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Helpful Links & Tips

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You’re pretty sure about what you want to study, now what about the environment you’ll be living in? We’ve sourced some links, tips and musings on what you need to know.

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Getting Around

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, and it spreads across a large geographic area. As such, many Aucklanders are rather fond of travelling in their cars! However, the city’s public transport infrastructure is increasingly becoming more expansive, in particular making good use of the extensive water ways (for ferry travel). The one stop shop for public transport information is http://www.maxx.co.nz Here .all the information on trains, ferries and buses is available for students as well as routes, fares and timetables.


With over 180 ethnic cultures, international students in Auckland will find that it is a truly multicultural city. Over the past 15 years a rapid increase in the rate of immigration has transformed the city in a rich melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world calling themselves ‘Kiwis’. The following sites are good starting points for news, events and happenings for some of Aucklands many ethinic groups.






Auckland has a great climate! Although some days it can be sunny one minute and raining the next, generally it enjoys prolonged bouts of warm sunny weather in the summer and very bearable temperatures in winter. The average temperature in the city is 23.7 degrees celcius in summer and 14.5 degrees celcius in winter. It rarely reaches single figures, and the only recorded snowfall in Auckland was back in 1939. A great site that gives you up-to-the minute info on all things weather is: http://www.metservice.com


Student accommodation

Student accommodation facilities are located all around central Auckland. All apartments generally come with basic furniture including a bed.
Discounts are usually available if you pay up front for your entire stay, or book out an entire apartment rather than just renting a room. All the options below are within a 15-minute walk to Media Design School.
If you have any questions about accommodation in Auckland feel free to contact the Student Services Manager.

Princeton Apartments
The accommodation is basic but good value for money. Princeton only offers two-bedroom apartments, and they can pair you up with other students. Each apartment comes with a private kitchen and bathroom, some furniture and kitchen utensils and rooms are lockable. The building offers a large TV room, laundry and restaurant.

Columbia Apartments
Slightly older than Princeton but just as good value, if not better. Columbia offers studio and three-bedroom apartments only and will also pair you up with other people. It is cheaper to rent a room in a three-bed apartment than renting a studio. All rooms within the apartments are lockable, and come with basic furniture and kitchen utensils. Each apartment has its own private kitchen and bathroom. The building offers a large TV room, laundry and convenience store.

Empire Apartments
Empire has some of the best student accommodation facilities in Auckland. It offers studio and three-bedroom apartments with lockable rooms and basic furniture and kitchen utensils. Each apartment has a living room with a TV, couch and table. Empire will pair you up with other students in the three-bedroom apartments but if you book out the entire apartment you’ll receive a discount. You will also receive a discount for paying up front for your booking. The building offers a theatre room, gymnasium, lap pool, laundry room, convenience store and restaurant. 

Scholar Apartments
A great budget option offering studio and two and three-bedroom apartments. All bedrooms are lockable and although the studios are on the small side, the three-bedroom apartments are a good size. Each apartment comes with basic furniture, kitchen utensils and private bathrooms. However, if you rent a studio apartment you will need to use the communal kitchen. The building facilities are limited to the kitchen, a laundry and a convenience store.

YMCA Hostel
One of the cheapest accommodation options in Auckland but also the most basic. It’s clean and well-maintained but only single rooms are on offer for students. There is a communal kitchen and bathroom on each level, and a small TV common room. There is also a gym attached, which is free for the first week and available at a discounted rate from then on.


Flatting is a general term for a shared rental house and flatmates is the Kiwi term for roommates. Houses and apartments are often listed under flats. If you are moving to Auckland for the first time and do not know anyone, we recommend that you only look for flats once you arrive in New Zealand, as you can then see the condition of the place for yourself and ensure the location is accessible for you. You will usually need a security deposit, referred to as a ‘bond’, to secure a rental or room in a flat. If you need to purchase furniture trademe.co.nz it’s a great place to look, you can also rental appliances through companies like mrrental.co.nz.


A good option if you want to stay in a family environment while in New Zealand. We reccommend www.hippohomestay.com


Backpackers and hostels are generally for short-term stays only. They are a good option for somewhere to stay when you initially arrive in Auckland. Backpackers and hostels offer a range of accommodation types, from 10-bed dorms to private rooms and are great for short-term visitors on a budget.

The five hostels below are within five minutes’ walking distance to Media Design School.