You're Joining DAF! Here's some advice from our students.

Moving from school into tertiary education can be an exciting, but stressful transition. We asked our 1st and 2nd years to share their experience, and offer some advice to assist you with this transition.  

Student Experience



What is your advice on ACADEMICS?  There is a big difference between high-school and tertiary education.  What is your advice for the students joining in 2022 regarding workload, subjects and time management?

  • Don’t put assignments off until the last minute.
  • Give all your subjects time and don’t keep work for the last minute because it always seems little but once you start doing it, it gets complicated (random ideas which makes the work really a lot) so you end up not meeting your deadlines which ain’t good at all.
  • There is a big difference between high school and tertiary education, If you’re looking to study further after high school it’s important that you are disciplined and organized if you want to succeed.
  • This is a creative institution, be expected to do creative assignments. Unlike high school, you are focusing on one field. Time management is so important. Get started with work as soon as you receive it.
  • At high school, they run after you to get your work done but tertiary is different, you’re an adult you should know when to get things.
  • It’s very important, to keep yourself motivated. And stay organised with a schedule, and complete work the day you receive it!



One of DAF’s key values is COLLABORATION.  This value works across all forms of collaboration.  Students with students, lecturers and students, and collaborating with industry and other tertiary institutions.  Here are some of our students’ perspectives on COLLABORATION.

  • It is good to get your fellow students feedback or input. It helps you be better and pushes you to create even better results.
  • Collaboration can be daunting for some people. As creatives, we put ourselves ‘out there with our work and collaborating means sharing our work. But I am grateful for what I have learnt when putting myself out there.
  • Never compare yourself and your working style to others. Everyone approaches tasks differently and everyone has different views. Becoming friendly with the other students in other years is really great. They can be so helpful when it comes to advice.
  • Your best friends and allies are the other students in DAF, not just in your year, but across all the years. The lecturers are super invested in ensuring you will get the most from the programme, they have your best interests at heart, so work with them, trust and respect them, and the payback will be plentiful.
  • Sometimes working in a group can be challenging, but always try to understand someone’s perspective.
  • Collaboration is extremely important in this career field. You need to learn how to work in groups and listen to and respect everyone’s different opinions and perspectives.

contact us Design Academy of Fashion


We asked our students what are good coping mechanisms for the stressful transition to tertiary education? How they stay balanced and take care of one’s mental health.

  • Lectures really help and are understandable if there’s good communication with them.
  • Excercise – the program is so busy, don’t let self-care take a backseat.
  • Be kind to yourself. New surroundings and people can be stressful.   Just remember that it will all start to feel normal. We grow from the transitions we make in life. This is one of them. Dedicate time to reflect on your week and take care of yourself.
  • This is a safe and healthy environment to study in. Talk to a fellow students when you’re going through something.
  • Always talk to your friends on campus they will always know how to help. They are also the people that know what you are going through.
  • Jjust BREATHE, work may seem intimidating now but when it is done you will feel great.
  • There are going to be days when you question yourself and your abilities. That’s natural. The best of the best go through it and it’s not a reason for you to not get back up and do your best.
  • Say when you are feeling too much pressure because there’ll be many stressful moments. When I’m feeling stressed I go to the gym or cry which really helps. Take breaks from the work and take time to relax.


We asked our students for their tips on the DAF campus, The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock and the surrounding areas.

  • Redemption! Student coffee price is amazing as well as the fries! Lovely environment and atmosphere.
  • There’s inspiration all around you and there will always be amazing creatives in your surroundings.
  • The environment at the Old Biscuit Mill is safe and it’s close to amazing restaurants and post-net. I really do love it there.
  • The campus environment is bubbly and cool.
  • The vibe and energy here is incredible.  Redemption serves the best burger for a student price.  Dose coffee across the road is also great.
  • Redemption is my favourite.
  • It’s a lovely space to be in on a daily basis as we’re surrounded by other creatives to draw inspiration and learn from
  • The campus environment is great because you are around other people that all have something in common with you and that is we all LOVE FASHION.
  • The Biscuit Mill is great as you have local stores all around you so you really get a feel of what it’s like being a business owner in SA.  T the space is filled with artsy creative kids so collaboration opportunities are right there in front of you. Redemption is a great place for coffee and lunch cause it’s got a really great Student Menu.


Campus Tour Design Academy of Fashion


What are the tips and tricks our future students should be considering when joining DAF / moving to Cape Town.

  • Advice for first years – definitely make sure you have a place for printing whether it be at college or outside of college that is reliable. Printing is very crucial as well as having spare cardboard and brown paper.
  • There is ample street parking if you get to campus early. At about 8:40. Winters in cape town can be super cold. So dress warmly in winter.
  • Studio 47, Kwaai Lappies, and the fabric stores near Fabric City are great.  Be prepared to have to buy fabric, paper, thread and all the other essentials.
  • MyCiti is the best especially when you get picked up and dropped off at the gate
  • This isn’t a cheap course. Make sure you budget for things like fabrics. But also don’t let this scare you as there are many fabric shops close to the DAF campus.  Many of whom sell fabric at very reasonable prices.
  • Cape Town weather is weird. Always have a jacket it really gets cold.
  • BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET, buying a lot of fabrics can become expensive.
  • You are always going to need to print – so make sure you have printing credits.
  • First-year can be a bit pricey. Buy yourself quality machinery that won’t break easily or constantly need repairs.  This will save time and money.
  • Don’t waste your money on unnecessary things. You’ll need to budget properly and save money for fabric, printing, and equipment.


Lastly, we asked our students what has been their highlight in their journey studying fashion at DAF.

  • The amount of learning I’ve got in such a short period of time. I think the majority of the lectures are exceptional. Helpful reception and friendly faces everywhere at the college. Such a wholesome bunch of people that really help all aspects of college stress.
  • Every time I talk to Safia is a highlight. (Dr Safia Salaam – Academic Head)
  • The fact DAF didn’t give up on us during the lockdown.  We pushed through our terms with the help of our lecturers.  I’m really grateful for that.
  • When my garments come out looking like I have in my head.
  • Presenting my final year lineup at the end of the 3rd term. – My 3 years of hard work paid off and it all felt worth it.
  • Annual graduation really stood out for me because we get to meet the industry.
  • Every moment!!! Just being surrounded by so many creative people in the class and interacting with them is a gift on its own!  Safia’s interactive Theory of Clothing classes are so refreshing. 
  • Making friends that push you to do your best as well as want to see you succeed.
  • My A-HA moment came very recently when I was creating patterns and suddenly realised that I knew exactly what I was doing, and loving it!
  • I have loved every moment of the past three years at DAF. It is an awesome college, with invested lecturers, a vibe like no other, and a level of education most other institutions can only dream of.
  • Being able to explore our creative side and learn how to use it to create real designs and garments.
  • Learning new things – not once since studying fashion have I not learnt something new.
  • My highlight at DAF is definitely meeting new people and getting to know everyone. Even though we are all at DAF because we have a passion for fashion – we are all different in our own way. Just constantly learning new things at DAF is such a blessing and I’m super grateful. Everyone from the students to the staff is so helpful and friendly which makes studying pleasant.
  • From the moment you step into DAF you feel welcomed, your journey as an individual is respected and encouraged. DAF is ready to push your creativity and challenge you as a fashion designer.
  • The whole experience is a highlight. Just being surrounded by people with the same passion and yet seeing how different everyone is from each other. And also seeing how the lectures care and take time to listen to all of the students is something I’ve never seen and experienced before.

Share this post