Few things are as stressful for parents as setting your child up for tertiary education. One of the top priorities is where your child is going to be spending the majority of their time, the place they will be sleeping and studying for exams. Usually this will be far away from home and their first time in a totally independent setting.

The universities and FET colleges simply do not have enough accommodation on campus for all their students. So the responsibility falls on the students and their parents to find a suitable place for them to live and study for the duration of their tertiary education.

George Comitis of Park Central Lifestyle Residences says; “One must always remember that your Residence becomes your New Home away from home. So choosing the right residence is of utmost importance. You will meet new friends, learn to live with a room mate, share living spaces, study and cook in groups but most of all have fun along the way.”

Comitis adds that his motto at the Park Central Residence is ‘I’m Living the Life’, and that themore you participate in extramural events like sports and social events at your residence, the more you will enjoy your living and ultimately your university life,

Finding the perfect fit is more than just about the location:

All above board: Even though universities and FET colleges don’t own enough accommodation for all their students, they do recommend independent residence operators who offer suitable accommodation to supplement campus residences. If you are engaging with a student accommodation landlord, check that they are recommended by the institution you’re engaging with. This way you can be sure that rentals are fair, the accommodation is suitable, and that you are dealing with a reputable landlord.

Safety and security: Students should feel as safe when they’re in their accommodation as they do when they’re at home – so check that the facility that you’re considering has suitable security, both to protect the student’s belongings, and to protect their person too.

Pricing vs value: Shop around for the best deal to make sure you have considered all the potential costs involved. There are often hidden expenses not included in the basic fee (electricity, water, Wi-Fi, laundry, gym, residence life activities etc.) that cause costs to escalate. Fully fitted accommodation means that parents and students don’t need to invest in appliances, desks, cupboards or beds. When investing in tertiary education, a top priority should be investing in an environment that is safe, private, and provides the necessary amenities at an all-inclusive rate.

Keep it close: Accommodation located close to campus should be first prize, or at the very least, it should be close to public transportation that offers easy access to classes. Research the city, as there are increasingly greater options to choose from, especially if you’re will to travel or use public transport.

Creature comforts: It’s the creature comforts that make it easier to stay in and study, and the accommodation you choose should include the basics such as beds, built in cupboards, lockers for valuables, fridges, and a desk, all of which should be in good repair. Look for accommodation that offers serviced apartments with fully fitted rooms and kitchens that are also cleaned weekly.

Living the lifestyle: Being a student is about so much more than just studying – it’s about building relationships and enjoying a balanced social life. Make sure that your chosen facility has common areas where students can relax and socialise in a safe environment.

Healthy body, healthy mind: Choose a facility that offers a gym or other exercise options too.

Top technology: Gone are the days where students could complete assignments by spending hours in the library. The internet age has made more information more accessible, and students should have constant access to the online world. Does your chosen facility offer free uncapped Wi-Fi access? A ‘yes’ answer to this question is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather an essential.

Park Central is a Bellville Connect Power Player.