Around 77% of boarding school students say that their education provided further opportunities later in life.
Aside from getting a first-class education, boarding school students also develop invaluable life skills. Perhaps you’re in the middle of choosing boarding schools, but you’re not what distinguishes the best from the worst.
If this sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place. Here are seven factors to consider.
Before lining up tours of schools, consider their location, especially if it’s overseas. To help, consider how safe the country is and how easy it is for your child to go to and from boarding school during the holidays. Many parents may want their child to be near family members to check up on them during weekends.
It would help if you also considered the nearby amenities like eateries or local parks where your child can explore. Find out where students spend their free time so you can decide whether it’s suitable for your little one.
2. The School’s Philosophy
To find the best international boarding school, you must consider its ethos and philosophy. This will determine how students are brought up and the values that will be instilled in them.
Figure out whether these values are important to your family, how the school disciplines their students, and whether there is a support system to help your child if they struggle physically or emotionally.
You can determine this by browsing the school’s website, reading its mission statement, and touring the institution to see whether it’s the right environment for your child.
3. Rankings and Reviews
Because education is an investment, consider ranking and reviews of schools to find the perfect match. Read feedback left by boarding school students and parents, so you learn more about teaching styles, the subjects on offer, and whether it’s worth the price.
Cost is also an important factor as it’ll show you what’s included in the fees, when they’re expected, and show you bursary or scholarship options.
When weighing up boarding school options, find out whether it’s specialized in an area that will benefit your child.
Perhaps they have a stellar performing arts class or science curriculum so your little one can be in stimulating development. Many great boarding schools also offer mentorship programs, so your child has one-to-one teaching with experts they wouldn’t get in other types of schools.
It would help if you found a boarding school that challenges your child so that you can broaden their skillset, so check streamed lessons and ask how grades or assessments are determined.
Further, consider if there’s admissions testing as many use SSAT or ISEE as their standard tests, so make sure your child has plenty of practice. This will include an essay along with smaller assignments that you can help your child with.
5. Quality of Staff
Different school sizes play an important factor in choosing a school, but the quality of staff does too.
Aside from high-quality teaching, it would help if you considered the boarding house staff too. Your little one is away for over 30 weeks of the year, so the boarding house staff should be suitable role models for your children. Because of this, find a boarding school with a diverse team so your child has the necessary guidance and support.
The boarding school will be your child’s second home, so it’s crucial they have comfortable accommodation and access to various facilities. During the tour, find out whether the boarding is secure, how your child will do laundry, and whether they will have access to medical assistance in an emergency.
Consider the room arrangements to see whether your child has to share sleeping quarters or if they can have their own. Activities at school are also a key factor. Boarding schools often have sporting grounds, a fitness center, a swimming pool, and a music room so students can explore new interests.
To ensure your child has a fulfilling time at boarding school, find a diverse and inclusive one so they can learn more about new lifestyles, languages, and traditions. It would help if you also considered how close-knit the community is and how the staff communicates with the parents.
Find out how parents can connect and whether there are chances for relationship building. This is invaluable because you’re both watching your children grow up together, so you can create these lifelong relationships too.
And don’t forget to ask for your child’s opinion on the boarding school. During the tour, they may fall in love with a particular school, especially if it aligns with them as a person and their interests. It’s important to include them in the decision process by asking whether they like the facilities, what they felt about the atmosphere, and if they can see themselves there.
Once you include your child, they’ll likely feel more comfortable when it’s time to start.
That’s Everything to Consider When Choosing Boarding Schools
Now you know seven factors to remember when choosing boarding schools.
Include your little one in the process as they know which has the best environment to grow, nurture their interests and whether it aligns with their philosophy. Aside from this, you should consider the quality of staff, the facilities, and whether it’s in an ideal location. Take time in your decision because it will be your child’s second home, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the school and ask questions. Good luck!
Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you’re interested in similar content, check out our posts on everything from Career to Education.