Southwestern Academy - Review #1

Read more details about Southwestern Academy on their 2022 profile page.
Southwestern Academy

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School:
Sports and Activities:
I was involved in many sports, including baseball, basketball, volleyball, shot-put. I also liked learning piano, and art classes.International school dinners were held every month, and I had the most amazing time serving all faculties and students some Authentic Korean foods. Also, we had some performances and a chance to present Korean culture to other people.I remember sending all students Halloween cards and candies that are provided by school. Because I did not want anyone to be left behind, I was the only one to send everyone. In fact, I did not know I was only one who did that.Activities are endless, but going to Beaver creek campus with other students for a week was my favorite part of the school. Riding a school van with a teacher driving for 8 hours to get to Arizona was a super special road trip.
College Enrolled:
Home Town, State:

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Southwestern Academy is completely different from conventional schools.Classes have many interactive activities. After classes, extracurricular activities are endless.I also loved field-trips and volunteering in local community projects.Because of the dormitory, students of different culture and ethnic background can learn not only English and American culture but also international culture and more.Also having two campuses creates unique conditions which helps students to interact with both nature and city life.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I like to keep my house very neat and clean. It could be my nature but also living a dorm life.I learned English super fast and received a title of most improved student in ESL. Guess what! It is all because I hang out with 12th graders who are fluent in English. Especially because of dorm life. After talking about our life with friends, my confidence boosted and I do not fear learning a new language.So I now learned English, Chinese, as well as little Spanish. Learning how to learn a language is a key part of SWA!Even though I only learned English at SWA, it opens so much opportunities to be above and beyond.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I was very well taken care of by the school and guardians. If I could change one thing in life, I would have come to SWA faster or longer. It was only two years and some summers for me, but the experiences made me more strong as a person.Do not hesitate to go to this school!I really love SWA.Attend all the activities.You could experience top quality life in LA.And that makes a student to grow as a very important person.Enjoy Southwestern Academy to the fullest!
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I like the school itself. SWA is a whole package. You must experience the whole thing to understand what I am talking about.Higher standards for better education is possible here.Of course I was too young to know how good it was back then, but now I understand that it was truly awesome experience.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
American proverb says, “Do not judge a book by its cover!”You just have to experience it to know how good the school is.Young people who have an opportunity to go here should understand that opportunity does not come often.Enjoy the life in California and studying in Southwestern Academy.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Schools and Institutions around Los Angeles usually have lower standards than Southwestern Academy. As a student I did not know that, and I found that out after seeing my report cards.You cannot compare public school and private school, but I have been both.Learning English at SWA definitely helped me because the ESL programs were designed for All age. I was 8th grader learning with 12th. It helped me a lot.After learning ESL classes, I really enjoyed science and 9th grade English class.I came to SWA and enjoyed going to every classes.I remember some ESL classes being tough and I had to repeat Grammar3. I was grammar machine after I took it twice. Never after had to study grammar again! The best time I spent learning a new language.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did basketball, volleyball, baseball, and shot-put. The best part was when we had away games and coach took us to eat huge pizza after a good game. I still think participating in many sports helped me study harder. Focusing on sports diverts academic stresses and helps students to stay healthy.SWA’s focus is not about winning or losing but having teamwork and having fun while practicing and playing with other schools.You learn so much from Athletics and it is definitely a major part of going to SWA.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I remember seeing Shakespeare’s play in SWA’s amphitheater. All students gathered to see many plays, and it was super fun.My favorite part of music was learning Piano and how to play Cat’s theme-song. I only knew how to play piano’s scale. Dr. K saw my potential, and he taught me now to play some awesome songs. Amazing time interacting with different instruments helps with calming mind and nourishing soul.Art is my favorite subject because I still paint now. Art is a huge part of life. It helps to express things without words. Also, healing effects of art helps with lowering stresses and pressure which boosts studying abilities.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
My favorite part of going to SWA was this!! I loved volunteering in children's hospitals and Radio stations. Also amazing is rose-bowl parade helps. I also remembered hosting a party, a fundraiser, that helped our community.Honestly, by participating in these activity makes you become important part of the Society.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
“Chicken fried rice noodles & pudding boba!! “I know the Chinese restaurant is gone now, but we used to order tons of late meals after dinner.Also IN-N-OUT and cold-stone ice cream were regular menu when we had free time.I also had lots of fun listening to different songs of many nations.Bunk beds were fun, and we had 3-4 people sharing a room. Girl's dorm was off campus and it was very fun.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Imagine having three meals over and over.You might think it could get boring, but I think the dining plan and Kitchen staffs provided awesome meals. And I never got bored.After eating all the food on the table, I used to go outside and lay on top of a stone bench and soak in the sun.I still dream about having a good meal like SWA. Food is really amazing and very well balanced. I had serious food coma after a good healthy meal. It is all because of delicious & healthy food.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
History of USA and Los Angeles area comes down to old town Pasadena and San Marino. Old rich community provides safe environments.Unlike Los Angeles downtown, this place is actually safe. Safety is #1 important aspect when choosing a school.I went to Beverly Hills High School after SWA. I still felt San Marino was way more peaceful and safe.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I like going to different countries to have alumni meetings. I usually find time to go different countries to meet SWA all over the world.It is possible because of the diversity of student.My understanding is that most people who went to SWA is a very important part of the society.So keeping good relationships and being a friend with lots of people helps later on.All thanks to living in the dorm & 24 hours together, we all can have an intimate relationship with our friends.
Read more details about Southwestern Academy on their 2022 profile page.

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Quick Stats (2022)

  • Students: 144 students
  • Yearly Tuition (Boarding Students): $45,400
  • Yearly Tuition (Day Students): $21,250
  • Acceptance rate: 60%
  • Average class size: 9 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling