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Kiwi hosts

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 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 environs 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 helpful if the Kiwi Hosts can keep the Uni Flats team informed of any illness, accident/injury, or incidents 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 two 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.

2023 Price

  • NZ$8,354.50 per year
  • One off placement and activity fee: NZ$200
  • Own bedroom
  • Shared bathroom, kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry
  • Includes: internet, electricity, bed linen hire, University Flats community events, and the services of University Flats staff

2023 Dates

Refer to University Flats Contracts period

How to apply

Recruitment for Kiwi Hosts usually commences in late July.

If you are interested in applying to become a Kiwi host for 2023, please:

1. Complete 2023 Application Form
2. Register through the Te Puna portal

  • Login in to eVision
  • Click “Residential Colleges and Uni Flats” under My Details
  • Complete “Register for accommodation” page
  • Following email instructions, log in to Te Puna portal with your University account

Once you have successfully logged in to Te Puna portal, no further action needed at this stage. If you are accepted as a Kiwi Host after the interview, you will need to complete the application process through the Te Puna portal.

Once you have completed both steps above, applicants will be contacted by our Assistant Warden team, who will ask to arrange a Kiwi Host interview with you. We hope to start interviews towards the end of July and make offers for Kiwi Hosting in 2023 on an ongoing basis until the full complement of Kiwi Hosts for 2023 have been appointed.

Reference checks with your current landlord may also be made before an offer to Kiwi Host is made.

All successful applicants will be emailed to complete formal application, sign contract and pay one-off placement and activity fee ($200) through the Te Puna portal.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Croisella Trengrove, the Deputy Warden.