If you’re an international student that’s recently arrived in New Zealand, it’s likely that you feel a little lost in this little country. Despite the small size, living in a city like Auckland is unparalleled to anywhere else.

According to Statistics New Zealand, it’s the most populated city, and each year, we get more and more international visitors settling down for a few years and calling Auckland their home.

However, just because you may choose to live and study here, it doesn’t mean the transition is any easier. You’re in a new culture, far away from many countries, and perhaps even in a different hemisphere. Here’s a quick guide to living in Auckland.

Flat hunting in Auckland

If you haven’t yet, you’ll need to secure a place to stay. You can choose to stay at the AIS dormitory on the St Helens campus, join a homestay family, or find your own room or flat.

Luckily for you, AIS campuses aren’t right in the middle of the central business district and so, if you’re looking for an external place, you’re faced with more accommodation options that aren’t as inflated in price.

The best places to look for a flat will probably be TradeMe. You can also try your luck by searching directly on real estate companies’ websites. Make sure you have a budget and location in place first.

Some good areas to search close to AIS campus are:

Western Springs
St Lukes
Point Chevalier

Rent is due weekly, so be prepared to part with your living costs every seven days. If you have a part-time job to fund your expenses, income can flow in at a bi-weekly to monthly rate. It’s best to try find a place that’s close to either a bus stop or train station, and make sure you include transport expenses into your budgeting!

Working a part-time job

Unless your degree involves work placement, you may want to find a job yourself to fund your studies. Minimum wage in New Zealand is enough to be self-sufficient, especially if you’re strict on budgeting your costs of living. You can find a range of part-time work opportunities that may not need prior experience – it does take time and effort to find the right one, but being able to save some spare cash during your studies can help your future to no end.

TradeMe again is a good place to look for jobs. Seek and Student Job Search are also handy websites, otherwise you can always take the old-fashioned path of dropping off your CV in-store – you could create more of an impression this way.

Finding a job in the relevant industry you’re studying can help to build knowledge and skills before you graduate and look to climb the rungs of an industry. For help creating a resume that’s both impressive and appealing, our Student Career Centre will be of service.

Make sure your New Zealand visa allows you to work and have your IRD number on hand for when you do find a job – good luck!

Grocery shopping

Not all supermarkets are priced the same – be wary to shop smart!
We love our food in New Zealand. You’ll likely live near at least one burger joint and maybe some takeaway shops too. However, nothing beats a home-cooked meal. It’s not typically cheaper, but a lot healthier most of the time too.

When grocery shopping, know which options are available to shop smart. Countdown and Pak’n’Save are some of the most common supermarkets, followed by New World. Be aware, a Nosh or Four Square may be closer to home but can cost you quite a bit more.

Hopefully, you’ll find that it’s not too difficult to get used to life in New Zealand. There’s plenty of fun activities to do, so check out our other blog posts about Auckland life.