Finding the Cheapest Student Accommodation in Brisbane

June 12, 2023
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Key takeaways:

  • Brisbane is a welcoming and diverse city with reliable resources to support international students.
  • It offers affordable living expenses, student discounts, quality education at world-class universities as well as a vibrant lifestyle and cultural scene.
  • It also provides easy transportation access, job opportunities and networking events for international students.

Australia is a great option for international students and Brisbane, a city known for its friendly atmosphere and vibrant student life, offers a plethora of affordable accommodation options for students. So, where to find the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane?

With a variety of choices tailored to suit different preferences and budgets, Brisbane is a great place for international students to call home while studying.

In this article, we will explore the most affordable student accommodation options in Brisbane, including the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane, shared apartments, homestays, university-operated residences, and even buying your own property. Let’s dive into the world of affordable living and renting in Brisbane and discover the perfect option for your student life.

Affordable Student Accommodation Options in Brisbane

Brisbane offers a variety of affordable student accommodation options to meet the diverse needs of its bustling student population. And fortunately, international students can live off campus in Brisbane and broaden their choices for accommodation. That’s why it’s one of the best cities to live in Australia for international students.

From shared apartments that foster social connections and collaboration, to homestays that provide a unique cultural experience and a home away from home, there are plenty of choices that cater to every preference and budget.

For those who prefer a more structured environment, university-operated residences provide a seamless integration between studying and living. And for the more adventurous and financially-savvy, buying your own property can be a long-term investment that brings both stability and rental income.

With such a wide array of options, finding the perfect student accommodation in Brisbane has never been easier.

Shared Apartments

Brisbane apartment for rent

Shared apartments, a popular choice among students renting in Australia, is a great option for the cheapest student accommodation in Brisbane. They offer an economical way to pay for rent and utilities while providing the opportunity to socialize and form new relationships.

These accommodations are often located near universities, public transportation, and other essential facilities, making them a convenient choice for students who want to experience the best of Brisbane without breaking the bank.

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Brisbane’s popular student suburbs, such as Kelvin Grove, South Brisbane, and St Lucia, boast a variety of shared apartment options. Kelvin Grove, for instance, offers self-contained apartments and townhouses, many purpose-built for student living with modern architecture.

South Brisbane, a vibrant dining and cultural hub, is a popular choice for students due to its close proximity to the South Bank precinct, lush parklands, and convenient public transportation options.

St Lucia, home to the University of Queensland, is an ideal option for students seeking a quieter lifestyle, while still being within easy reach of the city’s attractions.

Of course, if your finances allow for it, you can also find a rental property on your own.

Explore available rental properties in Brisbane.


Homestays provide students with the unique opportunity to live with a host family, offering a distinctive cultural experience, an opportunity to hone language skills, home-cooked meals, and increased security. The cost of a homestay can range from $100 to $200 per week, depending on the location and the amenities offered.

When searching for a homestay, it is essential to investigate the host family and the locale in which they reside, ensuring that the homestay supplies the amenities you require and that the host family is amenable to the duration of your stay.

This immersive living arrangement allows students to make new friends while experiencing Australian culture first-hand.

University-Operated Residences

University-operated residences are student accommodation options owned and managed directly by universities, providing a supportive community and seamless integration of living and studying. An example of such a residence is UniLodge South Bank, located in central Brisbane, which is an ideal option for Griffith University students.

Griffith University‘s South Bank campus is situated in South Bank, and its Nathan and Mount Gravatt campuses can be conveniently accessed by public transport. Living in university-operated residences provides students with the convenience of being just a short walk or commute away from their classes while also enjoying the benefits of living with like-minded students.

Buying your own property

Fortunately, international students can buy a house in Australia if they so choose. Purchasing one’s own property as a student offers several advantages, such as rental income if other students are subletting rooms.

In the long run, it may also be cost-effective and provide tax advantages. Moreover, owning a property can provide a sense of stability and independence, allowing students to create a home that caters to their specific needs and preferences.

However, buying a property comes with its own set of expenses, such as the purchase price, stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage fees, and other related costs. Not to mention, the process of getting a student home loan.

To find the most advantageous deals, it is essential to explore the market, compare prices, and engage in negotiation with the seller.

Furthermore, it is imperative to be cognizant of any concealed costs and to seek a professional opinion before making a purchase.

Cheapest suburbs in Brisbane for students

A student walking in South Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia

When considering the cheapest suburbs in Brisbane to live in, South Brisbane, Kelvin Grove, and East Brisbane stand out as top choices. These suburbs offer a balance between affordable living and easy access to the city’s attractions, universities, and vibrant student life.

By choosing to live in these budget-friendly suburbs, students can save on accommodation costs while still enjoying the benefits of Brisbane’s lively activities and high culture.

South Brisbane

Apartment for rent in South Brisbane

South Brisbane is an energetic inner-city suburb situated in the heart of Brisbane, boasting a plethora of attractions, eateries, and universities. Living in South Brisbane offers students the opportunity to experience city life while still enjoying reasonable living costs and convenient access to universities such as the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland.

Moreover, the area’s attractions include the Queensland Cultural Centre, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and the famous Australia Zoo, providing plenty of entertainment and cultural experiences for students to enjoy during their downtime.

Explore rental properties in South Brisbane.

Kelvin Grove

Apartment for rent Kelvin Grove

Kelvin Grove provides a multi-purpose village that offers the best of Brisbane while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the city center. With facilities such as a pool, gym, and stadium with opportunities for personal training, exercise services, and student sports, Kelvin Grove is the perfect place for students to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Moreover, its proximity to campus makes it a convenient commute to class while also allowing students to experience Brisbane life. The suburb is also home to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Explore rental properties in Kelvin Grove.

East Brisbane

Apartment for rent in East Brisbane

East Brisbane is a relatively tranquil, predominantly residential area that may be suitable for students who prefer a suburban atmosphere. While there is no specific data regarding the advantages of residing in East Brisbane as a student, it provides a range of accommodation options, such as shared apartments, homestays, university-operated residences, and purchasing property.

By choosing to live in East Brisbane, students can enjoy a quieter lifestyle while still being within easy reach of the city’s attractions and universities.

Explore rental properties in East Brisbane.

Tips for Saving Money While Studying in Brisbane

cheapest student accommodation brisbane

To prepare for your move as an international student in Australia, we also have some frugal living tips for you.

Studying in Brisbane doesn’t have to be expensive. By following a few simple tips, students can save money and make the most of their time in this beautiful city. Utilizing public transportation, exercising prudence when shopping, and taking advantage of free and low-cost activities are some proven strategies for economizing while studying in Brisbane.

By being mindful of their spending and making smart choices, students can enjoy a fulfilling and budget-friendly experience in this vibrant city.

Public Transportation

Brisbane is known for its bicycle-friendliness and provides economical options for transportation, such as bus and train services. By utilizing public transportation, students can save money on travel expenses while also reducing their carbon footprint. Moreover, public transportation in Brisbane is well connected and efficient, making it easy for students to navigate the city and access their university campuses.

The cost of a monthly public transportation ticket in Brisbane is $140, and adult tickets start at $2.70 per ride with the Go Card (off-peak). International students can enjoy even lower fares, ranging from $1.35 to $1.69 per ride. By utilizing these affordable transportation options, students can save money while still enjoying the convenience and ease of traveling around the city.

Shopping Smart

Managing expenses while studying in Brisbane can be a challenge, but with a little planning and smart shopping, students can make their budgets stretch further. Planning meals for the week and creating a grocery list can help students avoid impulse purchases and save money on food. Additionally, buying in bulk and choosing own brands over name brands can lead to significant savings on everyday essentials.

Utilizing discounts, loyalty cards, and cashback apps are excellent strategies for students to save money on their purchases. Discounts can help students save on necessary items, loyalty cards can accumulate points for future purchases, and cashback apps can offer money back on purchases. By employing these money-saving strategies, students can make the most of their budget while still enjoying their time in Brisbane.

Free and Low-Cost Activities

Brisbane offers numerous free and low-cost activities for students to enjoy, allowing them to experience the city’s culture and attractions without overspending. Visiting South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt. Coot-tha, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and the Museum of Brisbane are just a few examples of the many cost-effective activities available in the city.

By taking advantage of these free and low-cost options, students can enrich their experience in Brisbane without breaking the bank.

Essential Amenities for Budget-Conscious Students

cheapest student accommodation brisbane

For budget-conscious students, some essential amenities can make all the difference in their living experience. Wi-Fi access, laundry facilities, and safety and security provisions are crucial for students looking to save money while still enjoying a comfortable and convenient living environment.

By prioritizing these amenities, students can ensure that they have access to the resources they need without breaking the bank.

Wi-Fi Access

Wi-Fi access is essential for students as it facilitates document sharing with teachers and peers, enables staying up-to-date on studies, provides access to online materials, encourages staying connected with fellow students, and can help reduce stress levels.

When selecting a Wi-Fi provider, it is important to evaluate the speed of the connection, the price of the service, the coverage area, and the quality of customer service.

Establishing Wi-Fi access is a simple process that involves connecting your device to the Wi-Fi network, entering the password, and configuring the settings.

Laundry Facilities

Having laundry facilities in student accommodations can be beneficial in terms of time and cost savings compared to using a laundromat. It can also be more convenient for students with hectic schedules.

Furthermore, communal laundry rooms can add value to apartments and multi-housing units, as well as provide convenience for tenants. When utilizing laundry facilities in student accommodation, it is essential to follow the instructions on the machines, be mindful of the rules and regulations, and use the appropriate detergent and fabric softener for the type of fabric being washed.

Safety and Security

Safety and security are crucial aspects of student accommodation. Ensuring a secure and safe living environment allows students to focus on their studies and enjoy a comfortable living experience. When selecting student accommodation, it is essential to evaluate the security measures implemented, including CCTV cameras, security guards, and access control systems.

Additionally, it is important to assess safety features such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, and emergency exits. By prioritizing safety and security, students can enjoy a stress-free living environment while pursuing their academic goals.


In conclusion, finding affordable student accommodation in Brisbane is a breeze with a variety of options available, catering to different preferences and budgets. By exploring shared apartments, homestays, university-operated residences, and even buying your own property, students can find the perfect accommodation to suit their needs. Moreover, living in budget-friendly suburbs such as South Brisbane, Kelvin Grove, and East Brisbane allows students to save on accommodation costs while still enjoying Brisbane’s lively activities and high culture. By prioritizing essential amenities and making smart choices, students can enjoy a fulfilling and budget-friendly experience in this vibrant city. Embrace the exciting journey ahead and discover the perfect student accommodation in Brisbane to call home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to live in Brisbane as a student?

Living as a student in Brisbane can be expensive, with average on-campus accommodation costing $1,760 AUD per month and private student accommodation ranging from $556 AUD per month.

Those looking to save money on accommodation may consider more affordable living options such as house-sharing.

How much does scape cost Brisbane?

Brisbane residents can enjoy Scape’s accommodation options at competitive prices, starting from just AU$399 per week with no additional booking fees.

How much is student accommodation at QUT?

QUT student accommodation offers a range of options starting from AU$219 per week with offers up to AU$50. From ensuites and studios to shared rooms and apartments, you can choose the perfect accommodation for your needs.

Equipped with facilities like high-speed internet, cinema rooms, on-site laundry and more, you can be sure that your stay at QUT student accommodation will be comfortable and enjoyable.

How much does it cost to live in Brisbane for a single person?

Living in Brisbane can be affordable for a single person, with average monthly costs estimated to be around $1,226.90 without rent.

When taking into account rent expenses, the estimated monthly cost of living for a single person increases to around $1,754.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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