Idyllwild Arts Academy - Review #5

Read more details about Idyllwild Arts Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.
Idyllwild Arts Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 2013-2017
Sports and Activities:We spend all afternoon, every afternoon, in arts classes. I was part of those in my major (visual arts) for 4 years, as well as being a Prefect and part of student government.
College Enrolled:Tufts University
Home Town, State: Idyllwild, CA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The close student/teacher relationships Natural environment to hike and live in Arts focus
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I grew so much as an artist and as a person. I learned how to navigate the art world, I took experiences from my classes, and had the best possible high school experience socially. It was hard, but so so worth it.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Put yourself out there!! Being a part of the IAA community is what makes the long hours worth it.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The loving, wacky, bizarre, loud, wonderful community of students and teachers.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Hiking to the point is the best place on the mountain to watch the sunset.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The close relationship between teachers and students was so valuable to me. Being in small classes and on a first name basis with the teacher really facilitated deep discussions and interesting projects. The workload, especially for Honors classes, was definitely challenging, but provided a lot of growth for me.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is no athletics program, which I love! We took hikes in PE, an artists dream.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Our whole school revolves around the arts. Every student spends up to 9 hours a day on their particular art form, putting on professional-grade productions and curating gallery shows. The artists here grow so much on their time through the intense focus and classes in Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Theater, Creative Writing, and Fashion.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
With such intense arts and academics, there is not a lot of room for extra curricular, and most students do not take them.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student, so did not participate in dorm life much. My friends liked it.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall is great. The staff work super hard to take care of us, there is always a fresh salad bar, and meals are the best times to hang out with friends and teachers.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
I have lived in Idyllwild my whole life, and it is like no other place. It is very quirky, very small, and very beautiful.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The community is very tight-knit and very supportive. Everyone goes to each other's shows and spends so much time together, it would be very hard to feel isolated. I am grateful to have become close with so many artists from all over the world, and I love the people there dearly.

Daily Schedule:

8:00 AMAcademics start
8:00 PMArts classes end
2:00 PMWorking on projects in the studio!
Read more details about Idyllwild Arts Academy on their 2020-21 profile page.

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    Idyllwild Arts has an incredibly unique community of faculty and students. Since the campus and the town of Idyllwild is so isolated, those who live there become very close to each other.. . .
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    Living in the incredible town of Idyllwild is a really incredible setting for any aspiring artists around the high school age. It was inspiring to be living in nature while also being close enough to. . .
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    Living on campus surrounds you with your education and makes you think about it in the context of your life in a more efficient way than traditional high school. The arts focus offers more connection. . .
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