Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for on campus accommodation

Opening Dates

Our residential contracts are based around JCU academic calendars. Available contracts can be found on each location’s application page, accessed through the following link:

Closing Dates

Whilst there is no 'official' closing date, space to live on-campus is competitive so we suggest you apply early.

Do all the JCU campuses have on-campus accommodation?

  • On-campus accommodation is currently available on the JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield and JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas.
  • View maps of these campuses and locations of accommodation.

How soon do I have to apply for on-campus accommodation?

It is advisable to apply as soon as the applications open.

How do I apply for on-campus accommodation?

I want to apply but I have not decided which course I want to study yet. What should I enter in that space?

Just enter something in your area of interest as this is not crucial in the accommodation assessment process.

I don't have a JCU number or QTAC number.  What should I enter in here?

We will need this information to confirm when you receive your course offer.  You can leave this section blank to continue your application but please email information to

What do I do if I have problems submitting my online application?

Ensure you have thoroughly read the information in the online application portal.

If you are still experiencing problems, email information to

How much does living on campus cost?

  • The cost of living on campus varies depending on the residence, the room and the length of the residency contract.

Once I apply, am I guaranteed a place to stay on campus?

No. Demand for on-campus accommodation is very high and while the residences do their best to accommodate applicants, some may miss out.

Do the residences give certain students priority?

The main factor will be when your completed application is received and:

  • if you are a returning resident
  • if you are a first year JCU student
  • if you are an International student
  • if you have applied for a full academic year

Can I apply for one semester only?

There are a very limited number of one semester housing contracts available.  These are offered to students who will only be studying at JCU for one semester.

Which college is the best for me?

The college that is best for you is very much an individual choice, as everyone has different needs and preferences.

Can I arrange a tour of the campus/residences?

Yes, by:

Which residence is closest to where I have classes?

All Colleges and Halls are located within an easy walk to the rest of the campus.

To find out how close visit our online maps: Campus maps

e-Scooters are also readily available on the JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas.

Which is the best residence to stay at if I am studying Medicine?

There is no special residence specific to your studies. The Colleges and Halls like to have a selection of students studying across all disciplines and an International/Domestic student mix.

I want to stay at the quiet/party residence. Which is which?

No residence has a solid reputation of the place to party or the place to study. As students change each intake, the social atmosphere is likely to change with each semester.

All residences prefer their students maintain a strong study focus and will also require that students maintain a certain level of academic achievement in order to be offered a chance to return for the following semester. However, there is also a strong social culture at all residences and students are encouraged to interact and bond with others.

Can I stay on campus for a short time, just until I get settled?

  • Temporary accommodation can be arranged directly with the Colleges and Halls, subject to availability. During the academic study periods, the capacity to offer temporary accommodation is limited, as priority is given to full-time students who sign a residency contract with their respective College or Hall.
  • Students wishing to stay off-campus, who require short-term accommodation in the interim, should arrange to arrive at least one to two weeks prior to Orientation Week.
  • Short stays for block mode subjects and workshops can also be arranged, subject to availability. Refer to Short-term Accommodation for more information.

What is a residency contract?

  • A residency contract is a legally binding agreement between the resident and the College or Hall and is for a set term. Contracts vary in length from one semester (18 weeks) to an academic year (40 weeks), an academic year excluding the mid-year vacation (34 weeks), or a full calendar year (52 weeks).
  • Prices vary from contract to contract and from residence to residence. It is recommended to check with each residence or the 2024 Student Accommodation Guide.

If I sign up with one residence, can I leave when I like?

All residences will require that you sign a contract, just like you would if you were renting a property through a landlord.  Penalties may apply if you break the contract and leave. This penalty varies between the residences.

If you want to "try" what on-campus living is like you can apply for Short-term Accommodation.  Places are limited to availability.

What is full board accommodation?

Full board accommodation options provide three meals per day, seven days per week.

When can I move in and when do I have to move out?

  • This depends on the contract type and residence. It is best to contact the Colleges and Halls directly.
  • As a general rule, students can move into their rooms the weekend before Orientation Week, but this can be negotiated for those doing bridging courses and others who may need to arrive earlier.
  • Students are usually required to vacate their rooms the Saturday or Sunday after exams finish at the end of the semester or year, depending on their contract type, but again this can be negotiated.

Do all on-campus residences provide meals?

No. Rotary International House and Burralga Yumba in Townsville, as well as John Grey Hall in Cairns are self-catering.

What is self-catering accommodation?

In self-catering accommodation, meals are not provided so students must cater for their own meals. Fully equipped communal kitchens are provided.

How do the residences decide which applications will be successful?

  • Applications are judged on the information you provide in your online application and the extra information you include like results and references. Some colleges also have an interview process.
  • All residences allocate rooms based on achieving a balance of gender, nationality, and discipline of study, and accommodating both new and returning students.
  • Having an application in early in the process will help, but will not guarantee an offer.

When will I find out whether my application is successful?

  • Offers are generally made once you have received your academic offer.
  • The front page of the Housing Portal provides up-to-date information about when you can expect to hear from the Colleges and Halls.

What if I am not offered a place to stay on campus?

  • Unsuccessful applicants are waitlisted with the residence/s of their preference, to be considered in the event that another student defers, withdraws, or does not accept their offer of a room.
  • Other off-campus accommodation options are available.

Why was my application unsuccessful?

Contact the Colleges or Halls you applied for (we always receive more applications than there are rooms available, so it is most likely that the residences filled up and there were no more places to offer).

If I am not offered on-campus accommodation, can I re-apply?

You can re-apply the following semester by logging in to the Housing Portal and completing a new application which will give you a new ID number.

Will I have a better chance of getting on-campus accommodation if I have applied before?


If I do get a place to stay on campus, do I have to keep re-applying each year to keep it?

You do not need to re-apply if you wish to continue to stay in the same College or Hall. In this case, you simply advise your residence's Reception office of your intention to stay.

What do I do if I don't like the residence I am in? Can I move to another one? Will I have to re-apply?

Acceptance of accommodation requires you to sign a residency contract, which is legally binding. Due to the high demand for on-campus accommodation, it is recommended that you nominate which College or Hall you specifically wish to live in. Any special requirements should be noted in the online application or by phoning the individual College or Hall.

If the Colleges have a religious affiliation, do I have to attend a service/chapel/pray to attend?

Whilst religious support is provided, participation is optional. Residents from all Colleges and Halls are able to participate at different residences as desired.

Does any residence have separate male/female floors?

Some residences have separate floors for males or females, while others are co-educational. If your preference is to be with the same gender then please specify this in your application.

Does any residence have air conditioning?

All residences are air-conditioned. There are some rooms at Saints Catholic College that are not air-conditioned if you would prefer. Please specify in your application.

Does any residence offer an ensuite/private bathroom?

JCU Halls of Residence – Burralga Yumba, Saints Catholic College and The John Flynn College in Townsville offer some rooms with either a private or a shared ensuite. These rooms are highly sought after and preference is given to returning students.

In Cairns, The John Grey Hall offers studio apartments or a shared apartment with a private bathroom option.

Which residence caters for special dietary requirements? (Vegan, vegetarian, gluten/lactose intolerance, etc.)

All of our catered residences do try and work in with dietary requirements. Please identify this in your application.

If you have further questions about catering for your specific needs you are welcome to contact the residence directly.

Does any residence have a designated study and computer room?

All residences have a computer room with a limited number of computers available for residents’ use. It is recommended that you bring your own computer or purchase a computer locally once you arrive. Printers are available as part of the JCU network.

What linen is provided by residences and what do they wash?

All residences provide a mattress protector. Students are to provide their own linen. Linen packs are available to order pre-arrival from your residence.

The John Flynn College and Saints Catholic College provide bed linen.

All students must bring their own towels.

Laundry facilities are available at each residence for students to wash their belongings.

Is there car parking on site at the residences?

Car parking areas are provided and all residents’ vehicles must be registered at each office on arrival.

Is there a lockable bike enclosure or somewhere safe for bicycles to be stored at any residence?

  • Bike racks are provided on campus at Townsville and Cairns.
  • In Townsville, there is a lockable Community Bike Shed near the Library. Apply for an access card to enter the Shed via the JCU Bicycle Users Group (JCU BUG).

Note: It is recommended that you engrave your bike and bring a bike chain and lock for security. Keep a record of your bike’s physical details (including a photo) in the case of damage or loss.

What happens with my room and rent when I am on holidays or semester breaks?

Contact the Colleges and Halls directly for details.

Can I have visitors stay in my room here, say if my Dad wants to visit me?

  • Guests are welcome to stay overnight, provided it is for a limited time and you complete a Request for Overnight Guest form for approval. Limited spare mattresses or trundle beds are available. Charges apply for stays of 2-5 nights and, if approved, longer stays will incur casual guest rates.

Can I have a bar fridge or microwave in my room?

Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations does not allow a microwave, as cooking is not permitted in any student room. A bar fridge may be permitted in your room at some residential colleges, and in some colleges, is provided by the accommodation provider. You are best to ask them directly. An extra charge may be required for the cost of electricity.

Can I have a fish tank/aquarium in my room?

A small fish tank is acceptable at some residences. No other pets are permitted on campus.

Is there a time when the residence shuts down/locks down at the end of the night?

All doors are locked overnight, but the time they shut will vary. Students are able to access their individual rooms at all hours.

Does any residence have a social club or a group that organises events and gatherings for students?  How do I join?

Each college has their own Resident Student Association (RSA) that organises events and social outings. Membership fees are often included in fees paid at the beginning of the year. There are various sporting and cultural events, including eleven sports within the Fisher Shield and various categories in the Inter-College Concert.

Is there any residence that has a special program for music, art, drama, sport and/or first-year students or those studying a specific subject?

No.  Each residence has a mix of students with varied backgrounds, interests, ages and courses.

Can I get an accommodation scholarship with this residence?

  • Most residences offer student bursaries. Further information on these can be obtained directly from the residences involved.
  • Additional bursaries and scholarships are available through JCU.

Is there any other financial assistance available?

  • Townsville on-campus residences may offer discounts for up-front payments or for multiple family members (there is a field in the online application where you can enter this information).
  • In some cases, Commonwealth government scholarships can assist with relocation and accommodation costs.

Does the Accommodation Service have anything to do with ABSTUDY / AUSTUDY or similar payments?

No, you should contact Centrelink.

Can my friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/brother/cousin live in the room next door to me?

Please put your request in your application and we will try and accommodate this for you.

Can my partner, husband or wife live with me in my room?

No.  All rooms are single board.

As a concerned parent, what security is in place at the residences to ensure my son/daughter is safe?

Professional Security personnel patrol the residences on a regular basis. It is their responsibility to assist students with late night problems and to ensure that residences policies are being adhered to, as well as maintaining security within the residences. Parents can rest assured that residents can contact someone from the Pastoral team or a Security Officer for help at any time of the day or night. This creates a safe and secure environment for our residents and peace of mind for parents.

How can I find off-campus accommodation in Townsville, Cairns or Singapore?

Refer to the Off-Campus Accommodation link on the Accommodation home page.

Do you have a list of real estate agents who can help me find off-campus accommodation in Townsville and Cairns? or allow you to search for real estate agents by city and suburb.

Where can I get information about renting such as leases, bond, repairs, my rights as a tenant, etc.?

Refer to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website.

I am having problems with my landlord. Where can I get advice?

Refer to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website.

What is a calendar year and what is an academic year?

  • A calendar year ranges from 1 January through to 31 December.
  • An academic year comprises first semester (February to July), a break, then second semester (August to November), as well as other study periods.

Are there shops on campus?

  • Townsville – A pharmacy and health centre is located in the Clinical Practices Building. A suburban shopping centre is located approximately 1 km from the university campus, and the larger Stockland Shopping Centre is approximately 2 kilometres away.
  • Cairns – The Campus Shopping Village, located 400 metres from the University, includes an IGA Supermarket, medical centre, pharmacy, video store, bottle shop and food outlets. The larger Smithfield Shopping Centre is located approximately 1 K from the campus.

How do I get around campus?

  • While JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, appears quite spread out, you can walk from one side to the other in about 15 minutes.
  • Most students walk while others use bicycles, though scooters are becoming a popular and economical method of transport.
  • A local bus service which regularly services the Townsville and Cairns campuses and visits local shopping centres, the city and beaches.

How do I get to campus?

Sunbus provides a regular bus service to and from the campus, city and suburbs in both Townsville and Cairns.  Buses run approximately every 30 minutes. Timetables are available from the JCU Student Association or from the Sunbus website.

Is Wireless internet available on campus?

Wireless is available on campus in Townsville and Cairns. The IT helpdesk (phone 4781 5500) will assist in connecting you to the network.