International students commonly share bedrooms so they can afford the rent. What is perhaps much more surprising is that our research suggests thousands are “hot-bedding” – their beds are available to them for only some hours of the day or night so others can use them the rest of the time. If our survey of more than 7,000 international students renting privately in Sydney and Melbourne is representative of the 758,154 international students in Australia in December 2019, this equates to about 22,750 students hot-bedding.
In our survey, 3% of all students answered yes to the question, “Do you have to hotbed (i.e. our bed is only available for a few hours of the day/night)?”. The survey also found about four in ten of these hot-bedding students were going without meals. And this was before nearly two-thirds of international students lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic.