NHI Bill Sparking Emigration - How to Choose a School as an Expat

Choosing a school when emigrating from South Africa can be daunting due to the need to find an institution that matches the educational standards and values familiar to parents.

Choosing a school when emigrating from South Africa can be daunting due to the need to find an institution that matches the educational standards and values familiar to parents.

Published May 24, 2024


By now, every South African has heard of the NHI Bill being passed and many are outraged. In this article, we’ll discuss the NHI Bill, how this is affecting emigration, and how to choose a school as an expat.

The NHI Bill Passed; Now What?

While the concept of the National Health Insurance Bill is nice, it’s technically unnecessary. South Africa already ranks 12th worldwide when it comes to offering their citizens free healthcare.

Yes, it’s true that the state of South Africa’s public hospitals is dismal but that’s due to a mismanagement of funds by the government. Unfortunately, the root cause of this issue won’t be fixed by the introduction of the NHI Bill.

The prospect of increased taxes coupled with speculation of the failure of the NHI Bill and other concerns about South Africa’s future is once again sparking another round of emigrations.

For those families choosing to move abroad, there is one important question, what are they going to do about schooling?

The Struggle of Choosing a School When Emigrating

The Struggle of Choosing a School When Emigrating

Choosing a school when emigrating from South Africa can be daunting due to the need to find an institution that matches the educational standards and values familiar to parents.

The uncertainty of a new country's education system, language barriers, cultural differences, and the availability of international or bilingual schools add to the complexity. Additionally, the process involves ensuring the school supports a smooth transition for children, both academically and socially, while also fitting within the family's budget.

Balancing these factors requires thorough research and planning to make the best decision for their children's future.

How to Find an Overseas School

When moving overseas there are typically three schooling options for expats. Here is a breakdown of each option.

1. International Schools for Expats

International schools are a popular choice for expat families because they offer a familiar curriculum and environment. These schools often follow recognised international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), British, or American systems.

They provide a multicultural environment, helping students adjust to a new country while maintaining continuity in their education.

However, international schools can be prohibitively expensive, with high tuition fees and additional costs for extracurricular activities and transportation. Moreover, in some countries, the demand for international schools exceeds supply, making it difficult for expats to secure spots for their children. This scarcity can lead to long waiting lists and increased stress for families trying to settle into a new environment.

Furthermore, parents will typically want to visit a school enrolling their children in order to make sure the approach to education and the environment is suited to their children’s personality and learning preferences. This can cause a delay as this will only be able to occur once the family has arrived in the country.

2. International Online Schools

International online schools present an interesting alternative for expat families. These schools offer flexible, high-quality education with internationally recognised curricula that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for students to switch schools due to relocation.

Online schools provide consistency, ensuring that students can continue their education seamlessly regardless of their geographical location. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for families moving to a country or area with limited access to international schools.

Additionally, online schools often offer virtual social interactions, and personalised learning plans, catering to the individual needs of each student.

The lower cost compared to traditional international schools, combined with the stability and continuity they provide, makes international online schools an excellent choice for many expat families.

3. Homeschooling

Homeschooling is another viable option for expat families, allowing parents to take full control of their children's education. This approach offers flexibility in terms of curriculum and scheduling, enabling parents to tailor the learning experience to their children's specific needs and interests.

However, homeschooling requires a significant time commitment and effort from parents, who must assume the roles of both educators and administrators. This can be challenging, especially for parents who are also adapting to a new country and possibly managing work responsibilities.

Additionally, homeschooling regulations vary widely from country to country. In some places, homeschooling is not legally permitted or is heavily regulated, which can pose significant obstacles for expat families considering this option. Parents need to research and understand the local laws and requirements before deciding on homeschooling.

For parents searching for a convenient, consistent, and high-quality education solution, online schooling stands out among the available options. To find out more about online schooling and how this educational solution can work for your family, visit the CambriLearn website.