One of the perks of joining the UCT English Language Centre is the ability to participate in and join many different UCT clubs and societies as a UCT student. Remember that learning a language is not about sitting in a classroom and going home to learn irregular verbs and vocabulary only. Speaking English in a natural context will help you improve faster than you know it! And the bonus is that you get to make some friends, and learn a whole lot of new things at the same time!
We did a bit of investigating and picked some random clubs and societies that students may be interested in and found out the following:
If you like tennis, then this club is perfect because not only will you get to enjoy your sport of choice, but you can also meet new people, practice your English and all of this in “one of the most beautiful settings a club could ask for!”, according to the Tennis Club. Based at Upper Campus, this also entails hopping on the Jammie Shuttle from Hiddingh Campus just 15 minutes away.
Location: On upper Ring Road above UCT’s upper campus, at the foot of Table Mountain and just below Rhodes Memorial.
Membership: Free to all UCT students on presentation of a student card
Practice Times: Monday: 5pm – 6pm Beginners / 6pm – 7pm Intermediates
Wednesday : 5 – 6pm Ladies 3rd Team / 6pm – 7m Men’s 3rd and 4th Team
Thursday: 5.30pm – 7pm Men’s and Ladies 1st and 2nd Teams
Friday: 4pm – 7pm Internal League
If you would like to join a gym and get fit, or improve your fitness levels, then you may want to consider using the UCT gym. Although it does cost a bit for membership, it is far cheaper than any commercial gyms in the City and is also only available to UCT staff and students. Based at Lower campus, you can hop in the Jammie Shuttle bus service from Hiddingh Campus after your English classes and head on to the gym before catching the Jammmie back into town, if you are staying at the ELC student residence.
Location: Lower Campus close to Graça Machel Hall women’s residence.
Membership: Limited to UCT staff and students, R550 per year / Off peak membership R300 per year (Off peak members can only use the UCT Gym between 08h30 and 15h00, Mondays to Sundays).
Opening Times: Throughout the year, from 06h00 to 21h00, Mondays to Fridays, and from 08h00 to 19h00, Saturdays and Sundays. Times differ during vacation.
Other: Aerobics classes take place in the Fitness Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Do you enjoy dancing? Well, this student run society welcomes dancers of any level, even if you have never danced before. Also at Upper campus, it also means hopping a Jammie shuttle, but that’s what they are for!
Location: Molly Blackburn Hall on Upper Campus (watch this student video showing you exactly how to get there)
Membership: UCT students – R500 annual membership fee for 2016 / no over 30 year olds
Practice: Tuesdays and Thursday from 5-6pm for beginners (more information available on their website)
If sport is not really for you, then how about singing? The UCT Choir holds auditions to join in their choir, which is open to all UCT students. You can contact them for audition times and venue, and all the other information you have. If you get in, then you can expect to practice every Monday and Thursday from 7pm – 9pm. I wonder if one of our future English students is a budding singer?
If none of the above sounds like your thing, this does not mean you cannot also join and participate in a number of other societies. For the religious students there is everything from the Muslim Youth Movement and UCT Student Christian Fellowship, to Trees of Life Multiracial Church.
If you would like to combine your English language learning experience in Cape Town and give back to the community at the same time, then you can also join a number of community based not-for-profit organizations. For example, the Golden Future Project is, according to their Facebook page, “a non-profit community outreach program. We are a student-run society at the University of Cape Town and are involved with weekly tutoring and mentoring of high school students from Khayelitsha.” Habitat for Humanity, on the other hand, concerns itself with housing as it “envisages a world where decent housing is provided to all, and through extensive fundraising and donor pledges strives towards constructing affordable and comfortable houses in partnership with people in need.”. Enactus is “A community of students, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.”
So, what are you waiting for! Join us at UCT English Language Centre and become a part of the greater University of Cape Town student community. Take the opportunity to practice your English with other students in a natural and fun way, and make many new friends along the way. And if that doesn’t quite suit you, you can always try some of these ideas from teacher Christelle.