Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

What is Kiwi Hosting?

Kiwi Hosts are New Zealand students who reside in University of Otago Flats (Uni Flats) and live with predominantly single semester study abroad and international exchange students.  The flats are designed to run as autonomous units but with assistance from the Uni Flats team.

Kiwi Hosts are full time, predominantly undergraduate students who are able to share their local knowledge of Dunedin City, and the University campus and environment with their flatmates. They help international students settle into life at Otago.

We are primarily looking for students to Kiwi Host who are of good character, who will be kind, caring and respectful flatmates. Kiwi Hosts need to have a certain degree of robustness as they will be flatting with a group of students from a variety of different countries, cultures and backgrounds. International students studying at Otago are away from their home, and by extension their means of comfort and security, and it is important that Kiwi Hosts understand and appreciate this.  Kiwi Hosts do need to have a genuine interest in flatting with international students, wherever they may come from.

It is expected that the Kiwi Hosts inform Uni Flats staff of any illness, accident/injury, incidents, or concerns involving their flatmates. Help is always available for our Kiwi Hosts – who are an integral part of our Uni Flats operation.  How Kiwi Hosts conduct themselves and perform as a Kiwi Host will have a huge impact on their international flatmates experience at Otago and can easily make the international student's stay with us the highlight of their exchange and study abroad experience.

Uni Flats run training sessions before the start of Semester One and we encourage all Kiwi Hosts to attend. We also hold specific events for Kiwi Hosts throughout the year.

How long do international students stay for?

Most of our international residents will be coming to Otago for just one semester.  Kiwi Hosts will therefore have a new set of flatmates each semester – a small number of international students stay for two semesters.

Our international students are around 20 years of age and are often nearing the end of their undergraduate degrees.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Full time University of Otago student
  • Second year students plus or equivalent when you apply
  • Those with a good character and have a genuine desire to live with and assist international students

Current Kiwi Hosts are eligible to re-apply. However, selection is not necessarily automatic nor guaranteed. For  any questions, please email

2024 Price

  • Weekly rent of NZ$210 per week – NZ$9030 per year (includes power, wifi, and general maintenance in a fully furnished flat)
  • One off activity fee: NZ$200
  • One off administration fee: NZ$200
  • Bedding pack: NZ$120
  • No bond to pay
  • Own bedroom
  • Shared bathroom, kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry

2024 Dates

Refer to University Flats Contracts period

Uni Flats offers full year, as well as semester 1, and semester 2 Kiwi Host contracts.

How to apply

To apply, please email

The application process:

  • Uni Flats will email you back an expression of interest form to fill out
  • Uni Flats staff will review your expression of interest and contact you about progressing with your application
  • The next stage involves completing a brief video interview exercise using your smartphone, tablet or PC which takes up to 15 minutes
  • Uni Flat will review your video interview responses and contact you if you are successful and the next steps from there in terms of signing your contract etc.

For all queries, please contact

Back to top