Living in New Zealand

Students will always come first at FIAT. We love living in this country and hope that you will enjoy your time with us and treasure the memories forever. Some of you may even join us as future New Zealanders.

A range of guidance and support systems is available to students in order to ensure that a safe, caring and supportive environment is created for students which meets individual needs and provides for full personal development.

If at any time you have any needs, issues or concerns we will provide you with any assistance or guidance we can. FIAT is committed to helping students achieve the best outcome from their study.

For any support you need, please contact either the Administrator of the CEO/Principal.

Emergency Number:
Fire/ambulance/police           111

If you are an international student, you must fulfil all requirements of your visa and maintain your student visa status for the length of your programme.

Full details of immigration requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from Immigration New Zealand, and can be viewed on their website at

Under New Zealand law, FIAT is allowed to provide you with information regarding immigration but is not allowed to give you advice

If you want advice or help regarding immigration you should seek advice either

  • directly from Immigration New Zealand, or
  • from an immigration adviser licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007, or
  • from a person that is exempt from being licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

FIAT can help you find such a person.

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website. at

All international students need to maintain their insurance cover for full period of their student visa when they are in New Zealand

The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents, and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs.

Further information can be viewed on the ACC website at

International students (including group students) must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance for the duration of their travel and studywhile in New Zealand. FIAT has made arrangements with a respected insurance company, UNI-CARE ( to provide insurance tailored to international students and we can arrange this for you. The medical and travel insurance will commence as soon as FIAT is notified of the issuing of your date of travel to New Zealand.

Whilst studying in New Zealand students will need somewhere to live. Many students live in Hostels, while others opt for a home stay with a local family or live with friends (sometimes new friends they meet through their study) in a rented ‘flat’ (apartment/house). A good option is to book a short-term stay and then shift into a longer-term accommodation once you have settled into your course and made some friends.


Home stay accommodation is a room in a family’s house where you also share other parts of the house with the family. Home stay generally includes breakfast and dinner every day and also lunch on the weekends. During the week; students generally buy their own lunch. Most English language students spend at least a few months in home stay, which is considered the best way to improve their English. Most high school and primary school students also usually stay in a New Zealand home stay.


Student accommodation in New Zealand is generally a room or a bed in a university or institute hall of residence. Students generally share the facilities such as kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Utilities such as water and electricity are usually included in the weekly rent. Meals are also often provided. Students staying in New Zealand student accommodation don’t have to buy anything because most things are provided. This makes life easy for the students because they don’t have to deal with bills and the need to buy items of furniture etc. FIAT does not provide student accommodation like this.


Most long-term adult students studying in New Zealand opt for sharing a flat or apartment with others. This is generally called “flatting” in New Zealand. Flatting is common amongst young people in New Zealand and not just for students although it is best for students to flat with other students so that they all understand the routines of attending classes and doing self-study and assignments. “Flatmates” share the cost of the weekly rent, the utility charges and the cleaning etc. Some flats are unfurnished so you have to add the cost of buying or renting furniture and appliances however it is also common to find furnished flats or to join a flat that other people have already furnished. Flatmates also usually share the cost and the duties of preparing meals.


In most big cities in New Zealand there are independent hostels which are used by young tourists for short term stays or for students who or in the process of looking for something more suitable. Beds can either be in a dormitory or in a separate room. Shared kitchens and bathrooms is usually the norm. Most of these are very clean and safe.


The below costs are average, weekly rents

Student accommodation: NZ$120~190
Home stay (includes food): NZ$180~240
Room in flat/apartment: NZ$150~~175
Independent one-bedroom apartment: NZ300-350
Backpackers’ Hostel: NZ$180~250

(NB. Actual costs may vary between cities and depending on the convenience of the location and the quality of the building and furnishings.)


We have listed one accommodation agency below (see Support Resources) and you will be able to find others through the internet or your agent. For more information about renting accommodation, you can look here:

Once we know the type of accommodation that interests you, we can send you the details of some hostels in Auckland.

If you are interested in “flatting”, we recommend that you book at least one month’s accommodation in a hostel so that you can get settled into your study, learn about the different parts of the city and start to make some friends. Flats are often advertised on student notice boards or in hostels. You should only choose one after you have arrived in New Zealand.

If you have difficulties with your accommodation, please discuss this with either the Administrator or your teachers who can guide you to locate the place.