Frequently asked questions about International House

  1. How do I apply for residency at International House?
  2. How long does the process take?
  3. When is the closing date for submission of the application form?
  4. What happens if my application is successful and I’m offered a room at International House?
  5. What are the fees for accommodation?
  6. What type of accommodation is offered and what is included in the weekly rent?
  7. How do I make payments?
  8. Are there any extra charges?
  9. Is there any financial assistance available?
  10. May I stay in the House over the vacation periods not included within the Residential Agreement?
  11. Is there a time limit on my stay in the House?
  12. What happens if I am away during the academic sessions as outlined in the Residential Agreement?
  13. What is the food like?
  14. If I wish to cancel my Residential Agreement before its conclusion, how do I go about it?
  15. What are the rules?
  16. What facilities are available at International House?
  17. May I bring a car and/or a bicycle?
  18. Who manages the house after hours and on weekends when the staff go home?
  19. When can I move in to International House?

1. How do I apply for residency at International House?

The Application Form is available online here. An application should be completed online accompanied by AU$100 non-refundable Application Fee. Applications without the payment of the application fee are considered incomplete and will not be considered.


2. How long does the process take?

Applications are processed as soon as possible. For the semester one intake, which begins in March, applications are normally processed from September to February. For the semester two intake, which begins in late July, applications are normally processed from April to June. Please note that the demand for accommodation at International House is very high and towards the end of the year the process may take slightly longer.

It is best to apply for residence at International House even if you are not sure you will be accepted by the University of Sydney. Once notification from the University has been received you can confirm your enrollment with us or if you do not get into a course at the University of Sydney you can cancel your residential agreement.


3. When is the closing date for submission of the application form?

There is no closing date for applications, however we do recommend submitting your application by no later than early November for Semester 1 (March) of the following year and no later than June for Semester 2 (July) of the same year, as the demand for rooms is high.


4. What happens if my application is successful and I’m offered a room at International House?

If you are offered a place, you will receive a residential agreement either by email or post. It is essential that the information in your application form is current and accurate for us to be able to notify you without delay. If you change your home or email address please let us know immediately.

Upon receiving your Residential Agreement from International House you will be required to sign one copy and send it back with your Room Deposit and other administrative fees as per the residential agreement in order to secure your place at International House. Each resident at International House signs a residential agreement that covers the academic year or semester that the student is enrolled. This is a legally binding document setting out the conditions and obligations attached to residence.


5. What are the fees for accommodation?

You can find detailed information about fees for both catered and self-catered residential accommodation here.


6. What type of accommodation is offered and what is included in the weekly rent?

There are 146 single-study bedrooms [approximately 3m x 3m or 10' x 10'] with shared bathroom facilities on each floor. There are also 15 twin-share rooms and 9 rooms with private bathroom facilities (full or partial ensuite). There are 15 self-catered units for family groups or postgraduate students. All accommodation is fully furnished [including bed linen] and apart from the self-catering units, fees include all meals and room cleaning [once a fortnight].

There is no extra cost for internet, electricity and water usage. Each room has its own phone. Students are able to receive free incoming calls and a pre-paid system is available to make out going phone calls. There is also an Internet connection linked to The University of Sydney IT services in each room.

You can find more information about residential accommodation here.


7. How do I make payments?

Payments can be made online via the online portal using your login and password. Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted for online payments.

Payments can also be made by personal cheques and bank drafts in Australian dollars, Visa or MasterCard. All payments are to be made in Australian dollars. Payments should be made out to International House, The University of Sydney.

EFTPOS payment by debit card must be made in person at the IH Office. Payment using another person’s credit card (i.e. parent or guardian) has to be accompanied by a signed authorisation letter by the credit cardholder.

We do not accept American Express, Diners Club or CASH payments.

Payments may be made:

  • in advance for the entire year. Payment is due in the first week of semester;
  • OR
  • in two installments which are due in the first week of each semester.

A late payment fee of $50 will be charged by the House.

In special cases, application may be made to pay in advance for shorter periods, but not less than four weeks. Before the beginning of the residential agreement period (i.e. before the beginning of the semester), residents should apply in writing to the Director of International House setting out all relevant information, e.g. financial resources, dates of scholarship or stipend, etc.

More information is available here.


8. Are there any extra charges?

  • Life membership of the Alumni Association is AU$65 and is part of the Fee for all new residents.
  • A yearly registration fee of AU$100 fee is charged to cover administration expenses such as agreements, postage, etc.
  • The International House Members Association [IHMA] charges all residents an annual fee which is AU$200 OR $100 per semester.
  • Room Deposit: Students offered a place at International House are required to pay a room Deposit. The Deposit should accompany the signed Residential Agreement and the above administrative fees.

The Room Deposit is refunded if you are not admitted to the University (evidence of non acceptance must be provided) or if the Residential Agreement is cancelled six (6) weeks prior to the commencement date of the residential agreement.

The Room Deposit is kept separate from all other transactions. You may not draw on it to pay your last weeks' residential fees before you leave. Upon final departure from the House, the Deposit is returned to the resident, less any outstanding amounts due such as telephone, damage to room, etc.

In the event of someone who remains in the House or returns for a short period over the vacation even though they are not returning for the following academic session, the Deposit will be returned after their final departure date.

Extra charges will apply for telephone, printing and laundry.


9. Is there any financial assistance available?

Bursaries and Scholarships are available and are awarded on academic merit, financial need, and/or proof of participation in and contribution to the life of the House. Please contact the International House office for further details or click here.


10. May I stay in the House over the vacation periods not included within the Residential Agreement?

During the vacation period residents are welcome to stay or to vacate their rooms so it may be made available to a visitor.

Whilst we hope that all our residents, in particular our international residents, will take the opportunity to see more of Australia during the vacation periods, a resident may occupy his/her room throughout the year.

For the vacation periods room rates will be adjusted. Please check the website for updated rates.


11. Is there a time limit on my stay in the House?

Residents are generally accepted for the length of their degree but may apply to stay if accepted by the University to do a further degree. Because of the different academic years in different parts of the world, some residents arrive at the House in semester two of the academic year and stay for semester one of the following year.


12. What happens if I am away during the academic sessions as outlined in the Residential Agreement?

The House will provide the Resident with a full rebate of residential fees if the Resident is hospitalised provided the period of hospitalisation is for seven or more consecutive days up to a maximum of 8 weeks, and a medical certificate is provided.


13. What is the food like?

The dining room at International House provides three meals per day, including vegetarian meals, seven days per week. Our menus feature an extensive variety of international dishes as well as modern Australian cuisine to cater for all nationalities. Special dietary requirements are available on request. Fruit and tea/coffee facilities are available 24/7. Formal dinners and theme dinners are held throughout the year, as well as an International Food Fair which is managed and presented by the residents.

With so many cultures in residence, every effort is made to provide a large variety of food (including Halal meals). Our Food Committee and catering staff are always willing to receive constructive suggestions and feedback from residents. We conduct regular surveys to enable us to monitor our performance and constantly improve our services.

Click here to have a look at an average month of meals at IH.


14. If I wish to cancel my Residential Agreement before its conclusion, how do I go about it?

Residents are financially responsible for the entire residential agreement period as specified. It is appreciated, however, that circumstances may arise which make it difficult or impossible for residents to adhere to their residential agreement. Should a residents wish to cancel their agreement before the end date, the Director must be notified in writing.

Under such circumstances the following points should be noted:

  • The Resident may terminate the Agreement before the first day of each semester by giving at least six (6) weeks written notice prior to semester commencement date set out in clause 2 of the Residential Agreement. In default of such notice the Room Deposit shall be forfeited.
  • Once the Agreement has been signed, a cancellation charge of one week’s accommodation fee is payable if the Resident cancels the Agreement prior to the commencement of the Semester, regardless of the reason for the termination.
  • The Fees set out in clauses 3.1, 3.3, and 3.4 of the Residential Agreement are non refundable once the agreement has commenced, except as set out clause11.4 of the Residential Agreement.
  • Once the agreement has been signed and the deposit fees paid, all fees (except the registration fee) are refundable if the resident does not receive an offer of enrollment at the University. Proof of non acceptance to the University must be provided to the Director in order for the resident to claim a refund of the fees set out in clauses 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 of the Residential Agreement.
  • After the commencement of a semester, a resident wishing to terminate their agreement may only do so by giving eight (8) fee paying semester week’s notice in writing to the Director. Fees for the remainder of the semester, less any outstanding fees, will only be returned to the Resident if a new resident can be found to fill the Room. If a new resident cannot be found, fees for the remainder of the semester will be forfeited. The House will take all reasonable steps to find a new resident for the Room.
  • Fees are not refunded to residents leaving early before the last day of a semester for any reason.
  • If this Agreement is terminated by the House either under By-Law 26 or because of a breach of this Agreement, the Room Deposit shall be forfeited. Fees for the remainder of the period of the residential agreement, less any outstanding fees, will only be returned to the Resident if a new resident can be found to fill the Room. If a new resident cannot be found, fees for the remainder of the semester will be forfeited. The House will take all reasonable steps to find a new resident for the Room.

15. What are the rules?

Our residents are considered to be mature and independent. The House is a secure and caring environment, with help available from staff and student leaders. There is a marked lack of formality, dining is cafeteria style and there is no segregation within the House nor a curfew. Smoking and pets are not permitted.

A copy of the By-Laws and Constitution are available for your info on our website here.

A copy of the Handbook can also be downloaded from here.


16. What facilities are available at International House?

As indicated, residents in fully-catered room pay, as part of the fees, for food in the dining room. It is here that most of the social interaction between residents takes place and the mixing of the cultures and the understanding which hopefully emanates from this is really what International House is all about.

There are various other recreation spaces and facilities within the House. These include: a large circular common room [Wool Room] which is used for lectures, social events, various minor functions and is available for individuals to sit quietly or to hold non-private meetings; a small study library and conference room; a music room; games rooms for billiards and table tennis; open social areas, a foyer; a meeting/tutorial room with its own kitchen for private functions and special religious festivals; a contemplation room; a "coffee room" where daily newspapers and other general reading materials are available; tea/coffee making facilities; and a computer access lab with a laser printer, scanner and photocopying facilities. One upright piano in the music room and one concert grand in the Wool Room for those who are genuine musicians. There is also a pleasant garden with Australian native shrubs outside the coffee shop and dining room. The rooftop garden is another recreation area with sheltered seating, barbecue and washing up facilities, and an amazing view of the city. The Resident Members’ Association runs a small "necessity" shop.

The House owns a log cabin in a national park approximately 2 hours drive south of Sydney. The cabin is free for residents to use and comfortably sleeps 12 people, is fully equipped with log fire and hot water facilities.

Find more information about facilities here.


17. May I bring a car and/or a bicycle?

There are 25 spaces in the International House car park. Application for a place should be made at the time of applying for residence or as soon as you need a space. If there is any reason why special priority should be given [physical disability, University field work, etc.] this should be stated. There is an annual rental fee for parking cars and motorbikes. There is also a bicycle rack available for bicycles. Please note motorbikes are not permitted on the University campus.


18. Who manages the house after hours and on weekends when the staff go home?

An Assistant Director and a group of nine senior residents attend to resident and guest needs between 5pm and 9am on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

A Senior Resident will always be ‘on duty’ during these times and can be contacted if needed. The ‘SRs’ are experts in the operations and emergency procedures of international house but also provide care and support for residents and are responsible for maintaining the ‘good order’ within the house for the benefit of all residents.


19. When can I move in to International House?

Subject to room availability, you may arrive once you have submitted a signed copy of your residential agreement and paid the required fees. Charges will apply for the extra nights booked outside the residential agreement dates.