Accommodation Options

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

UC Campus Tour of Accommodation Options

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

  • Accommodation options for prospective students and their families.
  • Accommodation 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

Ilam Apartments is 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. The apartments are suitable for students aged 18 or older. The apartments are home to students from throughout the world who are enrolled in both UCIC and UC.

Apartment Features

Fully equipped single rooms with bed, desk, chair, bookshelf, wardrobe, and access to Wi-Fi. Students have their own room and share kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities with other 2 to 4 students. Single-sex apartments may be available. 

Semester Date

Students will be offered one of the following semester contracts. 

2024 Academic Year

-          41 Week contract - 10 February to 23 November 2024.

2024 Semester 1 only

-          20 Week contract - 10 February to 29 June 2024.

2024 Semester 2 only

-          20 Week contract - 6 July to 23 November 2024.

Costs (NZ$)

The weekly cost of Ilam Apartment Hinau building (3–5-bedroom apartment) on 20 or 41 Week contract is NZ$ 258.

Students are also required to pay Deposit to confirm their place. The Deposit consists of the following:

  • $400 Contingency Fee (refundable)
  • $300 Administration Fee
  • $300 Resident’s Association Fee

The details of the payment schedule will be outlined in your contract.

An optional bed linen pack or cutlery/crockery pack is available to purchase using purchase online

A non-refundable application fee of $100 is also applicable as part of the application process.


Students who will be under 20 years of age on arrival are required to submit a reference. A reference can be your agent, your teacher at school or someone in authority who knows you well except a friend or family member. 

How to apply

Please complete and submit online application form. Further details on how to complete application form are listed on Accommodation option for UC International College students (UCIC) page. 

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 Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021, 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 (2023 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.

View essential information for Under 18s. 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.

How to Apply

Please complete the Homestay Application Form and email directly to

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.

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.