NZIBT do not arrange accommodation but can assist with more information to help you decide which is the best accommodation type for you.
Homestay means living with a family in their home. Living in a homestay provides students with an excellent opportunity to experience life with a New Zealand family and is the perfect way to help you improve your English and understand New Zealand culture under the roof of a safe environment. Any homestay that NZIBT recommends will have already been visited and checked to ensure it is suitable for students. Homestay offers independence, clean and comfortable accommodation. In addition, you will meet a friendly family to talk to, exchange cultures, and have a kiwi friend forever! A written contract will be provided by the Homestay company. You will be provided with your own private room, 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), bathroom and laundry facilities. Minimum stay is 8 weeks.
Hostels are usually run by organisations such as Youth Hostels New Zealand and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Students share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Students often share with fellow students. They advertise online, and on noticeboards and in newspapers. Students may have to provide their own furniture which can often be bought cheaply second-hand. Prices vary from suburb to suburb, but generally the city and central suburbs are more expensive than the outer suburbs. Usually, the price does not include food, bills or other expenses.
When renting a house, apartment, or bed-sitter, property, owners require rent to be paid in advance and will require a security bond of up to the value of one month’s rent. Most private rental houses and flats are legally required to have a tenancy agreement in place.
This protects both the property owner and the tenant. If you join a house group and are not the legal tenant, you still have responsibilities and rights. Please do not sign any agreements before you seek advice and we are very happy to assist you. Visit this website to learn your rights and responsibilities for private accommodation in New Zealand https://tenancy.govt.nz/
Transport and Driving
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver’s licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). After 12 months you are required to convert to a New Zealand licence. This applies to each visit to New Zealand. In New Zealand all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years.
Both Christchurch and Auckland offer a variety of public transport options from trams, to buses, taxis, trains, planes, scooters and bicycles! For more information refer to the Student Handbook.
Cost of Living
Living in the Canterbury region is cheaper than living in Auckland, but the cost varies substantially depending on your location, lifestyle and choice of accommodation. To reduce costs, you might want to share a room and cook for yourself or alternatively a Homestay arrangement.
International students in New Zealand typically spend between $250 and $400 a week on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transport, international and domestic travel, telephone, and incidental costs. Some estimated costs, per week, are given below:
Accommodation (varies due to type of accommodation): $70 – $500
Phone calls/internet link at your flat on landline (varies – local/international calling): $10 – $30+
Mobile phone: $15+
Food – eating at home: $60 – $100
Public transport: $20 – $50
Personal items, entertainment: $40+
Cup of coffee: $3.50 – $5
Café lunch: $10 – $25
Fast food, takeaway food: $5 – $15
Cinema: $10 – $15
Dinner, disco, nightclub: $25 – $80
*These are estimates only and are intended to give you an indication of possible costs of living in New Zealand. New Zealand has 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in all costs. You can use the Studylink online calculator to see how much you will need for the period of your study. NOTE: This calculator uses a 40-week calculation.
Both Christchurch and Auckland have thriving international communities. There are many genuine stores and shops – you will feel at home with the range of food and groceries available and be able to buy familiar labels and brands.