A well-rounded international curriculum. An enriched co-curricular programme. A diverse student body. An English-speaking faculty. These are some factors that draw parents to enrol their children in boarding schools.
It’s little wonder they’ve become a parent’s favourite. These schools prepare students for the rigours of college-level work through advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate curricula. A student-centred approach to college counselling guides these young learners to take the right step as they further their education. The best part? They live together with their peers and teachers — keeping support, insight and camaraderie close so they may reach greater heights.
Stellar boarding programmes will extend your child’s boarding education beyond the classrooms. They’ll learn to become independent and explore their hobbies, passions, and interests through compulsory athletic programmes and a wide range of extracurricular activities.
If a boarding school with these offerings is what you seek for your child to become part of a globalised generation, here are four schools worth considering:
Villanova Preparatory School
Nestled in the quaint and scenic Ojai Valley, Villanova Preparatory School is more than just an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. It’s an amazing place to be for a student body that comes from 17 countries. At this beautiful campus, students achieve excellence — a success made possible by dedicated, well-qualified teachers who support students inside and outside the classroom.
Villanova stands out as the only boarding school in California to offer the rigorous IB Diploma Programme, which is considered the gold standard in international education. By studying university-level courses during their junior and senior year with an emphasis on inquiry, knowledge, and caring, Villanova students have the opportunity to build their skills as critical thinkers. By the time they graduate, they are ready for university and then careers, at home and around the world.
This rigour is matched by the premier coed Catholic boarding school’s core values of Truth, Unity, and Love. Founded in 1924 by the Augustinian friars, Villanova has stayed true to its mission for 100 years: ensuring students explore concepts like integrity, moral character, and reasoning — together in a shared, unified experience.
Every step of the way, resident students have the support of six full-time staff members dedicated to the Resident Life Programme and nothing else. A comprehensive English Immersion with Support programme helps international students adapt to the full college-preparatory course load. Click here to discover more about a Villanova education.
Established in 1875, Wasatch Academy encourages students to “work hard, play hard.” As a world-class school, Wasatch understands that education takes place far beyond the classroom.
With pupils from over 30 nations, Wasatch is home to approximately 203 boarders and day students, providing a diverse international environment. The school seeks to push pupils out of their comfort zones and inspire their future ambitions. As such, it runs a range of outdoor and athletic programmes designed to improve confidence and leadership expertise while promoting a sense of adventure.
The school employs a personally-tailored education system: the individualised project-based teaching approach. This means that teachers observe how every child learns before adjusting teaching methods to reflect the individual.
The school advances skills like resilience and self-sufficiency, which are paramount to success in the competitive college admission season and job markets. Above all else, pupils are encouraged to aim high and explore the world wider than their formative years at Wasatch.
Lake Forest Academy
Just 30 miles north of Chicago is the beautiful Lake Forest Academy (LFA). A boarding school for children in grades nine through 12, LFA guides young adults through a well-rounded, student-centric education that extends beyond the classroom curriculum, centering around rigorous academics, a global outlook and Midwestern values.
LFA’s curriculum is individualised, and tailored to each of its students to create a safe, challenging and inspiring learning experience. LFA believes that students own their education. As such, each is given a multitude of choices, from classrooms to sporting spaces, co-curricular lineups and more. As students progress, they expand their horizons with lessons in Biochemistry Research, Web Development, and Human Rights while completing a four-year programme designed to prepare them for college and beyond.
The school wishes for its students to leave the campus as inspired, global citizens who will delve into an area of study and flourish. This is done by cultivating a deeper sense of global awareness and understanding. Students are always encouraged to explore beyond campus — be it virtually, physically or philosophically.
Artistic aspirants have a place here too thanks to an Arts Concentration in Music, Theatre or Visual Arts. They master their craft through after-school lessons, programmes, and practice time — all of which are in-depth, and often delivered through one-to-one instruction.
The Vanguard School is certainly not short of zeal and teaching talent to realise its mission: to help guide students in the development of their character and academic potential through academically rigorous, content-rich educational programmes. This is where individualised, purposeful, and academically-oriented education meets a safe, supportive, and compassionate community.
Here, learning is tailored to each student’s needs. Students are tested during admissions, as they enter each academic year, and collectively in the last term of school in April. Currently, the school has students with IQ levels from 70 to 140.
“By emphasising individualised attention within the context of a small classroom environment, Vanguard provides for the academic, social, and personal growth of each student,” explains Head of School Shannon Graves.
The Vanguard School offers independent, coeducational, boarding and day education, catered to students in grades six to 12. Each student receives an individualised curriculum, bolstered by an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio, small classes and technology to keep them engaged.
The 77-acre campus is home to 120 students and supports outdoor activities all year round. Here, teamwork, sportsmanship, and character are nurtured. Students get to choose from a range of sports including soccer, basketball, tennis, archery, swim, golf and more.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International