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How do I apply for accommodation?

Applications for Residential Colleges or University Flats may be made online:

Apply for a place at a Residential College or the University Flats

When can I apply for accommodation?

For full-year accommodation and semester 1, apply from 1 August. If you are intending to come for semester 2, please apply after 1 April.

My username and password is not working

  1. Please ensure that you have registered for accommodation through eVision.
  2. Log into Te Puna with your email address and click on 'Reset password'
  3. An email titled 'Portal Email: Change Password' will automatically be sent to you.
  4. Open this email and then click the 'change password' link to set a password (please note: this email is only valid for one hour).
  5. Once you have changed your password, you should be able to login and complete the application.

What questions will I be asked during the application process?

Prospective first year students will have to complete the following:

  • Initial registration through eVision
    • Including your email address and date of birth
  • Personal details
    • Residency status
  • Contact details
    • Mailing address and contact phone numbers
    • Home address
  • Legal guardian details
    • Name of guardian
    • Relationship
    • Mailing address and contact phone numbers
  • Institution you will be studying at
    • University of Otago (including Pathway and Language Centre courses) or Otago Polytechnic
  • Proposed course of study
    • Proposed course of study
    • Major subject. This is not required for courses with pre-prescribed papers.
    • Minor subject
  • Residential College preferences
    • You will be asked to select three preferences
  • Residential College preference reasons (limited to 20 words)
  • Tell us about yourself. Please include responsibilities and interests, this is limited to approximately 300 words (slightly less than an A4 page).
  • School details
    • Name of school
    • What your final year will be, e.g. 2021
    • Course of study, e.g. NCEA, Cambridge.
    • Student NSN: This is your New Zealand National Student Number, please disregard if you have not studied in New Zealand.
  • Particular needs and requirements
    • Medical
    • Disability
    • Dietary
    • Special requests, e.g. female only, alcohol free.
  • Acknowledgment of application.

Do I make a separate application for each College?

Please make one application, indicating your three preferences.

Do any Colleges require additional information?

St Margaret's College requires some additional information, please refer to their website for more information:

St Margaret's College application process

Which colleges should I select?

Each College website has extensive information for prospective students and includes videos with interviews and photos.Applicants should also refer to the Residential College section in the Undergraduate Prospectus, which provides an excellent summary of the facilities and the number of residents for each college.

I want to change my preferences

This request must be made in writing. To make any changes to your preferences, email the Student Accommodation Centre before 17 September:


Will all of my preferences see my application?

Your application will initially be forwarded to your first preference. Once selection commences on 1 October, if they are unable to make you an offer it will be forwarded to your second preference, if they still have vacancies. If not, your application will be forwarded to your third preference, providing they still have vacancies.

Students with applications that are completed after 30 September will be forwarded to their first preference for consideration. If they are unable to make an offer, the Student Accommodation Centre will forward the application to the Colleges listed as a preference if they have vacancies, otherwise it will be placed directly on the general waitlist.

Will other Colleges consider my application if they are not a preference?

If your application is not going to receive an offer from any of your three preferences, we invite the Residential Colleges that may still have vacancies to consider your application, unless you have advised otherwise.

I have received an offer from my third preference, but I want to be reconsidered by my first preference

Once you accept an offer you have a financial contract with the Residential College that has made this offer. No other College can then consider your application.

What if I receive an offer from a College that I don't want to live in?

All of the Residential Colleges offer similar facilities and a high standard of pastoral care. We would recommend that you accept the offer. We have seen students decline an offer and then not receive another offer before the start of semester 1.

If I decline an offer from a College will I go to the bottom of the waitlist?

The waitlist is divided between male and female. It does not have a numbered priority of applications.

I have medication for an anxiety disorder which is being managed, do you need to know this?

It is very important that you provide as much information as possible about any medical condition you have. This enables us to ensure you have the best support available, especially when you are adapting to your new environment at the start of the year.

I am vegetarian, is this catered for?

The majority of Colleges can accommodate this. Please refer to the specific Residential College websites for more information about catering.

I am gluten free, is this catered for?

The majority of Colleges can accommodate this health requirement but they may require confirmation from your medical practitioner to support this condition.

What about vegan diets?

The majority of Colleges can accommodate this. Please refer to the specific Residential College websites for more information about catering.

What did my school say about me in my confidential reference?

The information in your confidential reference is only available to the University of Otago for the purpose of considering your accommodation application.

I would like a copy of the reference.

At the time of your application you authorised your school to provide the University of Otago with a confidential reference on the understanding that it will remain confidential to those concerned. The Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993 provide protections for evaluative material and the University will decline to release or allow access to such material when requested.

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