The Advantages and Disadvantages of Staying in Off-campus Accommodation in South Africa

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Most students apply to res and they do not get it as demand is greater than the universities can supply, other students do not even apply to res and go live in off-campus accommodation. The lucky ones financially speaking are the ones who can still stay at home while attending varsity because all they have to worry about is tuition and traveling fees. In our previous post related to accommodation at university we spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Res, today we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of living in off campus accommodation.

staying off campus in varsity
image by @clarencesdb

 Advantages of living off campus

- There are less rules than in residence depending on where you stay e.g you can have overnight guests, parties and bring in alcohol in glass bottles etc. but this all depends on the type of place you live and how many people live there. The less people the better.

- It’s cheaper. It’s usually possible to find cheap places if you start looking early (although in Cape town accommodation tends to be more expensive than in the other cities around South Africa)

- Teaches you to be independent, you learn things like how to budget so that your allowance lasts the whole month or almost the whole month (that last week is always rough hey), you learn to live by yourself without any adult supervision unlike res where there are still like authority figures.

- If you are lucky enough to find your own place and you have the finances you can get a bachelor/studio apartment or like a granny flat then you have the benefit of not having to share a kitchen and bathroom with strangers and you can pretty much do what you want e.g if you are the quiet type you can chill and read your books and play your chilled music, or if you are the noisy type of person you can enjoy yourself without bothering others. In res people complain if you make noise and you may end up getting fined or your sound system confiscated if you don’t consider other people and are always making a noise.

Disadvantages of living off campus

- You have to cook for yourself, if you can’t cook you will have to learn or else you will live on take-aways and get broke before the month is over.

- If your place doesn’t have laundry facilities you have to hand-wash or send your clothes to a laundry place that you have to pay for (or you can go wash your clothes in res if you got friends in a close by res).

- Unless you have a car you have to live close to your varsities transport system, but accommodation close to varsity tends to be more expensive. If you stay too far away from school you have to pay for public transport so you have to calculate which one will be cheaper for you or more convenient. I personally don’t like living far because it gives me another excuse to bunk lectures.

- Off campus accommodation is not as safe as living in res so sometimes criminals target students and mug them so be careful where you choose to stay and where you walk at night when returning from school or a night out.

- It’s hard to find nice, and affordable off-campus accommodation, most places advertised online are crappy places and will disappoint you when you go and view them. And paying for a place before you view it is not advised.

- You have to deal with irritating landlords although some landlords are chilled and understanding.

So there you have it maybe there are some things I missed, you can share those in the comments section. Living in res and living off campus has its pros and cons, the person who has the option to go to res has lots of things to consider. 

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