Trawl through Boarding School websites and request brochures, view books and application forms. The literature is free and will give you a picture about the different offerings from various Boarding Schools.
Tours and Interviews
Whenever possible take a tour of the Boarding Schools you are interested in and speak with admissions staff. It will give you a feel for the Boarding School and you will see the type of students already attending the school. Do not schedule more than two visits per day.
Do your research in advance and have specific questions to ask the admissions staff. The interview is when you get to show the admissions committee who you are, so try not to be nervous and feel free to take notes during the meeting.
You may want to apply to up to five schools, making sure you always have a "long shot “and a “safety" school on your list. A consultant will be able to help you select a good range of quality schools.
The application process can be a bit daunting. All schools will ask for recommendations from your child’s current and past teachers. Ask these teachers for their recommendations early to give them plenty of time to reflect on what they want to say. Ask also for recommendations from coaches and people of standing who know your son or daughter.
Transcripts of your child’s grades will also need to be sent with the application form. Most international schools have a different grading system than the US. There is no need to worry about this as schools have considerable experience of interpreting international grades.
The application form is important, so spend time drafting and crafting your responses.
The personal essay that most schools demand is a way for the school to get to know your child. The essay should be creative, original, honest and reflect your child’s personality.
Make sure the application is sent by the due date, as certain schools will not accept late applications.
Make a follow-up call to ensure your application form has been received.
Do not push or rush Boarding Schools into making their decision. Be patient.
There are three basic responses you may get from schools. The first is a letter congratulating your child on being admitted to the school. It gives details on how to accept or decline the offer.
The second is a wait-list letter. Your child may put on a waiting list when the school would like to accept the student, but the class is full. Acceptance will be given if a space becomes available. If your child has been put on a waiting list, and the school is one of your top choices, send them a letter telling them that you are very interested in the school.
The third is the rejection letter. Do not get too disappointed as schools often turn down students because their needs may not have matched the school’s strengths.
At the end of the day, you child may have been accepted for more than one school. Deciding can be difficult, but many schools offer potential students overnight visits that might help in reaching a decision. These visits will let your child get a glimpse of daily student life.
Your chosen school will send many forms that will have to be filled out prior to your child’s arrival. Forms include a personal questionnaire for housing purposes, insurance forms, sports sign up, class registration, health and health insurance forms and an emergency contact sheet. They may also include information concerning your child’s locally-based guardian.
Passport, Visa, and I-20
To travel internationally your child will need a valid passport from your home country. Ensure it is valid during your child’s time of study. Also, each child will need to explore the documentation needed to study in a particular country. Though it varies from country to country, specific guidelines are placed on each school’s website, so simply look for the Tab on the website dedicated to International Students.
If your child is going to a Boarding School in the United States, the I-20 form is the certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant student status for academic and language students. Request an I-20 certificate from the school’s admissions office. The form can be obtained when you have a written acceptance, proof of tuition payment, and an affidavit of support issued from your home country bank.
If you are applying for a Boarding School in Canada, you will need a Valid Study Permit. You need the following documents to apply for a study permit:
- Proof of acceptance
- Proof of identity
- Proof of financial support
- Letter of explanation
- TOEFL / IELTS score, if applicable
- Visa fee to be payable by Bank draft
- Copies of Academic Mark sheets and Certificates
- Work Experience Certificates, if applicable
When studying in other popular countries such as England, Scotland, Jordan, Australia or New Zealand, again refer to the International Student section of the School’s website.
Several times throughout the year, school dormitories close for the holidays. Students are responsible for making off-campus plans during these vacations.
Many students go home, while others either spend time with friends or local relatives. For those students who need to stay in the area, simply contact your admissions office and they will know all of the different options for you.
End of School Year
At the end of the academic school year students are required to check out of their dorm rooms. Some schools offer space to store school supplies while others leave it up to the individual student to find storage spaces on their own.