So, you have the study visa linked to your passport and planning on the air ticket and other necessary things. However, it is better to always research about the place you have decided to live in for the next couple of years.
Let us have a look at the information you need to know about your accommodation in Brisbane.
Things to know about your destination
First of all, you need to know about the city you are about to move in. learn about the population and culture. You will need to find a suitable community or you will have a hard time stomaching the culture shock.
This is very important. Learn by watching YouTube videos on the culture of Australia and the city you are going to. Learn about the way of life. Look for your native community. If you are from China, then look for a Chinese community. Try to find out if they have any association or not, then contact them.
This will be particularly helpful during the first few weeks of your arrival. The food, the people, the culture - you will be able to slowly transition from Chinese to Aussie. When you have difficult times, you can always seek solace in your community - talk to them, listen to their advice, ask for help if you need.
The second will be to learn about the weather of the city. Find out what your city in Australia will be like at the time of your arrival. Pack suitable clothes.
The next thing will be to find out about the accommodation matters. In this article we will cover that. So, you can rest assured.
You also need to learn about medical matters. You must know what is the scope of your health cover. If you have a medical condition - REMEMBER to take a prescription Certified by Government Hospital.
You will have to show your medicine and prescriptions at the airport and declare them in the Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). You need to write an address in Australia in your IPC. In this case we will help you find a temporary place in Australia, or you can contact your community over there and find an address to live in for the first few days.
However, beware of scammers. If there is no association do not directly trust anyone in your community in Australia. It is always safe to settle in University authorized accommodation for a few days or weeks, then you can move out if you want.
Then learn about the monetary system, the currency and the local names of the coins if possible, the banks in your destination. Always carry a traveler's check for the safety of your money.
This will be a bit unconventional but if you can convert your currency into a stablecoin you can put them in your crypto wallet such as MetaMask or a hardware wallet. This will be the safest until you can transfer them directly to your Australian Bank Account from any Crypto Exchange like Binance.
You have lots of options for transferring money, however do your own due diligence before you choose this option. Only choose Crypto if you know how to handle them. This is not for everyone and if you choose the wrong option by mistake, you will lose all of your money.
Learn about the emergency numbers like the primary national emergency telephone number in Australia ‘000’. This number will come really in handy when you get there. The police will help you with any information or will connect you to a suitable number.
Learn if you can get a prepaid sim card the moment you enter Australia. Carry your mobile phone if you can, so that you can contact your home. Also carry a few Australian dollars in coins or notes so you can immediately use them if you need.
Learn how to read a road map and buy one at the port of entry. Buy a sim card, and a map of the local area. This will really help you because you may not be able to use Google Maps for a while as you will not have mobile data.
If there is WiFi in the Airport, download a local map on your phone. In short, you should be a smart traveler.
Things to consider before you find an accommodation
The closer you are to the public transport stops or stations, the more costly your accommodation would be. Why? Because the demand is high and everything is built up around the means of transportation.
From the very ancient times, people would build housing around ports or business hubs. So, if you do not mind a few minutes of walking, then stay a few minutes away from bus stops or train stations. It will save you some money. Utility bills remain the same. So, the only thing that makes a big change is the house rent because that is the biggest part of your living cost. You do not even eat as much per week.
Prioritize comfort. Check for cockroaches, insects under the mats, damp corners, broken tiles, etc. If you are from a tropical climate, look for that same kind of discomfort as you usually find in your country.
Avoid ground floors if you can. Check under the kitchen sink, check the bathroom and the toilet. Check the water heater, taps, shower heads. Check for foul smells in the carpet. Check around the building to see if there is anything you do not like.
Watch out for suspicious neighbors. Ask the agent about the neighbors. If you are in a bad neighborhood you will have noisy and boisterous neighbors and their kids having fun or fights every other day, and you will suffer during your exam season.
Knock on a few doors around the building when the house agent is not around and talk to the tenants to see if they are facing any problems or not. Ask about contracts and bond money.
Visit with your friend during the late night on Fridays and Saturdays, to see how the neighbors are acting. Once you have signed the contract, you have either put a noose around your neck for the rest of your stay or struck a good bargain for comfort. Look for a place where students live.
If you look for shared rooms, there will be many available. Talk to your friends in your classroom about this. International students will often have something to offer. If you find them agreeable, you can make a deal. Always look for your comfort.
Before you get into an agreement, clearly state your terms and write them down on a paper and have the main tenant sign it. State the conditions for cooking, cleaning, noise, loud music, alcohol, smoke, etc.
If the main tenant agrees then sign or look for other places. People often have internal fights because roommates do not stick to the rules, do not cook or clean. This becomes very tough on others who maintain their responsibilities but do not get the same in return from the other careless roommates.
Many students can still be noisy and play loud music. Also talk about bathroom manners, kitchen and dining rules, rents and bills divisions and payment, bringing in a girlfriend or boyfriend or someone else, smoking-drinking-addiction problems, everything. If you do not clear things up before you make a contract, you will regret later.
Paperwork and contracts
Read the contract in depth before you sign it blindly. If you have anyone you know who has been living in Australia for a long time or a lawyer from your own community, have the contract checked by that person.
If there is nothing suspicious, go ahead and sign it. You must not avoid this. In future you will be doing a lot of signing if you wish to live in Australia. Ask the agent straight away if you do not understand something in the contract, have him/her explain.
If the explanation is satisfactory, sign; if not, then say you want some time to think about it and come back later. If your university is managing the accommodation, then you need to learn what the university is expecting from you - behavior, length of your tenancy, rent per week,etc.
Pay special attention to the clause regarding early ending of the contract, breach of contract, fines and fees payable, etc. If you suddenly wish to stay in an off-campus accommodation then you need to abide by the rules set for you by the contract. So, learn about it.
If you want to live off-campus, then you need to look up on Craigslist or GumTree. You can rent a share or the whole house. Whichever you choose, you will have to submit a tenancy application, 3 months of bank transaction statements, a reference from your previous land owner, and an ID.
A local government bond must be paid. This bond is refundable when your tenancy ends provided that you keep your home in good condition and no payment is due.
This process can greatly vary from state to state. So, you will have to talk to your student adviser regarding the process once you arrive in Australia. We will help you, so you do not have to worry.
Costs of accommodation in Brisbane
As we discussed before, the closer you live to your comfort, the more you pay for your rent, and living far away will cost you more on travel and time.
Check your options and calculate the cost, factor in the assignment submission and exam season, travel time - then decide if living close to university is better.
Find a place not too close or too far away from your university. Everything will be moderate. Usually, you will pay AUD 360 for an apartment in Brisbane per week.
University on-site accommodation
You can also avail the university managed accommodation. You can choose a single room or a double bed room. The room can be furnished or may not. Except for laundry everything else like cleaning, food, and support services will be managed by university authority.
This housing is good for serious students and they are the ones that benefit the most because they live in an environment that supports study and library work. Choose one of the university run accommodations and you are well set for your studies.
Privately owned student accommodation off site
These housing compounds are also made for students only, but privately owned. You can also choose this. This type of housing has a lot of options like shared, single, couples, and furnished with cleaning and security services. You have a lot more flexibility here than the on-campus housing.
Renting a flat or house
This is a very cost effective way to live. If you have spent over a year and learned to navigate through society in Brisbane, Australia; then maybe it is time for you to put your experience to test by moving to a rented shared or single room apartment. Just remember what we talked about contracts, rents and laws of the state.
This option will allow you to get an unique Aussie experience. Your accommodation in Brisbane will be with a Native Aussie family. You will either get a room or share the room with a child or another student.
All you need to do is clean your room and bathroom. You will be able to learn Aussie English better than any other place.
Because, here you will be directly involved with the daily life of an Aussie family. This option has its own charms. The food will be cooked for you, or you can sometimes cook a meal from your country.