International Student's Guide to Boarding Schools

Updated May 24, 2016 |
International Student's Guide to Boarding Schools
International students are more than welcome at most American boarding schools. We look at some of the planning and process required to get your child into school in the United States
Use this guide for international students to cover all the topics pertaining deciding which school to attend, how to apply and much more. Broadly defined, an international student is somebody who comes from a foreign country, i.e., not the United States of America, whose first language is generally not English. Why would families send their children far away from home to study at a boarding school in the United States? Because of the reputation which American boarding schools have for a high standard of academic work as well as for the network of friends and acquaintances which their graduates are able to build. And also for the solid preparation for university level work which American boarding schools provide.
 
American boarding schools have been proactive in the first decade of the 21st century in seeking out international students. Individual schools and consortia of schools visit Asia and Europe to recruit applicants in the fall on a regular basis.
 
The following headers will help you explore the concept of boarding schools and explain the admissions process. For detailed answers to your specific questions, contact the particular school which interests you.
 
 
Admissions to Private School: A-Z  puts all the information you need to navigate the private school admissions process in one convenient place.  Whether you are just beginning or have been through this before, you will find help and advice to guide you. Application Calendar
Keep track of all aspects of choosing a school as well as the application deadlines. This is especially important for students applying from overseas.
 
 
In addition to complying with all the usual admissions requirements, international students must also obtain a student visa.  That is a time-consuming, somewhat convoluted  process depending on the country where you reside.
 
 
Applicants to American private schools for whom English is not their first language must take a test known as TOEFL. Why? Because classes are taught in English.
 
 
Use this checklist to help you compare schools on your short list. It will help you sort out details which you might otherwise overlook.
 
 
Here are some of the questions to ask and things to look for when comparing schools' administrations and faculties.
 
 
What's being taught and how it is being taught are important parts of your checklist for comparing schools on your short list.
 
Other Considerations
 
Should you accompany your child to school or just let her hop on a plane and hope everything turns out well? That's up to you. Most families have the resources to be able to travel, so if you want to bring your child over and get her settled, that's fine. Just understand that once you turn her over to the school's care and supervision, you can't be turning up every day. The school will look askance at you. Your daughter's room will not be as spacious and luxurious as she had back home. There will be no servants catering to her every need. That's a good thing. She needs to spread her wings under the watchful eyes of a professional staff which will know where she is and what she's up to 99% of the time.
 
Keep in touch via Skype and email. You will find that you can share in her news and activites quite efficiently that way.
 
What about those long American vacations and weekends? Your daughter will make many new friends who will invite her into their homes when they return home for the holidays. That's almost a given in a boarding school environment.
 
A final word of caution: do begin the applications process as soon as you can. Getting a visa is a very time-consuming. But the visa is very necessary. She will not be admitted to the United States without it.

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US Boarding schools attract students from all over the world. International students often face a unique set of challenges. This section will cover topics relevant to global students. From English immersion to preparing for entry into a US college or university, we’ll provide helpful tips and resources to help international students make informed decisions.