The Real, Real on Boarding Schools

What Boarding School Students Want You To Know

When you hear “boarding school” you may be thinking about rich kids with pretend problems whose parents send them away. But what you see in the movies isn’t what it’s really like.

Here are our stories of what it’s really like to live and learn at a boarding school.

Play Video

Related Content

What can I expect?

How Do You Explain It to Your Friends Back Home?

How Do Your Parents Keep Up with You?

How Independent Are You, Really?

What's It Really Like to Live With Your Friends?

What's the Friend Situation Really Like?

How are the Classes Different?

Are the teachers really better there?

How do you know if it's right for you?

Are you really friends with your teachers?

“Boarding school is a completely unique experience. It’s been a dream since I was a child. It’s pretty cool that you can hang out with your friends 24 hours. To be away from your parents and to manage your own life and be responsible for yourself is really great.”
Elena, St. Michaels University School
Victoria, British Columbia
Are boarding schools really like Hogwarts or Zoey 101?
Spoiler alert: boarding schools are nothing like you see on TV (and that’s a good thing). While the campuses may be just as beautiful, there’s no wizarding curricula or throngs of contemptuous, gossipy teens. Instead, boarding school is like one big family. You’ll have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, try new things, live with your best friends and find out what you’re passionate about.
What’s the biggest difference between my public high school and boarding school?
Here, everything is on one campus, so you can make the very most of your time. From classes, to meals, to social events, after-school and evening activities, every opportunity is all in one place. Plus, living on campus means always being with your best friends.
What if I get homesick or lonely?
For most students, homesickness doesn’t last very long, if it even shows up at all. You’ll meet other students and participate in fun activities to break the ice and get comfortable in your new surroundings. Plus, living on campus, you’ll be around a community of peers and adults who are always there for you, every step of the way!
What can I expect from boarding school?
Boarding schools are as unique as you are. There are so many schools in so many different areas, so learning more about each one is a good idea. Overall, boarding school students say that their school provides more opportunities for leadership and to try new things. It’s worth checking out!
I’ve heard that boarding schools are for kids who get into trouble and their parents don’t know how to handle them. Is that true?
That’s a common misperception about boarding schools. And maybe that used to be partly true a very long time ago. Today, boarding schools are known for strong academics, the ability to play a different sport every season, and the opportunity to try new things that you may not normally get to try. And because you live where you learn, you build really close friendships too.