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UC International College


Have you booked your accommodation yet?

This is something that needs to be done in advance. The good news is that there are many options for students to consider. It is recommended that you choose and secure your accommodation as soon as possible after confirming your programme with UCIC to ensure that you are able to obtain your preferred accommodation option.


Homestay is a very popular choice for first time students 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. You will have 3 meals a day provided for you and your own room.

Distance: Varies – but will be either within walking distance or easily reached by public transport
Included: 3 meals a day, fully furnished room with study desk, bathroom and laundry facilities, local telephone calls
More Info:

Halls of Residence – Ilam Apartments

The Halls of Residence are UC’s on-campus accommodation. Halls provide a mix of contemporary and traditional accommodation in a supportive, vibrant and dynamic environment. Academic and social support programmes assist students to settle in and make new friends. 

Ilam Apartments

Ilam Apartments is a modern apartment-style complex that offers independent living on campus for 845 students. Modern apartments which are situated on campus next to the Ilam Gardens and will enable you to discover a great community of like-minded students, just five minutes’ walk from lecture theatres and other campus facilities.


Distance: 5 minute walk from main library and lecture halls
Included: Self-catering, private single bedroom with study area, access to university WIFI network, local phone calls
More Info:

Free Airport Pick-Up

If it is your first time arriving in New Zealand on an international flight and you have booked accommodation in the UC Halls of Residence or in a homestay booked through International Student Care, then you may be eligible for free airport pickup. To reserve your spot at least 2 weeks in advance of your arrival and you will need to provide your flight number and details.

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. For more information on private renting there are a number of useful links: "Renting and you - a guide to the law about renting" or try our website.

The UC campus is located in the suburb of Ilam, about five kilometres west of the city centre. Most students live in rental accommodation within a 15 minute bike ride to the campus. Popular suburbs with students are:

  • Riccarton

  • Upper Riccarton

  • Avonhead

  • Bryndwr

  • Burnside

  • Fendalton

  • Ilam

If you want to look up some private renting options, then there are a number of letting agencies that you can find online and in the city. There is also a site called Trademe which can help with the search. Here you will also find cars, furniture, clothes…..just about everything you could need!

Temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation is usually a private fully furnished room paid for on a daily basis for a short period of time. Options in Christchurch include:

  • Hotels

  • Hostels

  • Backpackers

  • Motels

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation

  • Private rented rooms, houses and apartments

For further information on options close to the University of Canterbury visit the temporary accommodation page on our website.