As an international student you are probably researching accommodation options, as that’s the next step after accepting your offer. The following are some tips that can help you with your decision!
- University of Sydney (USYD) offers a wide range of student accommodation services. If you are living overseas for the first time, these may be the best option. Visit here to find out more.
- USYD is huge, so use Google Maps to locate your faculty. Your classes will most likely be around that area; contact your department to confirm your lecture venues.
- Make sure to consider the distance of your accommodation from your faculty. Don’t assume that if you live on-campus it means you will reach your classes early. It is possible that your faculty is on the other side of campus and it might be better to consider other options.
- If for some reason you can’t secure university accommodation or they are over your budget limit, then living off-campus is an alternate option.
- Websites like Gumtree and Flatmates are some of the top websites for searching for a room. If you find a good room, send an email to the advertiser and inquire about the availability. Bookmark all the rooms that you like and call or SMS them when you arrive in Sydney to arrange a time for inspection.
- CAUTION: Do not rely on room pictures posted online! ALWAYS inspect the room personally before signing a contract or making any payments.
- Make sure you have all the payment receipts – especially for the deposit (i.e. bond). Have a copy of the contract and do not hesitate to contact USYD Accommodation Services if you have any doubts.
- If you are coming with a group of friends (3+) then renting a whole apartment or house could be the best option. Visit real estate websites such as this to find properties via agents.
- When inspecting the room, inform the landlord/agent of any problems you believe might give them a reason to deduct money from your bond. Take pictures of these and keep them for your records.
- Just like in any other country, some landlords/agents do not follow the rules and regulations. Make sure you know your tenant rights!
So how can you inspect a room from overseas?
- Don’t trust the internet!
- Arrive early; the first or second week of February is good, but the third week might be too late. Book temporary accommodation in your university, a hotel or a backpackers’ hostel, reserving at least a week to begin with. See here for more info.
- Google nearby hostels/hotels and visit their website to compare prices and choose the option most suitable for you.
- Some hostels/hotels can give you a discounted price if you buy their membership; this can be more economical than paying for a week at the standard price.
- Remember to keep your budget limit higher for the first month!
Be confident when you arrive and do not hesitate to contact USYD Accommodation Services should you require any help. Good luck!
Want to share your story on the International Student Forum? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!