Our Cape Town Schools guide shall show you the best education options in Cape Town. Finding the right school which suit your children's needs is of paramount interest when moving to South Africa with your family.
As expats you most probably have different experiences and expectations of schools than locals and also different educational needs than most of the local population. On this page, we will share our tips and advice and in our schools listing, we provide links to the best schools in town.
Remember also, that if you are an expat in Cape Town and your children do not have South African citizenship, then your children will need to supply a valid study visa to the new school before starting with classes. You have to apply for a study visa at VFS Global, which is the visa facilitation centre for the Department of Home Affairs, to be allowed to take up studies in Cape Town. You will read more about study visa and permits below.
In our Schools Guide on Expat Cape Town you will find the following topics covered:
It is highly recommended to start the application process for study permits as early as possible. Thus there is a lot of pressure on parents to find a suitable school and start the registration process. The standard of education in South African schools varies widely, therefore you need to explore these topics as the first step.
Know what to check? - You need to research well:
Once you have found the right school for your child, you must make sure to apply for a study visa as soon as possible before your move. Study visas are known to take long (usually between 6 weeks and 6 months!) so be prepared to apply as soon as you have found a suitable school for your child.
This means that you will not only have applied for, but have been granted a study visa, before your kids are allowed to take part in the lessons or start their studies. This regulation applies to all kind of schools, that means public and private schools, international schools and remedial schools, all universities and colleges, apart from distance learning at foreign institutions.
It is often useful to get in touch with an immigration consultant to get advice on the first application for a study visa. These immigration specialists will tell you about all the necessary steps and will help to prepare all the paperwork you need when submitting your visa application (which has to be done in person and cannot be done anymore by the consultants) and they will also help monitor the whole application progress. If you plan to do it alone, make sure to check the VFS website and book your appointment at VFS and pay the required admin fee for the visa process. Always take into account that the application process for permits in South Africa is a quite lengthy process and should planed well ahead, for study visas this is currently at least six months to a year before the move.
Prerequisite for applications for a study visa is that you have received a 'letter of acceptance' from the chosen school. For the study visa you will also need various other documents, like a medical certificate and a chest x-ray for children over the age of 12 years, and several other forms. Read more about study visa on the VFS website and on our Immigration info pages: More info about Immigration to South Africa
When looking for the right education for your expat children in South Africa, make sure you consider the following points:
Our new Expat Handbook for all interested in moving, living and working in South Africa is an indispensable guide for settling in Cape Town with listing of the best schools, information about schooling in South Africa and lots of great tips for moving with children.
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