Several options available for accommodation in Dunedin and each option have its own pros and cons. Here, I will describe all of the options with pros and cons.

1. Abbey College: This is a super nice apartment complex for Otago postgraduate students but is more expensive that other options (mainly because it includes a meal plan). It could be a nice place to “start”, you can stay there for a few months, and then if you want, can find a flat after you know the town a bit better. It is a really good place to meet other international students too. Applications open 1 August for full academic year accommodation. Study Abroad/Exchange students may apply from the 1 August for Semester 1. Postgraduate students can apply at any time means there is no closing date for applications from Postgraduate Students for Abbey College. You just need to contact the Accommodation Office for assistance.

Pros: Very nice environment, rent includes meal, good place to meet other international students

Cons: Most expensive option, only rent and meal will cost 80% of your stipend, provided meal may not suite you all time.

Link: http://www.otago.ac.nz/abbeycollege/index.html

2. University Flats:
Another source of accommodation offered by the university, for postgrads and undergrads. Independent living is available with other postgraduate students in flats/houses from two bedrooms to six bedrooms. The accommodation is furnished with the tenant(s) being responsible for phone and electricity accounts. There are a number of one, two & three bedroom flats available for both individual students and students with partners/children. The lease for the University Flats are fixed term either for 6 or 12 months, 12 months being the maximum stay.
The University Flats range from one – eight bedrooms, there is mixed, single sex and vegetarian options available, although limited. The majority of flats are mixed and are generally made up of equal number of male and female students. There are stand alone houses and complexes and all flats are furnished. Our Residential Assistans (RA’s) are there to make sure your stay is safe and enriching, and to introduce you to other international students.

For single semester students your additional information page is the most crucial part of our placement and selection criteria. It is very important that this page contains accurate information about yourself. We use this information to match Kiwihosts and other international students to maintain a harmonious and compatible flatting situation for all students.

If you are a family/couple or wanting to live on your own it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible as we are very limited on the number of one and two bedroom flats available. Please note that we do not place families/couples in shared flats.

Once we have chosen a suitable flat for you, you will receive an offer of accommodation directly from the University Flats office. It is important that you reply to our offer within 14 days to guarantee your placement and that all correspondence in relation to your accommodation is now referred directly to the University Flats office.

Link: http://www.otago.ac.nz/uniflats/.

Types of room/house:

1. Renting home; One room houses are available which generally consists of a lounge, kitchen, shower+toilet, parking and of course a bed room. Rent: 200 and above.
2. Studio flat; Like previous one just instead of a separate bed and lounge a large room which acts as bed and lounge room at the same time. Rent: 200 and above.
3. Ensuite studio room in a flat; One bedroom with attached shower and toilet while kitchen and lounge are shared with other flat mates. Rent: 170 to above.
4. Flatting; you will get only your bed room rest facilities need to be shared with others. Rent: 100 to above.
Few links:
TradeMe: You can check trademe website (trusted but scams are there too!).
Online group: You can check trademe website (be aware! scams are too common!). Also, you can check following fb groups/pages:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/670932339641015/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/546294765385354/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/oupsevents/
Backpackers/motel:
You can stay there as long as you wish. Cost will be around ~$28/per day for a women dorm. Link: http://www.bbh.co.nz/hd341/Kiwis-Nest-Backpackers-in-Dunedin-New-Zealand.html
Backpackers is a kind of hostel/motel(?!). Yes, I did stay in Kiwis nest for 3 days and viewed several houses while staying at kiwis nest. You can easily find out backpackers but I would like to suggest you booking a backpackers as early as possible so that you may able to find the cheapest options.

After primary selection if you think it would be better to inspect it physically let us know.

Alike online shopping, online house renting can be deceiving. However, if you can manage any trusted source then go for it as private flat can be the cheapest option compared to others. I, personally don’t find it very good to rent a house without viewing, as I have to stay there for a long period of time and normally what they advertise on the website is not always same in reality. I can remember that my supervisor suggested me to stay few days at backpackers and view few places and then to decide that which place suits me. Still, it totally depends on you.