Saint Andrew's School - Review #3

Saint Andrew's School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled UNC-Chapel Hill
Home Town, State (Country) Cary, NC
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School If there is one feature of Saint Andrew's, aside from the incredible academic opportunities, that made me fall in love with the school it would have to be the numerous activities available to the boarding students. I played in the Varsity Baseball and Varsity Soccer programs while I was there and through these programs developed my skills in the respective areas. I also participated in the school's Symphonic/Jazz band programs and won a number of individual and group Superior medals at competitions across the state. Similarly, I joined the high school vocal group, know as the All-Americans, and our group was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in the spring of my senior year. As far as leadership position were concerned, I was a Resident Advisor in the Boy's Dorm, Secretary of the Student Body and Vice President and Treasurer of the Spanish Club. Leadership positions are abundant as long as one is willing to put in the effort to attain them.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There are so many wonderful characteristics of Saint Andrew's that I don't know where to begin. One of the strongest points that can be made about the school is the influence of the Honor Code. Students are required to live by this code throughout the course of their time at Saint Andrew's. It helps ensure that the students respect and support each other's honesty, integrity and good character. On a different note, I think that the most unique quality of Saint Andrew's would have to be a combination of the location and structure of the campus. Set in beautiful Boca Raton, FL the verdant campus is home to the high school boarding school community, a middle school and a lower school. The students that matriculate in the high school are not only boarding students, but also local area students from Boca and the surrounding cities. This mixture offers the boarding students the benefits of meeting people from across the globe as well as people right around the corner.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think that the biggest influence in my life at boarding school came from the guys I lived with. Friends from Venezuela, South Korea and Austria all opened my eyes to new cultures and ways of living that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. I gained a new perspective diversity and the different ways people think and view the world. While giving me an incredible education, countless opportunities in sports, music and leadership, Saint Andrew's greatest contribution to my personal growth came from the people that make up the school itself. I would not change a thing from my high school experiences because all of them were wonderful.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
There isn't really anything I would have done differently upon entering the school because I think that part of the learning process in going to a boarding school is the adaptation to boarding life. However, as far as advice to other students goes, I have to say the following: do not talk on instant messenger, the phone or listen to music during study hall because you will get caught and besides, you will have work to do so just do it and get it overwith. Also, despite what people tell you about extracurriculars and the like, GPA is by far the most important thing for colleges so do the work.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved everything about it, but I would have to say that the sheer beauty of the campus and practically every day I spent there in the sun is my fondest memory. Very few people get to go to a boarding school in paradise, but that is one little perk that Saint Andrew's has kind of as a bonus for going there. Amid all of the work and activities, it is just nice to go outside and just stand for a minute on a gorgeous day and just take it all in.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Favorite snack at the snack bar: chicken fingers (they are really really good). Best place on campus: anywhere outside. Bottom line: if you want the best education, the best location and the best overall boarding school experience, then Saint Andrew's is the place to be.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at the school are unparalleled. The one aspect of learning that I enjoyed the most was most certainly the English department. Aside from learning how to do in-depth analysis of poetry, literature and essays, I learned how to develop my skills in writing for any number of particular projects. The teachers give their personal time to work with their students on essays for class and students even have the option of visiting the Writing Center for extra one-on-one time with a teacher. Similarly, these resources are incredibly useful when applying to college because they will spend even more time with students to help them with their application essays. While the English department is incredible and will always be a great memory for me, I have barely scratched the surface on the depth and variety of classes offered. AP and honors courses in every subject are available and are highly competitive. For example, I took AP English Literature, AP Chemistry, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics and AP Calculus my senior year among band and the a cappella group. Saint Andrew's is an amazing environment for individual attention if wanted, development of skills in all subjects and a healthy competition that breeds better students.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics program ensures that every student participates in a sport. It is a requirement to participate in something especially your freshman year and this helps students adjust to high school life in a unique way because sports offer a different way for people to get to know each other. It is a fun environment for meeting the people in your class and the school community as a whole. The sports programs are competitive as well and to make varsity in all sports one must be quite good at it. However, if someone just entering the school, say as a freshman, does not make it on the varsity team their first or even second year, there are junior varsity teams that help you develop the skills required to make it the next year while still traveling and playing other schools. Recently a new gym was built as well as a new pool complex and both are remarkable facilities available to the students. The boy's basketball team, the girl's soccer team and both lacrosse teams stand out in the state versus other schools. They have all been consistently successful for years and win state championships here and there. For a small, private school we send students off to Division One schools for as well. In my graduating class we had a D-1 soccer player, a D-1 football player and a D-1 lacrosse player.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The music program is definitely the program I know best. Both the Symphonic and Jazz bands are highly competitive and are among the best in the state. The vocal group known as the All-Americans is similarly competitive and both the band and the All-Americans travel across the state and even across the country to perform. I traveled with the band to Saint Andrew's College in Canada and as previously mentioned with the All-Americans to Carnegie Hall in New York. The theatre program is wonderful and a new performing arts center was recently constructed for the use of the band, vocals and theatre. The theatre program offers acting and stage craft positions and a wide range of shows are put on each year. There is typically a drama, a musical and a comedy throughout the year. The visual arts classes are quite impressive and has produced a number of students who have gone off to schools such as the Rhode Island School of Design. Performing/Visual Art courses are a requirement of the school and this helps students become well-rounded individuals.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The extracurricular activities at the school are amazing. One great activity was Model U.N. Through this extracurricular activity I went with my peers to the Berkeley, CA conference as well as the New York, NY conference and thoroughly enjoyed both. There are also an enormous number of clubs and organizations that students can join during the annual student activities fair such as Amnesty International, Spanish, French, German and Film clubs. Many students take the initiative to begin their own clubs and this is always a good leadership role for colleges. There is also a mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service that each student must complete prior to graduation. Saint Andrew's believes in giving back to the school community and the surrounding cities. Students can sign up for various activities off campus such as Habitat for Humanity or take part in something on campus such as coaching lower school baseball.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life at Saint Andrew's is pretty straightforward. There is a Boy's Dorm and a Girl's Dorm both with lounges, student Resident Advisors and Faculty Advisors. The typical student lives in room larger than many college rooms and shares this room with another student. There are four halls per dorm, each with two Resident Advisors. Each hall is divided up by grade so that there is a usually a freshman hall, a sophomore hall, etc. In each lounge there is a large TV, DVD player and couches for students to relax and kick back. Every Sunday night through Thursday night there is mandatory study hall for two hours in which students may either stay in their rooms and study or go to the library or computer lab for work. All of study hall is monitored by a different group of faculty members each night. Every Wednesday night there are snacks in the Student Center following study hall. During Final Exams each semester, however, there are late night snacks every night before an exam and they differ each night from late night breakfast in the dining hall to fast food night with hundreds of Taco Bell and McDonald's fast food stuff to munch on. Another interesting fact about the dorms is that there are a lot of international students who board at the school. The dorms are definitely the most diverse aspect of the school community with people from South America, Asia, Europe and North America all living under the same roof. The learning potential from each other even rivals the stellar education that the academic side of Saint Andrew's offers. Overall, the dorm life is awesome and I had a great time.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall is one of the best parts of the school. The atmosphere alone makes one think they are not in a cafeteria, but in a more upscale setting. It is better than many of the dining halls I have seen at a lot of different colleges and universities across the country. Breakfast was my favorite meal of the day with a wide spread of food and a made-to-order omelet station every morning. During the week, the dining hall is open at 7:00am for breakfast, lunch is around 11:30am-12:45pm and dinner starts at 5:45pm. Once a month there is also a special dinner for the resident students where everyone dresses up and an incredible spread of food ranging from lobster to sushi to anything you could imagine. Many of these dinners follow themes as well, such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. There is no assigned seating for the daily meals and the diversity of the food is unparalleled.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town life is unique to many other boarding schools because Boca Raton is a rather large city with its own interesting qualities. First off, there is the beach with is no more than ten minutes away. One can also go down to Miami or up to Delray for a different beach feel every once in awhile if they so desire. There is also the Town Center Mall which is home to amazing stores both typical such as the Gap or higher-end such as Louis Vuitton. There are also many different and delicious restaurants to try out . The movie theater is close by as well, so you never have to worry about missing out on any new movie. Basically, there is so much to do in and around Saint Andrew's that you will rarely find yourself with nothing to do.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life is not at all what I expected at all from a prep. boarding school. Though there are the typical class divides between grades, the walls are far less dense then I thought they would be. Due to the fact that it's a small school, there is a lot interaction between students and you tend to get to know way more people then you would at most schools. Sports and other activities help bring people together and seniors become friends with freshman. Socially it is a great place to go to school and meet new people.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:00 AMWake up, get ready for school and eat breakfast
7:45 AMMeet with Advisor before class to discuss the days/weeks events
8:00 AMAP Chemistry
9:00 AMAP Calculus
10:30 AMStudy time/free period
11:30 AMLunch then Band
1:00 PMAP Microeconomics
2:00 PMAP English Literature
3:00 PMSoccer Practice
6:00 PMDinner then Study Hall from 7:00pm-9:00pm
Weekend
10:00 AMWake up after a long, hard week of classes
10:30 AMGo to brunch
11:30 AMGet in a van with the soccer team to go play a game
3:00 PMHang out with friends at the mall
5:00 PMReturn from the mall and play some ping-pong and pool at the Student Center
6:00 PMEat dinner
6:30 PMGo for a quick run
7:00 PMGo to the movies
10:00 PMHang out in the dorm and watch TV
12:00 PMGo to bed

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Swarthmore College
    St. Andrew's has a unique community atmosphere. Unlike other high-caliber high schools, students are not competitive with one another and look to each other for assistance and guidance; this includes interactions between seniors and freshman. . .
  • Vanderbilt University
    Saint Andrew's school is not just a stellar institution and a supportive facility of faculty and friendship. It is a home. I lived there for four years in the boarding program where I. . .
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
    There are so many wonderful characteristics of Saint Andrew's that I don't know where to begin. One of the strongest points that can be made about the school is the influence of the Honor. . .
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