Coming to Sydney, AU: accomodation issues

Hi my fellow LingQers,

it’s been ages since I last posted something in this forum. Truth is, college takes up a lot of time. Anyway, I have a very practical problem to take care of: I’ve been admitted to the University of Sydney as exchange student. That means I’ll stay in Sydney next year for a semester (around 5 months), studying at the Faculty of Business and Economics.
There are lots of things to figure out: obtaining a student visa, booking a flight, etc. But that is the easy part, and my university will assist me in those steps.
The biggest issue is accomodation: all University of Sydney’s residences are either:

  • too costly, even considering that I’m willing to find a part-time job to finance my stay abroad, in so doing not relying too heavily on my parents’s budget. Moreover I like the idea of finding a part-time job in Australia. It excites me. A student visa would allow me to work up to 20 hours a week.
  • available only on a 52-week basis
  • too “international”, that means with too many non-australians (I’m not coming to the antipodes to get in touch with people from Europe exclusively. I want to know australian people! Nothing against Europe, of course.)
  • too “comfortable”: they wash the dishes for you, cook for you, clean your room for you, change your bed linen for you…not for free of course, but I’m not a kid: I’ve been washing dishes and cleaning everything in my apartment since I entered college, I’m accustomed to house chores.

I’ve been advised to look for roomshares/flatshares/ecc on, do you think it is a good and reliable website, do you know others? Some exchange students used it in the past, according to the reports’ I can read on my university’s website. Others circulate horror stories about finding private accomodation, australian landlords who make you sign contracts which give them absolute power of life and death over you… and on and on.

I don’t know where to start. All help is appreciated. Thanks a lot!

I found this blog to be quite useful: I am not sure if this helps but it is definitely worth checking out.

Thanks for the article! I’ve also found these websites:

They seem more orderly and better moderated than gumtree. I do not know when it will happen, but in the next days to months the University of Sydney will grant me access to their internal database of private accomodation offers. In the meantime, I look around on other websites.