Immigrating to New Zealand offers great opportunities for South Africans. The country has some of the world’s highest living standards, boasts an excellent infrastructure, and has an increasingly diverse population that is welcoming to new immigrants. The Pacific Ocean island nation is also in the world’s top ten countries with the lowest crimes rates.
The decision to move to New Zealand from South Africa isn’t a hard one to justify, especially for single professionals. But, for couples with young, school-going children, there is a lot to factor in. Not least of the considerations is whether the South African education system is compatible with that of New Zealand. This is important especially for children who have already started school in South Africa.
As a migrating family, you want the transition from the SA education system to the New Zealand one to be seamless for your young children. In terms of quality of education, however, South Africans migrating to New Zealand should have no worries.
New Zealand frequently makes it to the top ten countries with the best education systems. South Africa does not usually make it to these lists. In fact, many South Africans moving to New Zealand cite better education for their children as one of their motivations.
There will obviously be some differences between the two countries’ education systems. However, these shouldn’t make it too difficult for children that have previously attended school in South Africa to transition successfully. Crucially, the two countries share the same three-tier system, which should make things easier for immigrant families.
A key area that concerns people, especially those coming from non-English speaking countries, is the language of learning and teaching. Though South Africa has a troubled history where the language of teaching in schools is concerned, English is widely spoken and is indeed the most used language in many public schools.
An area that will probably prove more of a culture shock rather than a practical effect is the fact that New Zealand’s public schools do not enforce rules on school uniforms. The country also appears to be less strict on discipline in schools as opposed to South Africa where, admittedly, delinquency and petty crime among school-going children is a growing concern.
The government of New Zealand offers great support for families who have settled in the country. However, if you have a temporary residence permit, there is a limit to the government-funded public services you are eligible for. Top of the public benefits temporary residents who can produce a valid job offer can access support for primary and secondary education and select health services. Despite this cap on the public services temporary residents can enjoy, New Zealand still offers some of the most accommodating pathways to permanent residence.
Once you obtain permanent residence, you will be eligible for more government-funded public services. Many of these are in the country’s excellent public health system. Permanent residents have access to free maternity care, free fertility services, free hospital care after an accident, subsidised prescriptions, and free support services if you are disabled. You will also enjoy government support for tertiary education.
New Zealand offers high-quality education opportunities for families emigrating from South Africa. And at Tri-Nations Migration, we have all the resources to make this move as painless as possible. We have been advising people migrating to New Zealand and Australia since 1987. Contact us for more information on our services here.