Stellenbosch, affectionately called the City of Oaks, is home to over 29,000 students including 4000 International students. In it’s glorious vineyard setting against the backdrop of scenic mountains and water bodies, the town attracts the adventurous souls!
STUDY IN STELLENBOSCH
The QS World Ranking places Stellenbosch University at the 390th position, making it one of the 3 Universities in the country to be featured in the list. You could find yourself studying in one of these three campuses based on your stream: The Tygerberg Campus that hosts the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, The Bellville Park Campus where the Business School of located and the Saldanha Campus that houses the Military Sciences Department.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE IN STELLENBOSCH
Stellenbosch is a popular choice amongst International students coming to South Africa, making it a place that’s never low on spirits. Vibescout, is a good website to keep track of if you’d like to be updates with all the events happening in the town. Quite obvious to the town of Stellenbosch if the vineyards. More often than not, the students flock to one of the many farms in the town to taste wine or grab a coffee or even a meal. Other than these, students also love exploring the wild scenic beauty of the town and its surrounding areas. They normally hire cars and take off for their weekend adventures. Students are spoilt with choices with the number of bars, restaurants and student accommodations that surround the campus. On a normal day, it’s a common sight to find students in large numbers walking, biking and even long-boarding in and around the student campus. All of this and more makes Stellenbosch a perfect town for the youth, particularly students.
COST OF LIVING IN STELLENBOSCH
Basing themselves out of Stellenbosch happens to be more popular amongst students especially because of the more student friendly lifestyle they could lead in terms of budget as compare to Cape Town.
A few websites you could make use while accounting for your monthly budgets:
ACCOMMODATION IN STELLENBOSCH FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
If you’d like to get a complete overview on the accommodation for international students in Stellenbosch, give our blog a shot!
However, in a nutshell, international students can find student accommodation in Stellenbosch for anywhere between 250-600 USD, ranging from affordable to the more posh ones. Apart from the area, size of the room, amenities like swimming pool, gym, parking spots, security as well as house utilities like cutlery, gas, water, electricity and WiFi are taken into consideration while putting a rent tag. It also depends on the locality on your choice and whether you’re choosing an on-campus student housing or off campus. Like we stated in our blog, teh Academia apartment complexs on campus is a popular choice amongst international students and interns who opt to come to Stellenbosch for a short-term exchange program primarily because they come fully furnished as well as have access to shops, laundry facilities, sports arenas and 24/7 security. If you choose to stay off campus limits, you could rent out privately owned houses. You could also find houses that already hosts students, ranging from 3 in a house to around 30!
SAFETY IN STELLENBOSCH
Stellenbosch Univeristy, in order to bring forth safety awareness amongst International and local students, propose a few guidelines to adhere to in order to ensure personal safety. The safety regulations for students in Stellenbosch on the website reads:
- Avoid walking alone. Make arrangements to get home safely before you leave. Walk with friends or use the shuttle service.
- Sport fields, the mountain road and parks are isolated, even during the day. Don’t go walking or jogging on your own, regardless of whether it is dark, dusk or day. Invite someone to go with you or establish an exercise group.
- Earphones with loud music limit your awareness of you surroundings and a criminal can surprise you. Make sure you are aware of what is going on around you when you go walking or jogging.
- Cellphones and computers that are visible, make you a popular target.
- If a vehicle stops to ask for directions, keep your distance to avoid being pulled into the vehicle or being robbed.
- If you think you are being followed or you see a stranger approach in a quiet area, cross the road or change direction. Walk purposefully and as fast as you can to a safer area with people and good lighting, even if it means you have to take a longer route home.
- Invest in a safety whistle if you have to walk alone. You’ll attract attention when you blow the whistle and a loud noise in a criminal’s ear might distract him/her long enough for you to get away.
- Carry pepper spray in your hand – available at the Matie Shop.
- Don’t allow people to enter a building allowing for card access with you. Insist that the person uses his/her own card.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, immediately move to a safer area with more people and lighting. Ask for help.
- Use the safest routes even if they’re not the shortest.
- Be careful at ATM machines. Look around before and after you withdraw money.
- Don’t drink too much and become an easy and vulnerable target. Be a good friend and make sure your companion who has had too much to drink arrives home safely.
- Keep your keys ready.
- Property can be replaced, but not lives. If your attacker is armed, it is safer not to resist.
They also provide a few emergency numbers to be noted on your phone: Stellenbosch: 021 808 2333 (via Whatsapp: 082 808 2333); Tygerberg = 021 938 9507
It is quite common for International students staying in Stellenbosch to buy a second hand car and rent it out while they’re done with their course. It probably works out to be the most convenient option.
If this however is out of your budget, you could always opt for the car hire options, that are available in plenty. Many car hiring companies offer variety of schemes, including weekend take offs or longer.
Given that there isn’t a regular bus shuttle service between Stellenbosch and Cape Town, most students opt for the train service. Based on your source and destination, you would have to choose between two stations: Stellenbosch Station on Adam Tas Street, which is on the western edge of Stellenbosch or Du Toit Station, if you’re travelling to the northern part of the city. The Metrorail website details out all the information you would need. Also, be sure to plan well in advance, as the trains also do not ply frequently and are are bound to delays and cancellations. Regular travellers can opt for a weekly or monthly ticket to save some pennies.
Just to be on the safer side, it’s always good to beware of the possible disadvantages as well. Metrorail is often associated with a concerning rate of crimes, especially theft. Many such cases have been reported especially in the Bonteheuwel line. As international students going to Stellenbosch, you could take a few precautions in the first few days before you figure your way out in the city. Avoid boarding the train during peak hours as well as after dark, opt for the 1st class even though it may cost you a bit more and the more obvious tip, travel in a compartment boarded by other people. Also, be sure to keep some buffer time for your travels as experiencing delays and cancels will become a frequent deal.
As an international student moving to Stellenbosch to pursue your studies or internships, you would need to fulfil certain visa procedures. These procedures vary from country to country and depending on the country of your origin, you would need to react accordingly. Please get in touch with the South African consulate in your home country to discuss this in detail. Apart from the specific requirements needed for your country, here are few general documents to take care of if you are an international student visiting Stellenbosch for a volunteering opportunity (This is not a comprehensive list. As mentioned, get in touch with the South African Embassy to get a detailed version).
- The B1-84 form
- Valid Passport
- Visa fee and sufficient funds
- To and fro travel ticket
- Medical clearance
- A yellow fever certificate if you intend to travel across the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America
- Recently taken passport size photographs
As in international student moving to Stellenbosch to volunteer, study or intern, to check if your country is included in the list that does not require a South African Visa, click here.