16 July 2018

Tips on finding student accommodation

Taylor Weckstein
US Study Abroad student
Baiyok Arunya
Secondary school student from Thailand
Liz Stein
US Study Abroad student

Looking for accommodation? Students share their top tips on how to find accommodation while studying in New Zealand.

Take advantage of what’s on offer

If your university offers specific international accommodation, take advantage of it!

At the University of Otago, they offer “UniFlats” for international students. Before leaving, I was skeptical. UniFlats seemed pricey, and I wanted to live with locals. However, in retrospect, I’m so glad that I decided to live in the international housing.

We had “kiwi hosts” who lived in our flat, showed us the ropes, and were always there to help. The flats were much nicer than many of the other student accommodations, and the UniFlats community was great.

If your university doesn’t offer this, check out TradeMe.

Taylor Weckstein is a US study abroad student studying psychology and neuroscience at the University of Otago in Dunedin

Stay in a homestay

I have had a great time with my homestay family.  It feels like a home away from home. They always support me and spend lots of time together. For example we’ll watch movies or My Kitchen Rules (MKR) together. We share our day to day life and talk every evening during dinner – we have conversations! My homestay family also encourages me to keep in touch with my own family using the internet.

Bai Yok from Thailand stayed in a homestay which was arranged for her by the high school she attended in Dunedin

Look for what’s most convenient

My top tip when looking for accommodation in New Zealand is to look for what is most convenient. Since I was only going to be there for a semester, I knew that I wanted to find a place that came with a lot of amenities and made my stay convenient.

I stayed at Ilam Apartments which included amenities such as cookware, furniture, laundry services and bedding. These amenities made it much easier for me to transition to living in New Zealand, especially since I was so tired from the plane ride and orientation week.

I would recommend thinking about what living situation would work best for you and then start searching from there.

Liz Stein is a US study abroad student studying speech therapy at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch

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About the contributors
Taylor Weckstein
US Study Abroad student
Baiyok Arunya
Secondary school student from Thailand

Bai Yok is a student from Thailand who is currently studying at Kavanagh College in Dunedin.

Liz Stein
US Study Abroad student

Liz is from Michigan, USA and is studying speech therapy at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch New Zealand.