How to Get a Student Accommodation in South Africa

No matter how long your study was in South Africa, you have to find yourself a place to stay. This depends on your living preference, budget, and university you select. In this article, we will discuss how to get student accommodation in South Africa.

The thing that also depends on whether your studies in the country are organized through an exchange program or yourself. Here you are some available options:

Foreign Students with International Exchange Programs

Each exchange organization has different types of programs. You have to know what your program covers in terms of the type of accommodation and funding.

Some programs will arrange accommodation for you in the university residence, and others organize hosting families. Other programs might have completely different arrangements. 

Accommodation Arrangements

When inquiring about the accommodation arrangements with your program, you have to ask about the costs and arrangements related to the accommodation. For example, if you are going to stay in the university residence, will the program pay for your meals?

Usually, the organization has information about accommodation on the internet. But, you may have to contact them to get more specific details.

The more you ask and check, the more you will know how much is covered and arranged.

Foreign Students with Partnership Programs

If you are a foreign student in one of the partnership universities, you have to know the accommodation arrangements from your international office. These arrangements might differ according to each partnership.

Some universities provide you with a budget for your accommodation abroad. But, it’s up to you how you spend it, and what kind of accommodation you organize. In other cases, the partnership program might include pre-arranged accommodation.

Full-time International Students in South Africa

If you are a full-time international student, your available accommodation options are the same as those available for the local student.

Types and Cost of Student Accommodation in South Africa

Most of the universities in South Africa offer some types of accommodation for students, such as shared apartments or private rooms.

Some accommodations come with an additional benefit, resembled in meal plans and the accessibility of student food courts.

Moreover, student accommodation could be a good option if you are an international student who wants to participate in social activities with other students. You can also save money if you do not want to spend much on furnishing an apartment. The rooms usually include furniture.

Costs of student accommodation in South Africa vary between R3,500 and R8,500 per month for on-campus housing and from R9,500 for independent off-campus rooms.

University Residence

Local and international students’ first choice when it comes to student accommodation, on-campus residence is also a convenient option. Students don’t have to go through long distances to go to school, but also have easy access to university activities. 

If you live in university residence, you will have the choice between a single room in a dormitory or a shared double room with a roommate. In that case, you will share a common area and a bathroom with other students. 

Eight of the top universities in South Africa offer student accommodation. It is usually located on the university campus or near it. In case it was a little further, the university offers transportation to guarantee an easy transfer between the residence and the campus.

In general, You have to be a full-time student to be qualified to get a place in the residence. But, some universities have options for the exchange students. To learn more about the admission requirements and application process, contact the residence offices at your university.

Find out here about these top universities in South Africa

Private Off-campus Accommodation

Off-site student accommodation in South Africa include private apartment, large private residences as well as shared student houses. In most cases, if you opt for a shared residence, kitchen and bathroom are shared with other students. But there are some off-campus accommodations in which some rooms come with their own bathroom. 

Prices for this time of accommodation range up to R25,000 per month, from shared apartments to larger private apartments. Also, you have to take account of the city in which you will reside. Student accommodation in Johannesburg will cost you more than one in other big cities like Pretoria, Durban and Pretoria. 

How do I Find a Student Accommodation in South Africa?

You can find accommodation through the real estate gateways or agents who do not only help the international students, but also the South Africans who search for accommodation. Like any other place in the world, you will find people who try to use the students through fake ads. This makes the gateways and agents the ideal tool for the students.

When browsing every student housing option available, you have to consider factors like transport routes, transportation, the proximity of the accommodation to the university and the city in which you are looking for a place to live. For off-site housings, you have also to consider other basic utilities such as water, cable TV, electricity and internet and check if these are included or not in the housing cost. 

To search for student accommodation in South Africa, websites like come in very handy. Moreover, you can even search for a housing using filters like price ranges, number of rooms, furnishing, type of accommodation, …

Check our articles about the costs of studying and living in South Africa and how to get a study visa in South Africa.

About Sara

A professional Eng><Ara translator and writer.

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