Student Accommodation in New Zealand

There are three main types of student accommodation in New Zealand. As an international student, you need to consider several factors before taking up a student accommodation:
  • Do you wish to stay within the campus or off the campus
  • Security concerns if you are renting a flat
  • Deposit issues
  • Rules of the Halls of Residence
  • Reliability of the landlord
Halls of Residence:

Halls of Residence are probably the best accommodation options for students. Tertiary institutions in New Zealand have Halls of Residence which are located within a short radius from the campus.
You can have a single or a twin share accommodation with facilities of a dining hall, lounge and common laundry. The Halls of Residence also have a warden to address the needs of the students. It offers a safe and secured environment for students and gives all a chance to interact with students of different cultures, communities and races. 

Average cost: Around NZ$200 per week.

Homestay/Private Board

This kind of accommodation is extremely helpful for students who are homesick as you get the opportunity to stay with a family. It is both secure and homely. Homestay arrangement enables you to stay with a New Zealand family. The student usually stays in a room which is often separate from the main house. Homestay accommodation also includes meals and weekly washing.

Rents vary according to places and setup but usually start at about $180 per week. Staying with a New Zealand family also helps you experience Kiwi culture.

Following are some of the important and common rules for homestay accommodation which you might have to observe if you opt for staying with a host:

  • No drinking or smoking inside the house
  • Pets not allowed unless approved by the host family
  • Taking messages: This is a both way system where you can take messages on behalf of the host family and vice versa.
  • Visitors and friends: Visitors are mostly allowed but for overnight stay, you might have to seek permission of the host family.
  • You should inform the host family for Coming home or going away for holidays

Flatting/Independent Accommodation

Renting an independent apartment is locally termed as “Going Flatting”. Renting a flat gives you the flexibility to live with friends and students of different cultures. Flats are available in almost all city suburbs. The concept of flatting is slightly different in New Zealand than other countries where roommates have things labeled even foods kept in the refrigerator. In New Zealand, Kiwis however, prefer to live communally and share everything. They love to socialize and eat together. Some flats even do not have televisions. Flats can have one bedroom or 4 to 5 bedrooms. Rent usually varies between $70 - $150 per week, plus expenses like food, electricity, phone, water etc. 

  • Demand of flats increases with the start of the semester. So make early start while looking for a flat.
  • Consider the cost of transport while looking for a flat
  • Choose your flats very carefully especially flatmates and see if you can live them through the semester.
  • Do not rush into any flatting agreements. Take your time before making a commitment.

Finding Student Accommodation in New Zealand

  • Accommodation Listings on Websites
  • University/College brochures and websites
  • Advertisements for flatmates in local newspapers
  • University Notice Board
  • Networking with seniors and local friends


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