Stories from our international boarding schools

What is a boarding school and what are its benefits?

There’s a lot of information out there about what a boarding school is and how students can benefit from attending one. There are so many different types of boarding school – from prep academies to military or religious school. While it’s clear there is no one-size-fits-all model, there are some characteristics that we feel create a beneficial learning environment. Here’s how we’d define a great boarding school.

An open-minded community

Depending on which part of the world you’re coming from, you’ve probably heard something about how boarding school can be quite strict. For some, these common misconceptions create a dramatic picture of a suffocating environment. But a good boarding school shouldn’t feel that way. 

At EF Academy, students are encouraged to explore who they are. They study a variety of subjects and have a chance to join whichever activities suit their interests. We believe a school that allows students to express themselves and trusts them to make the right choices for themselves can help shape success for tomorrow’s leaders. 

A safe and supportive environment

Safety is something every school takes seriously, but that doesn’t have to equate to strict and unrealistic expectations. Instead, students should be given respect and space to explore, receiving guidance wherever needed. While a strict environment is one that might enforce rules effectively, a supportive environment is one that helps students to feel confident in their decisions. That’s better for students in the long run as it fosters an atmosphere where students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, and discover their creativity.

 A place for everyone

There is so much to be learned from a diverse community and what better place to find one than at an international boarding school? Students from all backgrounds are welcome and cared for, having the opportunity to learn about new cultures and celebrate diversity. Take the opportunity to explore their new home and enjoy their free time by filling it with interesting new activities and diverse hobbies. Because everyone is experiencing life through a new lens together, they’re able to connect on a deep level and build lasting friendships.  

A foundation for a bright future

Boarding school students are given so many opportunities to build a solid foundation for their future. Living away from home and balancing an advanced curriculum encourages them to become more disciplined and responsible. They’re also given the opportunity to advance academically and carefully map that into their future – whether in their furthering education, career aspirations or otherwise. 

With curricula like the IB Diploma program or IGCSE, students have the chance to expand their understanding of a variety of subjects, exploring concepts they otherwise might not have been exposed to before university and tailoring their high school experience to fit into their future dreams. 


At an international boarding school like EF Academy, you have the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. You can embrace new cultures and learn from different perspectives all while pursuing new academic heights.

Learn more about boarding school life. Discover more

Share this article

Latest articles from Boarding Life