The gap year opportunities after your degree

Lea Botha

Graduation is possibly one of the most exciting times in a student’s life. It marks the end of a period of hard work and the beginning of an exciting new phase. Most students decide to look for a job, start a career in their chosen field of study and settle down into a working lifestyle. It is, however, becoming more popular for students to choose to take a gap year after their degrees. Not only is it a great way to save money to pay off any remaining student loans, it is also a great way to travel and gain life experience before settling down. Teaching English is still the most popular choice amongst graduates due to the opportunity to work almost anywhere in the world. According to the international TEFL academy, there are thousands of opportunities for certified English teachers to teach abroad. It pays well and offers exceptional benefits. China remains one of the most popular countries that students flock towards.

Its vibrant culture and excellent work environment makes it an optimal country to work in. Cities such as Shanghai offer a unique balance between traditional eastern culture and modern life. Another modern city is Beijing which is home to the Forbidden City. Xi’an is a more traditional city while still offering a wide variety of job opportunities for aspiring English teachers. Almost 300 million Chinese citizens take English classes every year which makes it one of the best job markets for teaching English abroad.

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Perdebate: #DataMustFall

Over recent years, expensive mobile data prices have led to the #DataMustFall movement that has been waiting for a substantial reduction in the cost of data. An announcement by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) that an extensive market review process led to the decision that data will soon no longer expire, seemingly left a lot of South Africans unsatisfied in terms of the high cost of data. Perdeby asked students to share their opinion about the ongoing data debate.


Sinethemba Zwane (BCom Financial Sciences)
I honestly just feel like data has become like water in how you drink it quite quickly to quench your thirst and then it’s over, but you can’t live without it either, so you constantly need to get more. The demand for data remains the same even though the prices are high so it’s really not fair for us students. It’s become like a burden because you don’t only stress about your fees, food or other expenses in your life, but you now stress about data on top of that.

Read more: Perdebate: #DataMustFall

Mike van Graan on writing and activism

Gemma Gatticchi

Mike van Graan, one of the country’s most esteemed playwrights, has received an honorary doctorate from UP for his influence in South African theatre. Van Graan has played a prominent role in shaping post-apartheid arts and culture through his work as an activist and playwright. He has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his work and his dedication to social justice. Mike van Graan on writing and activism


Where do you find your inspiration for writing?
I have been fortunate to receive a number of commissions, so the theme is often defined. But then, finding a story through which to explore the theme comes from a combination of research and imagination about the theme. Other times, much of what I write about comes from contemporary news, particularly my satirical work or writing.

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Perdebate: Is res culture still relevant?

The res traditions of orientation, Serrie, RAG and Insync have, for a long time, formed part of the core of the university’s routine. However, along with the current talks of transformation, the pertinence of res culture has come under fire and these “traditions” have been called into question. Due to the differing opinions on campus, Perdeby asked students if they think that res culture is still relevant today.


Keitumetse Sepeng (BAdmin- International Relations)
Res culture is quite relevant today because it allows for individuals of different backgrounds to come together and create memories together, and to have fun outside of academics at the university. Res culture is not exactly as popular as it used to be back then due to certain restrictions and certain cancellations of many res culture affiliated events, but it is certainly present.


Jennifer Barrett (BA Speech-Language Pathology)
I think res culture needs a revamp. When I looked at my grandmother’s res pictures and newspaper cut-outs, a lot of the res culture is virtually unchanged. My grandmother was in res in 1960, when UP was all white. They engaged in RAG, Serrie and many other res events that still happen today. From her descriptions, res initiation has also not changed much at all. I think that res activities need to be changed to fit the times and be more culturally relevant. Maybe the people in res need to be consulted about what changes they would like to see, instead of every res falling back on outdated traditions. I can see how these traditions frustrate my friends in res. It’s time for a little change.


Tyla Groenewald (BA Languages)
I [definitely] think it’s still relevant because it’s all part of that “uni experience”. People who don’t agree or don’t want to partake in the traditions must not live in res then. The res’ must keep their culture for those who want to experience it and for the history of that res itself. It’s the perfect way to make friends as everyone had that one thing in common. Plus, it gives you some of the funniest memories you’ll carry with [you] for life.

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Res fees: what you need to know

Mosa Mgabhi

University residences come in differentshapes and forms, there are single and double rooms, separate residences for male and female students or mixed-gender accommodation, and self-catering or catered options. The University of Pretoria is known as the largest residential university in South Africa and can accommodate nearly 20% of its student body in its official and accredited private residences combined, says the Department of Residence and Accommodation. On the Hatfield campus, UP has 15 undergraduate residences and four postgraduate residences. The Groenkloof and Prinshof campuses each have four residences, and the Onderstepoort and Mamelodi campuses each have their own residence.

The university has leased accommodation at Eastwood Village, Urban Nest, Flower’s Edge, The Fields and Hatfield Square. Living in a residence can be quite expensive as there can be a lot of costs that come with it, including the reservation levy which is R5 700 for 2018, accommodation fees which differ from res to res, meal accounts which require a minimum of R14 400 and a maximum of R31 620 a year, and recess fees charged per day as normal residence fees do not include holiday periods. In 2018, residence fees, particularly accommodation fees, have increased compared to 2016 and 2017. Students in ladies and male residencies on the Hatfield, Hillcrest, Mamelodi, Groenkloof and Onderstepoort campuses have to pay within a range of R37 400 – R46 100 for sharing rooms, and R40 300 – R49 000 for single rooms compared to the range of R34 200 – 42 200 for sharing rooms and R36 900 – R44 800 for single rooms in 2016/7. The rate for a sharing room on the Prinshof campus is now R37 400 from R32 400, and a single room ranges between R40 300 - R58 000 from R36 900 – R53 100 in 2016/7.

Read more: Res fees: what you need to know

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