Choosing your accommodation in Wellington

Choosing a place to live is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when you start studying in New Zealand. Here’s what you need to know about the different housing options available for international students

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Wellington has a huge variety of safe high-quality accommodation for international students.

From halls of residence located close to the three main universities, to modern inner-city apartments, shared housing and homestay accommodation, there's plenty of great options to choose from within close distance of your education provider.

Mt Victoria housing in Wellington
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The first option a lot of students think of is halls of residence. With this kind of accommodation, you’re living with other students in a friendly and supportive community.

Your education provider organises student hostel or hall of residence accommodation, and this needs to be arranged before you arrive in New Zealand. There are options to have a private room or you may share a room or small apartment with others. Facilities like showers and bathrooms are often shared. Depending on the hall, there may be a dining room for students, as well as shared spaces to relax and watch TV or play games like table tennis.

If halls of residence aren’t your thing, homestay (also called 'private board') is an option. This means living with a New Zealand family in their home. You usually have your own room that comes with a bed and often a desk.

Homestay accommodation is a popular choice for international students who want to live in a supportive home environment. You will be placed with a carefully selected New Zealand family who will provide you with a fully-furnished bedroom and at least two to three meals per day.

Homestays are a great option if you want the opportunity to practise your English and learn more about the New Zealand way of life. All primary and secondary schools and many tertiary institutions provide homestay options for international students.

Homestay accommodation
Mt Victoria houses

But. If you find yourself looking to break out on your own, there’s always the option of flatting. Kiwis call rented homes ‘flats’. They can be any kind of property, from a city apartment to a large house and garden. You can rent a house or apartment on your own or join an existing flat as a flatmate.

As with renting apartments or housing anywhere in the world, prices can vary greatly. You can also talk to the student support staff at your school for more information and advice.

Make sure you find an apartment or place to stay before you arrive so you have somewhere to live.

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The best place to start looking for a shared flat in New Zealand is trademe. With or without flatmates, the options are all there.

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