A major part of Stellenbosch University is its 24 residences. Most of them are on the Stellenbosch campus; two are on the Tygerberg Campus to house students studying Medicine and Dentistry. One-third of students live in residences, while others live in University houses and flats and in private homes in and around the town.
Social life revolves around ‘living on campus’ and allows students to form new friendships, experience living in a community, and gain independence while having convenient access to classrooms and services.
The "res" is at the heart of being a 'Matie' (the affectionate colloquial name for the University Campus and its precincts). This is where friendships are formed and cultural differences discovered and shared. Residents bond in formal and not-so-formal activities and sports competitions.
Students in these residences will be under supervision of the warden, who is assisted by a number of senior students acting as advisors. Advisors assist students with a variety of requirements, monitor facility security and maintenance, and plan numerous educational and social programmes.
Each residence has modern laundry facilities and a common ‘living room’ area for socialising, watching TV or just ‘hanging out’. All the women's residences, and some of the men's, have a communal and/or private lounge where visitors can be received and entertained. Most residences boast lovely courtyards and/or gardens for leisure and relaxation. For a minimal fee, students who live in "res" and have personal computers, can connect to the university network from the comfort of their room and have online access to the World Wide Web, Academic information and Library services.
All residential students are required to have a Meal Plan. When registering at the beginning of the year, a student in residence selects a meal quota of choice. Meals are served three times a day in the dining halls. Most residences have a tuck shop where snacks, sweets and beverages are sold.
Heemstede, Hombré, Monica and Simonsberg residences and two, mainly postgraduate university flats, Huis De Villiers and Concordia, are equipped with paraplegic facilities. The tudent house, Sweet Heart, has similar facilities. There are ongoing efforts to increase the accessibility of SU housing for students with disabilities.
Stellenbosch University's residences are committed to creating a campus environment conducive to education, work, student and personal development. As such, the University's alcohol policy states that alcoholic liquor is not permitted in University residences/flats/houses, except at approved venues.
University houses are known as ‘student houses’ and provide housing to mainly final year or post-graduate students who wish to be more independent, while remaining within the campus grounds. The University houses are beautiful old dwellings with large single or double bedrooms, lounge areas and fully-equipped kitchens, as well as a garden with a braai area. University houses provide single gender accommodation. Discipline and order is usually the responsibility of a senior student who assumes the position of advisor and warden. Students who live in these ‘student houses’ have to provide their own meals. There are 27 university houses scattered around campus.
University flats provide mixed-gender accommodation for mostly post-graduate and/or international students. Students can choose between single or double bedrooms and share lounge, kitchen and bathroom areas with the other students in their section of the flats. A senior student is appointed in each university flat to act as Head Student/Ward.