Football family: Students have played a key role in making visitors feel at home at UCT during the World Cup.
UCT's Campus Accommodation 2010 initiative for the World Cup has turned out to be a great experience for visitors, and has also served UCT students well.
Central to the success of the project is the improved and affordable on-campus accommodation, friendly and polite staff, as well as a viewing area at Graça Machel residence, where a giant screen and several smaller flat-screen TVs ensure that guests get a close-up of the soccer action - all day and every day of the tournament. The screens have also attracted many staff and students. Fedics is also offering catering services for peckish visitors.
In addition, the Jammie Shuttle service operates between residences, all UCT campuses and some public bus, train and parking facilities in the local vicinity. (This is apart from the official Park 'n Ride service that is running from upper campus.)
Michele Whaley from the US spent close to three weeks at UCT, and described services as "convenient and affordable", with the viewing site making it easy to access all matches. Whaley said she felt safe throughout her stay - a vastly different picture from that her friends and the media back home had painted.
German-born Lisa Festerling, who now lives in the UK, echoed Whaley's sentiments, and added that she had been warned not to go out after dark. "As a result, I was a bit tense on our first night out," she said. "We watched the Bafana Bafana-France game in a fan park in Johannesburg, and there was no violence even though the home team was knocked out."
Students have played a key role to ensure that guests get value for their money. Described as "brilliant", the students are making beds, offering translation services to guests, assisting them with access to internet, providing information and even volunteering to guide them around.
In return, they have earned valuable experience working in the hospitality industry. Hilda Phatswana, a BSc student at UCT, said dealing with people, teamwork and leadership skills have been some of the benefits part of the project.
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