The Ultimate Guide to find Student Accommodation in Cape Town as an international or Exchange student
Finding affordable accommodation in Cape Town as an international student can be a pain the in the ass. Unlike what most people think, accommodation in Cape Town is not cheap! Actually, the housing marketing in Cape Town is BOOMING! This made the prices for the Real Estate go up, including the prices for student accommodation in most areas in Cape Town, including Stellenbosch. In addition there is a huge demand for affordable student accommodation in the most popular areas in Cape Town and the demand outperforms the supply. This is what many students realize when start hunting for accommodation late in the season that most accommodation options are fully booked. So how do you find affordable student accommodation in Cape Town in the right areas?
The first thing you need to do in which neighborhood you want to stay. The price differences between certain neighborhoods in Cape Town can be as much as 300%. Of which some are located in city center and other or more located outside Cape Town city center. You can find a description on the most popular neighborhood in Cape Town to live for international students here.
In short: the most popular neighborhoods for exchange students are: Observatory, BO-Kaap, Greenpoint, Seapoint, Gardens and Rondebosch.
When you know which neighborhoods you possibly would like to stay you need to make a monthly budget. The most affordable rooms in Cape Town are between 300- and 450USD. More expensive rooms are between 450- and 600USD per month. The prices of the rooms vary per: neighborhood, size of the room, facilities (swimming pool, parking spots, security). Make sure you check if utilities are included, such as: Gas/Water/Electricity, Wi-Fi etc. If Electricity is not included it can happen that you need to buy electricity with a Pre-paid card. This can be done in most supermarkets and other stores. Always’ make sure your that accommodation is secured! Most houses and other accommodations offer a 24/7 security service.
Especially for international / exchange students is it important to check both your landlord and who your flat mates will be. International students who stay with other international students have often a better time. This is because other international students are in the same spot as you are and thus most of the times will the same mind set. They are more willing to adapt, to fun things, hang around to together etc. While national students might not want to spend more time you, and rather with their own friends, side-job, focus on their studies etc. Therefore it is wise to check with your landlord what type of students are occupying the other rooms.
Now that you know the possible neighborhood and your budget it clear is time to actually start looking for affordable and quality accommodation. There are several things you can do:
1. Check the internet.
When checking the internet you can simply Google student accommodation for exchange students in Cape Town or student accommodation Cape Town and several options will pop up.
But you can also use websites like Gumtree (South Africa’s EBay). There are always some landlords who offer their accommodation on Gumtree. However, the quality is not always guaranteed. With websites like Gumtree where you can get in contact with landlords directly always be careful with paying deposits upfront. To avoid scams you can also use student accommodation websites. The best website in Cape Town is: Student Rooms Abroad . All landlords are pre-screened and most of the times you pay a deposit to the website and not to the landlord. This makes sure you will not be scammed or become a victim or fraud. Student Rooms Abroad is the most affordable and safest bookings platform for booking your student accommodation abroad.
2. The second option is to ask internship agencies located in Cape Town if they have spare rooms for exchange students. Internship agencies like IO Cape Town have many contacts throughout Cape Town to place their own incoming exchange students for accommodation. In some cases they even have their own houses renting out to their students. In Cape Town these agencies most of times charge a fee starting from $150. But you will be assured of living with other international students and the flats are often located in the better neighborhoods.
3. Use Facebook Groups: such as:
There are many Facebook groups u can use. Of them is: Exchange Student Cape Town – SRA. Here both students as landlords might reply you your request. The students often have valuable experience to share with you and can get you in direct contact with their previous landlord or that from their friends who did their internship or exchange semester in Cape Town. But be careful on some Facebook groups scammers are highly active! Since they understand the need from international students and they try to make advantage of their difficult position of being over overseas.