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Five Fresher Facts: Places To Visit At UWC

Author: Nicklaus Kruger

New to UWC? Wondering where to go and what to know, and how to make the most of it? Here are five places to visit that might give you a bit of direction in your university life.

Five Fresher Facts: Places To Visit To Make The Most Of Your Time At UWC

First year at a new university can be a bit intimidating - and the University of the Western Cape is no different. Everything's so unfamiliar, and there are so many people and so much to see and do, and so much work and so many ways to skip it. Is it all worth it? How can you get the degree (or diploma, or qualification) and not go crazy? How do you get the most out of your time here?

Well, as with many things in life, it’s location, location, location. And here are five UWC locations that could help you make a success of your studies.

The Library: Libraries are pretty obviously useful for anybody who’s actually studying. That’s where the books are, after all. But libraries are more than just places where books hang out...and UWC Library​ is a great example of that. Well, yes, there are books, of course - over 400,000 of them at last count, actually. And the Library does have a subscription to over 1,200 electronic and printed journals, and over 100 electronic databases containing hundreds of thousands of articles in a variety of academic disciplines...but there’s way more to it than that.

The Writing Centre: Here’s something you’ve probably already learned (if you’ve been to class, at least): Writing is one of the primary means of assessment in the academic realm – and the primary means of communication for any purpose, actually. The UWC Writing Centre will help you learn to analyse essays, structure your thoughts and write better assignments, essays, etc. (note: help you, not write for you) through direct consultation and online sessions, and more. Here’s what UWC Writing Centre can do for you...

School for Postgraduate Studies: Post-graduate students may be the next generation of academic, research and thought leaders in business and science and law, and all sorts of other fields. But just because you’re post-grad, that doesn’t mean you don’t need a hand once in a while. It’s not easy learning to navigate family life, academia, funding, hard work, boredom and other issues. That’s why the School for Postgraduate Studies offers a whole range of initiatives to help you make the most of it. Want to know more about how the SPGS can help you? Find out here.

UWC Careers Service: University can be the time of your life - studying fascinating subjects, learning new things, preparing for the next stage of life. But at some point, you’re gonna have to think about life after studies - you know, getting a job (even if it’s a job *at* university), earning some money, paying your taxes, etc. That might sound far away, but it’s actually a lot closer than you think. The Careers Service can help you get ready to enter the job market - by helping you find the job/employer for you, and teaching you to write a CV, prep for an interview, and so on.

Cape Flats Nature Reserve: Look, you can’t spend all your time hitting the books. Sometimes you just have to take a walk on the wild side, spend some time in nature, get away from it all. Luckily, the Cape Flats Nature Reserve is right on campus. First created as a refuge for Strandveld and Coastal Fynbos, the 30ha reserve now functions as a base for ecological teaching, environmental education and research - and a natural space for the public to enjoy. It’s home to more than 200 indigenous plant species, and plenty of interesting animals to boot, from tortoises to reptiles and insects and more - like these five critters you might meet there.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg - there’s a lot to learn here at UWC.

Have any other tips to share with UWC Freshers? Feel free to let us know at ia@uwc.ac.za

And don’t forget, the Centre for Student Support Services (CSSS) provides broad student-centered development and professional services, programmes, training opportunities and resources. Why not check them out?

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