If it is your first time living away from home, it can be hard to know how to choose the best place for accommodation.
Insider Guides provides a simple checklist of the boxes you should tick for maximum liveability.
In every city, some suburbs and districts have a bad reputation for crime, and this can change from year to year. Make sure you follow basic rules for safety when travelling alone or at night.
Every state has its own website showing up to date crime statistics. For Victoria, go to www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au.
Transport and travel
Getting to school or work each day makes demands on your time and budget. A place with cheap rent is not much good if you have to spend too much on fuel, or if you live too far from the bus, tram or train.
In Melbourne, public transport information is available at www.ptv.vic.gov.au.
For up to date information about road conditions, visit the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.
Look at the services available in the local area. At the very least, there should be some shops, including a 24-hour convenience store, a laundromat, medical clinic, and police station.
Although not essential, an area will feel more homely if it has a park for relaxation, and some good cafes or pubs.
Finally, look closely at the physical condition of your accommodation. Make sure it is secure, with lockable doors and windows. Think about what it would be like in cold or hot weather, and if there might be issues of comfort. Also take into account the possible noise level from nearby buildings. Your home is where you should feel unhindered, whether you need to concentrate on study or simply relax.
Always ask questions, and make sure you get clear answers to them. If you are ever unsure about your rights, contact Consumer Affairs at www.consumer.vic.gov.au.