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Students have multiple options for living and accommodation while studying in the Manawatu. Hostels, flatting with friends or boarding in a homestay – there is a place for everyone to call home.

Hostels and Halls of Residence

A large number of students, particularly in their first year of study, will choose to stay in a hostel or a student hall of residence. Living in the hostels can be a wonderful experience, allowing you to meet other students and the opportunity to create new friendships. It also offers you an independent lifestyle with the perks of a structured, organised accommodation system in place.

Most education providers have their own on-campus halls of residence where their students can stay and be involved in a number of additional university activities. Alternatively there are also a number of privately run and independent hostels in Palmerston North city.

If you are interested in hostels, check out:

Private Renting (Flatting)

Flatting is a popular choice for many students in Palmerston North, and there are hundreds of properties for students to choose from. When selecting a house to rent there are many things to consider, including finding the perfect location, entering into a Tenancy Agreement and setting up electricity, phone, and internet.

If you are looking to rent in Palmerston North city and Manawatu, the following sites can help you:

Students talking Manawatu

Students talking at shared accommodation


Many of the educational institutions are able to arrange homestay accommodation for their students, where students live with a local family in the family’s home. This accommodation method is particularly popular with international students, as it offers a supportive and safe family environment, and opportunities to develop English-speaking skills as well as making life long friends!

Homestay accommodation usually costs around $240 per week and often includes the main meals of the day.

What to expect at a homestay

The homestay student is integrated into the life of the host family, participating in family activities, outings and provide them with a real feel for the kiwi culture.

Homestay hosts are paid a fee set by each individual education provider and covers the provision of food, the internet and living costs of the student. In return hosts are expected to provide a clean, warm, and tidy room with a bed and bedlinen, a set of drawers and wardrobe, a heater, study desk, chair and reading lamp, pillows, blankets and towels. Access to a kitchen, a bathroom, toilet, laundry facilities, living and dining rooms, a telephone, a power point and the internet. You will also need to provide morning, lunch and evening meals for your homestay student.

Becoming a homestay host

Being a homestay host is when an international student lives with a local family in the family’s home, sharing meals and activities with the host family. Become a homestay accommodation host in Manawatu and experience the rewards international students can bring to your family!

Homestay Case Study