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More than 85 per cent of our first-year students come from outside Dunedin, so we place great emphasis on providing high-quality accommodation and support through our residential colleges.

Most students go flatting in their second year, although some opt for a flat in their first year. If you choose to live in a flat, you’ll find that living costs in Dunedin are generally lower than in bigger cities.

The table below provides an estimate of living costs in NZ$ and is based on 2017 charging. The costs assume a single student on campus for a period of forty weeks (one academic year). Actual accommodation costs will be supplied once you have been accepted for study at Otago.

Residential College Shared Flat
Accommodation Fee $15,390 -
Average rent (52 weeks @ $150) - $7,800
Food (40 weeks @ $80) - $3,200
Gas/electricity, internet (52 weeks) - $1,300
Total for accommodation $15,390 $12,300
Personal costs (40 weeks @ $60) $2,400 $2,400
Entertainment (40 weeks @ $50) $2,000 $2,000
Total $19,790 $16,700


  • Residential college contracts are normally for 38 weeks. Some colleges may charge a higher fee than the fee listed in the table.
  • In addition to the accommodation fee, the residential colleges charge a small amenity fee.
  • Food costs reflect the purchase of some lunches and takeaways. If all cooking is done in the flat they could be reduced.
  • Personal costs vary considerably depending on lifestyle. The estimate represents a restrained style of living.
  • This estimated budget does not include travel costs or any significant personal expenditure items.