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Stellenbosch Student Accommodation | Complete Guide for New Students

What are the best areas for students to live in Stellenbosch? In this guide, we'll help you find the best Stellenbosch Student Accommodation for your needs!
Havana Dauncey
Stellenbosch Student Accommodation | Complete Guide for New Students

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Stellenbosch might be a small town, but it’s packed with student accommodation to suit every need. You just have to find the right one for you.

Known locally as Stellies, this special town is designed for students in every way — starting with its student accommodation. Let’s unpack everything you need to know to find the perfect Stellenbosch student accommodation!

The Main Areas in Stellenbosch For Student Accommodation

Stellies is unique in that you can walk two streets across and you’ll enter a whole new world. Here are the main areas for student accommodation in Stellenbosch, divided by Stellies’ main streets and including their surrounding smaller streets:

Victoria Street, Stellenbosch

Victoria Street, Stellenbosch - Image courtesy of the Stellenbosch University

  • Victoria Street and Merriman Avenue: This is the closest to campus you can get including the whole mix of student residences, digs and apartments.

  • Church Street and Dorp Street: This is the hub of student nightlife and contains mostly apartments.

  • Banghoek Road and Cluver Road: Still minutes away from campus, this is where you’ll find most of the private residences and digs.

  • Andringa Street and Bird Street: These hug the mall and are packed with big apartment blocks.

  • Surrounding suburbs: Die Boord, Krigeville, Dennesig, La Colline and Cloetesville sit just outside of the town centre which includes mostly apartments, digs and townhouses.

Stellenbosch is also very close to Cape Town and if you do have your own transport there may be a few other neighborhouds worth considering:

Best Places To Live In Cape Town | Top Areas and Neighbourhoods 2023

7 Factors to Consider | Choosing The Best Area For Student Accommodation in Stellenbosch:

  • Proximity to campus: You want to minimise your daily commute, whether it’s walking, driving or cycling, to and from campus, especially if you’re a first year, and depending on the buildings for your faculty are located.

  • Transportation: Most students walk to campus, so student accommodation closer to campus is a plus; unless you apply and pay for a registered parking spot, finding parking near campus is a nightmare.

  • Type of accommodation: You’ll often find certain types of accommodation packed into certain areas around Stellies.

  • Safety: Unfortunately, the safety levels around Stellies vary; if safety is a priority, staying closer to campus where there’s campus security may be better.

  • Shopping: Especially without a form of transport, staying within walking distance to a grocery shop will make your life as a student 10 times easier; a few of the main shops include Eikestad Mall, Spar on Cluver Street, Checkers on Dorp Street and the Paul Roos Kwikspar.

  • Food: Being close to the Neelsie is always a bonus! Best food at the best prices. Morning coffees and chai tea have never been so good.
  • Nightlife: Stellies is known for its nightlife, so it’s helpful to consider whether you’re a night owl looking for buzzing nighttime energy, or someone who prefers some peace and quiet (Hint: areas closer to the restaurants, bars, clubs and digs tend to come with more nighttime buzz).

  • Access to nature: One step outside of Stellies’ town centre is the majestic slopes of the Coetzenburg mountains and the expansive Jonkershoek nature reserve, so if you love having nature on your doorstep, this is another factor to consider.

  • Budget: Stellenbosch student accommodation ranges from modest to luxury, often depending on the area, so you’ll need to consider the quality of accommodation and your price range when choosing the best area for you.

The 4 Types Of Stellenbosch Student Accommodation

Student Residences

Student residences are student housing arranged and managed by Stellenbosch University. You get female, male and co-ed residences. Residences are best likened to boarding houses, comprised mostly of two-person dorm rooms with some single rooms often kept for older students.

The student residences in Stellenbosch are each unique in their traditions and communities. Each student residence hosts plenty of events and dances throughout the year, has its own sports teams and offers leadership opportunities such as mentors and house committees. They are also mostly found within a few minute walking distance of campus.

To stay at a student residence, you have to apply through and be placed by Stellenbosch University. This is the perfect option for students looking for an effortless integration into student life with lots of support and lots (and lots) of students around them.

Here are the names of Stellenbosch University’s student residences:

  • Female residences: Nemesia, Erica, Minerva, Harmonie, Irene, Monica, Heemstede, Lydia, Nerina, Huis ten Bosch, Sonop and Serruria

  • Male residences: Dagbreek, Huis Visser, Eendrag, Majuba, Helderberg, Simonsberg, Helshoogte, Wilgenhof and Huis Marais

  • Co-ed residences: Metanoia, Russel Botman House and Goldfields

Privates Residences

Private residences are a combination of student residences and apartments. They offer students a bit more independence, as they aren’t affiliated with Stellenbosch University. But they still provide some support, community and security from a well-managed organisation.

Most private residences offer both two-person and single-room flatlets, which usually include a shared bathroom and a small kitchen. They often come furnished with a convenient list of amenities such as WiFi, parking, a common room and a cleaning service. They can also vary from basic to luxury, depending on your price range.

Popular private residences include Academia, Campus Key, One on Cluver and Two on Cluver, Nooitgedacht and loads more. They are mostly located around Banghoek Street or Cluver Street.

Digs

The term ‘Digs’ can cover a wide spectrum of student accommodation, but generally, it refers to a house of 5-25 members, often rented out by room and including a range of amenities from WiFi and DSTV to a weekly cleaning service and sometimes, if you’re lucky a pool. While digs can be found sprinkled across Stellies, they are mostly concentrated in the area surrounding Banghoek Road, Soeteweide Road and Verreweide Road.

Digs are a great option for more social students who enjoy being around a lot of people. You also get popular digs that are known for their distinct names, such as Tree House or Jungle Gym, and their massive parties, known as dig jols. They can be a great way to meet lots of new people and find a community of like-minded students.

Apartments And Townhouses

This is probably the most popular form of Stellenbosch student accommodation. Apartments can be found on every single street in Stellies. While this means that you have a lot of options to choose from, it can make finding the perfect one for you a bit tricky.

Apartments usually range from bachelor flats to 3-bedroom flats and are arranged directly with the landlord of each apartment. Depending on the landlord and your lease, different amenities are included — often water is included, but electricity, wifi, a cleaning service and sometimes parking aren’t. They also usually include some form of security.

While apartments do come with a bit more maintenance and little less support, it also comes with complete freedom and independence which is a big draw for many students.

The same applies to townhouses. These are often found within estates and tend to be between 3 and 5 bedrooms. Townhouses also come with other great bonuses such as a community, some extra space, possibly a small garden and sometimes even a pool!

There are a few estates near the town centre, like Jonkerzicht for example, but most estates are found just outside of town, such as Berg-en-Del and Welgevonden, making them especially popular for postgraduate students.

This can be an appealing factor if you’re looking for student accommodation outside of the hustle and bustle of Stellenbosch, but it does also mean that you have to drive into campus which can be a pain without a registered parking spot.

Student Accommodation Cost in Stellenbosch

Stunning image of Stellenbosch by Erhardt Thiel - Source: Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch student accommodation ranges in price, depending on the type of accommodation you’re looking for, the area and of course the quality — whether you just want the basics or are looking for luxury.

How Much Is The Average Student Accommodation In Stellenbosch Per Week?

The average student accommodation per week is around R1 500, with the average monthly rental price of student accommodation in Stellenbosch being between R5 000 and R8 000. However, accommodation in Stellenbosch does extend both and above that, this is the most common range you’ll find.

Is Student Housing Cheaper Than Private Accommodation?

Yes. While there are exceptions, student housing, as in student residences, does tend to be cheaper than private accommodation, referring to private residences, digs, apartments and townhouses.

Here’s a comparison of the average annual cost of student housing vs private accommodation:

Remember that private accommodation prices are much more diverse and student accommodation can be found on either side of that range. Also be aware that electricity, cleaning, laundry and sometimes WiFi, aren’t always included in private accommodation and are extra costs to be considered.

Does NSFAS Pay For Private Accommodation?

NSFAS is the Nation Student Financial Aid Scheme and the main scholarship program for university students across the country, covering university fees, living expenses and a monthly allowance.

So yes! NSFAS does pay for private accommodation, but the amount they supply depends on your university. At Stellenbosch University, for instance, NSFAS places a maximum cap of R5 970 for students utilising private accommodation. Also bear in mind that the private accommodation must be NSFAS accredited.

If you want to get a good idea of what living in and around Stellenbosch is going to set you back each month, we've got you covered:

When And Where Should You Start Looking For Student Accommodation In Stellenbosch?

Stellenbosch student accommodation can fill up really quickly. Leases often cover one year and most students move multiple times throughout their time at university, giving them a diverse university experience. This means there are many students racing to secure the student accommodation of their choice.

So if you want to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for, the best time to start looking is July or August of the year prior.

Where are the best places to start looking for student accommodation? Well, it depends on the type of accommodation you’re looking for. For example, student residences are organised through Stellenbosch University.

To find out more about private residences, the best thing to do is to look them up online, with popular ones being Academia, Campus Key and Nooitgedacht. Student Life and Stellies Student Stay are also great websites to check out, hosting a wide variety of private residences throughout Stellies.

You have to do a bit more digging when it comes to digs, apartments and townhouses. Start with estate agency websites, such as Private Property, Property24 and Anna Basson. Digsconnect is also another great resource for students looking for a room in an apartment or house to rent.

There are also a bunch of Facebook groups, such as Stellenbosch Accommodation, Student Accommodation Stellenbosch and Stellenbosch Rentals, where landlords post ads for available student accommodation.

Additionally, the hub of Stellenbosch student life on Instagram, @sujustkidding, is also a surprisingly effective method of not only finding student accommodation but also asking if anyone knows of available accommodation that matches your criteria. These options on social media are particularly helpful when trying to find last-minute accommodation.

Stellenbosch has almost 30 000 students, so make sure you secure your accommodation as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Stellenbosch is a one-of-a-kind student town bursting with energy, variety and lots of gees! From a concrete jungle to mountain landscapes, nightlife to daytime fun, the basics to luxury, buzzing crowds of students to peaceful, spacious retreats — you’re guaranteed to find the best student accommodation in Stellenbosch for you!

And you’ve also found the best moving service for moving day! With Wise Move, no matter what you need to be delivered, our team will get it there door-to-door at a price that suits your student budget. Click here to find out more!

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