In many cases, your accommodation will be only minutes from your place of study. Your institution can help you find accommodation before you begin studying.
These are usually located on campus or nearby, with single or twin rooms. Bed linen and cleaning are provided. Meals are eaten in a communal dining hall, with special dietary needs catered for. A warden lives on-site and social and sporting activities are organised for residents. Hostels usually have computer labs and recreation rooms. Some institutions provide self-catering hostels where 6 to 8 students have their own bedrooms and share a kitchen and living room.
This gets you a room in a suburban house, usually with a garden and lawns. Your host family provides meals. Interacting with your host family and meeting their neighbours and friends is an excellent way to improve your English. Your host family will help you adjust to life in New Zealand.
Homestay is not like living in a hotel. Some ‘give and take’ is expected, as you become part of the family.
Renting a house or flat (apartment) on your own or with other people is called ‘flatting’. You choose your own flatmates in single-sex or mixed accommodation, ranging from a two-bedroom apartment to a large house on its own land. Most rental properties are unfurnished, apart from an oven, a laundry, curtains and carpet.
Your landlord doesn’t have to provide heating. You pay for electricity, gas, phone and water, including connection fees. A bond of up to 4 weeks' rent is held by Tenancy Services and refunded when you move out, if the flat is still in good condition.
The accommodation office at your tertiary institution will probably have a noticeboard with advertisements for flats. Newspaper classifieds list rental properties, especially on Wednesday and Saturdays. There are also several websites that list rental accommodation throughout New Zealand.