Johannesburg, South Africa's bustling metropolis, is not just the heart of the country's economic activity but also a hub for academic excellence. Home to renowned institutions like the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), it attracts a diverse student population eager to immerse themselves in its vibrant academic and social life.
Central to this experience is finding the right student accommodation Johannesburg has to offer – a task that can be as daunting as it is exciting, especially for those new to the city.
In this comprehensive guide, we aim to simplify your journey, offering insights into the various accommodation options available and tips on making the best choice for your university years in Johannesburg.
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Johannesburg's academic landscape is as diverse as the city itself. With a range of prestigious universities and colleges, each with its unique culture and strengths, the city draws students from across South Africa and the globe.
The University of the Witwatersrand, known for its strong research and academic programs, and the University of Johannesburg, with its wide range of courses and vibrant campus life, are at the forefront of this educational hub.
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These institutions, along with numerous other colleges, create a dynamic student community, making Johannesburg a lively and stimulating environment for young scholars.
Finding the right place to live is crucial to your university experience. In Johannesburg, students have several options:
University Residences: These are located on or near campus grounds, offering the convenience of close proximity to academic facilities and a built-in community of fellow students.
David Webster Hall
Ernest Oppenheimer Hall
South Point Towers
Knockando Halls of Residence
Off-Campus Accredited Residences
There are also various off-campus residences accredited by the university in areas surrounding the campuses.
University Gate: This accommodation is an accredited vendor of Wits University and is suitable for students from Wits, UJ, and all private colleges. It's recognized for welcoming all bursaries and offers a convenient location for students.
Res@Biccard: This is a 7-storey mixed residence located approximately 0.6 km from the main Wits Campus, in the heart of Braamfontein. It caters to young and vibrant students seeking comfortable, convenient, and modern affordable accommodation while enjoying the perks of off-campus life.
Apex Studios: This accommodation is accredited by both NSFAS and Wits University. It provides modern, safe student living options close to the Wits University campus.
Afslaan Sports Residence
Magnolia Women’s Residence (formerly known as Amper Daar)
Impumelelo Female Residence (formerly known as Benjemijn)
Maqhawe Male Residence
Lebone Female Residence
Ikhayalethu Mixed Day-House
Goudstad Mixed Residence
Horizon Female Residence
Kilimanjaro Male Residence
Mayine Mixed Residence
Ndlovukazi Female Residence
Abeilles Mixed Day-House
Akanani Male Residence
Gauta Female Residence
Habitat Male Residence
Kopano Female Residence
Lesedi Female Residence
Phumlani Female Residence
Robin Crest Male Residence
Takalani Female Residence
Private and Off-Campus Accommodations
UJ also endorses various private and off-campus accommodation options for students.
Private Residences: These offer a blend of independence and structure, providing amenities like furnished rooms, utilities, and sometimes even recreational facilities. They're ideal for students seeking a balance between a communal living experience and the autonomy of off-campus life.
Apartments and Houses: For those desiring complete independence, renting an apartment or a house is an attractive option. This choice allows more freedom and space but also requires greater responsibility in terms of managing utilities, rent, and maintenance.
Here are some of the top private and off-campus accommodations for students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
The Campus: Known as the "schweetest" accommodation for students, The Campus is located on the doorstep of UJ and close to Wits. This luxury student accommodation is situated on Streatley Avenue, adjacent to Campus Square Shopping Centre in Auckland Park, providing easy access to university facilities and city amenities.
The Richmond: Located just a 4-minute walk (600m) from the University of Johannesburg, The Richmond offers convenient and accessible living options for students. This proximity makes it an excellent choice for those looking to stay close to the campus.
Quintal Student Accommodation: Situated in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg, Quintal offers stylish and convenient student living with 471 beds available. It provides fully equipped apartments for students at both the University of Johannesburg and the University of Wits, making it a versatile choice for students from either university.
Braamlofts: Braamlofts is known for providing compact accommodation in the heart of Johannesburg, catering specifically to the needs of students. Located on Biccard Street in central Braamfontein, Braamlofts consists of 60 units, housing a total of 142 student residents. Each unit, designed for sharing between two students, includes essential bedroom furnishings, microwaves, fridges, a study desk, and a chair. The kitchens in each unit are equipped with a fridge and stove.
Choosing the right student accommodation is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your university experience. When considering off-campus apartments or houses, here are some key factors to guide your decision-making process.
Understand the UJ Neighbourhoods: Familiarize yourself with areas like Auckland Park, Melville, and Westdene, which are popular among UJ students. Consider the culture, lifestyle, and student vibe of these areas. Auckland Park, for instance, is a student hub due to its proximity to the UJ campus.
Proximity to your Campus: Evaluate how close the accommodation is to your specific UJ campus. Being near to campus can save travel time and costs.
Local Amenities and Student Lifestyle: Look for neighbourhoods that support a student lifestyle. Auckland Park and surrounding areas are known for their cafes, student-friendly restaurants, and social spaces. Check for amenities like libraries, study areas, and places to relax and socialize.
Safety in the Area: Research the safety of the neighbourhood. UJ students often prioritize areas with good security measures and a reputation for being student-friendly and safe.
Cultural Fit: Each neighbourhood around UJ has its own character. Whether you prefer a quiet, study-focused environment or a lively, social atmosphere, choose a place that aligns with your personal preferences and academic needs.
Consult UJ Student Resources: UJ offers resources and advice for students seeking accommodation. Utilize these to gain insights and tips specific to the university community.
Connect with Current Students: Reach out to current UJ students or student council / forums to get firsthand information about living in different areas. They can provide valuable insights into what it's really like to live in these neighbourhoods.
Transport Links: Consider the availability of public transport, especially the Rea Vaya BRT system, which can be a cost-effective way to commute to campus and around the city.
Budget According to Johannesburg Costs: Be mindful of your budget, considering the cost of living in Johannesburg . Factor in not just rent, but also utilities, food, and entertainment.
Adaptability: Be prepared for a different lifestyle compared to campus living. This includes managing household tasks, dealing with landlords, and integrating into a local community.
Johannesburg, known for its dynamic and diverse student population, offers a variety of neighbourhoods that cater to different lifestyles and preferences. Here are some of the top neighbourhoods for students in Johannesburg, highlighting their unique characteristics and what they offer:
Location: Southwest of Johannesburg's city centre.
Key Features: Home to the University of Johannesburg, giving it a youthful and vibrant atmosphere. It's known for its variety of eateries, pubs, and cafes, especially around the bustling 7th Street.
Lifestyle: Lively environment frequented by locals and students. Proximity to Melville Koppies Nature Reserve offers outdoor recreation and picturesque hikes.
Accessibility: Well-connected to other popular neighbourhoods like Braamfontein and Melville.
Location: Just north of Johannesburg’s city centre.
Key Features: This historic suburb is renowned for its beautiful old mansions, leafy streets, and historical significance. The area is dotted with well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian-era homes.
Lifestyle: Home to Johannesburg Zoo and Constitution Hill, a former prison turned museum, offering a mix of cultural and recreational activities.
Atmosphere: Picturesque and charming, suitable for those who appreciate a blend of history and modern city life.
Location: West of Johannesburg’s city centre.
Key Features: Known for its bohemian atmosphere, trendy restaurants, and eclectic mix of shops. Gleneagles Road is a popular strip with various dining options and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Lifestyle: Close to Johannesburg Botanical Garden and Emmerentia Park and Dam, providing students with ample opportunity to get outdoors.
Atmosphere: Artsy vibe, diverse culinary offerings, and energetic nightlife.
Location: Central Johannesburg, close to Wits University.
Key Features: Urban regeneration has led to trendy and well-managed student blocks with canteens, games rooms, gyms, and study halls. Bustling with new shops, restaurants, and markets. Braamfontein is where it’s at.
Lifestyle: Vibrant, urban student life with excellent public transport options.
Atmosphere: A mix of modern student living with an energetic city vibe.
Location: Near UJ campus.
Key Features: Renovated student accommodations offering value for money. Close to educational institutions and urban amenities.
Lifestyle: Urban and convenient, with a growing student community.
Atmosphere: A blend of modern student living and city life, suitable for those seeking a dynamic environment.
In the diverse and dynamic city of Johannesburg, finding the right student accommodation is key to a fulfilling university experience. Each neighbourhood offers its unique charm and conveniences, catering to different lifestyles and needs.
Whether you're drawn to the bustling streets of Braamfontein, the historic elegance of Parktown, or the vibrant spirit of Auckland Park, there's a place for everyone.
As you embark on this exciting journey of discovery, remember to consider your personal preferences, lifestyle, and academic needs. And once you've found your ideal home away from home, let Wise Move make your transition smooth and stress-free. With our reliable and student-friendly moving services, you can focus on starting your new chapter in Jozi with ease and confidence. Choose wisely, and let Wise Move help you take the first step towards an unforgettable university adventure in Johannesburg!
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