Digs On Church Post take advantage of all Cape Town has to offer 2 v2

How easy is it to take advantage of all Cape Town has to offer as a local student?

Doing a quick search for top places to study, Cape Town often comes up first on local and even global lists, with study abroad programmes touting it as a must-pick destination. But it’s no surprise. Apart from its natural beauty and being home to one of the world’s seven natural wonders – Table Mountain – it also boasts some of the most impressive academic institutions in South Africa, with the University of Cape Town (UCT) ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide. And that’s just one institute. If that wasn’t enough, in 2014, it won the title of World Design Capital, according to This is Cape Town, in recognition of its blend of heritage, innovation, diversity and creative talent.

If you need more than world-recognised academia, you’ve got it. Cape Town is home to seemingly infinite outdoor activities all framed by breathtaking landscapes – from mountain biking to hiking, trail runs and team sports, there’s something for everyone, not forgetting the pristine beaches. Cape Town was actually one of the first non-European cities to be awarded Blue Flag status for its beaches. There’s no excuse not to dip your toes in.

And if the rugged outdoors isn’t for you, you can leisurely browse countless markets, shop up a storm at the V&A Waterfront, sample delectable cuisine at The Pot Luck Club, get your cultural fill at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and much more.

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It all sounds amazing. But what about effort?

The opportunities are endless for students both foreign and local, but if you are a local student, taking advantage of all of this may be routine. But the question we want to ask is: How much effort does it take?

If you live in Durbanville but study at UCT, you’re looking at a roughly 35-minute drive if traffic is blissfully light (when is it ever?), and you haven’t forgotten an essential textbook. This doesn’t provide a lot of wiggle room for spontaneity. Activities need to be planned, swimsuits must be packed, and if a project suddenly requires a massive library book check-out, there go your evening plans.

More than that, research suggests that students who commute are less likely to interact with faculty members, be involved in clubs and internships, feel connected to their institution overall, and even less likely to complete their degrees. Now, this isn’t the same for everybody, and there are other factors at play, like whether you’re working a part-time job, have a family, and what financial resources you have at your disposal. But on the whole, the research is in favour of living on-campus or close to campus to limit your commute time to get the most out of your study experience.

There are also other reasons to avoid a long commute. In the UK, research from VitalityHealth reported that people with a longer commute experienced higher levels of stress and anxiety and were 33% more likely to deal with depression. Now, that’s a sobering thought. Plus, the commute also impacts your productivity. This same research found that people with a commute of 30 minutes or less “gain an extra seven days’ worth of productive time each year when compared to those with commutes of 60 minutes or over”.

Post-pandemic articles have surfaced speaking to the supposed advantages of the commute in terms of providing structure to our days (I know the routine from my alarm going off to when I head out the door) and helping initiate a ‘shared experience’ where we can all complain about the bad traffic together; but the truth behind this UK-based research remains. The stress is still there, as is productivity lost.

So as a student, what can you do to try limit the amount of time you spend on the road? On-campus living might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Countless new faces and close quarters take some getting used to, as does the structure of cafeteria eating and having more senior students oversee your comings and goings. But the camaraderie you establish with other students and the feeling of connectedness you build by being involved are all very good things, both short and long-term. And on-campus living helps with that.

But, if on-campus is not for you or if you missed your opportunity, there is an alternative that doesn’t just help you cut down the hours you spend on the road but also helps you build that camaraderie and connectedness. We’re talking about The Digs on Church. An independent, private, off-campus digs with room for (x) students in the heart of Rosebank, Cape Town. Nestled perfectly between trendy Mowbray and Rondebosch yet still only a stone’s throw away from the CBD, you’re within walking distance to all major Cape Town universities and colleges.

Rosebank is also close to Liesbeek Park and Rondebosch Commons – the green lungs of the suburb says Private Property – as well as the Rondebosch Golf Club and Groote Schuur Hospital.

The Digs On Church

Apart from our newly-renovated semi-furnished rooms, fully-equipped kitchen and speedy internet, our indoor and outdoor common spaces are the perfect place to play a game of pool with your fellow digs mates or enjoy a yoga session in our gardens. You still get the on-campus experience, but on a more intimate scale. And your short commute means you can sign up for as many clubs as you want and make sure you get the facetime you deserve with your professors and peers.

Don’t waste time on the commute when there’s so much of Cape Town waiting to explore, both on campus and off.

Book your spot at The Digs on Church for 2024 for only R6 950 per month, including high-speed internet, utilities, and much more.

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