Types of accommodation

Whatever your needs or budget, there is a home perfect for you. Here are some of the many types of accommodation available in NSW.

Living in Sydney

It's important to plan your housing

As soon as you have confirmation of your study location in Australia, start looking for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Student accommodation is usually highly sought after and requires prior planning.  

Here are some factors to take into consideration when finding the right accommodation for you: 

  • Costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation. Use the cost of living calculatorExternal Link  to get an estimate of your expenses and how they vary from state to state.  
  • Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond as well as regular gas, water and electricity bills.  
  • Consider the distance of your accommodation from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus, tram or train. 
  • Find out what shopping centres and amenities, as well as health, hospital and emergency services are located nearby. 
  • NSW Fair TradingExternal Link  is the state government agency responsible for protecting your rights.

Short-term housing

It is best to book short-term housing before you arrive in Australia than look for longer-term options after you arrive. This allows you time to explore the neighbourhoods and properties to find the right fit for you. Temporary housing includes budget hostels and hotels and private short-term rentals.

Private rentals and shared housing

A private rental means renting a house, flat or apartment from a private landlord or real estate agent. You can rent by yourself or with other people, and rooms may be furnished or unfurnished. Private rentals do not include utilities and you will have to buy and cook your own meals.

NSW offers a diverse range of private rentals, with costs reflecting where you live, and if you live in a house or apartment.

Shared housing is one of the cheapest student accommodation options. The more people sharing the rent and bills, the less each person will pay. Share housing also provides an opportunity to meet people and make friends.

Tenants Unions of NSWExternal Link  provides useful tips and information about renting in NSW, including your rights when renting a room, apartment or house.

Student accommodation

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is also known as student accommodation. It is usually located on or near education institutions.  Most rooms are fully furnished and come with 24-hour support. While some can be lived in alone, others can be shared with fellow students.

PBSA is about community and you will have many opportunities to make friends and use shared facilities such as gyms, pools, BBQs and study areas. Rent also generally includes all utilities. 

We encourage students to consider a National Property Accreditation SchemeExternal Link External Link  (NPAS) accredited student accommodation option as these properties have been assessed by Student Accommodation Association External Link  (SAA) to meet a minimum set of industry standards. 

Halls of residence or residential colleges

Halls of residence or residential colleges are located close to campuses. They generally offer convenient, furnished rooms, meals and room cleaning services and onsite gyms and libraries. Some colleges also organise social activities for residents.

Another advantage is saving on travel time to and from classes. It’s also easy to make friends with students staying nearby.

To learn more, please contact your education institution.


In a homestay, you live with a family. The host family provides a furnished room, study space and communal area, as well as facilities such as washing and drying machines. This is a chance to experience life with an Australian family. Some homestays include all meals, and most include all utilities. 

We encourage students to consider an accredited homestay accommodation option as these properties have been assessed by NEASExternal Link  to meet a minimum set of industry standards. 

Boarding schools

Some primary and high schools offer on-campus housing for students under 18 years of age. To learn more, contact your education institution.

Youth hostels

This is a kind of cheap temporary housing, in either private or shared dormitory rooms. Youth hostel is a great place to make friend with international travellers and students. Bathrooms, kitchens and hang-out spaces are usually shared, and linen, internet and utilities are free.