In the USA the school year begins in September, finishing mostly at the end of May . The exact date varies from school to school. Depending on the school, the year is split up into semesters or trimesters. Generally students take 5 – 6 different subjects which are taught daily. Subjects are offered at various levels. Guidance counsellors at the respective schools work together with the students to devise a study plan tailored to their individual needs. The so called AP (Advanced Placement) courses have the highest academic recognition.
Often international boarders are invited to stay at other boarders’ homes for the weekend, thereby experiencing life in typical American families. Should this not be possible, the boarding school can offer help in finding a host family for the weekend or vacation. Some boarding schools even work together with official organizations in arranging this kind of service (against payment). Study trips to various regions in the country are often organised during vacations (also against payment).
Sport and Art
Types of Boarding Schools
Schools with boarders only. All students are accommodated on campus.
The majority of the boarders study and live on the school campus; a few commute from the neighbourhood or surrounding towns.
These schools follow military structures, most insist that uniform be worn and the students are educated very strictly.
5-Day Boarding Schools
All week boarders, learning and living on campus during the week and spending the weekends at home.
Junior Boarding Schools
Junior Boarding Schools accept students ranging from level 1 – 8, usually the levels 6 – 8 live and learn on campus.
Student intake is both male and female.
Pre-Professional Arts Schools
Pre-Professional Arts boarding schools teach within specialised fields, such as music, fine and visual arts, theatre, ballet and creative writing. The students are prepared for entry into traditional colleges or special schools such as Academies of Music.
These schools belong to specific religions and usually require their applicants to be affiliated to a particular denomination.
Furthermore at least 4 weeks should be allowed for visa formalities: for some nationalities even up to 3 months.
Admission & Language requirements
Need-Based Financial Aid
Many boarding schools grant a ‘gifted student award’. These awards are disbursed in order to encourage specific talents, for example in the fields of sports, art and academic talents. If your child possesses above average abilities, you should ask the school for the requirements of the ‘gifted student award’. Further information on boarding schools’ financing schemes can be obtained from the National Association of Independent Schools
School fee payment programs are not loans, rather they allow the parents to split up the school fees into separate instalments. The exact conditions must be negotiated individually. You can obtain a list of payment programs at the financial department of each school and select the appropriate program.
Tuition Loan Programs
The special tuition loan programs for school fees allow families who could usually not afford it, to enrol their child at a private boarding school. This payment program spreads the costs according to a pre-arranged period of time. The financial aid offices of the various schools can supply you with a list of renowned credit institutes upon request, from which you can choose the appropriate one.
Discounts for siblings
If more than one child from the same family is enrolled at the same boarding school, it is possible to receive a financial discount in individual cases. However the discounts are not very high and are only offered by a few schools.
Further information on the subject of boarding schools is available through the American Association
The Association of Boarding Schools
2141 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite H
Washington, DC 20007
Tel: +1 202 965 8982
Fax: +1 202 965 8988
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