Share House vs Living on Campus in Australia - What's the Better Accommodation during Your Master's?

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Getting accepted to study abroad at an Australian university is a huge win. If you haven’t decided where to study yet, you should definitely consider Australia and the many study options available in its universities, including subjects like:

The next step is finding the perfect accommodation ready for when you make the big move from your family home.

You’ve done your research and found out that there are plenty of accommodation options for your new university campus, with the two most popular options being either student share houses or living on campus. But which is better?

Well, it depends. To help, we’ve weighed up the 5 most critical points you need to consider when deciding between a share house and college accommodation in Australia.

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1. Monthly living budget in Australia

We worked out the average weekly costs that you may find for each option. Base rent rates for share houses are generally cheaper than the cost of living on campus. However, it’s also important to consider additional overheads such as food, internet, utility bills, etc.

Most on-campus accommodation or residential colleges provide 3 meals a day, 7 days of the week. On the other hand, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to score some great rates in share housing, especially if you’ll be living with a number of people.

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Verdict: Your budget really comes down to convenience preference. Everything is catered for on most college campuses whereas share housing tends to be cheaper but requires a little more effort on your part. However, strictly from a cost perspective, ‘Shared Housing’ wins Round 1!

2. What’s provided/what you will need to bring

For shared housing, this is variable. You might move into a fully furnished house (which usually has higher rent). Alternatively, you might choose a bare house to furnish yourself where you can pick your own furnishings to suit your style. With bare necessities like a bed (used $100), linen (new $50), desk (used $60), chair (used $30), lamp (used $5), small fridge (used $100), fan (used $20), heater (used $40), washer (used $200), dryer (used $100) etc., you can expect to spend at least $1000 for used items and $2500 for brand new items.

Not to mention, you’ll have to arrange pickup or pay extra for delivery. So, you do pay a lot of cash up front, but also get the freedom to pick exactly what you want and own it. If you’re studying internationally for several years, this could be a benefit but a student on short-term exchange may not see the worth in purchasing furniture.

On campus living scores in the latter part where you don’t have to worry about the stuff you need to start living, as most of the items are provided to you and you don’t have to worry about getting rid of anything when you move back home.

Verdict: We are 50-50 on this one. Share housing is better for those who prefer to pick their own furnishings and don’t mind the hassle of buying (and selling when you move!). On-campus for those who prefer to have everything provided but don’t mind more generic furnishings.

3. Time Management

When it comes to time management, students don’t get it easy. But who can blame them, there’s so much to do! You have to get ready for classes and manage assignments while taking care of all your meals and remembering to pay all the house bills on time. Understandably, it’s not easy. Living on-campus is a relief in this area, with regular meals and cleaning provided to take off the extra pressure. As a result, you can focus more on your studies as well as enjoying your time as a university student.

Verdict: ‘On Campus’ wins!

4. Transportation costs

Average monthly transportation costs range from $25-30 a week. Living on-campus is a clear winner here as it saves you the cash and hassle of running late for a class because of traffic jams or missing the bus by two seconds. You could be saving $100+ a month here easily.

Verdict: ‘On Campus’ wins Round 4!

Study abroad in Australia5. Other Perks

It is important to remember that each option has its own unique benefits. For one, living off-campus helps you grow and learn a lot. You get better at managing the various responsibilities with time too.

On the other hand, in a ‘catered college’ such as Trinity Residential College, you live as part of a community, which is great for making friends, and don’t pay anything extra to access facilities like a gym, basketball court, music rooms or a library. Residential colleges also offer academic support, health & wellbeing support and many other perks.

Verdict: We’ll leave this one for you to decide.

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