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UC International College


UCIC students who are over the age of 18 and require accommodation have the option of staying at:


UCIC students are encouraged to contact the University of Canterbury Accommodation Office for advice on:

  • Accommodation options for prospective students and their families
  • On-campus application process
  • The costs associated with living away from home
  • Flatting, landlord and tenancy issues
  • Airport pickups for international students

Places on campus are limited, therefore, we recommend you apply for accommodation as soon as you have accepted your UCIC offer.


UCIC is not the provider of these accommodation options, and has not conducted a formal assessment. The University of Canterbury accommodation office are responsible for sourcing and recommending accommodation for the students.

Ilam Apartments (first year fully catered and self-catered option)

The UC Accommodation Student Village offers the Ilam Apartments, an apartment-style living in a safe and supportive student environment. Students can enjoy an independent, diverse student community. A set-fee structure means no surprise bills throughout the year and hassle-free living. If you would prefer not to do your own cooking, meal plans can be purchased.

Apartment features

Fully-furnished single rooms with bed, desk, chair, bookshelf, wardrobe and a high-speed internet port. Students have their own room and share kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities with other students. Single-sex apartments may be available.

Shared facilities

Dedicated learning spaces with wireless internet and university computer suites open 24/7. Other facilities include Sky TVs, games tables, plush communal spaces, BBQ facilities and bike sheds. A selection of social events are planned throughout the year for residents who are keen to meet new neighbours within the community.


The apartments are suitable for students aged 18 or older. The apartments are home to students from throughout the world who are enrolled in all levels of study at both UCIC and UC.

Ilam Apartments Costs (2020 rate)


  • $8,000 - $8,600 per semester depending on when you are arriving (contract dates are for a minimum of two UCIC semesters). Payments must be made before you arrive unless you make other arrangements with Ilam Apartments.
  • $325 Administration Fee: This fee is non-refundable.
  • $275 Residents' Association Fee: This fee is used to help fund student activities.
  • NZ$375 contingency fee (refundable). This is a payment made at the start of the year in case of possible loss/damage of accommodation buildings or property. This will be refunded at the end of your tenancy, unless there is any loss, damage, fines, unpaid accommodation fees etc due to UC Accommodation.
  • An optional linen pack is available to purchase for $135. Personal crockery and cutlery is also an optional extra of $24.

  •  A Welcome Pack.

Further information about the estimated cost for living with UC Accommodation Student Village is available here.

How to apply

UCIC Package Accommodation at Ilam Apartments 

Please complete the online application form selecting "UC International College (UCIC) Student" in the "International Students Section" and  "I am a single student in my first year of tertiary/university study" in the "Arrival Level of Study" section. Your term to select is "UCIC 2020" or "UCIC 2021" etc.

A non-refundable application fee of $100 is applicable as part of the application process. A reference is also required for students who will be under 20 years of age on arrival. A suitable referee is an agent or school teacher (someone in authority who knows you well but is not a friend or family member).

Student details will be confirmed with UCIC before applications are processed. Accommodation is dependent on availability.

We recommend that you apply as soon as your UCIC course is confirmed.

If you need assistance you can email

Students who are under 20 years old need to provide a reference to secure their accommodation at Ilam Apartments.

Homestay and private board (above 18)

If you want to experience living with a local Christchurch family or need temporary accommodation until you find a suitable place to stay, homestay is a good option for you. Homestay gives students the opportunity to settle in quickly with the help of their host families. Students can take time to look for suitable permanent accommodation after they arrive without having to worry about food and where to stay in their first few weeks in New Zealand.

Homestay is ideal for students who are interested in having a home away from home experience with people helping them find their way around the city, taking them to interesting places, and encouraging them to practise their English speaking skills. Homestay also enables students to gain an insight into Kiwi (New Zealander!) life and offers a unique opportunity to experience New Zealand's culture first hand by participating in the daily routine of the host family's life. Host families take an active interest in their students and assist them to adjust into their new environment. This helps to facilitate a smooth transition into the students' formal studies.

UCIC students who are under the age of 18 must stay in homestay accommodation, unless they are able to stay with a parent or guardian locally.

Please note:

  • All applications for homestay accommodation must be received at least two weeks before arrival.
  • Homestay is for a minimum of 8 weeks' accommodation and must be paid prior to arrival unless other arrangements have been made.

Room features

Single, fully-furnished room with bathroom and laundry facilities.


Three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

General costs (2020 rate)

$280 NZD per week. A one-off placement fee of $350 NZD applies. Fees are reviewed annually. Toll telephone calls and some internet charges may be extra depending on usage.

More details about estimated costs could be found here.

How to apply

Please complete the Homestay Application Form and email directly to

Students Under 18

Under 18 students at the time of visa application must have approved welfare and accommodation arrangements in place and must maintain these arrangements until they turn 18.

In order to fully meet our obligations under the New Zealand Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (Includes Amendments 2019), UC International College requires students who are under 18 years old to live in one of the following types of accommodation:

  • With the Student’s Parent/Legal Guardian

  • With an Authorised Designated Caregiver
    (A Designated Caregiver must be a relative or a close family friend, authorised in writing by a Parent/Legal Guardian, be over 18 years of age and police vetted)

  • With a UCIC Arranged Homestay (Under 18 students must stay in the CCEL provided homestay)

UC International College will:

  • Notify the parent/s or legal guardian/s if their Son/Daughter is involved in an accident, any critical events or an emergency.

  • Obtain information from the hospital regarding your Son/Daughter’s condition to help us coordinate care and support for them, if consent is provided.

  • Provide, monitor and coordinate care and support for your Son or Daughter while they are under 18 years of age.

  • Report to the parent/s or legal guardian/s of students under 18 at least once a semester about their Son/Daughter’s academic progress, attendance, accommodation, general health and wellbeing.

You must advise UCIC immediately if your living circumstances change, and any change in your living situation must be approved in writing by your parents and UCIC before the changes are made.

General costs (2020 rate)

  • Homestay Weekly Fee – Single Room: $315

  • Accommodation placement fee – Bus Zone (non-refundable): $150 Accommodation placement fee – Walking Zone (non-refundable and subject to availability): $300

The host family will provide:

  • A single room with a bed and place for your clothes

  • A heater and desk in your room

  • Breakfast and dinner during the week (Monday – Friday)

  • 3 Meals at the weekend and on public holidays

  • Free internet access (reasonable use)

Fees are reviewed annually. Toll telephone calls and some internet charges may be extra depending on usage.

For more information on arranging your accommodation, please contact UCIC Admissions.

Essential information for Under 18 can be found here. Please also refer to UCIC's policy 'Care Arrangements for Under 18s for further details. Detailed information is available from the Ministry of Education website.

Private Rental Accommodation

Some students choose to live off-campus in privately rented houses or 'flats' in the surrounding suburbs to UC or other areas of Christchurch.

A 'flat' may have one bedroom, or may be a house with as many as five or six bedrooms. In a larger flat you will have your own bedroom and share the living, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and outside areas with other flatmates. Larger appliances such as the TV, washing machine, dryer, fridge/freezer will also be shared.

When you rent a property or a room in an existing property that you share with other students (as a 'flatmate') you will be responsible for providing your own furniture, paying your rent and your share of the monthly bills (for example electricity, gas, telephone/internet), cooking your own meals and doing your own laundry.

Sharing your living space with other people can be difficult at times:

  • Be careful to clearly establish terms and conditions with your landlord and other flatmates before moving in.
  • Know what type of tenancy you are signing into - periodic or fixed term.
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and those of your landlord.
  • Decide whether one or all of you are going to sign the tenancy agreement and what this means - all tenants named on a tenancy agreement are joint and severally liable.

For further information on renting in New Zealand, a useful reference is a booklet called "Renting and you - a guide to the law about renting" from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Private rental properties may be available close to the University but can often be in high demand. Rent can cost upwards from NZ$120 per room a week plus monthly expenses (power and phone/internet), food, transport, contents insurance, and personal spending. You will need to budget for initial set up costs of a refundable bond (up to four weeks rent), rent in advance (1-2 weeks), a letting fee (equivalent to one week's rent), power, telephone/internet, and any furniture required.

If you choose this type of accommodation for your stay in Christchurch - you will need to find your own flat or house. It is strongly recommended that you view a property before signing an agreement, therefore, you will need to arrange temporary accommodation in Christchurch when you first arrive (for example a motel or backpackers) for 2-6 weeks so you have time to find suitable accommodation. Short-term accommodation may be available for individual students in a self-catered apartment on campus. A booking form is available from the Accommodation Office.

Once you are here, a number of resources are available to search for a property.

Temporary Accommodation

For temporary accommodation options, please see here.

Couples or Families

Very limited on-campus accommodation is available for couples or families. Most students will be required to find alternative accommodation off-campus. Please refer to "Private Renting".

You will need to have temporary accommodation in place for when you first arrive. Due to the current demand for family accommodation in Christchurch, students may wish to consider arriving in Christchurch on their own initially until they have found a suitable property to enable their family to join them.