Campus Accommodations vs Off-Campus

Australia is undergoing a rapid influx of overseas students due to high-quality life, world-class institutions, and great natural landscapes and beautiful scenery. This increasing student population also needs a place to stay equipped with all the facilities for a comfortable living. International students have two main options to choose from – campus halls and purpose-built student accommodations (PBSAs). 

Campus Halls (On-Campus Accommodation)

Students need to be aware that accommodation at Australian universities is quite different from what many of you will be accustomed to because the universities provide little or no university housing. While on-campus accommodation does exist sparingly, all of them are allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Due to this most students prefer to live off-campus through homestay programs, guest house, or rental properties.

The prices and availability of campus halls vary according to the university, so students should contact their institution prior to their arrival in the country. These accommodations have their own benefits as well. 

  • It allows students to have great deal convenience and comfort with facilities like labs, libraries, gyms, dining halls and more are available at an arm’s length. 
  • Students are in the centre of campus life and are exposed to people from diverse backgrounds and culture. This helps students to interact and learn about the culture and values.
  • You don’t have to worry about security as the universities follow a set of guidelines that help students live in a secure environment. 

Purpose-Built Student Accommodations (PBSAs)

When campus halls are no longer available, students can opt for purpose-built student accommodations (PBSAs). As the name suggests these accommodations are designed keeping in mind the comfort and needs of students. These accommodations are located at a walking distance from the city’s top universities and offer a multitude of onsite amenities. 

The prices of PBSAs vary depending on the location and the type of room you choose to opt. They offer a wide range of room types — studios, apartments, en-suite rooms as well as shared rooms. The advantages of staying in these accommodations are easy access to different modes of public transport, important places of interest such as hospitals, supermarkets, bars, and more. Other benefits of staying in a PBSA includes: 

  • Students living off-campus have full independence which helps them to become self-reliant and fast track into maturity and adulthood. 
  • There are plenty of on-site amenities like card-operated laundry, games room, study spaces, fitness centre, swimming pool, barbecue, and more.
  • Off-campus accommodations provide an environment where you can study peacefully either in your room or in the designated study areas. 

PBSAs also have housekeeping staff to look after the cleanliness of the communal areas and modern security features to ensure the safety and security of the residents. 


Whichever option you choose, on-campus vs off-campus debate depends on what you seek most in an accommodation. Cost, Comfort, and Convenience are the three main factors to look after while choosing any accommodation. 

Suggested Read:

What to Pack When You Move to Australia

Cost of Living in Adelaide as a Student

Cost of Living in Melbourne as a Student

Cost of Living in Brisbane

5 Things You Should Know about Living in Australia


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