affordable housing
As the cost of living in Australia increases, many international students worry about finding affordable housing. Source: Peter Parks/AFP

With the cost of rent growing rapidly in Australia, many international students here are struggling to make ends meet and turning towards affordable housing.

Australia is home to top universities, incredible nature, vibrant cities, and beautiful beaches — making it the one of the most popular study abroad destinations. 

As of 2022, the country had about 600,000 international students enroled in higher education institutions.

This is a 5% increase from the previous year. 

However, last year the country was hit with a cost of living crisis. This increased the inflation rate to around 6%, pushing up the cost of rent, food and petrol. 

Currently, the average cost of living for international students in Australia is between 1,400 to 2,500 Australian Dollars monthly

As an international student moving here for the first time, the thought of finding affordable housing must be playing on your mind. 

While staying on campus in your first year sounds convenient, it can be quite expensive. 

The good news is there are off-campus housing options available that are not only affordable but safe and located near universities.  

If you are looking for affordable housing in Australia, we have created a list of options that will not burn a hole in your pocket. 

Here are four options international students should consider when looking for affordable housing in Australia: 

affordable housing

While staying on campus is more convenient, it can usually be quite expensive. Source: Sam Wasson/AFP


One of the more affordable housing options available for international students in Australia is homestay.

This programme involves living with an Australian family in their home. 

These families usually have an extra room for rent and will list it online for students to apply for and live in. 

While staying here, basic needs such as laundry and meals are usually taken care of by the family, so students need not worry.

There are options available for self-catered homestay too. 

The average cost of a homestay is between A$110 and A$270 weekly.

Aside from being a cheaper option, this is a great way for international students to fully immerse themselves in the culture. 

Many university accommodation services can provide a list of approved and reputable homestays.

Alternatively, Australia Homestay Network (AHN) is a website that provides students with the best homestay options in the country. 

Student hostels

Another option for more affordable housing is to stay in student hostels.

This is also off-campus accommodation and can be cheaper than a homestay.

The cost of staying here is usually around A$80 to A$135 per week.

At the hostel, students ll share common spaces such as the kitchen and bathrooms with other students.

Many international students choose to stay here as it is the best way to meet and socialise with other international students. 

As you can cook here, it’s a good option for you to cater to your specific dietary needs and to bond with other students through food.

If you are worried about safety, hostels are usually supervised by a committee, and many have a curfew set in place for students. 

affordable housing

Working as an au pair while studying in Australia will provide free housing. Source: Chris Hondros/AFP

Working as a demi pair

In Australia, students can work as a demi pair while studying. A demi pair is someone who works as a part-time au pair. 

This programme was created to allow students to earn money while completing their higher education.

One of the many perks of becoming a demi pair is that you can live with the family for free while completing your duties.

So not only will you be saving on the cost of rent and food, but you will also be earning extra pocket money to support yourself during your time abroad. 

However, to become a demi pair, there are a number of requirements you will have to fulfil, including having experience in babysitting.

Rental property

Rental property is also an option many international students choose when looking for affordable housing in Australia.

As living in a rental property alone is expensive, these students choose to share the cost with several housemates.

When choosing this type of housing, you can either move into a pre-established household or find a group of friends to rent a place with. 

The downside to living here is that many of these properties are barely furnished, and you will need to find your own furniture.

Shared rental accommodation can cost as low as A$80 a week