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Student accommodation in Johannesburg

With its buzzing nightlife, diverse restaurant scene, and range of attractions, Johannesburg is a fantastic destination for students who want to experience a dynamic city.

But finding affordable student accommodation in Johannesburg is crucial to achieving an unforgettable student experience in this provincial capital and largest city in South Africa. When you book student accommodation in Johannesburg with Student.com, you will be able to choose from cheap student apartments that offer a range of amenities, including internet access, laundry facilities, and 24-hour security.

Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose to live in a luxurious private apartment or share space with other students in a shared room.

Soak up the energy and creativity of the city by living in a fully equipped student residence located close to theatres, art spaces, and the ultra-hip Maboneng and with good transport connections to the University of Johannesburg.

Call or text us via our website’s live chat, to learn more. You can now also message us on WhatsApp. Our helpful booking consultants are always happy to help you find the ideal student home for you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Get to know Johannesburg 

Johannesburg, or ‘Jozi’, or ‘Joburg’ as the locals affectionately call it, is in the Gauteng province on the Highveld, the eastern plateau area of South Africa. It is the capital and largest city of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa.

Classified as a megacity, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 100 largest urban areas in the world, with a population of about 5 million within the city limits and about 11 million in the metropolitan area.

Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

Golden history

Founded in 1886, Johannesburg is one of the youngest of the world’s major cities. Its history of apartheid is well documented, but the city also has a golden past.

Its establishment as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement, following the discovery of gold earned the city its other nickname - ‘Egoli’, or ‘The City of Gold’. The city’s golden history plays a significant role in its place as South Africa’s chief industrial and financial metropolis.

Johannesburg is ringed by the deepest gold mines in the world with the Witwatersrand area accounting for almost half of the world’s gold. The major gold and diamond mining houses all have their headquarters there.

The city is also home to the tallest office block in Africa, the Carlton Centre (50 storeys), and the tallest tower, the Hillbrow Tower (90 storeys).

But Johannesburg is much more than a huge mineral-rich metropolis with a sad history of institutionalised racial segregation.

A vibrant city

Joburg is also a dynamic and bustling city that is constantly growing and evolving, always with something new to discover. It’s a city where you can mix big-city culture and fantastic shopping, dining, and nightlife with historical attractions and outdoor adventures. It’s where you can explore caves and nature reserves, visit traditional villages, or shop at malls and open-air markets by day, then enjoy a fancy dinner at a hip café or five-star restaurant by night.

The vibrant atmosphere in Johannesburg is infectious. The locals are friendly, and there’s a strong sense of community between them and students. One of its best offerings is its attractions.


Johannesburg has a range of attractions that are perfect for students. Some of the city’s museums, such as the Apartheid Museum, the Mandela House Museum (Nelson Mandela’s former residence), and the former prison complex Constitution Hill, recount the city’s struggle to end segregation during the apartheid era.

Another must-visit for history and culture is the township of Soweto. This vibrant and bustling neighbourhood, once the epicentre of the anti-apartheid struggle, has since become a symbol of hope and freedom. Take a guided tour of the area and learn about its intriguing history and culture.

After the sombre lessons of South Africa’s history, head to Nelson Mandela Square, which, along with a statue of the beloved former South African leader, features a range of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.

If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is the perfect destination. This beautiful garden features a range of indigenous plant species, as well as a waterfall and various walking trails.

Student life in Johannesburg

If you are thinking about studying abroad in Johannesburg, get ready for a dynamic city that is packed with fun, culture, and excitement. Arguably the cultural and social pulse of South Africa, Johannesburg offers a range of attractions, entertainment options, and dining experiences that lend to fantastic student life and memorable experiences.

Nightlife and entertainment

Jozi has a buzzing nightlife scene, with plenty of options for students who want to let their hair down after a long day at uni. The city is home to some fantastic clubs, bars, and music venues offering a mix of local and international talent.

A Braamfontein student favourite, Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, is always jammed with young adults and teenagers on weekends having the time of their lives. Located in a 1906 building that used to be a grand colonial hotel, Kitchener’s Carvery is said to be the second-oldest bar in Joburg. The hip, old-timey pub and its unmistakable velvet wallpaper, have been the setting for many an unforgettable night for plenty of students and visitors.

If you prefer to have fun in a more boujee fashion, head to Taboo Night Club. Nestled in the most glamorous square mile in Africa, the nightclub has become synonymous with class, style, and luxury. Arguably the continent’s number 1 night-time entertainment venue for over a decade, the upmarket and glamorous multi-level nightclub provides entertainment of the highest calibre. Enjoy the best in local and international DJs and artists, the lavish and decadent interiors, as well as breathtaking views of the skylines of Sandton.

For those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, the city also has a range of rooftop bars and outdoor entertainment venues that offer a fantastic view of the city skyline.

A little garden in the sky with a fantastic urban view, and an organic menu to match, Living Room is the spot to be on Sunday afternoons in Joburg. At the always popular Sundays in the Living Room party, the rooftop fills up against a spectacular urban backdrop with hot DJs providing the soundtrack to an afternoon of fun. More of a cafe-bar than a late-night venue, the relaxed and lush rooftop venue serves up a host of Greek and Mediterranean cuisines, healthy meze, sharing plates and salads, plus smoothies.

Another rooftop hotspot, Randlords, appeals to the young and the young at heart looking for a wonderful party or a trendy spot to relax. The exclusive rooftop bar and lounge is the main venue of choice for parties, private functions, and corporate events. The delicious meals and canapés on offer are of top quality, and menus are tailored to suit each function. Its unique positioning on the 22nd floor of the South Point Towers gives the rooftop bar the 360-degree views that make it such a popular spot.

Event calendar

Johannesburg is a city that is always buzzing with activity, and there’s never a shortage of events to attend. From music festivals and art exhibitions to cultural events and sporting events, there’s always something happening in Joburg.

The premier event on the Johannesburg Jazz calendar, the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, hosts a fantastic line-up of top international and local artists each year on four stages across three days. The festival presents a diverse range of jazz styles, inclusive of the giants of jazz and the upcoming young artists.

When you are in the mood for some comedic relief, the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival, the largest independent comedy festival in Africa, has a longstanding tradition of offering world-class comedy.

The food scene

A foodie’s paradise, Johannesburg serves up a diverse range of cuisines to suit every palate and budget, from traditional South African dishes to international flavours. Some popular restaurants in the city include Moyo, a restaurant that offers a range of African-inspired dishes, and Marble, which specialises in grilled meats and seafood.

Getting around Johannesburg

Thanks to a reliable public transportation system, exploring Johannesburg is easy and affordable. There are buses, trains, and taxis available throughout the city. The Gautrain, a rapid rail system that connects the city with its surrounding areas, including the Wonderboom Airport as well as the O.R. Tambo International Airport, is a popular choice for commuters. It’s a clean, safe, and reliable option for students who need to travel longer distances.

For shorter distances, the city’s bus system is a convenient option. The Rea Vaya has dedicated bus lanes, making buses a faster option than personal cars. The buses are air-conditioned and equipped with Wi-Fi, making it a comfortable and modern way to get around the city.

Uber and Bolt are also popular ride-hailing apps that are used widely in the city.

If you prefer to make your way around Joburg in a more eco-friendly and healthy way, it has a growing network of bike lanes. Explore the city at your own pace by renting bikes from various bike-sharing services, such as Joburg City Bike.

Johannesburg is an affordable city

What makes Johannesburg an even more attractive student destination is the affordability of living and studying in the city. According to the 2024 QS Best Student Cities ranking, Johannesburg ranked 13th in the world for affordability, reflecting its relatively low tuition fees and living costs while maintaining high standards of living and quality of education.

Where to study in Johannesburg? 

Johannesburg is home to many prestigious universities and colleges.

University of Johannesburg (UJ)

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is a dynamic and innovative institution that offers excellent academic programs, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a vibrant campus life across its four campuses: Auckland Park, Bunting Road, Soweto, and Doornfontein.

With over 50,000 students enrolled, UJ is one of the largest universities in South Africa. Established in 2005 by the merger of Rand Afrikaans University, Technikon Witwatersrand, and the Soweto and East Rand campuses of Vista University, it’s relatively new, but has quickly become one of the leading institutions of higher learning on the continent.

UJ has eight faculties offering over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including in traditional academic fields such as law, engineering, and medicine, as well as newer fields such as multimedia, creative writing, and design.

Research is a key focus area at the University of Johannesburg, and the university has established itself as a leader in several fields, including energy, health, and urban studies. The university has several research centres and institutes, including the Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Centre for Social Change, and the Centre for African Research and Engagement.

The University of Johannesburg has consistently been ranked as one of the best universities in South Africa, as well as one of the top universities on the African continent by various ranking organisations. It was ranked as the 306th best university in the world and the 4th best in South Africa by the QS 2024 World University Rankings.

University of the Witwatersrand

Commonly known as Wits, the University of the Witwatersrand is also a top-tier university in South Africa and on the African continent, having been ranked as the 264th best university in the world and the 2nd best in South Africa by the QS 2024 World University Rankings.

Founded in 1922 and tracing its origins back to 1896 and the creation of the South African School of Mines, Wits is also one of the oldest universities in the country.

Located in the heart of Johannesburg, the university has a strong reputation for academic excellence, research, and social justice activism. Within its faculties, Wits offers over 3000 courses, from undergraduate to postgraduate level.

Wits is also known for its research excellence, covering areas such as health, energy, the environment, and social justice. With its research institutes and centres, the university focuses on addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing South Africa and the continent.

Along with its commitment to academic excellence, Wits is dedicated to social justice and community engagement. The university has a strong tradition of activism and was a key player in the struggle against apartheid. Even to this day, it continues to be a leader in promoting social justice and addressing inequality through research, teaching, and community engagement.

Wits is well-connected to the rest of Johannesburg and the wider region, with several transport options available. The university has its own bus service, which connects to major transport hubs in the city. There is also a Gautrain station nearby, providing easy access to other parts of Johannesburg and the airport.

Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology (JIET)

Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology, also known as JIET, is a private college that offers a range of engineering and technical programs. Established in 2015, it is accredited by the Council on Higher Education in South Africa.

Monash South Africa (IIE MSA)

A branch campus of Monash University in Australia, Monash South Africa is located in Roodepoort, a suburb in Johannesburg. Established in 2001, the university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Business, Engineering, Information Technology, and Social Science.

Frequently asked questions about student apartments in Johannesburg

How do I apply for a student residence in Johannesburg on Student.com? 

When applying for a student residence in Johannesburg on Student.com, you can compare properties by price and location with our convenient filter feature and mapping tool. Once you’ve found the ideal student home for you, click on ‘View rooms’ to go to the property page.

On the property page you’ll need to choose the actual room you want to book. Once you’ve chosen, click ‘Enquire’ or ‘Book Now’ and leave your contact details. One of our booking consultants will get in touch with you to answer any questions you may still have and guide you through the booking process once you’re ready to book your new home.

What are the different types of student rooms you list? 

We list three different types of student rooms on Student.com.

If you book a Shared Room, you’ll be sharing a bedroom with a roommate. All other facilities are also shared with others.

If you book a Private Room, you’ll get a private bedroom just for yourself. Depending on the property and the actual room you book, your bathroom may be either private or shared. Other facilities are shared with your fellow students. For example Blackbrick offers these en suite rooms with a private bathroom in a good location within walking distance of a Gautrain station.

If you book the Entire Place, you’ll get a fully self-contained studio apartment all to yourself with your own bedroom, bathroom, and cooking facilities. The perfect option if you like your privacy and don’t fancy sharing!

Do you offer affordable rooms for international students as well?

Yes, of course! As long as you are a full-time student, you can book any accommodation listed on Student.com.

Are bills included in the rent? 

This depends on the property you choose, but usually yes. Make sure to check on the property page if bills are included in the property you’ve chosen.

Are the apartments fully furnished?

Typically the apartments we list in Johannesburg are not furnished, but we have some furnished options too. You can find furnished apartments by selecting the filter ‘Furnished available’ in the filters list at the top of this page.