Leaving high school and moving away from home for the first time can be a challenging experience. So it’s important to ensure that if you’re going into a residence that it shares the same values and aspirations that you have.

If you’re looking for a positive environment, where you’re treated as an adult, and are encouraged to achieve your potential both in and out of the classroom then Academia is for you. Through our activities and projects we aim to promote our core values of Respect, Honour, Kinship and Excellence.

First year residents get special attention. They undergo a number of university-supported programmes designed specifically to help students integrate into the university way of life as, hopefully, this will be your home for the next three or four years.

One such initiative is the Academia Welcoming Programme, which is aimed at introducing you to the academic, institutional and social values of the University and Academia. The programme will provide you with important information about life in Academia, the town of Stellenbosch and the opportunity to experience the Matie culture while making new friends.

The Welcoming Programme is compulsory. In addition to getting to know fellow first-year students, there are language placement tests that are a prerequisite to University registration. Mentors and senior students from the Academia Leadership Circle (ALC) will assist newcomers with the registration process, making sure that everything goes well and without hassles.

Importantly, there’s also a session for parents to attend in the large hall on Academia campus.

A First Years’ Booklet, explaining the programme in more detail and introducing the ALC, is emailed to newcomers in early December. it can also be downloaded from the ‘downloads’ section of the website.

Tips on sharing accommodation

For many students the move to university accommodation is the first time they will live on their own. This change can be quite an adjustment and often means that chores like cooking and washing will be new experiences.

While you may have grown up living with siblings, or this may be your first time sharing your living space with someone else, having a roommate can have its challenges. It can also be a great part of your university experience.

Here are some tips to help you and your roommate keep things pleasant and supportive throughout the year (or even years!).

Be honest and clear from the beginning about your likes and dislikes.
If you’re unhappy about something address it with your roommate early, before it becomes a major issue.

  • Respect your roommate’s stuff.
  • Be considerate of who you bring into your room and how often.
  • Lock your door when you go out.
  • Respect each other with regards to exam timetables or test series etc.
  • Be friendly without expecting to be best friends.
  • Be open to new things.
  • Be open to change.
  • Follow the Golden rule: Treat your roommate like you’d like to be treated.