Covered on this page:

What should I do before I apply?

Applying for accommodation is more than just heading to the website of the tertiary provider you want to study or train at and going through the application process. Before you even think about that, there are several things you need to tick off so you know what kind of place is right for you.

These include:

  • Deciding where you want to go and the course you want to study
  • Going to an open day
  • Thinking about whether you’d prefer catered or non-catered accommodation, if there’s the option
  • Researching where the accommodation is and how that fits into the experience you’re looking for.

Depending on where you apply, there will be a range of different options available to you. For example, universities will generally just offer several different halls of residence for you to pick from. Some ITPs, such as Otago Polytechnic, however might also have options such as homestay accommodation.

In short, you need to think seriously about what you want from your accommodation before you apply. Where you live is going to be an important part of your time at your new tertiary provider.

Is there anything I’ll need to prepare?

Despite the differences in applying for each accommodation, there are a few common things you will normally be asked for. With most applications opening around August/September, it’s useful to get ahead so you can send off your applications quickly.

Things you should organise include:

  • A reference from your secondary school (make sure you sort this weeks in advance with your school, so it doesn’t delay your application)
  • A personal statement
  • A list of your academic results
  • A headshot photo.

You should also be prepared to pay a ‘bond’ or ‘deposit’, which is a set amount of money you pay before you move in to protect the landlord against any damage you might cause. This deposit is refundable if you leave the place in the same condition you found it in, besides the normal wear and tear of general living.

For an example of some things you will need to prepare, learn about the Victoria University of Wellington process by clicking on the link below.

Useful links:

Where do I apply?

Once you’ve worked out where it is you want to be living when you start your studies, the next step is to actually apply. This is done directly through each tertiary provider's website. Different places also have different timelines and requirements for applications, so you need to check what the process is ahead of time.

To save you a bit of legwork, we’ve linked through to each university and ITP offering accommodation below.



Staying at your wānanga

The three wānanga offer a variety of different accommodation options, such as the opportunity to stay at a local marae while on noho. 

If you want more information, you should contact the wānanga you’re going to be studying at directly. This can be done by:

  • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – call on 0800 355 553 or email at for enrolment enquiries, or for student support
  • Te Wānanga o Raukawa – call on 0800 926 2642 or email at
  • Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi – call on 0508 926 624 or email at


Key websites

  • Universities New Zealand presents the views of our eight universities and promotes the quality education they provide. The website is also a really useful hub for information on topics from applying to university through to scholarships.