Lifestyle

Tips For Choosing The Right University Accommodation

by Sally L. Watkins Tuesday January 21st 2020

Tips For Choosing The Right University Accommodation-blog-01

Moving to a new country can make anyone anxious, but starting university as well can make it seem doubly anxious making!

Bags Packed, Passport Found, Visa Approved. Now, somewhere to live once you arrive!

Finding accommodation before leaving home or when you first arrive in Australia might seem daunting, but luckily, Wollongong is a small relaxed city, and you take advantage of the community life that a university city offers.

Living in a beautiful beachside city and studying at one of the best universities in the world makes Wollongong a great choice.

Having no idea about Australian culture or living situations for most international students can be stressful and looking for accommodation can be confusing, time-consuming and expensive.

The ease of managed student accommodation is not only more affordable but a whole less stressful too. You have two options, UOW campus accommodation or Off-Campus accommodation.

If you’d prefer more independence, private rental, apartment or house share is also an option or even homestay with local families.


Easy to get around, Wollongong is only an hour by train or car from Sydney, with have of options for beaches, eateries, shopping and entertainment.

Here are some tips for choosing the university student accommodation that will best suit you!

1. University On-Campus Accommodation

Cost: $$-$$$

UOW has on-campus various living options with various options of studio, 1 or 2 bedroom/bathroom and apartment/flat with self-catering or fully catered.

2.Off-Campus Student Accommodation

Cost: $-$$

Ride your bike, catch the Free shuttle bus or drive only 5 minutes to UOW campus.

Kalara is a smaller Off-Campus facility offering fully catered single or twin share rooms, providing breakfast and dinner. There is also a no-catering option.

By offering students accommodation that has all-inclusive rent, Kalara has support systems in place to make accommodation easy - You pay a weekly rent that covers meals, Internet, paid TV, gas, water, etc. read more here Whats included in my rent

Its closeness to uni or TAFE, the CBD and nearby suburbs makes it ideal.

A home away from home, living in a smaller accommodation college like Kalara offers students many advantages, like cheaper rates and a fantastic multi-cultural community of students also studying at UOW.

3. Private rental properties

Cost: $-$$$ depending on how many people are sharing

Another option is to rent a property either by yourself, with friends or in shared accommodation.

Generally, for a shared house situation, the room option will be limited to a one-bedroom space with the rest of the house shared with others.

Majority of the time, these will not be furnished or catered, so you will need to fork out the expense of furniture, cooking utensils, shopping etc. which is incredibly expensive. It is possible to find a furnished property, but it is rare, and the rent will be higher.

The facilities available will depend on the property, often you will just have the necessities.

Many rental properties will have some sort of internet connection but not always the best.

You will need to budget for all expenses and take care of all your bills yourself. You will also need to do the cleaning!

If someone leaves, you need to look for another student to help with the rent, and you are required to pay at least 4 week’s rent for bond upfront.

4. Home Stay

Cost: $$-$$$

Home Stay organisations which help organise accommodation with Home Stay families that can assist in making it a smooth transaction.

This will be similar to a shared house situation, where the room option will be limited to a 1-bedroom space with the rest of the house being shared with others.

Homestay families generally offer breakfast, and some will cook for dinner or assist where possible.

Your homestay family may take you out to see attractions and experience the country you are now staying in.

The cost of coming overseas and finding accommodation with a family can be expensive. It will depend on the family and what you want.


Every option will depend on your circumstances and your weekly budget. Whichever option you choose, you can be flexible and try different accommodation types throughout the term of your course.

Just ensure you enjoy your university time!

Sally L. Watkins

Sally works in the Travel Industry and ofcourse loves to travel. Follow @sally.watkins.sydney

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