Can you advise what housing you'd recommend and catered or not?

Posted by Carmen Hippen 8 years 5 months ago

Need to select housing for July - June. With our without a catered meal plan? Which dorms provide for the most interaction? A cheaper option would be good so that more money is available for travel.


There are a lot of factors at play in this question, so I have to give the disclaimer that with housing some sacrifices would have to be made, although they are not that huge of a deal!

I personally stayed in the kensington colleges. You get a single and can even request an ensuite and get your own bathroom in your room! Otherwise there is plenty of shared unisex bathroom space on each floor. Each college also has its own common area with pool tables, ping pong, etc, many couches and a tv so it can be utilised at any time of the day with your friends. They came with a meal plan that you have to purchase but provided food 3 times a day and was all you could eat buffet so offered many options at each meal. Although pricier, you would be staying in the newest dorms, live with mostly native Australians with a few other exchange students, and get access to discounted and sometimes free parties weekly, harbour cruises monthly or less, and of course the pricelessness of living with other Australians, making lifetime long friends.

However, if you really do want to save money and the above perks aren't what is most important (which is totally fine!) my best suggestion would be UNSW Hall or the Villages. UNSW hall provides a single room, a cheaper but more limited meal plan, and it is the cheapest option of the three. It is right next to Kensington colleges, so although you may not be able to attend all the events of theirs, if you meet other exchange students there is no reason why you cannot immerse yourself with other Australians.

Lastly, the Villages are apartment style, so you get your own room, but share a living room and kitchen with others. The villages, like the colleges, also hold their own events every once in a while like cookouts. So although you will get really close with your roommates there is plenty of opportunity to meet others. Villages when I attended UNSW were priced in-between the colleges and UNSW hall. Also, the Villages tend to hold upperclassman, compared to the colleges which are meant for first years and exchange students.

Also, I do recommend catering. Unless you honestly plan on traveling into the city often to grocery shop (which is a huge hassle carrying all that food on a bus and very time consuming) and being very frugal, it is more convenient to be able to go to your dining hall to get prepared meals and eat when it suits you. Any restaurant, including fast food, is way more expensive than the USA. Also be wary that grocery shopping will also be very expensive. Look into the meal plan options of where you decide to live, since as far as I remember the villages did not have a meal plan since they had their own kitchens.

So in general, I cannot give one answer based on the phrasing of the question. No matter where you pick you will enjoy yourself immensely. The campus holds more events than you will be able to attend so either way you will always have something to do and opportunities to meet other people.

I hope this helps, and I would be glad to be reached out to with any further questions by individuals.

I was there about 6 years ago, so not sure how much is the same. But I lived in off-campus student housing, in the Myola house at 23-25 Alfreda down by the beach. I loved that housing option because I got to live with about 23 other people from all over the world, some of whom I'm still good friends with today. I was not offered a catered meal plan but was able to get by no problem by grocery shopping.