Advice for Students Moving out of Home


Advice for Students Moving out of home

By Adrian Tan



With the start of term commencing, many students have likely eased into their personal university routine. There can be many reasons why students may choose to leave home, whether it is due to location, to meet new people, to have new experiences, or to become more independent. Nevertheless, the decision and process to do so can be a difficult yet highly rewarding experience. After living out of home for a full year, I thought it was time to impart some useful advice on the options available and what factors to consider when choosing the right accommodation.

On-Campus Accommodation

The major benefits of living on-campus include:

  • Convenience of location
  • Community
  • Access to UNSW support services

At the time of writing this article, applications for UNSW accommodation are still open and can be accessed here. If applications have closed please refer to the Student Accommodation Office who can further assist in future applications.

If you are considering living on-campus, there are two common options:

  1. College

Living in one of the 6 colleges owned and operated by UNSW, you’ll be immersed in a truly inclusive and supportive environment that fosters academic excellence, community participation and social engagement.

  1. Campus Apartments

Living in one of the 4 apartment units owned and operated by UNSW, you’ll be able to experience independent living within a community experience. There are studios and flat-shares available and even options for couples and families with children.

Off-Campus Accommodation

Off-Campus Accommodation listings can be submitted by landlords, real estate agents, and the wider Sydney community. It is recommended that students inspect the accommodation and make their own assessment of the information provided.

If you are considering off-campus accommodation, there are three common options:

  1. Private Rentals

Private rentals are a more formal means of accommodation which usually involves a tenancy agreement. These apartments are commonly unfurnished and require additional costs such as utility bills. A major benefit of this type of living is that the owner has greater control and freedom in personal living arrangements.

Important factors to consider:

  • How long do I want the tenancy to go for?
  • Are bills included in the total rent or are they separate?
  • What is the bond and how much rent am I required to pay in advance?
  • How many other tenants are on the property?
  • What furniture and appliances will I need to source?

UNSW has a handy checklist of more factors to consider here.

Popular platforms include:

  1. Shared Accommodation

This type of living involves sharing an apartment or a property with others. It is common to have a separate bedroom while areas such as the kitchen and bathroom tend to be shared. This means of living tends to be a cheaper option than the first while also giving the opportunity to meet and live with new people.

Important factors to consider:

  • Do I get along with the other tenants on the property?
  • How long do I want the tenancy to go for?
  • Are bills included in the total rent or are they separate?

Popular platforms include:

  1. Student Apartments

This type of accommodation is similar to shared housing except the mutual interest is in education. Sizes can vary from one to six bedrooms and the types of facilities available can vary. This option can also provide an avenue to make friends and provide a sense of community.

UNSW recommends the following platforms:


For students studying at UNSW, it can be convenient to live closer to university. It is ultimately up to you to decide what other factors need to be considered in order to determine a suitable living area. The following diagram is a useful reference to the general pricing of housing and accommodation in Sydney.

(Jobbio, 2018)

While the above diagram is just an estimate of total averages in terms of Sydney location, please keep in mind that other factors such as the apartment size and condition can alter the price levels accordingly, regardless of location.

From reading the above information, the decision to move out of home can require thorough research, planning and courage. While this can initially feel overwhelming, the opportunity to meet new people and gain a further sense of independence is something that is valuable for life.

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