There are various types of boarding schools. What kind of school do YOU want to go to?
Do you like the idea of studying at large school or a small school? Are you most comfortable in a city, small town or countryside? Are you interested in attending a school that has a religious or military orientation? Would you like to attend a school that is only for boys or girls? These are the questions you must ask yourself before you begin your search for the right school for you.
Single-sex schools, those for boys only or girls only, are some of the oldest boarding schools in the country. As a student at one of these schools, you will have the chance to study in a less socially distracting atmosphere. For girls, single-sex schools can often provide greater opportunity to pursue leadership roles in both academic and extracurricular life.
Military secondary schools have the same advantages as other private schools, but they also instill the values and importance of teamwork, dedication and discipline. Uniforms and drilling are often required.
ESL “Bridge” Programs
English as a Second Language (ESL) “Bridge” programs, running from April until June, provide students with intensive English language training that prepares them for the academic year that begins in September. These classes concentrate on reading, writing and speaking, while incorporating U.S. culture and social expectations. It’s beneficial to attend one of these programs during April or the summer months before you plan to enter a boarding school.
Many schools offer a postgraduate program, which is a one-year course of study for students who have finished their high school program but are not ready to enter a university. The postgraduate curriculum usually focuses on reading, writing and mathematical skills. Foreign students can especially benefit from this program since the course of study is flexible and they can structure it around their specific academic needs.
Summer Schools & Camps
Students attend summer schools for academic credit and as a supplement to their regular academic program. Summer camps, on the other hand, specialize in outdoor recreational activities, sports, art, music and drama.
There are many summer schools and camps that offer ESL training and the opportunity to interact with English-speaking young people. Typically beginning at the end of June, these programs last anywhere from six to ten weeks. You will spend your summer months learning English, making friends and experiencing U.S. culture.
Academy By The Sea has an oceanfront campus in Southern California, where students have the opportunity to surf, body board, and enjoy other water activities. The school offers a four-week program that is a balance of academics and recreation. The students take supervised, weekend excursions to nearby California area attractions, such as SeaWorld, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, and much more.
Some schools have a strong tradition founded in religion and will frequently integrate religious services and classes into their regular curriculum. Most institutions, however, welcome children from all religious backgrounds and respect their differing philosophies.
Ross School near New York, offers a Winter Intersession which is a three-week intensive program held between the winter and spring terms, usually in March. Students and teachers travel and work on group and individual projects in a wide variety of subjects. Students are exposed to in-depth study, new interests, possible academic and career paths, volunteerism and recreational pursuits.
Many of these special projects involve travel, both abroad and within the USA. For example, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans the school organized a service trip to assist residents’ recovery. This past year, Ross Intersession students traveled to Kenya to work with a boys’ orphanage and a local Maasai tribe. They produced a multimedia project about the issues these groups face. On the Caribbean island of Dominica, another group planted grasses at a school cricket field to prevent erosion of the field. When they weren’t tending to the field, students learned how to carve a calabash, a local gourd that when dried can be used as a water jug or utensil.
Schools with Homestays
Several schools offer a homestay option as an alternative to living in a dormitory. By living with a U.S. family you will have the comfort of a home life and may have more chances to participate in activities outside of school and within the community.
Service Learning and Life Experience
At several boarding schools, community service participation is a key component of the school’s philosophy and curriculum.
The Senior Project at Ross School is the culmination of a graduating student’s academic career thus far. The student documents the experience of creating the project, usually in the form of an online blog, and puts together a final presentation. Throughout the process faculty mentor works individually with each student.
Recent projects have included Radical Flash Cards. A student designed and produced a set of flash cards with photographs to aid children in learning Chinese.
For the East Harlem Investment Opportunity project a student created a prospectus for a property in a depressed area of New York City. Using the tools of investment reasoning, the student compared the local real estate market with other nearby areas, and chose a local apartment building to renovate and eventually sell at a profit.
The Global Change in Water Chemistry research project studied the levels of dissolved oxygen and pH in the water. The project examined how these levels indicate the changing climate’s effect on local water chemistry and the overall impact on global ocean health.