In this blog post we look at some frequently asked questions about the UCT English language Centre student residence. This is a summary of real questions we get asked by future students and feedback from current and past students about what they think we need to let other students know.
1. Is the residence located close to the school?
Yes, the residence is located very close to the school. It is about 5 minutes walking distance.
2. Is there a half board (catering) option at the residence?
No, the residence is completely self-catering. This means that you will have to prepare your own food in a shared, communal kitchen. The kitchen has a large dining room with tables and chairs for you to eat and socialise with other students.
3. Will I be sharing a room?
No, there is no sharing allowed at the residence. Each student has their own private bedroom with a bed, desk, chair, cupboard, television and fridge.
4. Will I be sharing a bathroom?
No, each room has its own private bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin
5. What is included in the room rental, and what must I supply myself?
Bed linen, blankets, pillows, towels, plates and cutlery are provided to each student. It is advisable to bring coat hangers for hanging up clothes as these frequently go missing. You can either bring them or buy them cheaply upon arrival in Cape Town. Although we do provide an extra warm blanket in winter, you may want to bring your own warmer blanket in the colder months if you prefer.
6. How will I wash my clothes?
There is a laundry service on the 3rd floor of the residence. Laundry is charged per load and you need to drop off your washing in the morning, before class.
7. Are the rooms serviced (cleaned)?
Rooms are given a light clean once a week. There is also cleaning equipment in the kitchen for your own use. If you prefer to clean you own room, you can notify the residence manager.
8. Is there wifi (internet) at the residence?
Each student receives 10GB free Wi-Fi per month at the residence. We find that most students come to campus when they want to make calls back home, or download things because you will have free, uncapped internet access on campus through the university’s WiFi network once you are registered as a student. It is possible to purchase more GB at the residence with a credit card.
9. How safe is the residence?
There is a fingerprint system at the main entrance to the residence downstairs. Upon arrival at the residence your details and fingerprint will be captured and only those students with registered fingerprint ID will have access to the residence. There are CCTV cameras throughout the residence, and each student will receive their own key to their room which they can lock during the day.
10. Is the residence for ELC students only?
No, on some of the other floors in the residence, there are South African and other international long term students from the University of Cape Town and other universities and colleges.
11. Is there a swimming pool and /or garden at the residence?
No, but due to its central location, it takes only 5 minutes to get to the Company’s Gardens and many other open areas for resting, relaxing and enjoying an outside space in the city.
There is a communal room with couches, coffee table, flat screen television and a pool table for socialising and relaxing. This room also boasts some truly spectacular views of the city and Table Mountain.
12. Is the residence located close to banks, shops, restaurants, etc.?
Yes, it is very central and only a few minutes’ walk to everything you need. The residence is also located above a bakery and coffee/shop restaurant where many students gather after school to enjoy a drink together.
13. Can I have visitors at the residence?
You are allowed to have one visitor at a time between 9am and 11pm. Visitors are not allowed to stay over and they are required to leave the building with you if you go out.
14. Can I have a guest sleep over at the residence?
As a general rule, no. However, if you formally request this from the school and the residence manager in advance, then special arrangements can be made for a few nights only, at an additional cost. However, this is not something we encourage. Special permission is given in such instances where a student’s mother / sibling may be visiting for a few days only. Stays longer than a few days are not permitted.
15. What is the alcohol policy at the student residence?
The residence has a strict no alcohol and no smoking policy.
16. What happens if people contravene the residence policies?
Depending on the gravity of the contravention, students will either be fined (the amounts differ according to the type of contravention) or, for something serious, students can face eviction with no refund.
A dedicated residence manager lives on site.
17. What are the rooms like and the residence in general?
The rooms are clean, bright and well appointed, and many of the rooms have excellent views of Table Mountain. As a student residence, it is important to bear in mind that this is not a luxury 5-star hotel. Students are reminded to clean after themselves, be mindful with noise disturbances, bring their own toiletries such as soap/ shampoo/ toothbrush/ toothpaste/toilet paper etc.
18. Can I drink water from the tap?
Yes, you can drink the water in Cape Town from a tap. However, Cape Town is currently experiencing a critical water shortage and water is scarce. Please be mindful of water use – take short showers, only flush the toilet when necessary and report leaks as soon as you see them.
19. How much will food and other grocery shopping items cost me?
If you are on a tight budget and only cook at the residence, then you can manage to live on a minimum of R100 per day (although R150 is more reasonable). This will not include items such as your salt, pepper, peanut butter/jam that you will buy on your first shop to the grocery store.
If you are interested in the cost of living, visit this website to compare prices for items such as bread, milk etc. in South Africa with those in your country:
Do you have any more questions about our student residence? Or have these blog posts helped you make a decision about your accommodation choice and you feel this is not the option for you? Looking for other options? Don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help.