What accommodation option is best for your stay in Australia? ACU international students give you some advice about homestay versus share housing!
Homestay is one of the most popular choices for international students because it usually is a good way to settle into Australian life quickly. (Check the Australian Homestay Network website for more information). Homestay is a cultural exchange between an Australian individual or family (called a “Homestay Host”) and a visiting International Student who lives as a guest in their home while they are studying in Australia. The Homestay experience helps international student understand the culture and customs of the region in which they are studying.
Living with an Australian family means that you can experience Australian culture and lifestyle first hand, practice your English language skills and get used to life in Australia fairly quickly.
It is ideal for students who don’t want to worry about cooking meals, buying kitchenware or bed linen. These are generally included in the the weekly homestay fee.
Homestay can be expensive compared to other options. Fees start at about $240 a week.
Luiving in someone else’s house mean that you have to follow any rules that have been established in the house – such as a limit on time in the bathroom, water and electricity restrictions or a no-guests policy.
Successful homestay requires getting along with your Host Family, which is not always the case and/or can’t be a guarantee. Having said that, when sharing a house you will be in a similar position as getting along with you flat mates is not always possible! In this respect, maintaining a good level of communication and trying to keep your cool will be your best tools to fight this issue 😉
Sharing a house is a great way to meet new people, live independently and coexist (hopefully) peacefully!
Share houses are great for an independent lifestyle. It involves making decisions, managing time, prioritising and taking responsibility for all aspects of your life – rent, food, lifestyle and chores.
It can be cheaper than Homestay and can be anywhere from about $60 to $250 a week for rent, depending on location, facilities and the quality of the accommodation. Utility bills, the internet, food and other facilities may not be included in the rent so you have to budget extra for that.
Generally, you have no choice over who your housemates are going to be. There are bound to be conflicts and clashes every now and then. Not all who live in the house will pull their weight when it comes to chores and cleaning up. It’s always good to have the ground rules established and have the channels of communication open from the beginning.
You may have to buy stuff to fill your room / the house even if you plan to stay for a short time, because most houses come with only just the basic furniture.
* It’s always wise to make sure that you have saved all the records and documents of your tenancy (payment receipts, copy of contract etc) to avoid confusion and problems in the future.
*Australia happens to be the driest continent in the world, so saving water and electricity is an important factor here. Make sure you discuss this with your tenant, host family or house mates!
What is your opinion? Is homestay or share housing best? Do you have any experiences, good or bad, that you would like to share?
Let us know in the comments below!