Myths about Freshman Year – Part II

First year university students often head to school with myths floating around in their brains about what college life will be like. Whether they heard them from friends and family, or took what they saw on TV to heart… it?s pretty typical to expect one thing and experience another. Rather than entering university loaded up with misconceptions, we thought we would debunk a series of myths! Why realize what is and isn?t true after the fact when you can go in prepared? Here is part 2 of Myths about Freshman Year.

1. The Freshman 15 Is Inevitable

It is quite common for new college students to put on weight during their first year, but it is not a given like most assume. College weight gain is often a result of a drastic change in eating habits and a lack of physical activity. Many students go from eating a more balanced meal back home and playing after school sports to over-indulging at the all-you-can-eat dining commons. That, plus the freedom to party. Pizza and fries for dinner plus Friday night keg stands are a combination sure to trigger weight gain. Add in a bit of stress and you?ve got yourself in a pickle.

However, it?s entirely possible to avoid the shock to your body if you simply treat yourself well. Enjoy the dining commons food but make sure you are eating balanced meals. Go to parties and have fun, but drink in moderation. And, most importantly, exercise! There are rec centers and club sports for a reason!

2. You need to declare your major right away

University is a time for exploration? for finding yourself and figuring out who and what you want to be. Many students enter university undeclared with the intention of nailing down their professional interests after taking a handful of classes. Whether you want to explore a couple of areas of study before making the big decision, or you literally have no idea what you want to do, do not enter university under the assumption that you need to declare your major as soon as you settle in.

If you?re unsure, take a semester or two of classes, work a learnership and then decide. You may think you?re interested in accounting, only to find that you were thoroughly intrigued by psychology! Or, you may immerse yourself in a particular work environment and find that you cannot see yourself in that field post-graduation. Take the time you need and make it count.

3. Everyone parties and you won?t be ?cool? if you opt out

While attending parties is part of the college experience, you won?t be considered the lame kid down the hall if you turn down an invite in exchange for a mellow night in. Partying isn?t for everyone and the fact of the matter is that you enrolled in university for your higher education, not to be social. School comes first, your social life comes second. If you?ve got a big deadline to meet and you need to dedicate your Friday night to homework, then it sounds like you?ve got a hot date with your laptop! If you surround yourself with the right kind of friends, they will understand if you choose to skip parties, whether for homework purposes or simply because you don?t feel like it. You should never feel pressured to do anything you aren?t comfortable doing.

4. You have to be best friends with your roommate

If you and your roommate aren?t each other?s biggest fans, or you simply don?t have a lot in common, that?s ok! You don?t have to click right off the bat, or at all. As long as you respect each other?s space and are understanding and supportive of each other?s living and study needs, you?ll be fine. Be sure to be open from the start so there aren?t any surprises along the way by setting some ground rules and letting him or her know what you hope the living situation will be like. Some talking points may be:

  • Designated study hours
  • No music before or after a certain time
  • Who is going to take care of what chores
  • How you?re going to handle company
  • Standards of cleanliness

Many universities let you choose your roommate for your first year, if there is someone that you?d like to live with. If you decide to go that route, we would advise that you avoid living with your best friend from home and consider bunking with someone you met at orientation. This allows you to explore new relationships and will help you avoid putting any strain on an existing friendship.

5. Once you fall behind you?ll never catch up

University course work is quite difference from high school, in that there are higher expectations, the work load is greater and there isn?t as much leeway. Professors often assign huge chunks of reading and essays to be completed by the next class. Doesn?t sound so bad, until you remember that most other professors are assigning similar tasks, and the next thing you know you are looking at 300 pages of reading and 10 pages of writing within 2 days? time.

Falling behind on course material can happen to anyone, but some students make the mistake of assuming that once they?re behind, there is no way they can cover all of the missed material. Once they are convinced that they can?t catch up, they let the class slip between their fingertips until the semester is suddenly over and their grades have suffered greatly. Yes, it?s hard to catch up when the workload is so heavy, but if you allocate your time correctly it is perfectly possible. Know when you need to tone down your social life and pick up the books!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Myths about Freshman Year!

What is the National Skills Development Strategy?

NSDS National Skills Development Program

The NSDSP: National Skills Department Strategy Program

The national skills development strategy program includes a variety of companies, industries, institutions, and agencies throughout South Africa. These offer career fields such as administration, trades, nursing, finance and more. This program was developed to introduce more skilled workers to all scarce fields.

Some of the institutes or agencies that are part of this program are The National Skills Authority, The National Skills Fund, all the Seta?s and other Government Departments. Each of these has their own responsibilities as part of this program. This program allows development of skills, provides education, support, and training to talented individuals. With the knowledge and experience gained these individuals can enter the workforce prepared and find permanent positions. Thus, it boosts economic growth while alleviating poverty and unemployment.

National Skills Development Strategy Program Available

Due to the variety of companies, agencies and institutes in this program the fields are quite diverse. We have compiled a basic list of some of these made available which you can see below.

Basic list of career fields:

National Skills Development Program Requirements

There is a great assortment of stipulations pertaining to each field and skills development program accessible. We have found some common stipulations and listed them below for you to use only as a guideline.

Basic requirements for these programs may include:

  • Applicants must be a citizen of South Africa
  • You must hold a legal ID document
  • Must have completed Grade 12 and hold a certificate
  • You must be unemployed
  • Applicants must not be taking part in another program
  • Depending on the field, you may need additional qualifications
  • You should be driven to succeed
  • Must be passionate about your field
  • Applicants must be eager to learn

Applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, women and those with a disability can also apply. If you do have a disability, you must also attach a medical certificate to your application. The certificate must give the nature of your disability.

National Skills Development Program Application

The national skills development program has a variety of online and offline application processes. Each institute, company, and agency involved has their preferred method. This information will be made available online and in the advertisement of each program. For more information you can download a pdf or visit the?Government page.

Some of the national skills development program opportunities are only for a short period for 3 to -6 months, where others may run over a 2-year period. Permanent placement is not guaranteed, however, some companies, agencies or institutes may offer successful applicants an offer after completion of their program duration. If you make the shortlist, you will be contacted and might be asked to attend an interview or further assessments before being accepted.

National Skills Development Program Closing Date

Due to the different companies, agencies and institutes involved in this program there is not just one closing date. Each program offered will have their own closing date with will be available in the advertisement of such or company website.

This program aims to assist those in need and to supply skilled workers to all industries. If you meet the stipulations and find an open program, you may apply. Good luck to all the candidates out there, we hope you find your path to a great career.

Learnerships for Foreigners (Non-South Africans)

learnerships for foreigners

Some of the companies throughout South Africa offer learnerships for foreigners. Learnership fields include careers in the gambling industry, construction, sales, administration and many others. These learnership programs seek talented individuals who meet all the requirements and want to gain hands-on knowledge in their field such opportunities.

These learnership opportunities for foreigners also require that all stipulation be met before applying. These learnerships do not offer successful applicants accommodation, meals or transport but do include a monthly allowance. Therefore, it is best to apply at a company in your area of living.

Learnerships for Foreigners Available

These learnerships offer a wide selection of career paths as stated below. There may be many other fields available during each year and will vary with each company.

Fields may include:

  • Dealers
  • Logistics
  • Sales
  • Distribution
  • Driver
  • Administration
  • Advertisement
  • Marketing
  • Cleaning
  • Labeling
  • Packaging
  • Maintenance
  • Tiling
  • Building

Companies offering Learnerships for Foreigners (Non South Africans)

Learnerships for Foreigners Requirements

All the requirements of a company must be met by you to be eligible to apply. Companies offering learnerships for foreigners will also have the stipulations posted on their website, the application or learnership advertisement. Here are some of the basic stipulations that most companies have in common.

Common requirements may include:

  • You must have a Grade 12 certificate
  • Must hold a valid ID document, passport, and/or visa
  • Applicants must be computer literate
  • All applicants must have great communication skills
  • Applicants must be fluent in English
  • You must not have a criminal record
  • Must be keen to learn
  • Depending on the field you apply for, you may need further qualifications

Applicants without prior work experience may also apply and those with a disability. If you do have a disability it is compulsory to also submit a medical certificate indicating your disability. Some companies may require successful applicants to work shifts depending on the field. Learnerships for foreigners may run for a duration of 8-weeks to 12-months and it would depend on the field, as well as the company.

Some of these companies offer online applications and other would rather applications are collected and delivered at their offices. More detail of each learnership will be available when they are advertised online and/or in newspapers and magazines. We wish you luck in your search for learning opportunities. There are many opportunities and we hope you find one suited for you.

Radiography Learnerships

radiography learnerships

Radiography Learnerships

If you enjoy anatomy, imaging techniques, working with the sick, technology and finding solutions to problems this field may be great. Companies offering Radiography learnerships look for talented people who have the right qualifications to be taught more intently in their career path.

Radiography uses technologically advanced machines to find problems present on the inside of patients. Most of these machines deliver images of the human body that cannot be seen otherwise. These include machines for x-rays, MRI, ultrasound and more. This field is one of the major aspects of modern medicine as it can give doctors a more solid grasp on medical problems a patient may have. Thus, medical treatment can be more efficient.

Companies offering Radiography Learnerships

Radiography Learnerships Available

This field works with diagnosing and solving health issues found internally with patients. There are more fields available today than there were a couple of years back due to advances in technology. Below are some of those fields candidates can consider when seeking learnerships.

Radiography Career Fields:

  • Radiographer
  • Radiologist
  • Therapeutic Radiographer
  • Diagnostic Radiographer
  • X-ray Technician
  • Clinical Engineer

Radiography Learnerships Requirements

Requirements for radiography learnerships will depend on the career field and company offering the opportunity. Here are some of the requirements you will have to meet to be eligible to apply. Please remember, these are only the basics and each learnership may have additional requirements that must also be met.

Basic stipulations for radiography:

  • Must be a citizen of South Africa
  • You must have an ID document
  • Must have Matric certificate
  • Hold a degree or diploma in the field of application where required
  • Must not be employed or part of another learnership
  • Be a team player but must be able to work independently as well
  • Must be able to prioritize
  • You must be proficient in English
  • Must be computer literate

Most companies in this field have either a 12-month or 24-month learnership opportunity. The duration, compensation, and benefits provided will depend on the company. It is recommended to apply in the area you stay as accommodation, transport, and meals are not included in learneships. If you meet all the requirements, you may apply once learnerships become available.

Sappi Learnerships

sappi learnerships

Trees, paper, pulp, forests, timber and related fields are what this company is all about. They have SAPPI learnerships fields available in procurement, forestry, chemicals, analytics, finance and more. They have clients in more than 160 countries around the world and just over 12 800 employees.

Sappi opened their doors in 1936 and has established a great presence throughout the country. Their main offices are situated in Johannesburg with divisions in other areas such as Durban. This company is a key player in the paper and pulp industry and seeks gifted individuals to join their learnership program. If you love forestry, paper and working hard Sappi may have a learnership for you.

Sappi Learnerships Available

Sappi has a wide selection of programs, these include learnerships, apprenticeships, bursaries and vacation work programs.

Fields available may include:

  • Repairmen
  • Process Trainee
  • Boiler making
  • Instrumentation
  • Millwright
  • Fitter and Tuner
  • Electrician
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Marketing
  • Logistics
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Forestry
  • Finance

All positions at Sappi are on a fixed term, yet, this is not and does not guarantee a permanent position. Most of their learnerships are only for a 12-month period.

Sappi Learnerships Requirements

Every learnership has some stipulations that must be met by applying candidates and these offered by Sappi are no different. We have listed their basic requirements below.

Stipulations candidates must meet to be eligible:

  • All candidates must be citizens of South Africa
  • Candidates must be no younger than 18 and no older than 25 when they apply
  • All candidates must have a Grade 12 certificate
  • A candidate must have passed Matric with 65% for English, 70% for both Mathematics and Physical Science
  • All candidates must have a legal ID document/book/card
  • Candidates must be fluent in the English language
  • All candidates must hold a diploma or degree in their field if applicable to their application

Applicants may also be required to have a valid driver?s license, be computer literate or have other applicable experience or knowledge. All candidates must be able to work individually and be a team player.

Sappi Learnerships Application

This company has a variety of programs to offer and Sappi learnership applications online cannot be found, yet, you can visit the Sappi Website for more detail. On this page to the left, you will see a menu, scroll over the tab that says People and select Careers to be directed to this page. On this page, you will click on the Graduate/Student/Bursaries picture to be directed to the place you want to be. Here you will find a set of pictures at the bottom and can select Learnerships for more information.

You can contact Sappi by sending an email to for the application form and more detail on available learnerships. You need to submit your curriculum vitae, all academic results, copy of ID, motivational letters if you have and any other applicable documents they may require to apply along with the application form.

Sappi Learnerships Closing Date

The different branches of this company will each have their own closing date for learnership programs. Thus, it is difficult to give one specific date as some close in June and others in November. Candidates can find dates for closing of application on their website and the application form. They seek committed, passionate and professional candidates who love nature, outdoors and learning to be taught in each field. If you meet all the stipulations and they have a learnership available, apply today to make a change in your future.

SAPREF Learnerships

SAPREF learnerships

SAPREF seeks talented individuals to be trained through SAPREF learnerships in a variety of scarce career fields such as engineering, artisans and more. This company is a combined venture of BP Southern Africa and Shell SA. During the 1960?s they took hands and started building the SAPREF refinery. In 1963 the company employed their first workers and have grown substantially since then.

Their products include fuels such as petrol, diesel, aviation, marine fuels, along with paraffin, petroleum gas and more. Their operations are based on the east coast in Durban. They offer successful candidates more hands-on knowledge in the latest technology in the oil industry. Challenging career aspects, opportunities for growth and development in all fields.

SAPREF Learnerships Available

There are a couple of fields for you to consider with SAPREF. Here are the company?s fields available for learnerships. SAPREF offers more than 70 young people a life-changing opportunity each year with their learnership programs. With these career fields provided, they aim at assisting in providing skilled workers to all scarce fields.

Fields are:

  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Financial Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Production
  • Instrumentation
  • Welding
  • Mechanical Fitter
  • Boilermaker

SAPREF Learnerships Requirements

The requirements may be slightly different of each field, yet, there are a couple of basic ones that apply to all. Below we have listed these requirements for your convenience. Their learnership programs may run for 12-months or longer and will depend on the field made available.

Requirements for learnerships:

  • Applicants must be citizens of South Africa
  • All must have a valid ID book
  • Candidates must hold a legal Matric certificate or Grade 12
  • Applicants must have a diploma, degree or certificate for the field they are applying to
  • All must be proficient in English
  • Candidates must be able to work as part of a team and individually
  • Applicants must show a positive attitude

SAPREF Learnerships Application

SAPREF learnerships applications online are only made available once they advertise specific learnerships. If you are interested to apply to this company, you may submit your CV and relevant documents to them by emailing it to or by faxing it to 031 ? 480 1658. You can also check on the SAPREF Website for available learnerships or any of their other career opportunities.

You curriculum vitae should not be longer than three pages and all documents must be copied and certified before you submit them. Their learnerships do not guarantee a permanent position, nonetheless, some of these successful candidates have been given the opportunity to join the company full time.

SAPREF Learnerships Closing Date

Closing date for learnerships offered by SAPREF may vary in accordance with the career field. Most of their learnerhsips close around September. If you are interested in applying with SAPREF you may forward your CV and all documentation to their offices. However, if a learnership is advertised, please follow instructions for the application as provided in the advertisement.

SAQA Learnerships

saqa learnerships

This agency invites gifted learners to apply for a range of different fields made available with their SAQA learnerships program. These fields range from security officers, plumbers, child care workers to the mining and construction industries. Each field offered will have stipulations that must be met to be eligible to apply. Duration of the learnerships and monthly stipends will differ with each field.

SAQA is the South African National Qualifications Framework that is set in place to monitor, educate and ensure all South African Qualifications are up to standard and legal. The also ensure access to education and development, training and more for all citizens. This agency is approved by the Minister of Higher Education. They have 3 major divisions namely Education and Training, Higher Education, trades, and Occupations. They oversee and ensure implementation of further development and education while also enhancing training and education.

SAQA Learnerships Available

There are a wide variety of learnerships available with SAQA as they work in conjunction with the Governments Seta?s. Below are some of the fields you can consider.

Career fields to consider:

  • Security Officer
  • Social Auxiliary Worker
  • Child and Youth Care Worker
  • Disaster Management
  • Plumbing
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Wealth Management
  • Furniture Making
  • General Forestry
  • Timber Harvesting
  • Plastic Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Construction

SAQA Learnerships Requirements

Each learnership will have requirements that must be met to be able to apply. Here we have gathered the basic information of requirements applicable to most learnerhsips offered through SAQA.

Basic requirement information:

  • All candidates must be citizens of South Africa
  • Applicants must be in possession of a legal ID document
  • All candidates must have a legal Matric or Grade 12 certificate
  • Applicants must hold a diploma or degree in their field where applicable
  • All candidates must have clear criminal records
  • Applicants must not be employed or taking part in any other learnership

Most of the learnerships provided by SAQA also invite people with a disability to apply. If you have a disability, please provide a medical certificate stating the nature of the disability with your application.

SAQA Learnerships Application

SAQA learnerships applications online can be found for some of their available fields, yet, not all provide an online application process. If you are interested in any of the fields mentioned above you can find more detail on each learnership by visiting the SAQA Website. You can also have a look at their available learnerships by using the Guide on their Learnership Page.

You must meet all requirements for the learnership you are applying to, to be eligible. It is recommended that you also attach a CV, recommendation letters, all qualifications and other relevant documentation to your application. All contact detail provided must be current and working.

SAQA Learnerships Closing Date

Due to the nature of this company, there is no specified closing date. Candidates need to consider their learnerships available using the guide above to find the closing date applicable to their intended field. None of these learnerships will consider late or incomplete applications, as well as applications missing documents. Thus, you must be sure of the closing date and submit your application on time.

SARS Learnerships

SARS Learnerships

If numbers, accounting, and finance give you pleasure then working at SARS may be a great place to start your career. SARS stands for South African Revenue Services and is a division of the Government. SARS learnerships are offered for accounting, economics, law and more. Not only are they responsible for collecting different taxes but also have to ensure all tax laws are upheld and complied to.

This Government department aims to always be transparent and client orientated. Their core functions are to collect all duties, taxes, and levies, to enable trade, to safeguard against corruption and illegal import or export of goods, services and more. They also offer advice to the Minister of Finance on matters concerning revenues. The SARS aims to boost economic growth find ways to improve the finances of all citizens and social expansion.

SARS Learnerships Available

SARS has a selection of career fields for you to consider as part of their learnership program. Below we have compiled some of these career fields for you to look at. Most of their available learnerships are in the financial career fields.

SARS career fields:

  • Human Resources
  • Internal Auditing
  • Commercial Law
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Business Statistics
  • Forensic Accounting

SARS learnerships are usually for 18-months to 36-months and successful candidates will receive a monthly allowance for this period. Permanent positions with SARS is not guaranteed but if there is an opening in their branches learnership candidates may be considered.

SARS Learnerships Requirements

To join this dynamic learnership program offered by SARS you need to comply with all the stipulations as set out. Here is a list of the basic requirements you will need to meet to be eligible for a learnership with SARS.

Basic learnership requirements:

  • All applicants who as citizens of South Africa
  • Candidates with a Matric or Grade 12 certificate
  • All applicants with a legal ID book or document
  • Candidates who are proficient in English (read, write & speak)
  • All applicants who have good accounting or mathematical scores
  • Candidates who have a diploma or degree in specified fields

People with a disability may also apply, however, they must provide a medical certificate stating the disability.

SARS Learnerships Application

SARS learnerships application online can be accessed by login into the SARS Website. Alternatively, you can find more detail about opportunities from SARS by visiting their Careers Page, Trainee Programs Page or Leanerships Page. You can also enquire about their learnerships by sending an email to

You must only provide certified copies of all documentation and not submit your originals. Failure to supply documentation, submit the application on time or not completing the application in full will result in disqualification of your application. All contact detail must be current and working.

SARS Learnerships Closing Date

Each department of SARS has their own closing date for available learnerships. Consequently, these mostly differ and is advertised when the learnership is made accessible. If you meet all the requirements and would like to apply for a learnership with SARS, you may do so once applications open. Good luck to all.

SASSA Learnerships

sassa learnerships

Do you enjoy working with people and numbers? Do you enjoy being social and handling administration? If you are good in these fields and meet all the requirements as set out by the agency then SASSA Learnerships might be suited for you.

SASSA is the South African Social Security Agency. This agency of Government opened its doors in 2005 to regulate and control the distribution of social grants. Their main functions are to ensure the right people receive social grants of sufficient amounts at a specified time and in an area or method that is easily accessible by each person.

There are more than 16 million people throughout South Africa who received social grants monthly. These grants are issued to people who are in need of financial aid, it includes the elderly, disability and child support. SASSA handles the entire process from application to payment. This includes verifying information, approval, and detection along with the prevention of fraud.

SASSA Learnerships Available

SASSA has a limited amount of learnership fields for you to consider. Here is a list of their learnership career fields below, however, there may be other fields not mentioned, and once applications open these will be advertised on the SASSA Website.

Learnership career fields:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Disability Management
  • Accounting
  • Public Administration

Learnerships made available by SASSA will be for a 12-month duration unless otherwise stipulated. Every learnership provides a monthly allowance, yet, you will be responsible for your own transport, meals, and accommodation. Learnerships provided by SASSA does not guarantee a permanent position but if there is an opening in this Government Department they may offer it to deserving candidates upon completion of their learnership.

SASSA Learnerships Requirements

To apply for learnerships delivered by SASSA, you must meet all their requirements. Here is a list of the basic stipulations you must meet to be eligible.

Basic SASSA requirements:

  • You must be a citizen of South Africa
  • Applicants must be no younger than 18 and no older than 35
  • You must be in possession of a valid Matric certificate
  • Applicants must possess a legal ID document
  • You must have a diploma or degree in your field of application where applicable

ITC checks will be performed on all qualifying applicants, as well as criminal checks. There will be a pre-screening process done on all selected candidates. This includes vetting of all academic results, referral letters, recommendations, and more. If needed a competency assessment may be required and this is compulsory. Applicants with a disability are invited to apply in their field if a learnership becomes available. These applicants must supply a medical certificate stating the disability.

SASSA Learnerships Application

SASSA learnerships applications online are not available. You can download the Z83 Government form for applications and use the learnership reference number to apply. Once learnerships open you can complete the form and along with all required documentation. For available learnership opportunities, you can look at the advertisements on the SASSA Careers Page.

All required documents must be certified copies, please do not submit the originals as they will not be returned. You must also attach a curriculum vitae, motivational letters, and all academic qualifications, plus a copy of your ID document. Emailed or faxed applications will not be considered. Applications without documentation or that arrive late, or is incomplete will also not be looked at.

SASSA Learnerships Closing Date

SASSA learnerships usually close during the month of September, this date may change. Therefore, it is best to first confirm on their site or learnership advert for closing dates. For more information about this Government Department visit the SASSA Website.

sassa learnerships