Boarding school chronicles: Surviving the first year away from home

May 18th, 2017

Johannesburg is best for boarding schools

The economic hub of South Africa, Johannesburg, is also called Johannesburg or the City of Gold, Egoli. It’s a powerhouse in the wealthiest of the country’s nine provinces, Gauteng, and has its roots in the discovery of gold and diamonds in the 1800s. Diverse industries, including mining, media, tourism, retail and manufacturing drive the city’s heartbeat. It’s the biggest city in the country and one of the largest urban areas in Africa. Johannesburg is home to a bustling population of approximately 4.5 million people at the last count.

This world-class city is an education hub. It is home to some of the country’s top boarding schools, pre-universities and universities. In this blog, we look at the elements that make Johannesburg the ideal place for boarding school. Some of the attractions include the quality of campus life and education, cost-effectiveness and the extra-mural activities.

Why you should consider a South African boarding school

South African schools offer an excellent all-round education and sports, arts and boarding facilities. You will also benefit from living abroad. Boarding school helps pupils to become more mature, strengthens self-confidence, improves social skills, develops leadership and teaches life skills.

Education: Johannesburg has a well-developed education infrastructure and boarding schools are part of this robust academic environment. There are also a number of outstanding universities in Johannesburg where students, both domestic and international, can receive a quality education. Schools and pre-university academies are highly-rated and strive to achieve educational excellence. They offer great programmes and comprehensive support for students before they go to university. There are also other types of educational institutions in Johannesburg, including technical colleges.

Cultural diversity: Johannesburg is larger, and more fast-paced than other cities in Gauteng. It is a vibrant city with a diverse population of different cultures, languages, and religions that make up South Africa. Johannesburg is also home to visitors from many other countries, living in Johannesburg you will rub shoulders with people from all over the world.

World-class: South African boarding schools offer top accommodation. Once you have chosen a learning institution, check for specific entry requirements and costs. You can also choose between on or off campus options since accommodation can be found close to schools and universities in most areas. Johannesburg is considered an expensive city but you will find that life in South Africa is quite affordable if you are using dollars, euros or pounds. South Africa’s currency is the rand. Look up the exchange rates to determine affordability. There are also many activities that will suit a student budget. Getting around in Johannesburg is very easy. You can use public or private transportation. And don’t worry about missing out on your social media feeds, South Africa was recently listed as the top technologically advanced country in Africa.

Interesting sites: There are many interesting things to do in and around Johannesburg, including the Apartheid Museum and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site. If you are a wildlife lover, you are in luck! You can see the famous big five when you visit some of South Africa’s amazing national parks and game reserves.

Prospects: When they come to the end of their courses, many international students choose to stay and apply for a working visa, others return home or seek work elsewhere. But the experience provided by studying abroad is looked on favourably by employers.

The ALA has an exciting opportunity for young Africans who have the potential to catalyze positive change on the continent. The highly selective Two Year Program  presents programmes for young people of various age groups. The curriculum includes courses in Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies, Writing and Rhetoric, and Cambridge A-Levels. These transformational, design-thinking experiences – with strong African and entrepreneurial and leadership elements – have already reached more than 600 young leaders from over 30 countries. There are scholarships and financial assistance available for students from across Africa. Contact us to request a brochure so you can also start your journey to success. Download our prospectus for more information.

If you would like more information on the best boarding schools, the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) has a comprehensive directory of schools.


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This is an article from the ALA Journey Journal – the blog that tracks our 50 year journey to develop 6000 leaders. Visit the Journal here.


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