Images of prep and boarding schools might call to mind Ivy strewn granite walls and kids in ties and blazers studying long hours in the library. Alternatively, many might think of the mysterious magic of Hogwarts, and imagine schools full of Harry Potters and Hermiones avoiding dragons and other magical creatures. In 25 years living and working in international day and boarding schools, the only dragons I have met were a few aged history teachers whose coffee infused breath was strong enough to send me looking for a cloak of invisibility. But, I have still managed to find plenty of magic through the years. In an international day and boarding school, the magic isn’t based in potions or spells, but in the amazing everyday experiences we get to have living and working in a diverse, global community. I want to share with you the best reasons to go to an international school, where maybe, just maybe, you will make a little magic of your own.
Cool friends from all over the world
Your friends aren’t going to be “just like you.” Your friends are going to speak all kinds of languages, and know music and fashion and food from a whole different set of experiences than what you grew up with. And, while that might sound exotic and strange and a little exciting, pretty soon it won’t be. You will come to see kids from all over the world as your neighbors, your friends, and maybe even your roommate if you live on-campus, and that will seem the most normal thing in the world.
Learn to speak languages
As you master your second, third or even more languages you will have an opportunity to practice your language skills with new friends from around the planet. Students who speak multiple languages have better cognitive skills and do better in school. I think they tend to be more interesting to talk with as well, as their perspective of the world around them grows with each language learned.
Access to teachers
At international day and boarding schools, like EF Academy, teachers don’t just teach, they coach, lead activities in the evenings and on weekends, and check in our boarding students to their dormitories at night. You get to know your teachers in a way that goes way beyond the halls of the classroom. You might find yourself standing next to your teacher on a trip to MoMA on Friday night talking about the latest art exhibitions, going on a hiking trip on Saturday, and then playing a faculty vs. students volleyball game the next day. That proximity breaks down barriers and teachers become real mentors and life coaches.
We know the world is increasingly connected. Coming to an international school allows you to tap into a huge global network of fellow students and alumni who have a shared experience and who want to connect with others just like yourself. While that may just seem like a really cool thing when you are still a student, when you move through university and beyond you will be able to call on those lifelong friends you made in the dorm and that broader alumni network to get connected throughout the world.
Clubs, sports and activities
At an international day and boarding school, you will always have something to do, and someone to do it with. For some this is the many sports teams available to you, and for others it is getting involved with the TEDx, DECA or Outdoor Leadership clubs. Others find connections with book clubs, Lego building clubs, or even the Dungeon & Dragons club. At an international day and boarding school there is something for everyone, and if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can always propose a new club!
I hope that this gives you a taste of some of the many benefits of an international school, and we hope to see you around our campus soon. We won’t even make you wear a jacket and tie!
At EF Academy, we open a world of opportunities for high school students. We provide a transformational education, thorough preparation for university and a future that knows no borders.