Starting new life in Launceston, Tasmania

Tasmania is too far from Indonesia….. It is too cold there….. I can’t live in such an isolated place

All those statements are still ringing in my ears when some of my friends tried to pick top two universities for their university preferences before the departure. In fact, yes, you could hardly find either multistory or skyscraper building in Tasmania, particularly Launceston (the base of some faculties of University Tasmania).

111Again, yes, it is very cold in Tasmania. Locals said that Tasmania even has no summer referring that it is still extremely cold in summer (at least for tropical creature like me). However, Tasmania is really atmospheric place for student academic life. Beside it is quite quiet (this phrase made me ended up to open dictionary many times to get the correct spelling), there is a limit distraction that potentially take student’s time away from studying. Well, it can be good news and bad news as well though.

For shopaholic, they may be struggling to settle in due to suffering from isolation shock. From all of those, Tasmania offers many beautiful places to visit such as Lavender Farm in Northern Tasmania or Bruny Island in southern Tasmania.

The main point is that living in a new place has always been accompanied by changes needed to deal with the unfamiliar situation in the current place. These can be food, weather and climate, the way you think and interact with people, lifestyle and many other changes

Social life may be one of the most challenging ways of adaptations to the new place. Living and studying with new friends with multicultural backgrounds from all over the world will obviously lead to both excitation and shock. You will feel excited for having new experience that you have not had before. At the same time, you will get shocked as they have completely different culture in their daily life.


Looking for Accommodation in Launceston

If you decide to study in Tasmania, living on campus on your arrival will offer many positives. The first reason is due to the fact that it is difficult to get accommodation in Tasmania, particularly Launceston. To get an accommodation, you have to make appointment with the agent to inspect the house. Once you are interested, you can start to live in that house whenever you want.

Upss, you must be dreaming! Not that easy like what we have in Indonesia! In fact, after you intend to rent the house, you have to submit your application to the property agent. Is that all? No! You are still long way to go to get the house. You need to give some supporting documents such as local bank account (don’t worry, representative of university will arrange it for you on your arrival); credit history check (you can get it from Tasmanian Collection Service. It costs $15 for student and $20 if without showing student ID, need to re-check the fee though); and copy of at least three identity cards (passport, student ID and driving license). Those requirements are different from an agent to other agents. Some of them only need a copy of your passport. Indonesian driving license is also well accepted and functional here.

After completing all of documents needed, you have to wait about 3-7 days to get the status of your application. At this stage, agents will deliver your application to the house owner (landlord). Most landlords are quite selective to choose the prospective tenant. Remember that there will be many applicants at the same time you inspect and submit application for the house. About 5 to 10 applicants are common though.

house-cartoonFrom my personal experience, I got shocked with this system. It is quite easy to get the accommodation for student in my country. What you need to do is just inspect the house and once you agree with the monthly rent fee and all facilities provided, you can start to live there a minute after you pay the first month rent fee.

To make sure that you will get the accommodation, submitting more than one application will be good. At least three applications at the same time will be good to anticipate that you may fail with one of your application. The next consideration is that at the starting course period, many international students will come and look for accommodation as you do.

Is there any case to get accommodation easily? Yes! Some students may get the accommodation from only submitting one application. It is common that the design of house in Launceston consist of at least two bedrooms, a share bathroom, a kitchen and a living room. Of two bedrooms, one is bigger in size than another. In my assumption, this house is designed for small family meaning parent and one child. The bigger room is addressed for the parent and the smaller one is for the child (well, this is part of random thinking though).

How about larger family member? They do have larger houses consisting of three bedrooms. So, if you decide to share house with two families, it may be a bit difficult to afford. But one family and one single man or woman may be still fine considering the room size mentioned above.

On campus living

On campus living offers opportunity to build new friendship with both domestic and other international students. On-campus accommodation provides really nice atmosphere to sit together and have a chat. There is common room equipped with pool table, table tennis television and sofa. If you are keen on certain sport, this is the best place to find.

Table tennis or ping pong. Students can use it for free. The facility for playing ping pong can be found in several spots in the university, including in student accommodation.

Table tennis or ping pong. Students can use it for free. The facility for playing ping pong can be found in several spots in the university, including in student accommodation.

The same is true for pool. This facility can also be found in some common rooms in campus.

The same is true for pool. This facility can also be found in some common rooms in campus.

In University of Tasmania (Newnham Campus), on-campus accommodation is very close to university sport facilities including football and soccer field, Unigym (workout center, aerobic, badminton, volley ball, basketball and other kind of sports). On campus accommodation is also equipped with barbeque and open space where student can spent time to chat each others. Through this way, it is expected that your English will be rocketing as you HAVE TO speak English all the time in on campus accommodation (you may speak your local language when you stay with the same nationality students).

Living on-campus provides fast access to library at which most students spend their time. You just need to walk about 5 minutes from your accommodation. Living off campus requires you to have a bit more enthusiasm and motivation to go to library. Generally, you will finish your lecture at around 2 or 3 pm (it depends on what units you are taking during the semester). You may need to take a nap to refresh your mind before start doing assignment(s) at the library. You may also need to prepare your dinner. Remember what I mentioned about enthusiasm and motivation?

Leprena student accommodation

Leprena student accommodation

Kitchen facility in campus accommodation.

Kitchen facility in campus accommodation.

Temporary accommodation can be an option

How if we do not want to live in on-campus accommodation on our arrival? Would that be possible? Yes! During the new student commencement, which is usually at the period of semester break, many students are on their holiday; either go back to their home countries or visiting other countries. At this point, you may get a chance to have a temporary accommodation by living in their house. The duration varies from 1 to 3 months depending on when you start to find information. If you just start information a week before new semester being started, that is what you get. Another option is that you can contact the current student to get information whether you can get temporary accommodation or even stay permanently with them through share house.

How to find this temporary accommodation? How can we get the contact number of the current students who are going to rent temporarily their house? This is really the nut of the shell of this writing. Student associations such ISAT (Indonesia Student Association Tasmania) are exist to help you to get a better starting life in Launceston! Should you have any question about studying in the University of Tasmania, please do not hesitate to contact one of us (customer service mode: on).

Written by Supono

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