Organise accommodation

International students can apply to stay in a University hall of residence, in a private homestay or arrange private off-campus accommodation.

While you’re studying at Victoria University of Wellington, you can choose to live:

  • in a Victoria University of Wellington hall of residence
  • with a family (called a homestay)
  • in a private house or apartment on your own or with others.

To secure your place in either a University hall of residence or private homestay, we recommend you apply for accommodation at the same time as you apply for University admission, or as soon as possible after that.

Once you have been issued with an Offer of Study and intend to accept, please confirm your arrival date with the Accommodation Office.

For full details on accommodation options, visit our Accommodation Service website.

If you’re bringing your family with you to New Zealand, you’ll need to arrange private accommodation.

Halls of residence

Victoria University of Wellington’s halls of residence are like apartment buildings—they house many students, mostly in single or double rooms. Living in a hall of residence means you’ll be part of a safe and supportive community of students—all from different backgrounds and with varying interests.

Choosing a hall

The University has 14 halls, located in different parts of the city. They:

  • are mostly within walking distance of our three campuses
  • can be either self-catered (you provide your own food and do your own cooking) or catered (meals are provided)
  • are all smokefree
  • have alcohol-free and single-sex options.

Applying for a hall of residence

There is no application fee.

You need to list your top three hall preferences on your application form.

Find out how to apply for a hall.


A homestay means you live with a local family—homestays are great for practising your English. Most homestay houses are not within walking distance of the University, so you have to travel to get there.

You’ll get your own fully-furnished bedroom and most of your meals are provided (you just have to buy your own lunch during the week).

Host Families New Zealand facilitate homestay accommodation for the University. When they have chosen a homestay for you they will send you information about your placement. Whichever host family Host Families New Zealand place you with, they will help you settle into life in New Zealand and help you find your way to the University when you first arrive.

Applying for a homestay

You need to apply for a homestay at least two weeks before you arrive in New Zealand, if possible. Once you’ve been assigned a homestay family, we’ll email you their contact details—it’s up to you to make contact with them.

If you apply less than 15 working days before you arrive in New Zealand, we may need to place you in temporary accommodation (for example, a backpackers’ hostel) until a homestay can be arranged.

Private accommodation

Private accommodation (known as ‘flatting’ in New Zealand) offers freedom, independence, economical living and responsibility. You have three options for private accommodation:

  • an apartment or house just for yourself
  • an apartment or house for yourself and others
  • a room in an established shared house.

If you’re planning to ‘go flatting’, we suggest you book temporary accommodation (for example, a backpackers’ hostel, short-let apartment or a hotel) for when you first arrive in Wellington, so that you can look for something more permanent when you arrive. It’s best not to sign up for a house you haven’t seen.

Finding private accommodation

There’s a landline phone and computer in the Accommodation Service office you can use for your flat hunting, but most landlords and people looking for flatmates will expect you to have a New Zealand cellphone number.

It can be hard to find a flat in Wellington, especially during January and February when there are a lot of other people looking for somewhere to live.

You can find flats:

  • on the Accommodation Service notice board
  • on the accommodation finder
  • on Trademe under Flatmates Wanted or Real Estate—Rentals in Wellington
  • in The Dominion Post newspaper on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Signing a lease

You’ll usually have to sign a 12-month lease and pay a bond before you move into a flat. You’ll get the bond back as long as you leave the flat in the same condition as you found it.

Before you sign the contract, make sure you view the property, and complete a Property Inspection Report when you move in.

Temporary accommodation

Our Accommodation Service can help you arrange temporary accommodation. We strongly recommend you contact them before you get to Wellington to discuss your options.

Temporary backpacker-style accommodation ranges from NZ$30 per night depending on the room type.

Temporary accommodation may be limited—book early to make sure you get a place.