Have you ever considered sending your child to boarding school? Historically and even today, children are enrolled in boarding schools because:
- Local schooling options do not match the family’s goals
- Families feel that the experience of boarding school builds character and makes their children more independent
- Because family circumstances (health, work, etc.) are such that children’s care and education is better executed in a residential schooling environment than at home
However, recently some other reasons have started becoming equally compelling and often mean that families are considering boarding schools abroad as well as international boarding schools within India.
Among the reasons we hear most often is that parents want their children to experience a more holistic education. This is because:
Extracurriculars are a way of life:
Most parents feel that even the ‘best’ schools in India are too focused on academics. Whether you feel that this focus robs children of their most carefree years or whether you believe that your child is simply not academically oriented, it is a fact that boarding schools have a more robust, in-built extracurricular programming that is a way of life on campus. For example, at Charterhouse, a boarding school outside London, all students, in addition to their rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or A-level curriculum, are required to participate in seasonal sports and music. Similarly, the Northfield Mount Hermon boarding school in Massachusetts requires all students to engage in work on campus, which goes beyond simply tidying up the boarding house. This could include the farming of food or tending to livestock on the school’s 215-acre campus. India’s oldest residential school, Woodstock School in Mussoorie, includes an outdoor education component for all students. Such an environment helps students discover themselves through various dimensions so that when they complete their education, they have a multi-faceted view of their strengths and interests.
Better prepared for college admissions:
Other families look to boarding schools abroad because they feel it will give their students an edge in an increasingly competitive college admissions process. For example, from across India each year, Harvard University admits only approximately four undergraduate students, whereas each elite boarding school in the US will send four or more per school. Similarly in the UK, Oxford and Cambridge admit several students per year from the country’s top boarding schools. Of course, there are no guarantees and no matter the geography, students must have top-notch academic marks, extracurricular activities and more to be admitted. But by the numbers, these international boarding schools represent a proven track record of sending several of their best students to top universities, in comparison to the few Indian schools, which send one or two students per year.
Whatever your reason for considering boarding school, there is no doubt that these institutions have a lot to offer. And with a large influx of international students from China and Russia, many schools actively seek well-prepared Indian students who can diversify their international student body, sometimes with scholarships too!
If this sounds like an opportunity you might like to explore, contact some boarding schools for more information. All will be forthcoming with details about their admissions process, cost and offerings to help you make this crucial and potentially transformative decision.
Here are some more reasons to consider a boarding school education. To read more about applying to boarding schools in India, click here. If you are looking at boarding school options in the UK, read this article. Alternatively, if you are considering a boarding school in the US or Canada, go through this blog post, and this for boarding schools in Switzerland. To speak to an expert about boarding schools, get in touch with us.