There is a wide range of accommodation options in New Zealand. We have detailed a few of them for you below.
Whitireia guarantees to arrange you Homestay accommodation if required. We strongly advise that you choose Homestays that Whitireia has approved.
Homestay is a great way to learn about New Zealand culture and host families are carefully chosen for you to stay with. Your family will provide you with a single bedroom, meals and clean bed linen and towels.
Living with a new family for the first time can be challenging for students and host families. It takes time and effort but living with a family is one of the best ways to experience a country and its culture. It will also help you with your English.
Homestay Fees (New Zealand Dollars)
Home stay placement fee: $220.00 (includes sourcing, interviewing and screening suitable families)
Home stay charges: $240.00 per week
Airport Pickup Fee: $95.00
A student Homestay bedroom includes basic furniture such as a bed, study table, chair, wardrobe and/or cupboard. Students are entitled to an uninterrupted study time in their bedroom. Students are responsible for tidiness of their room which includes making your own bed.
Being hosted by a family means becoming part of the family and you are expected to help around the house doing things such as the dishes or helping to prepare a meal. Talk with your host family and ask if you can help. Homestay is not a hotel!
- Communication - talk to your host family and let them know what you are doing and, if you are going out, tell them an approximate time when you will be home. Talk to everyone over dinner: you could share things from your home country. This not only helps you to settle, but you start building friendships.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about New Zealand and things that you see or do every day.
- Don't compare host families - just as everyone is different in your home country, do not expect that all host families will be the same in New Zealand.
Leaving Your Homestay
You must tell your Homestay family two weeks in advance that you wish to leave. This is called giving ‘two weeks notice’. Your homestay family must also give you ‘two weeks notice’ if they wish you to leave, so that you can find other accommodation.
Going Away for Holidays
If you are going away for a week or more you have to pay 50% of the homestay fee. This means that you are able to leave everything in your room while you are away.
Problems with Your Homestay
Our homestay providers operate under the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students, which means there are rules for the way they need to take care of you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your host family, please let us know as soon as possible. Don't let small issues become big problems.
Other areas of your Homestay house
Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves in other areas of the house.
- Smoking policy - No smoking inside the house.
- Drug and alcohol policy - No drugs and alcohol permitted.
- Pets - No pets allowed unless consented by host family.
- Phone -Time limit – Most students obtain their own mobile phone and use this as their main form of contact. If you use the home telephone try to limit calls to 10 minutes per call.
- Phone and Internet charges – local calls made on the home telephone are free in New Zealand and regional, international and calls to mobile phones are charged against the monthly phone bill. Any phone tolls should be noted and reimbursed to the Homestay in line with their monthly billing account. Most Homestays will have internet and broadband connection so a monthly contribution to this cost may also be requested.
- Visitors / Family members and friends of the student – students will generally be welcome to allow visitors into their house and this should be discussed with the Homestay beforehand.
- Parties - No parties unless consented by host family.
- Household chores - It is customary in New Zealand that people who stay in your home help with simple chores like setting the table, drying the dishes, making their beds etc. The host will supply a laundry basket and can do washing for their student once a week.
- Meals – Students should be prepared to make their own breakfast and lunch with food provided by host family. Evening meals will be generally shared or alternative arrangements discussed. Students will prepare their own meals if the host family is away.
- Transport - Student is responsible for own transport unless by arrangement with host family.
Flatting: Renting accommodation for yourself
‘Flatting’ is a popular way that students in New Zealand live, where students share an apartment or house (‘flat’) and share household expenses. Flatting is usually cheaper than living in student accommodation or hostels, although flatting has other challenges.
Flatting may be a good option for second year students, older students, and those who are familiar with living in New Zealand.
If you decide to live in a flat, it is likely that you will have to provide your own furniture and pay for your share of the expenses (electricity, water, gas, phone/internet, pay TV). In some flats you will share groceries and cooking, while in others you will buy groceries and cook meals individually. Remember to talk about bills with your flatmates and agree who will organise household expenses.
Rental prices can vary greatly according to location, type of accommodation, and number of others living there. Demand for flats will peak at the start of each semester, so try and beat the rush and get in early. Also remember to consider the cost of transport in looking for a flat – check out the relevant websites for information on train, bus and ferry prices.
Living with others in any situation will always have challenges, so remember to choose flats carefully and do not rush into any flatting agreement. Make sure your new flatmates are people you can live with during the semester or year.
The New Zealand Tenancy Service can provide useful information on renting, designed for people who need to know the basics about renting for the first time. To view further information about renting, go to the New Zealand Tenancy Service web site.
There's also some useful information about the process of obtaining rental accommodation at Department of Building and Housing.
Hostels and other student accommodation
New Zealand has many independently run hostels and other student accommodation, where students cook for themselves. Hostels provide your own bedroom but generally you have to share a bathroom.
If you are interested in Homestay accommodation please contact the International Enrolments teams:
Homestay Co-ordinator Auckland:
Rossana Reyes,+64 9 379 4666 ext.9710, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington Campuses email@example.com