Accommodation, Making friends in the Hall
I chose to live in the Stafford UniLodge during my trimester abroad. I was lucky enough to be on the ninth floor with a bit a view out to the harbor, which made for awesome sun rise and sunset pictures!
The layout of the room is three private bedrooms that share a kitchen/dining/living area and a bathroom. There was nothing terrible about this accommodation, in fact I met my really good group of kiwi friends here! The only cultural oddity I found was the lack of dryers in NZ. Apparently it’s not uncommon to air dry everything so a drying rack was provided as well as bedding and pillow to “hire” (rent).
Unfortunately, there were a few down sides to living in Stafford UniLodge… First, it is at the bottom of a very very long and big hill in order to get to Victoria University Kelburn campus, where most first year classes take place (20 minutes of walking about, unless you walk everywhere and you’re used to large hills). Second, it is a little far from Courtney Place (the main night life street) but there is a free van set up by the university to drive students back to their hall for free!
Overall my experience as a hall resident in New Zealand has been great! I truly suggest to anyone studying abroad here to go to activities offered in the hall to meet kiwis! This hall had many international events at first, but it was hard to truly jump into the culture here when I was only with other exchange students. As soon as floor or hall activities were available I signed up and met a wonderful group of kiwi friends. p