Accommodation for international students

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


When to organise accommodation

It is best to organise accommodation before arriving in Christchurch so you know you have somewhere to stay when you get here.  The New Zealand Ready website provides useful information when 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.  Refer to UC IT Services for assistance with internet access.

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 1 December you are guaranteed a place in a single fully-furnished room in one of the self-catered apartments at Ilam Apartments.  This applies to both 41 week and 48 week contracts.

Accommodation offer for study abroad or exchange students

The UC Accommodation Student Village offers an accommodation package 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 offers an accommodation package 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.

Accommodation for Postgraduate students

For postgraduate students arriving outside standard semester dates (February-June or July-November), UC offers a Postgraduate Flexi contract for a minimum stay of 16 weeks from your nominated start date.  A deposit is required to confirm your room with fortnightly payments thereafter.  Further information is available on our Postgraduate Students webpage.

Arriving in Christchurch

The UC campus is approximately 10 minutes' drive from Christchurch International Airport.  Options for transport to campus include the Purple Line BusNZ Look Shuttles, or Taxis and Shuttles

The halls of residence are located 2-15 minutes' walk away from campus facilities.  


Ensure your accommodation provider is expecting you.  Each hall of residence will have specific check-in times.  Temporary accommodation may be required depending on your flight arrival time.

Other accommodation options

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

Please refer to our webpage for Couples and Families.

More information

Contact Accommodation Services/Te Ratonga Nohonga for more information and advice.