Should I really complete my studies in Cape Town? This is a question asked by many students. Whether you are a South African student moving to Cape Town or a student studying abroad in South Africa, it is a question that lies with you at night keeping you awake.
Speaking from personal experience I can relate to the fears associated with moving to a new town, let me put your mind at ease… Here is why you should come to study in Cape Town.
1. Four Seasons in a Day
There is no need to worry about the weather channel here in Cape Town, the weather changes constantly. If things are too cloudy for you, give it an hour or two, and things will clear right up!
If security is your main concern, no reason to fret, the CBD offers 24/7 security guards all over town, patrolling the streets, keeping us all safe.
3. Home Cooking
Let’s be honest, as a first-time student it takes a while to learn to live on your own. So, if you are missing Mom’s home cooking you’ll find various Bazaar buffet shops all over town, suited to all your dietary needs as well as your student budget.
4. Public Transport
As a student moving to Cape Town, it’s not always the best idea to bring your car along. The city offers a reliable and affordable public transport system namely the ‘My City” bus system. It takes you where you need to go all over town from Melkbos to Camps Bay. Just remember to top-up your card at any of the various bus stations.
5. Fresh Air
City living can sometimes be a bit stressful and you might need to get outside, get some fresh air, and have a break from your dorm room. If so, there are benches at the Company Gardens, the Botanic Gardens, or take in the sunset at the beach. There you can relax or read a book.
6. Local Culture
If you want to get a feel for the local culture, Cape Town is the perfect place. You don’t need to look far. With the many museums and art galleries all over the place you will never be bored.
7. Coffee, its everywhere
If, like me, you need a strong Cup of Joe to get ready for that 9am lecture every morning – my fellow caffeine addicts, I have good news: there’s a coffee shop around almost every corner and the best part, most of them offer student discounts so, have a tall latte – you deserve it.
8. Free Wifi
You have an assignment due but oh wait, you’re out of data? Well salvation is at hand, free Wifi hotspots are available all over town, you just need to know where to look. Ask a fellow student and they will let you know where some of them are – and then look for the signs around town to discover others.
9. Good food, great people.
Besides fast food restaurants being widely available, you’ll find some of the best burger joints in the country right here in the city center. Vegan? Not a problem – I had the pleasure of having a few vegetarian meals and burgers and sometimes find myself asking, is this really not meat?
10. Have a Sweet Tooth?
After a long exam, you need something sweet, something chocolatey, something extraordinary. Well, let’s just say your diet will fly out the window. Bakeries are everywhere offering some of the most delicious confectionaries I have ever tasted. This really is the culinary capital of South Africa in more ways than one.
Once you are used to something a bit stronger than gin, you might find yourself becoming an expert on all things cocktails, and the city is more than willing to satisfy your new-found curiosity, just remember to drink responsibly.
12. Night Life
Friday nights were not made for lounging at home. Welcome to Long Street, most famous for its bubbly nightlife. With countless bars and night-clubs offering happy hour almost on the hour, you will be able to get your fill even with your student budget
13. Books, they’re everywhere
It is said that knowledge is power and if you are a bit of a bookworm, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the various historic libraries all over town with endless options of possible reading material.
14. The Beaches are Amazing
I guess the nice thing about living at the very tip of south Africa are the beaches. Cape Town is part of the split between the Atlantic and Indian ocean, one with warm water the other a bit colder. The perfect Saturday breakaway for any student.
15. Weekend get-away
After a long exam season of hitting the books day-in and day-out, a break is long overdue. There are various campsites and guesthouses suited to your student budget without sacrificing a vacation spot with a view.
Photo Credit Zane van Zyl
A popular student hotspot in Cape Town would have to be Stellenbosch, offering various wine farms with the original historic buildings still intact, sees to an outing not soon to be forgotten, complimented by an affordable wine tasting. Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the area, it’s hard not to.
Staying on the theme of wine, if you have never heard of First-Thursday then you and I have lived under the same rock. I only recently discovered this monthly event. This event focuses on combining good wine with local art and music, mostly for FREE, if you know where to go. Once you are here ask someone on campus and they will let you in on the secret.
18. Losing Track of Time
Sometimes you just want the day to be over with, go home and sit on the couch. You’ll be happy to know we have an ‘alarm’ that goes off every day at noon. This is called Noon Gun. For students, this means half the day is over and home time is on the way.
From Beerfest to Prawn festivals, these are some of the annual events on the Cape Town community calendar. You have to make time for as many as you can.
20. The view
Where else but in Cape Town can you study with a view like this!
So what are you waiting for? Come and study in Cape Town – you won’t regret it!