This article is the sequel to Part I of “Why Go To Boarding School?” The first article in this series detailed how I chose The Hotchkiss School for my boarding school education, and why I felt moving 1,100 miles away from home as a teenager was the best choice for my future. The benefits of a boarding school education as cited in the first article include being:

  • Exposed to a diverse student body
  • Part of a tight community
  • Surrounded by “doers”
  • Encouraged to express individuality

Further benefits of a boarding school education are listed below.

Not only do boarding school faculty and staff encourage students to be individuals, but because class sizes are small, students receive very individualized attention. Typically in boarding school classrooms, asking questions and participating in a group dialogue are encouraged. Boarding schools promote discovery and exploration—key components to learning. Students are strongly encouraged to express their insights and opinions in the classroom environment, and many times their grades depend on this level of participation. Introducing students to new ideas and new possibilities by immersing the students in a high-caliber environment is that in which boarding schools excel. Students are held accountable academically, are challenged and are encouraged to tackle problems head-on using critical thinking skills.

The faculty who does all of this encouraging and challenging of students typically has advanced degrees from outstanding academic institutions. Their diverse backgrounds allow the boarding schools to offer courses on a wide range of topics, including advanced placement (AP) courses. The breadth and depth of most boarding school courses rival those of many colleges and universities. Many boarding schools also offer international exchange programs with other institutions.

Most boarding schools offer quality resources such as state-of-the-art performance halls, multi-sport complexes, modern laboratories and multi-media centers. And what boarding school campuses don’t offer, they make available to the students through off-campus outings. For instance, students may elect to take a trip off campus to visit museums, ethnic food markets and recreational locations, such as paint-balling arenas and equestrian centers.

Community service is a vital part of the boarding school experience. Most boarding schools have arrangements with local hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and childcare centers where students may interact with locals in order to give back to the community. Oftentimes, students receive special recognition or class credit from the school for achieving a set number of community service hours.

While academics, sports, the arts and community involvement are all critical components of a boarding school education, there is also the social aspect that is vital to a teenager’s happiness. Boarding schools offer social engagements and outings such as picnics, cookouts, dances, movie-showings, mixers and off-campus outings. Boarding school students are encouraged to make friends and participate in the social events. Homecoming and Senior Dance or Senior Prom are just as important to boarding school teens as they are to students who don’t live away from home.

Finally, the friendships that are established during a boarding school experience are life-long. Students come together to participate in a unique adventure that bonds them for life.

Please look for the predecessor to this article: Part I of “Why Go To Boarding School?“ Please visit www.globalacademics.us for more information on the boarding school experience.

Joanna Cain is the Founder and President of Global Academic Consultants, Inc., www.globalacademics.us, a United States educational consulting firm specializing in boarding school, college, and university admissions counseling, test prep services and tour guide services in the United States.