Accommodation for international students

Organising accommodation is one of the most important things to do before arriving in New Zealand.

Chinese female in living room

When to organise accommodation

It is best to organise accommodation as soon as you have accepted your offer of place.  The New Zealand Ready website provides useful information of preparing for your stay in New Zealand.

Homestay and private board

Homestay and private board are popular choices with international, study abroad and exchange students when they first arrive in Christchurch. In a welcoming family environment, you will have your own room, meals with the family and the opportunity to practice your English every day.

Find out more about homestay and private board.

If you are under 18 when you start studying at UC, you are required to live in homestay accommodation, in a fully-catered hall of residence or with a designated caregiver until your 18th birthday. This is a requirement under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Halls of residence 

Ease your transition to New Zealand life by living in the Halls of residence and villages.  Information on contract dates and fees are listed on individual hall pages.  If you are staying at Ilam Apartments or Sonoda Christchurch Campus, you can set up your internet before you arrive to make contacting your family an easy process. Setting up Internet at Ilam and Sonoda Apartments.  

Kirkwood Avenue Hall is a new hall of residence specifically for first year students who prefer to cook for themselves.

Guaranteed places in halls of residence for international students

If you are a single international student who is over 18 and coming to study at UC (as a fully enrolled student) and apply by the 1st December you are guaranteed a place in a single fully-furnished room in one of the self-catered apartments at Ilam Apartments or Sonoda Christchurch Campus.

Accommodation offer for study abroad or exchange students

The UC Accommodation Student Village has an accommodation offer specifically for students coming to study at UC on an approved Study Abroad or Exchange Programme.

Accommodation offer for UC International College (UCIC) students

The UC Accommodation Student Village has an accommodation offer specifically for students coming to study at UCIC in February, June or October.  If you require accommodation outside these dates, for example, you have been living in a homestay, please be aware that accommodation will depend on availability and early applications are recommended.

University-managed housing

For single postgraduate students or couples, the University has a number of houses within easy walking distance to campus offering a supportive community environment.  Houses are fully-furnished with some suitable for small families.

Find out more about University-managed housing.

Other accommodation options

If you are bringing your partner or family with you, or you are staying for less than a semester, then you may need to consider alternative options off campus, for example:

Please refer to our webpage for Couples and Families.  If you will require child care, make sure this is booked in advance.

Get picked up at the airport

If you are arriving in New Zealand for the first time and are intending to study for at least one semester or a UCIC student coming from outside New Zealand, you are eligible for a free airport pickup service. You will be picked up on arrival at Christchurch International Airport and delivered to your pre-arranged accommodation

Complete the airport pickup form to request this service.  

More information

Contact Accommodation Services for more information and advice.