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University Flats FAQs

Most commonly asked questions by International Students:

Question:

What are the normal office hours of the University Flats?

Answer:

Normally the University Flats Office is open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday - with an "on call" staff member available for emergencies.

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Question:

How do I get into my flat upon arrival?

Answer:

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 109 St David St.

During the busy arrival periods each semester the University Flats Office will be open seven 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.

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Question:

What sort of things do you recommend I should bring with me?

Answer:

The Dunedin climate can be very cold, so good warm clothing is essential. Our flats, although equipped with heaters are not centrally heated so you may find our inside temperatures cooler than at home. Whilst we supply linen/bedding we also recommend that you bring a good quality sleeping bag as this can be used when you are travelling around New Zealand and also supplements as additional bedding on those cooler nights! It is important too to bring any essential medications with you and if you have any queries about this please contact us.

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Question:

What is the flat like?

Answer:

Lounge, dining/kitchen and bathroom are shared with the other students in your flat. They are furnished and have a basic kitchen set-up i.e. 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.

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Question:

What else should I know?

Answer:

  • The flats do not have central heating.
  • Most flats have a heat pump. 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 "Kiwi Host", some flats will house only international students.

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Question:

What is the price range for flats?

Answer:

The Uni Flats 2020 Residential Fees have been set as follows:

  • NZ$5,166 – per semester for standard shared accommodation in a 3-6 bedroom flat (own bedroom with shared dining/kitchen/lounge/bathroom/laundry)
  • The above price includes – the cost of your room, internet, electricity, bed linen, Uni Flats community events and the services of University Flats
  • NZ$5,406 – per semester for shared flats (own bedroom with en-suite bathroom and shared dining/kitchen/lounge/laundry).
  • NB: there are only two x 4 bedroom flats in this category and they are primarily reserved for postgraduate students
  • NZ$6,870 – per semester self-contained studio units
  • NZ$7,230 – per semester for a one bedroom self-contained flat
  • NZ$10,500 – per semester for a two bedroom self-contained flat

The above prices include – the cost of your room, internet, electricity, Uni Flats community events and the services of University Flats. It does not include the cost of a bedding pack which can be hired upon request for a one-off fee of NZ$120.

Full year prices – please contact Uni flats direct – flats@otago.ac.nz

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Question:

What is the term of the Residence Agreement?

Answer:

  • Semester One 2020, 8:30am 2 January – 10:00am 18 June 2020 (24 weeks)
  • Semester Two 2020, 8:30am 27 June – 10:00am 12 December 2020 (24 weeks)
  • These are Fixed Term contracts regardless of your arrival and departure dates and the accommodation cost is charged for the full term.

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Question:

How do I pay?

Answer:

Your rent account needs to be paid two weeks in advance during the term of your contract. This payment can be made either online, as per the options below, or the University Flats by EFTPOS 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:

Portal payments – Credit card and NZ accounts

Log onto Te Puna student accommodation portal and make credit card or NZ bank account payments. 

Internet banking

Westpac New Zealand Limited
Westpac Moray Place Branch
106 George Street, P O Box 5345
Dunedin, Otago
New Zealand

University of Otago Main Account: 03 0175 0660238 00 - SWIFT code: WPACNZ2W

Reference details must include the student's full name and the word Uniflats.

Pay on-line using a credit card

See the University of Otago's secure Payment page.

Kiwi Hosts

The preferred method of payment for our Kiwi Hosts is setting up a Direct Debit.
Please fill out the * on the form and bring into the Uni Flats office with proof of bank account details or scan to flats@otago.ac.nz- the direct debits come out of your bank account weekly/fortnightly on a Wednesday.

Western Union

Accommodation payments can be made using the same process as international tuition fee payments or by internet banking or Telegraphic Transfer to the University of Otago bank account above.

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.

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Question:

Is there a Bond?

Answer:

No - but see information below relating to deposit.

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Question:

Is there a Deposit?

Answer:

Deposit is only applicable to semester one students.

A deposit of NZ$500 is required and this must be paid within 10 days after your offer. 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
Academic Programs International (API)
Brethren College Abroad (BCA)
Berea College
Brunei
Butler (IFSA)
CIS – Centre for International Students
Cornell University
Dickinson College
Gordon College
ISA (International Studies Abroad)
Performing Arts Abroad (PAA)
Plymouth
Point Loma Nazarene
Smith’s College
St. Lawrence University
St Norbert
St. Olaf College
Sultanate of Oman
Swarthmore College
TEAN
University of Denver
University of Scranton
Whitman College

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Question:

How does the internet work?

Answer:

Each flat is supplied with a Fibre Naked Broadband service, commonly called UFB – this service will be supplied by Vodafone NZ. 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.
Read more on the Vodafone service.

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Question:

Do we have a Monthly Usage Limit?

Answer:

No - however the University of Otago do have a fair use policy – this can be found at:

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Question:

What furnishings are supplied?

Answer:

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.

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Question:

Are the flats in complexes or are they houses with their own grounds?

Answer:

There are a number of complexes (varying from 5 to 9 units) with the remaining properties generally houses, some with their own grounds.

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Question:

Do we get to choose our international students?

Answer:

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.

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Question:

Do I have a Kiwi Host?

Answer:

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 Kiwi Host living in the flat you have been allocated their name and email address will be in your "Offer of Accommodation ".

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Question:

How do I hire a bedding package?

Answer:

For standard shared undergraduate accommodation, the bedding pack is included in the semester charge and will be in your room upon arrival.

For other accommodation options, the bedding pack needs to be pre-ordered from University Flats prior to arrival by emailing flats@otago.ac.nz and requesting a bedding pack. There is a one off cost of NZ$120 to hire the bedding package for the duration of your stay in a University Flats managed accommodation.

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Question:

What is in the bedding package?

Answer:

The bedding package contains 2 x pillows, 2 x pillow protectors, 1 x mattress protector, 1 x fitted sheet, 1 x flat sheet, 2 x pillowcases, 1 x duvet (comforter) inner, 1 x duvet (comforter) cover, 1 x lightweight blanket and 1 x towel. All items are professionally laundered.

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Question:

Do I have my own bedroom?

Answer:

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.

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Question:

Is there a close off date for applications?

Answer:

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 each year all applications received before 1 November will be processed in the first round of placements.

For Semester Two each year all applications received before 15 May 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.

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Question:

Is there a Selection Policy?

Answer:

Yes – there is a separate selection policy for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

See the University Flats Handbook for full details.

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Question:

How do I apply to be a Kiwi Host?

Answer:

  • Kiwi Host applications for the following year open in mid July, information will be sent via Scarfie.com and through flyers around the University. Application packs are also available from the Uni Flats Office at 109 St David St - if you are interested in Kiwi Hosting please contact flats@otago.ac.nz for further information.