International Education in Johannesburg
For a city of such large size, Johannesburg doesn’t have as many international schools as you would expect. The choice of curricula isn’t very diverse either, consisting mainly of the International Baccalaureate, British, or South African curricula. However, what Joburg’s international schools lack in numbers they make up for in other areas.
International schools fees in Johannesburg are also much lower than similarly sized cities in other parts of the world. In fact, Joburg boasts some of the cheapest fees in the world for international schools. However, the quality of education and facilities remains much the same as anywhere else.
English is by far the most common language of instruction in international schools in Johannesburg. Native English-speaking teachers are a standard feature, although most schools also offer additional language classes too. Class sizes are not too big, with 20 - 25 students per class considered average.
Sport is a big deal in South Africa, and in Johannesburg’s international schools too. You’ll find a variety of sports offered as extracurricular activities, including soccer, cricket and of course, rugby. Music and arts are also very popular, and most schools will offer extracurricular programs in these areas too.
The school year in Johannesburg’s public schools runs from mid-January until late November / early December. The city’s international schools, however, usually stick to the northern hemisphere school calendar. That means the school year begins in late August / early September and ends in June.
The same is true of the school day - public schools begin lessons early at 7 - 8am and finish by 2 - 3pm, with an hour or two of sports after lessons (we told you South Africans love sport!). International schools start later at 8 or 9am and finish later (3 - 4pm), with longer lesson times.
Heavy traffic is a fact of life in Johannesburg at all times of day. Public transport in the city has improved a lot in the last few years, but there are still gaps in the bus and rail networks. Choosing a school within walking distance or within easy reach by car or public transport is highly advised. School buses aren’t a common feature of international schools in Johannesburg, although some do provide this service for an extra charge.
Private boarding schools are quite common in South Africa, so you’ll find some international schools in Johannesburg that include boarding facilities. Remember this is usually optional - you can always choose ‘day school’ for your child instead.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Johannesburg. However, there are another 13 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Johannesburg based on your requirements.