How US boarding schools can benefit international students

Katherine-Brewer, head of school at The Village School looks at how the boarding experience can be invaluable to international students living in the US.

Katherine-Brewer, head of school at The Village School looks at how the boarding experience can be invaluable to international students living in the US.
According to The Association Of Boarding Schools (TABS), international students make up about 15 per cent of boarding school enrollment in the US. Why are international students inclined to attend boarding school in the US? Perhaps it’s the multiple benefits when international students stay on-campus to focus on academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and the exposure they receive from a variety of different cultures. A recent survey found that Houston, Texas continues to hold the top spot for the most diverse city in the US. This makes Houston a popular candidate, as international parents turn to boarding schools in the US to offer their kids the best experience. Here are just a few benefits when international students head to the US.

Growth potential

Boarding students have a unique opportunity to unlock their full potential. With more time to pursue their interests, a boarding school environment encourages discovery and growth, as students become self-reliant and empowered to make decisions. The choices they make will ultimately teach them personal responsibility. With the support of their teachers, coaches and college counsellors, the journey for a boarding student is guided by staff members whose mentorship is vital to this process. By the time boarding students go to college, they are comfortable making decisions and have an easier time transitioning because they have learned how to be independent.

Academic opportunities and personalised learning

A boarding school education is rich with opportunity. Students have smaller class sizes and highly qualified teachers who inspire and encourage them to take control of their education. With a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, boarding students benefit from their guidance and are able to maximise their learning potential with ample resources, state-of-the-art facilities and extracurricular opportunities at their disposal. Some boarding schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma – a highly respected and globally recognised curriculum by the world’s most prestigious universities – giving students a leg up in the competitive college admissions process.With more time available to them, boarding students can actively participate in a variety of club offerings, sports teams and fine arts activities that diversify a student’s interests, while developing important social skills by interacting with peers who share similar interests. Athletics and Fine Arts programmes are widely available and give students an opportunity to become active participants in events and competitions. Students learn the value of teamwork and collaboration, while learning how to manage their time with various after-school commitments. These programmes create a strong sense of school spirit and bring the community together.

Global perspective and cultural appreciation

With students enrolling from all over the world, it’s important that we not only prepare them to be responsible, but set them up to be successful as they enter the real world. While attending boarding school, it’s typical for students to grow up with others from diverse backgrounds. This helps to ease students into college life and beyond, preparing them to become more empathetic and sensitive to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.When students are exposed to others who differ from themselves, this brings improved cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving. Students tend to push themselves harder to share their own point of view and are more likely to consider differing views more thoughtfully. This global perspective will be an advantage for students as they go out into the workforce and lead diverse teams. 
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Flexibility for global mobile families

For international families who move multiple times during their children’s educational journey, a boarding programme may be a good option to ensure academic consistency and success. Through boarding, students maintain continuity in their learning and build strong relationships with their peers, teachers and college counsellors. Even more flexibility can be found in schools with both day and boarding programmes. These schools allow for transition from day to boarding should a family be relocated or vice versa if a family moves back to the area. Some boarding schools offer a five-day boarding option, which gives students the opportunity to focus on the full campus experience during the week while spending quality time with their families at the weekend.For international students, the choice to attend boarding school may seem a bit daunting. But, the best part of boarding schools is that they offer much more than an education, they provide a second home for students. When you have cities in the US like Houston, a city of nearly 3 million residents, where more than 140 different languages are spoken, it helps make the choice that much easier when considering the experience and benefits of a boarding school education.

About The Village School

The Village School, founded in 1966, has a tradition of rigorous and highly personalised learning paired with hands-on innovative methods of teaching. Located in the energy corridor of Houston, Village offers an American educational experience to its diverse and international student body, who represent six continents and more than 80 countries. The Village School, known for its excellence in maths and science, collaborates with The Juilliard School of Music and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to enhance its widely-recognised STEAM curriculum. The Village School offers an Entrepreneurship Diploma that prepares students with the critical thinking, professional and leadership. The Village School is a proud member of the Nord Anglia Education’s network of schools.

For more news and articles, see our Education & Schools section. 

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