Saturday, July 01, 2006

How to look for a place to stay in Australia

Most of you will be landing here in the next two weeks. One of the first major tasks is to look for a place to live. Don't panic, has been done by thousands before you, but it is a task you should not take lightly.

University announcement boards are located near the Union offices or the cafeterias, they are easy to locate. You will find ads for roommates needed all the time.

Other options are to find a homestay. Homestay is where old couples or families let one room out while charging you for it. Kind of like a paying-guest thing. These are advertised on the boards as well. Homestay's are a bit costlier but you save on the time to cook and you get a room all for yourself.

Possibly the cheapest is to find a flat to rent in the suburb or near your university. For this, you need some effort. These are the steps you take..

  1. Make a group of like minded people. Students who are in your own class or the same university.
  2. Decide on a suburb. List of suburbs to follow.
  3. Buy a street directory. Last year's directories are cheap and available at most news stores. In Melbourne these are called Melway, in Sydney - Sydway.
  4. Look for a place on the internet. or are good places to start.
  5. Decide on two three places to look at. They take time to look. Each place takes about 30min to an hour to visit.
  6. Leave early next day. The offices open at 9, so be there at 9 to avoid disappointment of not getting keys. Saturdays they are open for only 2-3 hours. Closed on Sundays.
  7. Take $50 for each place. This is refundable deposit you need to make to take the keys. Take your passport along or any photo id as they don't give keys if you don't show Id. Don't forget the street directory. Wear good shoes.
  8. When deciding for a place make sure it is near to public transport. Check for frequencies of trams. Trains all run on the same timings in all suburbs.
These are the suburbs best for your particular university. Apologies for students not coming to Melbourne, I don't know about other cities.

RMIT University (City campus) - Any suburb within 20 minutes of travel. All trains lead to the city. Specially look at Thornbury, Croxton, Northcote as some classes may be in Bundoora campus, the above three suburbs are equidistant from Bundoora.

RMIT University (Bundoora campus) - Thornbury, Croxton, Northcote, all suburbs along the Epping train line.

Melbourne University (Parkville campus) - Carlton, Brunswick, Kensington are good suburbs if you are going to Melbourne.

Monash University (Caulfield) - Carnegie, Hawthorne, Malvern and Caulfield itself are good places to live.

Monash University (Clayton) - Clayton, Murrumbeena, Oakleigh are good places to live.

Victoria Uni (Footscray) - Footscray, Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Maidstone are close to Vic Uni.

Swineburne (Hawthorne) - Hawthorne, Malvern, Caulfield, Carnegie are all accessible by public transport.

Ballarat Uni (City), CQU (City) - Both are in the city so any suburb is ok as they will lead you to the city.

If I missed anything please let me know, I will update this.

Again all the best for your stay in Australia.