Accommodation in New Zealand for foreign Students
Updated on Feb 20, 2016 - 4:09 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti

Accommodation in New Zealand for foreign Students
: When studying in a far-away place like New Zealand, where the living conditions and culture are very different from what you are used to in India, it makes a lot of sense to choose your housing option in New Zealand carefully. Also, since studying in a foreign country is an expensive affair, it is essential that you have peace of mind and a relaxed environment conducive to your studies.

Like in most of the top academic destinations, accommodation in New Zealand for foreign students comes in various stripes, and it is up to you how to go about finding the right match with regard to your budget. Sometimes you may easily find an accommodation in New Zealand that may fall within your budget range, but when you start looking at different variables like the size of the room, the number of people you have to share it with, its distance from the university (if you are living off-campus), you may have second thoughts. The truth is while housing options for foreign students in New Zealand are many, the hunting process is tricky and that is why we bring here some useful tips and information how to go about this entire business.

Housing options in New Zealand available for you

When hunting for a suitable accommodation in New Zealand, the first thing to do is to choose between off-campus and on-campus accommodation. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses like on-campus accommodation is more suited to community-style living and provides easy access to the university and in the process helps you save time and money. Whereas, off-campus accommodation gives you more independence and privacy.

Understanding how off-campus and on-campus accommodation stakes up against one another will make your job that much easier. 

On-campus accommodation: This type of accommodation comprises halls and units. Take for example Massey University, which hosts over 900 students in its campus. Most halls have access to similar resources and have the same level of support, so wherever you put up, you are well looked after.

On-campus Accommodation in New Zealand for foreign students at Massey University





Atawhai Single Units

13 five-bedroom units

Accommodation for 65 residents

$154 per week

Atawhai Family Units

9 two-bedroom units

Accommodation for 9 families

$210 per week 

Fergusson Hall

79 single rooms, 4 twin-share rooms

Accommodation for 87 residents


Colombo Hall



Accommodation for 66 residents

Dinner only $266 per week

Breakfast and Dinner $306 per week

Lunch and Dinner $332 per week

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner $372 per week

The halls and living units have a wide price range with the pricing difference based on factors such as meal plan, the size of the room, etc. If you are staying in Atawhai single units, for example, you can expect to be welcomed with a lounge adorned with sofas, armchairs, coffee table and chairs. The bathroom is fitted with two showers and one toilet per five persons. You will also get a washing machine to do your laundry. If you go for Atawhai family units, along with most of the features offered by Atawhai single units, you also get microwave, toaster and telephone.

It should be noted that on-campus rates are different from university to university, something you have to factor in while looking for accommodation in New Zealand. Please see the chart below to understand the point.

On-campus accommodation types and their rates at the University of Lincoln




Advance payment



£4,991.31 (payable in three installments of £1,663.77 over 40 weeks)

£250.00 (deductible from the first payment)



£4,285.44 (payable in three installments of £1,428.48 over 40 weeks)

£250.00 (deductible from the first payment)

Off-campus accommodation: If you don’t want to stay in an on-campus accommodation, there are also private accommodations in New Zealand for foreign students. But as a matter of caution, universities don’t usually take responsibility if anything goes wrong with your off-campus accommodation and you will have to handle any exigencies all on your own.

Off-campus accommodation can be anything from a hostel, apartment, house to flats and boarding. Some key points to consider when going for off-campus accommodation in New Zealand are listed here:

  • Is the rent reasonable or in other words, can you afford it?

  • Are you required to enter into any bond agreement, if yes, how much money you have to pay in advance ( even in neighboring Australia, the concept of bond is quite prevalent)

  • Is the apartment/room well-furnished or you have to arrange for them separately?

  • Do you have to foot food and electricity bills? How much is the cost?

  • Are there hidden costs, like you are made to pay installation or connection cost, be it power, gas, or phone?

  • Is it close enough to your educational institution, whether it has sufficient space and is properly lit with good ventilation?


You must also keep in mind that a room with poor sanitation and dreary ambience can make you sick, a tricky situation to be in a costly country like New Zealand. Unless you have health insurance, or for that matter travel insurance, you might find yourself forking out a lot of money that you could have saved otherwise. 

If you want to stay in a flat with flat mates, hammer out details like who will do the cooking, household chores, etc.

Off-campus accommodation types and their rates near University of Lincoln (Halls of Residence buildings)





Typically one month’s rent

£4,320.00- £5,856.00 (payable in three installments of over 46 to 48 weeks)


Typically one month’s rent

£3,504.00 to £4,840.00 (payable in three installments of over 46 to 48 weeks)

The rates are only indicative and not fixed. Further, rates vary across accommodation types and also depend on whether you want to stay alone or share it with somebody. If you share an accommodation with others, it will obviously bring down the accommodation cost, something you must keep in mind.

Accommodation in New Zealand for foreign students: Homestay accommodation

There are many students who instead of going for either off-campus or on-campus go for homestay. The reasons can be several, like some see it as a way to embrace a family life while slogging hard during their studies, while others may see it as an opportunity to improve their English speaking skills and get acquainted to the local way of life, which frequently have long term benefits in creating lasting bonds and networks.

But there are certain riders that must be met before you go ahead with your homestay plan:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to stay in a university-approved homestay

  • The university-approved homestay also needs to comply with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Here is a sample cost of staying in Palmerston North homestay (2016 figures)

  • $245 per week (3 meals a day, 7 days per week)

  • $490 bond (refundable)

  • $243 homestay administration fee (non-refundable)

  • $200 under 18 homestay administration fee (non-refundable)

  • $243 designated caregiver administration fee (non-refundable)

On a parting note, start researching and reading up on foreign students housing options in New Zealand, especially in the region where you hope to study, well in advance. This way, you can budget in accommodation costs along with tuition fees and other study-related costs, which will give you a fair idea of the overall expenses of pursuing your dream degree in New Zealand.


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