Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Most commonly asked questions by International Students:
- What are the normal office hours of the University Flats?
- How do I get into my flat upon arrival?
- What sort of things do you recommend I should bring with me?
- What is the flat like?
- What else should I know?
- What is the price range for flats?
- What is the term of the Residence Agreement?
- How do I pay?
- Is there a Bond?
- Is there a Deposit?
- Are there any other charges?
- How does the internet work?
- Do we have a Monthly Usage Limit?
- Can we Purchase More Usage?
- Can our Internet Service be Terminated?
- What furnishings are supplied?
- Are the flats in complexes or are they houses with their own grounds?
- Do we get to choose our international students?
- Do I have a Kiwihost?
- How do I hire a bedding package?
- What is in the bedding package?
- Do I have my own bedroom?
- Is there a close off date for applications?
What are the normal office hours of the University Flats?
Normally the University Flats Office is open 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday - with an "on call" staff member available for emergencies.
How do I get into my flat upon arrival?
There is 24/7 access available to uplift your flat keys - no matter what time you arrive in Dunedin you should visit the University Flats Office, located at 105 St David St.
During the busy arrival periods each semester the University Flats Office will be open 7 days a week from 8.30am to 11.00pm where a staff member will greet you and issue your flat keys.
If you arrive outside these hours or when the Office is operating normal hours there is an instruction at the University Flats Office that will still allow your keys to be issued.
What sort of things do you recommend I should bring with me?
The Dunedin climate can be very cold, warm clothing is essential, a sleeping bag for your first few nights in Dunedin, a book/brochure on your country to show New Zealanders. Please note the flats are not centrally heated.
What is the flat like?
Lounge, dining/kitchen and bathroom are shared with the other students in your flat. They are furnished and have a basic kitchen set-up ie pots, dinnerware, cutlery etc . All bedrooms have a double bed, mattress, drawers, desk and chair. Bedrooms are allocated to one student only, there are no shared rooms. Couples and families are allocated their own flats.
What else should I know?
- The flats do not have central heating.
- Most flats have a heatpump, if not other electric heating is provided for the common area.
- Heaters are provided for each bedroom.
- You will be expected to take your turn to cook and do housework.
- If you have any problems, you should talk to the University Flats staff.
- You are required to pay for the full term of your residence contract irrespective of how many nights you actually stay. There will be no exceptions.
- Whilst the majority of flats have a "kiwihost", some flats will house only international students.
- Electricity/Telephone (Utilities) costs are additional to your accommodtion cost and are shared between flatmates.
What is the price range for flats?
- NZ$3,420.00 per semester for shared flats (own bedroom) for 2013.
- NZ$3,696.00 per semester for shared flats (own bedroom with en-suite) for 2013.
- NZ$4,680.00 per semester for self contained studio units for 2013
- NZ$5,160 per semester for 1 bedroom self contained flats for 2013.
- NZ$3,528.00 per semester per room for 2 bedroom self contained flats for 2013.
What is the term of the Residence Agreement?
- Semester 2 2012, 8.30am 30 June - 10am 15 December 2012 (24 weeks)
- Semester 1 2013, 3 January - 10am 20 June 2013 (24 weeks)
- Semester 2 2013, 8.30am 29 June - 10am 14 December 2013 (24 weeks)
- These are fixed term contracts regardless of your arrival and departure dates and the accommodation cost is charged for the full term.
How do I pay?
Your rent account needs to be paid two weeks in advance during the term of your contract. This payment can be made at our Cashiers Office by EFTPOS, cheque or cash after your arrival. It should be noted that your first payment is expected within 10 working days of your arrival. This payment will need to bring your accommodation account up to date plus two weeks accommodation in advance.
If you prefer to pay all or some of your accommodation account before your arrival this can be made via Western Union please refer to the following University of Otago website page and scroll down to "How to Pay Tuition Fees - accommodation payments can also be made with these options. Or by Internet banking or Telegraphic Transfer to University of Otago bank account:
ANZ National Bank Limited
Dunedin Commercial Branch
71 George St
PO Box 883
Account Name: University of Otago
Account Number: 06-0901-0001203-00
SWIFT Code: ANZBNZ22
With reference details of students full name and University Flats.
It is important that the remitting bank quote the full name of the student so that the incoming accommodation payment can be identified. A copy of the telegraphic transfer provided by the remitting bank should be retained and brought to Dunedin.
Is there a Bond?
No - but see information below relating to deposit.
Is there a Deposit?
Deposit is only applicable to semester one students.
A deposit of NZ$500.00 is required and this must be paid prior to 14 January 2013. Failure to make this deposit may result in your original accommodation offer being cancelled and your room re-allocated (see note below)
The full value of this deposit will be credited to your rent account.
However, non payment of the deposit does not release a student from their financial obligation should their room not be reallocated. If you have accepted your formal offer of accommodation you must communicate directly with the Head, University Flats should you decide that you will in fact not be studying at Otago or no longer wish to take up the accommodation offer.
Note: If your home or sending institution pays your accommodation costs directly to the University Flats you will not be required to pay a deposit.
The following Universities/sending institutions currently pay accommodation costs on behalf of their students:
Arcadia University - The College of Global Studies
CIS – Center for International Students
University of Denver
University of Scranton
St. Lawrence University
St. Olaf College
Sultanate of Oman
Are there any other charges?
Yes - a $110.00 per semester charge to cover the usage of the wireless internet access in your flat.
How does the Internet work??
Each flat is supplied with a broadband service that does not require a telephone number, this is commonly called Naked DSL – this service will be supplied by VodafoneNZ. This service comprises a backhaul by wired solution followed by in-house wireless distribution.
Each student will be given the password to the modem in their flat – it is crucial that this access is not shared with anyone outside your own flat.
To read more on the Vodafone service you can refer to www.vodafone.co.nz/naked-broadband.
Do we have a Monthly Usage Limit?
Yes - Each flat (three to six bedroom) will have a 100GB monthly allocation – if this allocation is expended then your internet will revert to “dial up” speed.
For one and two bedroom flats the monthly allocation is 50GB – again if this allocation is expended then your internet will revert to “dial up” speed.
The Kiwi Host in each flat will have access to the usage meter to assist with the monthly management of your allocation.
If your flat does not have a Kiwi Host this information will be available from the University Flats directly.
Can our Internet Service be Terminated?
Yes - On 1 September 2011 the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act 2011 became law in New Zealand.
The University of Otago does not permit the use of file sharing applications other than for legitimate educational or administrative purposes. Examples of file sharing software are: Shareaza, BitTorrent, Ares, Kazaa, Limewire, BearShare and eMule. Inadvertent infringing file sharing may occur if you have a file sharing application running on your personal device and connect to the University’s supplied Vodafone network.
Therefore in compliance with the legislation if the University receives a formal complaint regarding illegal activity then the University will terminate the flat internet account for the remainder of the current semester for all students in the offending flat.
Please see our House Rules for further information on this policy
Can we Purchase More Usage?
Yes – the flat as a whole will have to agree and sign up with the University Flats to this upgrade to 200GB and there will be a one off charge of $30.00 per student for the remainder of the semester.
For flats with a 50GB allowance - they may be upgraded to 100GB as a one off charge of $40 per student.
Please note:- that if at the end of the month the flat’s GB allowance is in credit it cannot be added onto the next month’s new GB allocation.
What furnishings are supplied?
Flats are fully furnished - Common areas: lounge seating, table and chairs, oven (cooker), microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine, dryer, basic kitchen set up ie cutlery, dinnerware, toaster, kettle. Bedroom: double bed, mattress, set of drawers, desk and chair.
Are the flats in complexes or are they houses with their own grounds?
There are a number of complexes (varying from 5 to 9 units) with the remaining properties generally houses, some with their own grounds.
Do we get to choose our other international flatmates/kiwi hosts?
No - University Flats staff match students based on your completed accommodation application. So the accurate completion of this, especially the additional information page, is very important. Specify big "likes"and big "dislikes". The more information that you give us, will help match you to compatible flatmates.
Do I have a Kiwihost?
Whilst every effort is made to have a Kiwi Host in each undergraduate flat, this is not always possible. So a small number of flats may only have International students. If there is a Kiwihost living in the flat you have been allocated their name and email adddress will be in your "offer of accommodation ".
How do I hire a bedding package?
The bedding packages are hired direct from University Flats office - you are able to complete a hire agreement and collect a bedding pack when you uplift your flat key on your arrival in Dunedin. The bedding packs cannot be pre-ordered. There is a one off charge cost of NZ$115.00 to hire the bedding package for the duration of your stay in University Flats managed accommodation. At the end of your stay you must return the pack to the University Flats Office.
What is in the bedding package?
The bedding package contains 2x pillows, 2x pillow protectors, 1x mattress protector, 1x fitted sheet, 1x flat sheet, 2x pillowcases, 1x duvet (comforter) inner, 1x duvet (comforter) cover, 1 x lightweight blanket and 1 x towel. All items are professionally laundered.
Do I have my own bedroom?
Bedrooms are allocated to one student only, there are no shared rooms. For your safety all bedrooms can be locked with our secure unique key system, your main door key will also open your bedroom door only.
Is there a close off date for applications?
As such there is no close off date, however it is strongly recommended that you complete an accommodation application as soon as possible in order to be considered in the first round of placements.
For Semester One 2013 all applications received before 1 December 2012 will be processed in the first round of placements.
For Semester Two 2013 all applications received before 23 May 2013 will be processed in the first round of placements.
Applications received after these dates will be processed in the date order they are received until all available accommodation has been allocated.