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The basics
New Zealand: Student Accommodation

How to find student accommodation in New Zealand?

When moving abroad to study in a new country you’ll want to make sure that you have somewhere safe and comfortable to stay. We turn our focus to the options for international students in New Zealand.

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So, you’re pretty sure you want to study in New Zealand? Maybe you’re feeling a little apprehensive about what the future holds, especially about what life may be like when you arrive. A significant part of the experience of studying abroad is where you stay. Student accommodation that suits your needs is essential. We explore what accommodation options are available in New Zealand, how to find somewhere to stay, and what you can expect to pay.


What type of accommodation options are there?


When studying as an international student in New Zealand, you have several types of accommodation that you can choose from. What you choose will depend on your needs, preference, and budget. Let’s run through your options.


Student halls of residence


Living on campus is often the top pick for international students, especially in the first and second years of study. Halls of residence come in different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to do your research on your prospective institution. For example, you may be able to apply for a single room, or you may be required to share. Usually, residence accommodation comes with:


  • Furniture like a bed, desk, chair, and cupboards
  • Shared bathroom amenities (can be en suite)
  • Shared kitchen and lounge/common room
  • Meals, cleaning services and a laundry


Many international students value being close to campus facilities, like lecture theatres, student clinic, and sports clubs. Living on campus also allows students to integrate into campus life by meeting new people and joining clubs.


On-campus accommodation can be a more expensive option, ranging from USD 150 to USD 500 a week depending on the university. If you do want to secure on-campus accommodation, it is best to apply as early as possible, as demand for this option is always high.


Discover the top universities in New Zealand.




Ideal as a shorter-term accommodation option, a homestay will allow you to live with a family in New Zealand. You’ll get your meals, a room and cleaning included. More importantly, you’ll be able to learn more about the culture of New Zealand and experience what it’s like to live there.


The costs of a homestay do vary, but you can expect to pay between USD 50 and USD 350 per week. One of the benefits of a homestay is the support system it provides, which is always useful when you arrive in a new country.


Explore some of New Zealand’s top student cities.


Private accommodation 


Renting a flat or house privately is another option you can explore. However, it does take a bit more work, research, and administration to secure. Living independently can have its advantages and is often favoured by groups of friends who have studied together for a few years. You won’t have the same rules as in a university hall of residence and you can also choose an area that suits your needs, such as one with a vibrant student nightlife.


Some guidelines are useful to follow. Always make sure that you can see the property before you sign contracts or pay a deposit. Do your research on the area to see that it is safe and has good transport links to your university. In addition, make sure that you are aware of any additional or hidden costs over and above your rent, such as WiFi, food, rubbish removal, electricity, and water.  


Read more about some of the most popular courses in New Zealand.


How do I search for accommodation?


There are a couple of ways to make finding accommodation in New Zealand a little easier. The first and arguably the best option is to contact your prospective university and speak to either the international office or the accommodation office. They can help with advice on options, costs, bookings, and partnerships with off-campus accommodation providers.


The second route that you can take is by speaking to an education counsellor. Counsellors have extensive experience and knowledge on studying abroad and accommodation. They can advise and, in some instances, also organize your accommodation options. Remember to be clear about what you are looking for and your budget.


Lastly, you can use property and student accommodation provider websites to search for options. You’ll be able to get an idea of availability, costs, application procedures and areas. You can send enquiries or chat to consultants via video link. Remember, this option does take more time and effort than going through a university or with a counsellor.


Find out how to apply to a university in New Zealand.


How much does student accommodation in New Zealand cost?


Student accommodation costs will vary depending on the university of your choice, accommodation style, and the city where you stay. As with all countries, some places will be more expensive than others. For example, if you choose to live in one of the bigger cities such as Auckland or Wellington, you’ll pay a bit more than in a city like Dunedin or Christchurch.


The average cost you can expect to pay for accommodation are:


  • University accommodation – USD 600 to USD 2000 per month
  • Private accommodation – USD 500 to USD 600 per month
  • Homestay – USD 50 to USD 350 per week


With a better sense of where you could stay while studying in New Zealand, you can continue your research. Find out about some of the top graduate jobs in New Zealandapplying for a student visa in New Zealand, and the best places to visit in New Zealand.