Accommodation and Living Costs, Foundation Studies, University of Otago

By: University Of Otago Language Centre  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: International Students, Language Centre

We understand that finding good accommodation is important to help you succeed in your study. There are a number of options available to you. Here at the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year we have assessed all homestay and university owned accommodation options. They are all suitable for you. All other types of accommodation have not been assessed by us.

Homestay Accommodation

Homestay is an option that allows students to concentrate on their studies while also offering them the opportunity to join in a family lifestyle if they wish.

Students will be provided with breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday and three meals a day at the weekends. The student's bedroom is private and is furnished with a study desk, heater and bedroom furniture. Students are given a key to their host's home so they can be as independent as they wish.

Hosts are all visited by an accommodation coordinator and with over 300 hosts on our database, we can offer a variety of host accommodation i.e. vegetarian, families with children, independent flat-like accommodation, young couples, older couples, farm stays.. you choose - we can find something to suit everyone!

Homestay Fees

Homestay Application Form

Download the Homestay Application form:

More Information

Meeting you at the airport or bus station when you arrive in Dunedin

If you have decided to live in a residential college, flat, studio or private hostel accommodation, you will need to take a shuttle or a taxi to your accommodation. This will cost you a shuttle or taxi fare, so please ensure that you have money to pay the driver.

University Owned Accommodation

International students at Foundation Year may be placed in university-owned accommodation.


Flatting means that you share a house with other people. They are called flat mates.

You share the cost of the rent, food, electricity and telephone and/or Internet charges.

Houses are owned by landlords.

You can find a house (flat) by:

You will need to book temporary accommodation to live in when you first arrive. This is important as your first choice of accommodation may not be available.

Language Centre and Foundation Year staff do NOT assess or inspect private flats.

Accommodation Contracts

  • You should be aware that once you have signed an accommodation contract with a privately owned hostel or flat, you are bound by that contract.
  • There are financial penalties if you change your mind after signing the accommodation contract.

Sample Accommodation Budget

Temporary Accommodation

We recommend you apply for accommodation as soon as possible.

You will need to book temporary accommodation to live in when you first arrive. This is important as your first choice of accommodation may not be available.

Financial Matters and the Cost of Living in New Zealand

  • In order to live comfortably while you are in Dunedin, you will need to have about $NZ12,000 - $NZ15,000 per year available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition.
  • You will receive advice from student support at the orientation programme on how best to handle your money.
  • It is important that you have some New Zealand cash for immediate costs (eg airport costs or transport). You may need further funds in the form of travellers cheques which can be readily cashed. There are foreign exchange offices at the international terminals of each New Zealand airport.
  • We strongly recommend that while in New Zealand you do not carry large amounts of cash on your person or leave cash in your room.
  • You can also purchase goods using EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) at nearly all retailers. Any major amounts of money may be sent in the form of a bank draft, but electronic transfers are, in most cases, the most efficient method of sending funds to New Zealand.
  • Overseas cheques are sometimes difficult to clear and are not recommended.
The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: International Students, Language Centre

Contact University Of Otago Language Centre


Print this page

Other products and services from University Of Otago Language Centre


Student Services for Foundation Studies, University of Otago

If you are living in New Zealand but have not visited the South Island or Dunedin before, we can help you get to know the city and region. Most of our staff have lived overseas and know what it feels like to live in a country and culture that is different from your own. Student Services provides the environment to help you become part of our whanau or family. We want to help you during your stay in Dunedin so you can concentrate on your study.


Foundation Studies Orientation, University of Otago

We provide a comprehensive introduction to life in Dunedin and studying at the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year. You will attend an orientation programme which includes. Enrolment and receiving your student ID card. Meet other staff and students.


Foundation Studies Counselling and Advice, University of Otago

We have two student support officers who are available to help you with any problems or questions. Student Support officers are available after office hours if you need emergency help. We also have a counsellor on site.