleges are affiliated with individual Universities, and as such, are often located within close proximity to them. They are a popular option for many first years students as they are seen as a fuss-free option, inclusive of a fully furnished bedroom and unlimited wi-fi access. Further, residential colleges often offer a wide range of services for students’ social and academic needs— such as tutoring and prepared meals in formal dining halls. With that said, certain colleges require their students to be more independent, urging them to cook their own meals in a shared kitchen instead.
Residential colleges focus on building up a sense of community, and as such, tend to have various communal spaces that facilitate interaction between peers. This, together with multiple social events and curricular activities offered throughout the year, provide students with an amazing way to meet people outside their faculty.
With that said, this lifestyle may not suit everyone, and those who tend to be more introverted may feel exhausted from the constant socialising. Residential colleges also tend to have strict curfews and house rules that are imperative to follow.
If residential colleges sound like the right fit for you, it is essential to apply months in advance in order to secure a spot, as they tend to fill up pretty fast.
Managed Student Accommodation
Managed student accommodations are a comfortable middle ground between residential colleges and private living. These living quarters usually consist of no-frills apartments that are inclusive of all utilities (most include limited wifi, with students having the option to pay more for additional allowances).
Managed student accommodations often offer students a variety of different setups to choose from. These range from shared apartments between 3-5 individuals, to private studio apartments. While these apartments usually include shared kitchens and bathrooms, laundry facilities tend to be shared between the building in a communal laundromat.
With heaps of common areas, such as BBQ pits, cinema rooms and gyms, for students to hang out, you’re sure to be surrounded by a thriving student community. However, unlike residential colleges, managed student accommodations provide their students with more independence; and whether or not you want to get involved with the social aspect of it is entirely up to you.
Many students tend to choose to stay in private rentals during the later half of their university studies. This form of student accommodation affords individuals with the least restrictions, in terms of both where and how they want to live.
With private living, students would need to consider the additional cost of utilities and meals. However, that is not to say that private living would result in being the most expensive option. Instead, if individuals choose to rent an apartment with a group of friends or move into a a share house, the cost of living becomes comparable or slightly cheaper than the aforementioned two options. Of course, this is highly dependent on where you choose to stay— generally, rentals further away from the city tend to be more affordable.
Aside from the rental cost, students should also decide on certain characteristics that they want to look out for in their potential neighbourhood. Factors such as convenience or safety of a particular neighbourhood may play an imperative role when narrowing down options.
Sites like Liveable come in extremely useful here, as they allow individuals to prioritise what they search for in a neighbourhood, providing suggestions that best fit their criteria. For starters here are some top suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for students.
And once you’ve found a place to live, here are some neat tips on how to make your student accommodation feel like home.