My Dunedin Itinerary

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It is advisable to organise somewhere to live before arriving in Dunedin. The majority of tertiary students studying in Dunedin stay in residential colleges or flat together in rental houses, while many high school students opt for home stays. Some high schools have their own accommodation hostels. There are also plenty of other options to suit the international student’s lifestyle. The Student Accommodation Centre is a good place to find information.Education New Zealand also offers useful tips.

University of Otago residential colleges

Usually a short walk away from Dunedin’s tertiary campuses, Dunedin’s residential colleges (hostels) offer tertiary students fully-furnished single or twin-share rooms with a shared dining hall, lounge and laundry. Meals are usually included in the fee, and they offer a lively programme of academic and social activities. It is best to apply by August if the student plans to start study in the following February. The education institutions will assist with this. See Residential Colleges for details..


Many tertiary students live in rental houses. Students generally share (flat) with other students and share living costs such as electricity, telephone and food. Most flats include basic equipment such as an oven, dishwasher and a washing machine.

  • The University Flats Office manages flat accommodation for international students, mainly for single semester stays. It also has limited accommodation for postgraduate international students and international families. Pastoral care of international students is part of this service. All flats are of a good standard and well-maintained, and are furnished, including a basic kitchen set-up. Bedding packs can be arranged.
  • There are many four or five bedroom homes within walking distance of Dunedin’s tertiary campuses, and flats a little further out in Dunedin’s suburbs with good bus routes back to campus. There are also one-bedroom accommodation, furnished studio apartments and self-contained one-bedroom apartments options.
  • The Student Accommodation Centre offers a good selection of available properties and vacancies, and advice or assistance, or properties can be found through websites such as Uniflats, TradeMe Property , or through real estate agents.

Home stays

Homestay students live with a New Zealand family in their home, usually in a fully furnished room of their own. They will receive meals and help with day-to-day life in New Zealand. A homestay is a great way to get to know some friendly New Zealanders, develop English skills and get a close-up look at the Kiwi way-of-life and culture. Many Dunedin homes are older, but most houses will have an outdoor space. Education institutions will have more information. High school students generally stay in homestays organised by their high school. This provides a comfortable and supportive home environment to assist the student with study and lifestyle. Each school has support staff to assist the student during their stay. Several Dunedin high schools have their own hostels, located near or on the school grounds. These provide dormitory accommodation, all meals and support for living and after-school study specifically for their students, and are suitable for international students.

Buying a house

Buying a property is a cheaper option in Dunedin than in many other cities in New Zealand. Most New Zealand houses are sold unfurnished, however some come with chattels.

Visitor accommodation

Dunedin has a great range of visitor accommodation options for short-term stays. See the DunedinNZ visitor accommodation web page for more information.

Insiders tip

Have the time of your life in a residential college or live like a New Zealander in a home stay.

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