for all new international students

Category: housing

Work out your accomodation before you come to Melbourne

“Do you know where you are staying?” asks a Immigration official at Melbourne Airport as you clear customs.
If the answer is no then clearly you have not done any research before you arrive and before you know it you might be sent back home with a three year exclusion period.
Or you might have to stay in a hotel which costs around $200-$600 per night and then it is race against time to find suitable accomodation.
Melbourne is still in a rental crisis where rent is about $700-$1500 per month depending on where you are living.
Think about how much you plan to spend on rent and think about how you will get the money. Jobs are really hard to find.
Most student apartment complexes cost $300-$400 per week and most of them include bills and some include meals.  For that price you would get one small room, maybe a common room, activities and the bills paid. With the laundry you’d go to a laundromat which can charge about $4 per load.
Homestay is another option. But that usually includes a $220 placement fee by RMIT and rent as well. But you get to live with an Australian family and improve your English. But you might have to live far away.
Share housing is popular with students too. But that might involve some travel to and from Uni.
For those that are lucky you might live in rent free accomodation with your family/relatives. Don’t forget to factor in the travel to and from Uni as International students are not eligible for concession.

How to not live with the flatmate from hell.

Sometimes it can be very trying living with the flatmate from hell. You’re in a share house with them and they won’t give anything/communicate/do their chores etc. In fact some of the tenants expect you to pay their bills/rent for them.
Here’s how not to live with them.
1) Communication is the key- tell all your flatmates how you live and what you expect from them in the interview. Ask lots of questions about the house you will be staying at such as curfews, bills, house kitty etc. And always share some of your thoughts on the important household matters with them such as the roster. Ask them about the way that they live and tell them about the way that you live. When you go out, try and tell your mates if you can.
2) If you are the head tennant- kick them out if they won’t budge. Now is not the time to be nice to them as they will find somewhere else that will accept them.
3)Try to see their point of view. ie chores: If they forget to put the rubbish out, maybe they brought in your washing with theirs or they cooked a few meals for you.

4) Do your fair share of the chores and tell them if you can’t for some reason. Or otherwise they will see that you are just being lazy.

5) Pay all the bills on time and make sure that everyone pays their fair share. If someone isn’t paying their fair share communicate. Tell them to and tell them that it is not fair on you. And if they won’t budge (especially with rent) let the landlord know.

6) Have house meetings once in a while. These give everyone a chance to voice their opinions.

Good luck in finding your flatmate. Remember that the first one that you come across might not be the one that you want to live with. You’ll eventually get there within time. Honesty is the best policy in finding your flatmate.


RMIT Village- the place to be for all new international students

Well that’s if you can get a place there! For a start, it is always full three weeks before semester starts.

At about $300-$500 per week all bills included and it being so close to Melbourne and RMIT uni, you might want a room. It is about a fifteen minute walk from RMIT Uni in the city and about a ten minute walk to the Queen Victoria Markets. No need to pay for transport. And if you want a kitchen/bathroom kit from them it is about $250 extra. It includes all the necessarily blankets, pillows, sheets, doonas, mats and kitchen utensils and stuff.

There is wireless around the campus.

They have a coffee shop, bar, pool, games and a common area for all students to hang in. At the start of semester there are heaps of parties going on.

I tried the coffee at the coffee shop and found it to be a little bit burnt. For this and the yoyo it was $5.80. Not bad though, but not great either. I could have got one from Seven seeds across the road. You can also buy recharge cards, cigarettes, V-drinks from the cafe

Fire safety

At the time I was in Unilodge there was a huge fire that broke out at 12am downstairs in the Orr st cafe. Luckily the fire was only contained to the restaurant, but I didn’t really want to be woken up in the middle of the night to attend the fire.

I was shivering outside in just my pajama top and pants with no dressing gown on and just thongs. It was a cold winters night at 12am in the morning. About 200 of us were evacuated; most of us were still studying for exams because we had them the very next day. We all wanted to sleep.

We all didn’t know what to do and it was chaotic.

So the message is make sure that you have and practice your fire safety plan as soon as you move in. And before you move in make sure that you have a working smoke alarm, as smoke alarms saves lives. By law all Victorian properties need to make sure that they have a working smoke alram. If yours doesn’t talk to your landlord about this and make sure that they put one in. If they refuse, don’t move in!

Make sure that the electrical appliance cords are not frayed or damaged. If they are don’t use it. Have it checked by an electrician.

Don’t leave electrical appliances on overnight or when you are out.

Always turn appliances off at the switch when you are not using them.

Never leave cooking unattended. Always turn the handles in.

When you are drying your clothes don’t forget to empty the lint filter in the dryer.

If you have a candle burning or a fire make sure that you extinguish them if you have to leave the house or before bed.

Find out more at:

don’t live there
All students should read this article and always watch out for cockroaches when they first inspect their home. You don’t have to accept it if it does have insects in it.

watch out for mice Hey watch out for mice and don’t live there if there are any mice about.
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