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Boarding Schools are a Great Option for Holistic Education

Boarding Schools are a Great Option for Holistic Education

Have you ever considered sending your child to boarding school? Historically and even today, children are enrolled in boarding schools because:

  1. Local schooling options are not of high quality
  2. Families feel that the experience of boarding school builds character and makes their children more independent
  3. 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 other reasons are becoming equally compelling and often mean that families are considering boarding schools abroad as well as international boarding schools within India.

Among the reasons I hear most often is that parents want their children to experience a more holistic education and 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 robust, in-built extracurricular programming that is a way-of-life on campus. For example I recently visited Charterhouse Boarding School outside London where all students, in addition to their rigorous IB 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, to include farming of food and tending of livestock on the school’s 215 acre campus.

India’s oldest residential school, Woodstock 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.

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 all of 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 scholarship 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. Alternately, if you are considering a boarding school in the US or Canada, go through this blog post, and this for boarding schools in Switzerland.

On June 27, 2020, The Red Pen will be in conversation with representatives from the UK’s most prestigious boarding schools. We will discuss the benefits of a British education and explain how to prepare for the admissions process. Prior registration is mandatory due to limited availability. Schools: Charterhouse, Concord, Millfield and Sevenoaks. Click here to register.

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1 Comment

  1. Best Boarding Schools

    Great Blog,
    The reasons mentioned in your article gives an overview of the thoughts any parents have while admitting their child in boarding schools.
    Keep sharing.


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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?