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On-Campus Vs. Off-Campus Living

On-Campus Vs. Off-Campus Living


Is your share house lease coming to an end or are you about to start your uni journey and not sure where to go? Kate Armstrong shares her experiences living both on and off campus.

Written by Kate Armstrong

As a third-year student who has only just transitioned from off-campus to on-campus living, here is my experience detailed, and some of the pros and cons that I have found as I have adjusted to living at uni.

In my first and second years of university I was in a share house with students from my course in the year above me. This was a fantastic experience, and I gained a lot of valuable understanding through doing this.

Moving from a share house into on-campus living has allowed me to see and evaluate the benefits of both experiences, and hopefully can be helpful for a few of you as well!!

So grab a snack and read through the benefits and limitations of both, to see what suits you best!


Cost has always, and likely will always, be a huge factor for university students, as income is low, and time is sparse.

The main difference that I have noticed between on and off-campus living is that on-campus is a package deal, a single fee that covers rent, utilities and Wi-Fi.

Living off-campus had a base weekly rent, however on top of this we paid electricity, gas, water, Wi-Fi etc.

On-campus it is just one cost to pay each week, which is a lot simpler for university students to manage.

These bills can also be unpredictable as they change month-to-month and therefore can be tricker to budget as compared to one price each week for on-campus.

Costs are easier to budget for when living on campus!

Accessibility & Connectedness

Since moving onto university residences, I have found the convenience to be unbeatable!

Thankfully my commute from my share house to uni was no more than 15 minutes but living on-campus eliminates that altogether as all it takes is a short walk across the carpark to get to my building for class in the morning!

The library, café, gym and oval are also only a short walk away, so everything is at your disposal – 24 hours a day!

Living on-campus also allows for a significant connection with those around you, especially people who are not studying the same course as you and you might not otherwise introduce yourself to.

As a first-year student this would definitely be beneficial in transitioning into university life and feeling supported by those around you.

Furthermore, the proximity in which these other students’ live to you fosters a sense of community and family!

On campus living means you can do a nice late-night walk on the oval!


Living off-campus meant a lot more independence for me personally!

Whether it be paying the monthly and quarterly bills or negotiating with landlords – renting a house involved real-world adulting and invaluable life skills.

You can choose where you want to live, and how long you want to stay, rather than being limited by the uni semesters as to when you can be at uni.

For me this meant that I felt a lot more involved in community activities such as church and other local events all year round.

It also meant choice of housemates, which is different to university living where you have no say in who is placed in your dorm with you.

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