The truth is that there’s no limit to what your boarding school could be like. That’s because there are all different boarding schools out there, and each one has different ways and different styles. So, let’s take a look at some of the various options and what you should know about boarding school before you think about attending for yourself.
Many people want to know what is boarding school like or even the advantages of boarding school. Well, the good news is that there are plenty of great things about boarding school if you’re interested in attending. So, let’s take a look at what we know about boarding school, including boarding school advantages and disadvantages.
What is Boarding School?
First, let’s take a quick look at just what boarding school is. It’s actually exactly what it sounds like. It’s a school where you not only learn but actually stay. So, students who attend a boarding school will actually live at the school and go to classes simultaneously.
Boarding schools come in different types with different backgrounds. In fact, you will likely find some that are secular and many with a religious or military background. Which type you’re looking for is entirely up to you, but you’ll need to think about the options before you decide on the school you want to go to.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of schools all around the country, so you can easily find something that fits your needs and interests in a part of the country that you prefer. That makes it even more convenient for you.
Why Do Students Go to Boarding School?
If you haven’t really thought about going to boarding school before, you may wonder why anyone would consider this option. After all, for some students going home at the end of the school day is one of the best parts. So why would you want to live at school?
- Extracurricular activities – There are a number of different extracurriculars that are available through boarding schools. Because the students are present at school at all times, it makes it easier to participate in these activities (and there are often additional options as a result).
- Smaller class sizes – Because these schools are a little more exclusive and cost more to attend, you’ll find that the classes are actually much smaller. As a result, there’s more individualized learning for students, and teachers are able to spend more time with each student.
- Immersive program – By being present at the school at all times, it’s possible to be more immersed in the program itself, including the academics and any outside activities. This will allow students to really delve into their studies.
- More challenging academics – Because of the costs involved, boarding schools are often able to hire more advanced educators, which means a more dedicated academic program. As a result, the academics can be more challenging because the school is more exclusive on its students.
- Future opportunities – Some boarding schools can set students up better for their future. Military schools, for example, can help students get into more advanced military positions. Other types of boarding schools can lend an air of prestige as well that gives students an edge when it comes to getting a job later or attending the college of their choice.
- Building close friendships – Making friends at a standard school can be a little difficult, but students who attend boarding school find themselves making a lot of friends more friends and closer friends as well. The idea that you can make like-minded friends can be an excellent reason for students to attend.
- Community atmosphere – When you’re attending a boarding school, you feel more like a part of a community, which will help you to really immerse yourself in the experience overall. Feeling like a part of something can make you more interested in the experience.
How Much Does Boarding School Typically Cost?
When you start considering boarding school, one of the first things that probably comes to your mind is the cost. After all, public school is free, so you may wonder if it’s worth it to attend a school where you have to pay. And the only way to know that for sure is to look at what the cost actually is and start from there.
The truth is there are a lot of costs associated with boarding schools. First, you have the actual tuition, which can vary based on the type of boarding school as well as the state that you are attending in. Even whether you are local or not could affect the cost. But the average tuition throughout the country is around $9,000 – $10,000.
It’s essential to keep in mind that these costs could vary from one school to the next, with some being much higher and some possibly lower. Also, tuition costs do not necessarily include some of the other expenses associated with schooling, such as books, transportation, technology fees, extracurricular activities, and even outings or travel through the school.
You’ll want to talk with the counselors or administration for your chosen school (or those you are considering) to find out more about what tuition does cover and what it doesn’t, as well as what other costs you’ll be expected to pay. Knowing the total cost (or at least close to) upfront is going to make a big difference overall.
How to Prepare Yourself to Go to Boarding School?
If you’re thinking about going to boarding school, it’s essential that you prepare yourself thoroughly for what the experience is going to be like. Chances are, this is not the first school that you’ve ever attended, but it is going to be a lot different than you might think. And it will definitely be different from what you’re used to at your other school.
Boarding school is like being at school all the time, but only somewhat. After all, you’re still going to the same amount of classes for approximately the same amount of time. The difference is that you’re going to say at the school all the time, and you’ll constantly be interacting with other students and your teachers.
In order to really prepare for boarding school, you should think about what the experience is going to be like, and that starts before you start packing.
- Bring everything you need – You’ll need a whole lot of clothes, supplies, and more in order to get through boarding school. After all, you’re going to be there for entire semesters at a time unless there are holidays. Make sure you are prepared for being away from home that long.
- Take care of yourself – You want to make sure that you are taking care of yourself throughout the experience of being at boarding school. You’re going to be responsible for your own wellbeing for the most part rather than having your parents there to do it for you.
- Keep your mind open – This is going to be an entirely new experience, so make sure that you’re open to it. You want to make sure that you are giving every opportunity a chance and trying out plenty of new things. That’s the whole point of going to a boarding school versus standard schooling, right?
- Set study schedules – It’s more than just having a study schedule, but actually making sure that you’re using all of your time as wisely as possible. You want to make sure that you aren’t wasting your time, but that doesn’t mean not having fun. Getting some fun experiences in will definitely be part of using your time well.
- Meet new people – Take some time to meet the teachers, dorm parents, and even roommates that you’re going to have at school before you go there. This will help you feel a little more comfortable when you first arrive because at least you won’t be going in with no knowledge of anything.
- Make connections – Don’t just meet your roommates and the other kids in school. Actually, take the time to make connections and get to know them. This is going to be extremely important for your future at the school and for you to enjoy the experience fully.
- Take advantage of the opportunities – One of the big reasons that people like to attend boarding school is because of all the different opportunities that are out there and the different things that you’ll be able to do when it comes to immersing yourself in the best opportunities.
Which Boarding School is Right for Me? 7 Things to Consider
Choosing a boarding school can be a process for anyone. After all, you want to make sure that you’re going to a school that will be a good fit for you. With so many different types of boarding schools out there, and so many different ones around the country, it can be challenging to determine which is the best option for you, so let’s see:
- Where do you want to go? Are you looking to attend school close to home, or are you hoping to go further away? If you have an idea of where you want to attend, it gives you a place to start narrowing down the different options.
- What type of boarding school do you want? Are you interested in a religious school or a military one? Or do you want a secular school? These questions will help you decide on a specific type of school to further narrow down your options.
- Do you want co-ed? Not all boarding schools are only for a single-gender. While that’s the more traditional way, you will absolutely find co-ed programs, especially with military boarding schools, though not as commonly with religious schools.
- What extras do you want? Different schools will have various features, which is another aspect to consider. Are you looking for a school that’s highly ranked for a specific sport or academic program?
- What’s the prestige? Just how well known is the school you’re looking at? If you want to get the best benefits, you should consider what kind of standing the program has once you leave that school.
- Where do you feel comfortable? Don’t pick a boarding school out of a brochure or off the internet. You want to actually visit the school and get a feel for what it’s like before you make a decision on anything.
- What’s the learning like? Different schools have different philosophies for how they teach. Get an idea of what your chosen (or potential) school offers for your learning style and if it fits you well.
What Is it Like Living in a Boarding School?
If this is the first time you’ll be going to boarding school, you’ll likely have some additional questions. After all, living at boarding school is entirely different from attending a standard school during the day and going home again.
For some, boarding school is a great experience where they are able to fully immerse themselves in their education and all the experiences that go along with the program. You are spending all your time there, after all.
If you haven’t spent a lot of time away from home, however, boarding school may be difficult at first. Because you’re going to be away from home for an entire semester at a time, this can be difficult for some, though most will eventually be able to feel comfortable and entirely at home at their chosen school.
What are the Pros and Cons of Boarding Schools?
Before you make your final decision, you’ll likely also want to consider the pros and cons of boarding school. That way, you can make a fully informed decision with all the facts to assist you.
- Create strong friendships – You’ll be able to meet new people and build friendships that will last much longer than the time that you spend at boarding school. These friendships can follow you throughout your life and may even improve your future.
- Get a better education – The education that you receive at a boarding school will generally be more advanced than what you would get elsewhere. This means you’ll have the opportunity to advance even further, especially when you leave school and go on to college or to a job.
- Prepare yourself for the future – You may be able to set yourself up with better prospects for a future career or even set your job before you graduate. This is especially true if you attend a military school where you may be able to line up your future plans easily.
- Develop a strong community – You can become a part of the community within the school as well as dedicating yourself to a larger community. This can also include working with the school and the students there on different projects, including volunteer opportunities.
- High costs for tuition – The cost of tuition is one of the most significant barriers for students as it can cost $10,000 or more for a year’s tuition. This does not always include all of the costs associated with attending the school, and students may end up paying several thousand more per year.
- Away from home for extended periods – Boarding school by definition means that the student is away from home, which means that you’ll be gone for an extended period of time. This could be several months at a stretch with no or very few opportunities to go home.
- Not all students/parents do well – Some students and some parents struggle with the concept of the child being away at school. It can be difficult for some to accept the experience.
Wrapping Things Up: What is Boarding School Like?
When it comes to boarding school, there are a number of great benefits that you will find, but there are also some drawbacks that need to be considered. If you’re looking for a way to immerse yourself in your education and the surrounding community, then you’ll be a great fit here. However, those who struggle being away from home for an extended period of time will likely struggle with boarding school as well.
You’ll want to weigh out all of the options and everything that goes along with your choice to go to boarding school. Don’t jump in without carefully considering just what it’s going to mean for you and for your family to attend.
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