Hey there conquerors!
Welcome to some Dee-time. Today we are doing the third part of my study abroad series which means we are going to talk about finding the right accommodation.
The first decision you have to make is whether you want to live alone or with your partner, in a shared accommodation with people you don't know yet or with friends you already made or who joined you at this exciting adventure.
The next step is calculating your budget. Take a look at your income and think about your expenses. Don't make any assumptions about your future income. Go with your current one as you never know what will happen in the future. From my own experience I can tell that it's not that easy to find a job in Australia as you might think. And you don't know how much effort you have to put into your studies. You might not even have the time to work or maybe your payoff is just less than you expected. There are just too many things that can or cannot happen. Therefore calculate with the income you know you'll have for sure. The opposite applies for your expenses. Consider any potential costs you might have. Think about the fact that maybe internet, electricity and water fees are not included in your rent. It's not unusual that only the fees for water are included in Australia. Take transport costs into consideration. If you are looking for a car you need to calculate fuel costs, insurance and the costs for the car itself. If you rather use public transport calculate with these costs. Also keep in mind that you need money for groceries and some free time activities. I know it's a lot to consider but you rather think about it know than not being able to pay your rent at the end of the day.
You should probably have a budget by now. So let's take a look at the apartment market. Depending on your budget and what you are looking for the range is either huge or small. I'd say our selection wasn't too bad. However out of probably 20 apartments we inspected we genuinely only considered two. I know how insane that sounds but I swear we didn't have any high standards. If anyone is wondering where we were looking for an apartment it was the Gold Coast. Somewhere between Surfers Paradise and Tugun. We ended up living in Miami which was literally the best. We decided to rent the first apartment we were inspecting. However we didn't apply straight away as we wanted to see what the market has to offer us. Although I have to say that I loved it straight away. We paid 265 AUD per week. Yes, in Australia you pay your rent weekly. It was the cheapest apartment we ever inspected. The neighbours were awesome and we had a central location with only a 20 minute bus ride to our uni. The studio was spacious and had nice modern white furniture. It was perfect.
Don't be afraid to look for an apartment for a few weeks. I guess we arrived in Australia probably two weeks before o-week so we had quite some time. We booked an airbnb for the first week, extended our stay for one or two days and then we signed the contract and got the keys. I highly recommend using the app domain because it lists a variety of apartments from different agencies. You can look for apartments by using many filters and can also select the area you want to live in by using the map. This app was really helpful to us.
Now a few tips:
1. Go with your gut feeling. If you are suspicious of your potential flatmates or neighbourhood don't even consider living there.
2. Be open. This is a whole new experience don't compare it with what you have experienced before. Enjoy every minute of your time and be open to anything new.
3. Take your time. You don't need to take the first available apartment. Look for options and take the one that gives you a good feeling.
4. Don't judge a book by it's cover. We have seen heaps of apartments online were we thought 'yeah that would be great for us'. However when we inspected them it was a nightmare of apartments. And they still want to sell you this as a gem.
5. Never rent without an inspection!!
6. Look at many apartments and ask questions if you have any.
7. Don't be afraid to move a second time.
I hope I could help you out a bit. If you have any further questions leave them in the comment section down below. Stay tuned for my study abroad part 4 which will be all about o-week and first impressions.
That's it for today conquerors. Lots of love and remember to conquer the world!!