From two-time Sweden Prime Minister Olof Palme to former president of México Carlos Salinas de Gortari, many of the world’s movers and shakers can trace their success to a dynamic start: a US education. They aren’t the only ones. From artists to world leaders, engineers to doctors, thousands flocked to the US as a child or a teenager in search of a bright future. Many found them.
A study by The Association of Boarding School gives us insight into why this is so. A diverse and intellectually stimulating community plays a part — 78% of boarders surveyed said they are motivated by their peers compared to 49% of public school students. More than three-fourths reported feeling well prepared for the non-academic rigours of college life, compared to 23% of public school students. They are more likely to earn an advanced degree and surge in their careers too.
The proof is compelling — but with hundreds of options available, how do you choose a US school for your child? The right fit — to their strengths, challenges, passions and goals — matters. Here’s a selection of US schools to check out:
The Hun School of Princeton
High-powered academics paired with a joyful environment can be a transformative experience. Just ask the graduates of The Hun School Of Princeton.
If you’re looking for a school that balances learning, culture and support, then The Hun School of Princeton fits the bill. Here, learning takes the form of exploration, trying new things and daring to fail — both in and out of the classroom. Be it Arabic, Bioethics, Engineering Design, or Multivariable Calculus, Upper School students not only examine the principles of that course, they also forge these seven skills: creativity, cultural competency, collaborative problem solving, critical thinking, ethical decision making, effective communication, and leadership skills.
Academic support here is unparalleled. Students have one-on-one access to all their teachers for a whole period every day, complementing the active mentorship offered as part of a Hun education. More importantly, they care — genuinely — for the success of their students.
That’s not all. For three weeks, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors participate in NextTerm, immersive, project-based, credited courses designed to offer a deep exploration of real-world topics. These fall outside the constraints of traditional disciplines and fuse resources both on and off campus. It culminates in a project that is shared with professional advisors, parents, and faculty during NextPo, the NextTerm project exhibition event.
Whether in academics or arts, athletics or leadership, Hun students thrive in an environment where the spirit of kindness and possibility reign together. They can seek out the fullest range of their abilities and interests, supported every step of the way. Passion can take flight, unrestricted by unnecessary competition that dog other elite schools. Rather, The Hun School provides a safe environment that liberates curiosities and lets students go deeper with the material.
This powerful strategy is a manifestation of the school’s holistic mission: to empower each student to thrive in a diverse and ever-changing world, by nurturing resilient character, providing individual mentorship, and inspiring vigorous and joyful learning. “The Hun School mission drives everything we do. It is a bold and unique guidepost by which we design our programmes, expand our potential, and support one another to be the best versions of ourselves,” says Jonathan Brougham, Head of School. To learn more about The Hun School difference, click here.
If you’re looking for a small school with big opportunities, look no further than Oldfields School. At this independent, all girls day and boarding school for grades eight to 12, your child will be seen, be sure and be themselves.
It’s home, after all. Picture a family-like sense of warmth, fused with unwavering care and kindness towards one another. Each student’s diverse individuality is valued. All voices are embraced. That’s the Oldfields student experience.
This built-in family doubles as advisors to help you navigate every aspect of life at Oldfields. Such deep connections are also formed in residential life, where one can bond with a roommate from Rwanda, practise with a coach or mentor an incoming freshmen. Traditions — such as Green and White teams, as well as the Big Sister/Little Sister programme — allow even more powerful connections to form.
If the relationships are strong, it’s because the school’s culture is rooted in kindness. Whatever your socio-economic status, race, age, nationality, ideology, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and ethnicity, you will have the same opportunities as everyone else. Here, anyone can make an announcement at the Morning Meeting or become the All-School President! Students also spread this legacy near and far — from feeding the homeless in Baltimore to tackling period poverty in Thailand.
All of this fuels the Oldfields mission to educate and care for the whole girl. Whether they’re into riding, interscholastic sports or exploring Oldfield’s ideal location in the heart of Maryland’s horse country — near major cultural centres such as New York City, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore — there are always opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit.
On campus, they are nourished with fresh, organic, locally sourced, made-from-scratch food. Registered nurses, counsellors, and emergency safety teams are available to ensure all girls are healthy and safe at all times.
In short, Oldfields is a school with courage, humility and largeness of heart — see how else these manifest in its vast offerings here.
St Stephen’s Episcopal School
Located in Texas, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is a co-ed boarding school for grades eight to 12, and day school for grades six to 12. With a mission to inspire a lasting love of learning and spirit of service, the school offers a college preparatory curriculum. St. Stephen’s is home to 690 students from 25 Texas cities, nine states and 13 countries.
This is where students’ authentic interests and deep curiosity meet uniquely supportive, engaged educators. Meaningful learning follows.
The school provides small classes with an average size of 17. With a student-teacher ratio of 8:1, students are taught by supportive faculty members who are committed to building real relationships, inside the classroom and out. Here, students strike a balance between forward thinking innovation and stability rooted in tradition as students prepare to engage in successful college careers.
Be it dance, field hockey, football, volleyball, basketball or swimming, St. Stephen believes that sports build and strengthen character. It keeps students in good physical shape, encourages them to make new friends, and teaches them the rules of fair play and sportsmanship. Students who are passionate about the arts can choose between Theatre Focus, Performing Arts, or Visual Arts.
“I play volleyball, basketball and I dance,” says eighth grade student Emma. “Everything about here just seems brighter. I got to try a lot of new things including violin, dance, private dance lessons, choir and band, not just orchestra.”
Matthew Kim, a senior student who has been here since sixth grade, takes part in cross country, track, student government, and math club, to name a few. “I like doing pretty much everything,” he shares. “I’m very involved here in campus with recycling, sustainability
Measures. The teachers here are very helpful and you can conference with them.”
The Sagemont School
The Sagemont School’s top aim is to provide excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. This independent private school is set in Broward County, Florida, serving students in preschool through 12th grade. The school provides a college preparatory curriculum that complements athletics, arts and extra-curricular offerings within a safe and nurturing environment.
From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont’s students can take their pick from regular, honours and AP coursework conducted in a technology-rich environment. Students learn from passionate teachers who create a safe and supportive learning environment that promotes self-discipline, independence, motivation, and lifelong learning.
If you’re interested in directing a play, or stepping onto the stage to act, sing, or dance, TSS offers Performing Arts and Visual Arts programmes. Sagemont students are taught the value of health and wellness, the importance of a lifelong commitment to fitness, and the enjoyment that participating in all forms of sports can bring. This is achieved through their athletic offerings including volleyball, baseball, soccer, golf, track, tennis, swimming and so forth.
“The Sagemont School gave me the educational foundation that I needed to be a positive role model in my local community and to succeed as a presidential scholar at Georgia Tech,” says Nicolas Cardamone, Sagemont alum who is now an account strategist at Google.