Choosing the perfect crib: Five things to do to find your home away from home

A new semester has kicked off, and if you’re an international student who’s just started studying in Australia chances are, you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s no denying that moving away from home can be complicated. And believe it or not – choosing where to live in a new country can be challenging!

Lucky for you, we spoke to Judie from Mauritius and Renee from the United States – two international students studying at the University of South Australia – about their experiences. They’ve given us five stress-free tips to help you find your home away from home.

Knowing what’s in your price range

Accommodation pricing is something you need to be mindful of when looking for your space in Australia. Every accommodation option here is different. You can choose to share a rental, move into an apartment complex tailored exclusively to students or look to a homestay arrangement or on-campus housing. Determining what’s in your budget will help you narrow your choices and make it much easier to choose the right place!

“Living in a UniLodge studio apartment allows me to have my own space while being situated in the CBD.” – Judie

Location, location, location

Having a place near your uni is perfect, or you could choose to live close to the city. Either option will save you heaps of time and money. Accommodation in centrally located areas also offers better accessibility and the chance to live in a nice neighbourhood.

“Living in the CBD means that my apartment is super close to uni. It’s easy to get around and the UniSA City West Library is walking distance away.” – Renee

Is it good value?

Find a space which has the best value for money and offers a variety of payment options.  Also, look for a place with facilities like a lounge, study area, kitchen and laundry – having access to these things will save you on long-term costs. Make sure that you get the services you want from your accommodation provider.

“My rent costs me between $260 and $320 a week for a studio apartment, and this includes all bills – except for electricity. When I compared this to other apartments close to my campus, I realised it was quite affordable.” – Judie


Accommodation that provides comfort and security is like striking gold! Living in a safe place is super important as a student in a new city. Safety could be about the location of your rental or the neighbourhood you’re in, or it could be about living in a clean space with neighbours who are quiet and considerate. Making sure your new home has these things will go a long way to making your living situation even better!

“The first thing I thought of when I was figuring out where to live was working out how safe it was.” – Judie

Atmosphere & community

Lastly, don’t underestimate how important the vibe and the sense of community is! These two things can make or break your decision when it comes to signing an agreement with an accommodation provider.  Take a minute to get a feel for the atmosphere of a place, and get to know your future roommates or neighbours. Renting a place that offers free events and meet-ups means that you’ll be able to form new friendships and be part of a community. After all, loving where you live is about great ambience and great company!

“Living in accommodation created specifically for students has given me the chance to meet new people, go to events and widen my network. Coming from Mauritius means that I’ve got no relatives living with me in Adelaide, so forming new connections is super important.” – Judie

Author: Cohort Go

With Cohort Go, securely pay tuition fees, living expenses and other education fees in your local currency with competitive FX rates and no fees.