Boarding schools present both advantages and disadvantages to the students who attend them and the families of the students. When deciding whether or not to send a child to boarding school, it is important to consider every way in which this lifestyle will affect the student's academic life, social life, family life and future opportunities.
Advantages of Boarding Schools
In a boarding school setting, a student may be able to learn independence and a sufficient sense of self. Because he is in a more enclosed environment, a stability is present within all of the student's educational and social settings. Educational advantages begin with the ability of students and teachers to cultivate personal relationships that encourage more growth and provide extra help with academic and personal betterment. At a boarding school, students are provided with study sessions that are supervised by teachers, thus improving performance in school. Many classes are also available that better fit in with each student's specific interests.
Disadvantages of Boarding Schools
It can be difficult for a student to adjust to boarding school because she has been placed in completely new surroundings with unfamiliar people and circumstances. Time spent with family and friends from home becomes limited, which can make the transition seem harder. A personal life away from school is also difficult to maintain due to the high expectations of academic excellence in a typical boarding school. Also, extracurricular activities provided by the school often occupy a student's time after classes and on the weekends. And although rules and guidelines are needed to implement discipline in students, oftentimes a boarding school student must strictly adhere to even minor rules or risk expulsion.
Boarding Schools in the United States
Choosing between a boarding school in the United States and one abroad can be difficult because both have certain advantages. Boarding schools in the U.S. may increase the chance for family visits due to being closer to home than schools abroad. This reduces any travel time and costs that the student's family may encounter when planning visits. This may also relax both the student and his family because they won't be so far apart. Also, there are generally more choices of boarding schools in the U.S., and financial aid and visits prior to admission are more readily available.
Boarding Schools Abroad
An advantage of boarding schools located in other countries is that they offer a student a fresh, new experience in a completely different culture. The student will extensively learn about how other parts of the world work, and may even become familiar with other languages. This gives her an advantage in later employment opportunities. Also, students in boarding schools abroad have an advantage when applying for college, because colleges will value a well-rounded student with international experience.