Ultimate Guide To Moving Interstate For University

Ultimate Guide To Moving Interstate For University Featured Image

Wondering whether you should make the move interstate for university? Relocating to a different state or territory to pursue studies is incredibly exciting, but it can feel slightly overwhelming. Luckily, we at Allied are the experts when it comes to helping university students move interstate. We’ve created the ultimate guide with everything you need to know about relocating for university, and even provided you with a handy packing list! Read on to find out everything you need to know about moving interstate to study.

Why move interstate for university?

If you are still unsure about whether you should move interstate for your university studies, here are the reasons why it’s worth it!

Study your dream course

A major reason why young Australians relocate interstate is so they can study their dream course or attend their desired university. Whether it’s the specialised course, expert staff or the stellar reputation of the university that’s appealing, pursuing your studies is a great reason to relocate interstate. 

Have new experiences

Relocating interstate is the perfect opportunity to experience new things. Regardless of whether you are exploring a new city, participating in a new sport or trying a new hobby, living interstate means you are exposed to a wealth of new experiences and have the chance to try new things. 

Learn to be independent

Moving interstate for university has both the advantage and disadvantage of forcing you to become more independent. Whether you move into college, student accommodation or a sharehouse, moving away from home means you will need to step out of your comfort zone and learn some essential life skills like cooking meals and living with new people. Whilst it is tough at first, the skills and lessons you learn are truly invaluable! It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about yourself and see how you cope without your support network. 

Make long lasting friendships

University is the place where you can make friendships to last a lifetime! Moving interstate means you no longer can rely on your existing friends from high school or your hometown. Instead, you have to put yourself out there and make new friends. It can take some time to make these friendships, however you’ll likely find that these friendships can be more meaningful and long lasting, since they require intention from both parties to work. 

What to know about moving interstate for university

Now that you are excited about moving interstate for your university studies, here is everything you need to know before you pack your bags and begin your new adventure.

The cost of living interstate

One of the biggest deciding factors in people considering moving interstate for university is whether they can afford it. Not only will you need to think about the cost of the education, but also the living and moving costs related to relocating interstate. Many universities offer a range of scholarships and financial stipends, however these can be highly competitive and you will need to meet strict criteria to be awarded one. Most students are eligible for Commonwealth Supported Places (aka CSPs) which means the government covers the majority of course costs, and take out a HECS-HELP loan to provide assistance with the rest of tuition fees. 

Budgeting for living interstate can be a pain, but it’s important that you create one before you decide to relocate. By doing some basic research and creating a budget, you’ll have a clear understanding of how much you may need to save or what hours you will need to work to cover your living expenses. We recommend using the Money Smart Budget Planner to create a basic budget. 

Aside from the course itself, accommodation is one of the largest expenses when living interstate. There are a few options for accommodation such as living on campus in a college, living in a sharehouse or living by yourself. Research the cost of campus housing or renting in the location of your choice so you have an idea of how much it may cost.  

Food, utility bills (including electricity, internet and water), and transportation are your next biggest expenses. Existing on two minute noodles may sound easy in theory, but in reality it can be a struggle and not so great for your health. It’s best to be generous in your budget and have some wiggle room for unexpected and fluctuating costs. Depending on where you are moving to, you may want to consider swapping your car for a bicycle or public transportation to help reduce costs.

Don’t forget to factor the costs of entertainment and hobbies into your budget! You will want to allow some money for fun and unexpected expenses so you can embrace the exciting opportunities of your new home. 

After you’ve calculated your basic living expenses, you will also want to consider the cost of moving interstate. This includes the costs of how you will travel to your new home and other related moving expenses such as using an interstate moving company, boxes and packing materials, and storage

Following creating your budget, you should now have a realistic idea of how much living interstate will cost and whether you can afford to do so. If you are moving from a regional or rural area, you can apply for the Tertiary Access Payment from Services Australia to help cover the costs of moving to study. The Relocation Scholarship can also provide you with financial assistance to relocate. 

Accessing Financial Support    

Being a student is tough financially, especially if you don’t have family to support you or sufficient savings. Fortunately, there is financial support available from the Federal Government. 

Services Australia provides a few different payments for those studying:

Working while studying 

The majority of students decide to work either part time or casually between classes to ensure ends meet. Hospitality is a great industry for students as it can be quite flexible compared to other industries, as there are typically shifts available in the evenings after uni. Other popular industries and specialities include retail, tutoring, administration and disability support work. Depending on your specific course and class load, you may need to only work on the weekends or do seasonal work in the summer break, such as Christmas casual retail or fruit picking. 

Keep in mind that some Services Australia payments and other scholarships may have conditions for how many hours you can work and how much you can earn from a job before you receive a reduced amount or are no longer eligible to receive the payment.


As mentioned above, there are multiple options for accommodation. Moving interstate means you won’t have the option of living at home which can be costly but is also a great opportunity to learn some valuable adult skills and enjoy having your own space. Popular choices for young people who have moved interstate include on-campus housing, living with other students or young people in a sharehouse, and renting an apartment alone. 

On-campus housing refers to both residential colleges and student housing. Residential colleges tend to offer a single furnished room with communal living, dining and bathroom facilities. Colleges also have the advantage of offering numerous social, sporting and creative opportunities and events, as well as providing meals. This can make it easier to meet other students and form close bonds which is especially important after moving interstate. Other on-campus housing options include shared or single apartments in close proximity to the university, which have some social activities but do not include meals. 

On-campus housing can be expensive but it does offer the immense benefit of being close to university, so you save on transport cost and time. Many people describe on-campus living as the ‘quintessential university experience’, however it’s still possible to have an incredible experience at university if living in a sharehouse or off-campus.

Sharehouses are a great way to cut down on the costs of living as well as a way to meet new people. You can find a sharehouse through dedicated housing websites such as Flatmates.com, on Facebook groups, or even directly through the university. Before you agree to move in, ensure that you are able to inspect the property in person and meet your new house mates. You will want to ensure that your expectations for living together are aligned. 

Living by yourself is great, however it can be a little more expensive. If you are moving into an unfurnished apartment or property, you may want to bring some furniture from home. Choose a place which is located close to the shops and other related amenities you may need. The closer you live to university, the more expensive it will likely be. If you don’t have a car, make sure it is easily accessible by public transport so you can get to classes. 

Participating in co-curricular activities

When it comes to making the most out of your university experience, participating in co-curricular activities is a must! Whether it's a sporting team, participating in a theatre production or joining a fun club, you’ll meet new people and join in some fantastic activities! Attend the orientation week to find out more about the opportunities offered and don’t be afraid to try something new. 

What to pack when moving interstate for university 

Follow our handy guide below and begin packing the basics for university! If you don’t want to do the packing yourself, you can use a professional packing service to do the job for you. 

Personal Items

Personal items are the things you need regardless of where you are moving to. These are best packed into suitcases, boxes or even plastic bags.


  • Jeans & pants

  • Skirts

  • Shorts

  • T-shirts and shirts

  • Pyjamas 

  • Active / sporting wear

  • Shoes

  • Jackets & jumpers

  • Underwear & socks


  • Toiletries (including toothbrush, face wash, make-up, deodorant etc)

  • Bathroom

  • Medications and first aid kit

  • Towels

  • Shower cap and bathrobe

  • Shower shoes (like thongs) - if living in communal bathroom

  • Tissues and sanitary products


  • Passport and/or Driving Licence 

  • Bank account details

  • Debit and/or credit cards

  • Medicare card

  • Prescriptions 

  • Emergency contact information

Other Items

  • Laptop & charger

  • Mobile phone & charger

  • Hard drive & USBs

  • Headphones

  • Notebooks 

  • Pens and other stationery needs

  • Planner, weekly/monthly diary and journal 

Living Essentials 

Essential items are crucial for whether you are living alone, in a sharehouse or in a residential college. They include items you use everyday, however some housing arrangements may provide them or have existing items you can use. It’s best to check for kitchen and furniture items. Pack these items into boxes and dismantle any furniture to make it easier to move.


  • Water bottle

  • Kettle 

  • Microwave / microwave oven / airfryer

  • Bowls and plates

  • Bottle/can opener

  • Mugs and drinking glasses

  • Tupperware containers 

  • Scissors & knives

  • Pots and pans

  • Chopping board

  • Tea towels 

  • Paper towel

  • Labels 

  • Sandwich bags

Bedroom & Living

  • Bed (if not provided)

  • Linen and bedding (sheets, pillows, doona, etc)

  • Desk lamp 

  • Chair

  • Desk

  • Armchair

  • Fan & heater

  • Small bedside table 

  • Couch & pillows

  • Television & stand


  • Laundry basket & hamper

  • Clothes drying rack

  • Washing machine

  • Dryer

Additional items

These are the items you don’t necessarily need, but do make your new living environment feel more like home! For fragile items, use bubble wrap and specialised boxes. 

  • Books 

  • Games & playing cards

  • Speakers

  • Decorative items like posters, art & rugs

  • Photographs & photo frames

  • Collectables 

  • Plants

  • Candles & incense (check with your landlord)

Don’t bring these items

These items are best left at home!

  • Family heirlooms 

  • Pets - especially if living in on-campus housing or non pet-friendly rentals

  • Childhood or sentimental items (anything that will take up valuable space which you can leave at home)

  • Anything explicitly banned by your landlord, sharehouse or on-campus housing

Book your interstate move today!

So, you’ve packed all your things and are now ready to make your move interstate. Using a professional and experienced removalist company will ensure that all of your precious belongings and furniture arrives safely to their new home! We have an expansive domestic network of 40+ locations, so no matter where you are heading to in Australia, Allied can help you every step of the way!

Learn more about our interstate moving services and receive a free quote from Allied here!