G’day guys, as the new semester (Study Period 5) will be commencing in early July, there are a number of new overseas students have landed up in Adelaide these days. Some of these guys take Language courses before their uni studies, some of them are looking for long-term accommodation to settle down. This week’s article aims to give you some useful tips for residence selection, housemate, legal terms and a recommendation for student residence will be given at the end of this article.
As Maslow suggested in 1940, once your biological needs (food, water, oxygen, rest, sexual expression) could be addressed, the safety needs will be the next thing you have to cope with. To have a secure, comfortable and cost-friendly place to live is one of your safety needs, I promise a comfortable and cosy residence will implicitly help you a lot on your overseas study and living. A wrongly selected accommodation or roommate would give students a bumpy ride, I swear!
Here, I will briefly introduce the major forms of residence that the majority of overseas students choose to stay:
- Student apartment – students apartments are normally close to your campuses and community infrastructure (i.e. supermarkets, bus stations, police stations, post offices and banks), a wide range of room types are available to students. Basically students will have a single lockable bedroom with standard furniture (a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe), shared kitchen, bath room, living area and laundry. Students can either live alone or share room with friends or school mates, well, depends on your room type and contract. The price is usually higher than other types of accommodation. You’ll also need to pay attention to energy usage, such as electricity and gas. You’ll also need to purchase Internet plans from your apartment, there would be a range of internet combos provided to buy.
- Homestay – students normally choose to reside in a local homestay for a short while before moving to a long-term residence, it would be a great way to familiarise yourself with your new environment, international students can have a precious opportunity to use English as the only language to communicate with your local family. Rooms are fully-furnished and a meal (usually dinner) is included. You do not have to worry about energy usage, such as electricity, gas and water, but internet charge might be applicable.
- Private rental – students, particularly international students prefer to stay with a couple of friends or school mates because they share and use same language and culture. Lower price and larger space could be another important factors by which international students are motivated to rent a whole private house or unit. There are some sub-categories of private rental, such as co-tenant, sublet, and share-house. Students can negotiate with agencies or local property owners regarding household chores, furnished or unfurnished, provision of internet and the inclusion of energy usage. But student may need to hire roommates by themselves and put price on the rooms.
Personally speaking, I would not recommend you guys to rent a whole house or unit and sublet to other students who out of your acquaintance. Well, it seems like you can have an independent living space and cheaper expense for rent, but you can also feel devastated if you cannot hire enough roommates before the day you make the payment to property owners. It is reported by a some international students that the landlord fail to return the bond or they deduct the legitimate bond unreasonably. Well, the majority of landlords and agencies are very professional and responsible for students, but some of whom are greedy and irresponsible. So please make sure you read and accept all terms and conditions on the renal agreement, it is the only document to protect your rights.
Some students are confronted with unfriendly or troublesome roommates in the circumstance of share-house, well, it is recommended that you need to clarify the responsibilities of tenants and make a private but legal paper with the clarification on it, such as expenses of rent, household chores, consumption of daily necessities, the distribution or sharing bills etc. Please always be legal and legitimate.
I personally recommend international students to spend a few weeks with local homestay, when you are ready to live independently, then find a student apartment or university-recommended residence to stay, with whether yourself or close friends.
A website here which contains many useful tips for students who sharing house with others: http://www.bazuzu.co.uk/ukera/living_in_a_room.html
Our university can help students discover a range of student accommodation options for different requirements and budgets. All selected accommodation choices have been inspected by our staff and can be booked before you settle into your study.
Search for your secure accommodation: http://www.unisa.edu.au/Student-Life/Student-accommodation/