Student Accommodation and Services
To assist students who would otherwise need to travel a long distance to study, or have other reasons for not being able to live at home while they are studying, some post-secondary education providers have student accommodation available, both on and off campus.
The main options for student accommodation may include some or all of the following:
- on-campus residential colleges, including private rooms for individuals and/or shared apartments
- off-campus residential housing - usually shared spaces
- database listings of private rental accommodation in nearby suburbs, accessed through the provider’s housing/accommodation service.
On-campus accommodation can provide an excellent base for students with disability to attend classes, but it also involves financial commitment and needs to be considered carefully so that you make a decision that’s right for you.
Some of the questions that you should consider might include:
- Do I prefer to live by myself, or with others?
- What are my specific physical needs?
- What is my maximum weekly budget for accommodation?
- What additional costs are involved in living on or off campus?
- Do I know how to manage a budget for these extra costs, e.g. electricity, gas, phone, internet, food, textbooks, stationery, any special course equipment, entertainment, transport?
- Can I manage my study and leisure time while living in student accommodation?
- What services are available through the provider to help me with any personal difficulties I might experience in student accommodation?
- What are the details of the accommodation package? Are there flexible options?
- Will I stay in student accommodation during semester break times?
If you do decide to apply for student accommodation, It is very important to make contact with the provider early (i.e. before you apply for your course) as places are usually limited and competition is strong.
For further information about on-campus and off-campus accommodation, search under ‘housing’ or ‘accommodation services’ on the relevant provider’s website.
Post-secondary education providers usually offer an array of student services, which provide support for students while they are studying. These may include, but are not limited to, counselling, medical, careers and childcare services. In addition, there may be student union organisations and various clubs and societies on campus.
Orientation sessions or ‘O Week’ activities should provide you with an excellent opportunity to explore the available groups and services.
Counselling is a free and confidential service for students needing assistance and support for issues such as :
- study/presentation anxiety
- stress management
- academic planning
- support for assignment extensions and supplementary exams
Some post-secondary education providers provide access to discounted or free medical advice and treatment. There may be a nurse and or general practitioner on campus with access to a pharmacy.
Search on ‘student services’ or ‘student life’ on the relevant provider’s website for further information.
Most of the larger post-secondary education providers will have a careers services unit with staff who can provide information, advice and support on careers and jobs. Some providers will have an online jobs board listing casual, part time and graduate opportunities for students.
Careers services can assist with all aspects of job search, including:
- resumes, applications, selection criteria
- career planning
- preparation for employment
- graduate opportunities
- further study
Search on ‘careers services’ or ‘careers and employment’ on the provider’s website to find out more.
Many post-secondary education providers offer on-campus childcare facilities for staff and students. Some also provide vacation care and parent programs, and free advice on claiming welfare/child care rebates.
Search on ‘student welfare’, ‘childcare’ or ‘student services’ on the provider’s website.
Student organisations (also called student unions, student associations or student guilds) offer members a wide range of services and facilities designed to make student life easier and more enjoyable. The organisation will require students to pay a compulsory fee. Services include free and subsidised student activities and events, societies and clubs. Participating in one or more of these groups is a great way to meet new people, share interests and get more from your study experience.
Post-secondary education providers may have a student activities officer employed by their student organisation who organises a range of social and educational activities for students.
Questions that you can ask a student activities officer include:
- What are the major off campus social gathering spots?
- Where is the primary shopping area for students?
- Are these places accessible?
- What clubs and societies are on campus?
- Are there any extra-curricular activities?
- Is transport provided to and from these social activities?