To live, on or off campus, that is the question

December 13, 2021

The time for a decision is now!

Where are you going to live while studying at the University of Pretoria? In res on campus or in private off-campus accommodation? Now is the time to decide. Wait any longer and your choices evaporate.

“The greatest thief this world has ever produced is procrastination, and he is still at large.” – Josh Billings. Procrastinating on this decision could have a huge effect on your life at university. We’re here to help you dissect all angles that will influence your decision

You may have spent 2, 3 or more years in university and continued living in the same place. Often it’s just less hassle to stay where you are from beginning to end of your varsity life. However, it is always worth re-evaluating your initial decision, based on factors like academic performance, interaction with peers and extra-mural activities. The pandemic has added several factors that may affect your decision.

Factors that may influence your decision to live on or off campus

All things considered, you’re at varsity to get a degree, so you have a leg up towards a career and a life with opportunities. So an environment that encourages your academic performance should be the overriding factor. Very few people get the opportunity for a do over, so words to the wise “don’t mess this up”.

Here is a list in no particular order to help you decide:


Privacy is personal. Some of us grew up in large families that shared amenities. It may be normal for you to always have people around and in your space. Alternatively, you may not do well in noisy, busy environments and prefer to interact with people when you choose to. However, it’s important to remember as you start a career some aspects of privacy may not be controllable. You may work in an open plan office, hospital or aeroplane. So it’s worth thinking about your future career when considering the privacy factor. Living with other people has benefits that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

These include:

  • Sharing and respecting another person’s space
  • Sharing amenities
  • Being tidy and clean
  • Creating and nourishing friendships, etc.

You may enjoy the company of others and are happy to have a roommate or two. However, you may not be partial to a busy university residence and dining room.

At The Fields we have so many accommodation options – have a look at what we have to offer. Bachelor flats, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom options. You can share with friend or have a private apartment. And, chose whether you want to furnish it yourself or have us do that for you.

Food, yes food!

What and when you eat may be a factor. Likely, if you have a medical issue or a specific diet requirement, this is the first thing you considered.

When living on campus at UP (University of Pretoria) you don’t have to have meals in the dining hall, it’s optional. If you have special diet requirements, remember the largest fridge you can take into your room is 120 litres. Stoves of any kind, electric frying pans, gas cookers and electric sandwich makers are forbidden in rooms.

Off campus accommodations, like The Fields, apply very few restrictions to the appliances you can have in your apartment. People with special dietary requirements get excellent amenities for storing and preparing food. Furnished apartments come with full size refrigerators with a top section deep-freeze and as long as it fits you can choose the fridge size that suits you in our unfurnished apartments. All apartments at The Fields have separate kitchens with a full size stove/oven.

In residence, catering 3 meals a day to around 8000 students is no easy task. While the caterers do their best to provide healthy, tasty options it’s logical that meal options are limited at residence dining halls. If you want choice and variety then your own kitchen is a great solution.

Allocations and Roommates

First-year students normally get allocated double rooms and unfortunately, you can’t choose your roommate. University authorities’ base allocations on several factors, with the course you’re studying being the defining one. Choice is important to you? Then off-campus is the way to go. The Fields offers so many options, we are sure to have something that will work for you.


Living on campus may be cheaper. It’s logical you get less choice, fewer amenities and less comfort. Living on campus has other advantages, but if you’re looking for comfort, privacy and your own bathroom then look no further than The Fields. The off-campus lifestyle at The Fields has got you covered. Not only are you sorted on the comfort side, The Fields rates for 2022 will surprise you. Pick a roommate, one you actually want to board with, spend wisely on food and party in other people’s cribs and it could work out less than living on campus.


The UP authorities care about the students going to classes and living in campus residences. They provide the best security they can. All things considered, securing 8000 people is no simple task. Off-Campus private residences have the finances and the motivation to keep their residents secure inside and near their buildings. The Fields security is second to none and includes biometric access (fingerprint access), 24-hour security guards and a CCTV system.

We wish you the best for 2022

We hope this post has given you food for thought and will help guide you to the decision that’s best for you and, of course, the outcome of your studies. Never forget you’re there for one reason and one reason only.

We wish you everything of the best for the coming year. If you choose The Fields in Pretoria, you’ll be in a living space that’s smartly designed to help you thrive and succeed. The Fields is NSFAS accredited and as an NSFAS students you pay no deposits on accommodation. And you won’t have to go far, in fact just out the front door you will find a Virgin Active Gym and various places to eat, what more could you want. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, we are here to help. We look forward to welcoming you to The Fields in the capital city. Before we forget we are a certified off campus residence by the University of Pretoria.

From all of us at The Fields, have a glorious holiday no matter what you celebrate, celebrate yourself and your achievements. Before we go we would like to leave you with this sentiment: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela.

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2022.

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