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Tips for first-time boarding school parents

Sending your child to boarding school is a big step. Excitement can easily mix with feelings of nervousness or worry about spending time away from each other. We have gathered a few tips and things to keep in mind for first-time boarding school parents, so you can enjoy the unique experience your child is about to embark on together as a family.

Your child is in safe hands

One of the most important things to keep in mind as boarding school parents is that your child is in safe hands. Sending your child to boarding school is a big commitment and requires you to put a lot of trust in the school to take care of your child. Our Pathway Managers offer each student individual academic, social and emotional support, while also working together with the student on goal-setting and personal development. Pathway Managers also act as a communication hub, connecting parents and families with teachers, Residential Advisors, University Advisors, nurses and more. This means that your child can always turn to their Pathway Manager for guidance, whether it be for academic or personal matters, and that you as parents will be kept informed about your child’s development at school.

Encourage your child to make new friends

Boarding school is an amazing place for making new friends. Even if your child doesn’t know anyone at their new school at first, they will soon be making new friends from all over the world. With students from over 75 different countries, our campuses make for a diverse, inclusive, and open environment. A major perk of attending boarding school is that when the school day is over, your child will still be surrounded by their new friends while enjoying extracurricular activities or catching up on homework in their dorm room. Attending boarding school together creates a special bond, many of our students end up becoming friends for life who later visit each other as they go on to university and beyond.

A care package is always a good idea

Sending your child a care package with some of their favorite things is a great way of making them feel more at home on campus. Maybe your child has a favorite snack that isn’t available abroad or a certain brand of shampoo that they love and have gotten used to at home. Why not also include some family photos or something to read? Often, it’s the little things that make a big impact. Being able to eat that yummy chocolate bar from home might be just the right thing to ease a bout of homesickness.

Help them create their home away from home

Another way to help your child get settled in on campus is to think about how you can make their dorm room feel extra cozy and comfortable. While you’re packing, consider adding some slippers to wear inside, a cozy blanket, and some small ornaments to make the room feel more personal.

Remind them that boarding school abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Experiencing high school at an international boarding school is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As boarding school parents, you set your child up for a future full of possibilities by sending them to an international high school abroad. Not only will they thrive intellectually, but they’ll also develop their interpersonal skills and gain a strong cross-cultural awareness that will expand their worldview and prepare them for their future studies and careers. Your child will be living and studying in an incredibly vibrant and inspiring environment where they will be surrounded by people who come from all over the world, allowing them to learn from and inspire each other. They will become part of a unique community, a global network of friends who will be able to support each other and connect with each other as they move on to further studies and careers.

Keep in touch, but give them space

Even if your child is far away from you physically, there have never been more ways to communicate with each other from a distance than there are now. While your child is at boarding school, they’re always just a phone call away. Why not schedule a family Facetime or Zoom call to catch up with your child and hear everything about what they’ve been up to at school lately? Maybe you can get a virtual tour of how they’ve decorated their dorm room! Make sure there’s a good balance though, keep in mind to give your child space and time as they get settled into this new exciting chapter of their life.


At EF Academy we work with the whole family to ensure that you and your child receive the support and guidance needed to prepare you for the exciting journey ahead.

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