The following video showcases all of the accommodation options that are available to University of Canterbury students. UCIC students who chose to stay in the UC Halls of Residence, can stay in Ilam Apartments while studying at UCIC, and select from the other accommodation options once they transfer into their University of Canterbury programmes.


The University of Canterbury offers a variety of accommodation options to suit your individual lifestyle and budget.

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

  • Accommodation options for prospective students and their families
  • The halls of residence 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 Halls of Residence and Homestay providers.

Halls of Residence (self-catered)

The UC Accommodation Student Village offers the Ilam Apartments, a self-catered apartment-style living in a safe and supportive student environment. Students are able to 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


  • $7,415-$8,000 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.
    Further information about the UC Accommodation Student Village is available at:
  • $300 NZD Contingency Fee. This will be refunded at the end of your loss, unpaid accommodation fees or fines etc.
  • $300 Administration Fee
  • $200 Residents' Association Fee
  • $125 Linen pack (optional)
  • A Welcome Pack.

How to apply

UCIC Package Accommodation at Ilam Apartments 

Please complete the online application form for accommodation selecting "UCIC 2018 (February, June, October)" as your term. We recommend that you apply as soon as your UCIC course is confirmed.

If you need assistance you can email

Homestay (private board)

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

$270 NZD per week (2018 fees). Fees are reviewed annually. Toll telephone calls and some internet charges may be extra depending on usage. A one-off placement fee of NZ$330 applies.

How to apply

Please complete the Homestay Application Form and email directly to

Private Renting

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:

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.

Students Under 18

An international student who is under 18 years of age is a "minor" and must meet the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements.

International students under 18 years of age must either: reside in New Zealand with a parent, or a designated caregiver, or provide evidence that they will be going into care arrangements - for their accommodation, support and general welfare - such as a homestay approved by UCIC.

Only a parent of the student or a person who has custody of the student is allowed to nominate a designated caregiver for the student.

Detailed information is available from the Ministry of Education website:

Please also refer to UCIC's policy 'Care Arrangements for Under 18s' for further details.

Airport Pickup

A complimentary airport pickup is available for all new international students. The service transfers students from Christchurch International Airport to their confirmed accommodation in Christchurch.

The service must be booked at least a week prior to departure.

The booking form is available at: airport_pickup_form.shtml