4 Reasons to Study at a Canadian Boarding School


Recent research into boarding school education has concluded that the private school community encourages young minds to be versatile and observant; they live and work in a competitive, dynamic academic environment that inspires them to strive for success in their future. If your child glows with charisma and ambition, perhaps you should consider a boarding school education.

With so many reputable boarding schools across the border in the United States, it may come as a surprise that so many intelligent young minds are opting for a Canadian education. Choosing the right boarding school for your child is a hefty decision that really should involve your whole family; this is not a holiday- it’s your child’s future.

If the notion of a private education is something that excites both you and your child, you really should consider a Canadian international boarding school. Students of Canada’s SEAL schools reported in focus groups that they were intensely satisfied with their boarding school experience, and that they were consistently challenged to develop independence, maturity, social skills and balance in the school environment. A boarding school is Canada is guaranteed to appease those niggling parental worries, but it also guarantees the happiness and fulfillment of your child.

There are so many reasons why you should choose a boarding school in Canada, such as the convenience of the fact that English is the first language in most provinces, and that it has an independent national inspection system that prefers not to make academic results published; this encourages students to appreciate that everyone is different, and a lower grade does not define your intelligence, nor your personality. There really are a million reasons to pick a school in Canada, but to make things a little easier, we’ve narrowed them down to four:

1. Most Boarding Schools in Canada Employ a System for Rolling Admissions

This means that there is no definite deadline for applications, and you can visit the school at any time of year. Providing there are still vacancies for enrolment, the school might even offer you a place before March/April, when students generally tend to find out whether they’ve been offered a place or not.

In true Canadian spirit, most institutions will even allow you to wait until you find out whether you have been successful in your application to other schools; this means you won’t have to make a decision until the spring, which leaves your options open and relieves a lot of pressure from such a tough decision.

2. Your Child Will Learn in a Safe and Secure Environment

Canada has a reputation for being a safe country with an impressively low reported crime rate. Canada’s high standard of living and altruistic outlook makes for a happy population and in turn, a lower crime rate. It is one of the safest countries in the world; full of friendly people with a genuine interest in helping others.

Both local and international students are welcomed with open arms, and find that they are fully appreciated throughout their time at school. The Canadian culture is one of acceptance and respect, where different values, ideas and perspectives are taken at equal value. It is a country that celebrates diversity as well as collaborative learning, and has been recognised internationally, as one of the best places in which to live and study. 

3. Outstanding Preparation for Higher Education

Graduates of Canadian boarding school leave the school environment fully prepared to enter the Higher Education environment. The Canadian education system is internationally renowned for its culture of education; ranked Number 1 as the most educated nation on Earth.

CAIS boarding students know a thing or two about #StudentLeadership

A photo posted by CAIS Boarding Schools (@caisboarding) on

Most Canadian boarding schools (such as Brentwood) employ their own University counsellors to work personally with those students that are seeking admission to a United States University. Students who have studied in Canada, and after strive for acceptance into a prestigious American college will experience certain advantages; the international experience will give them an ‘edge’, and it has been consistently proven that most top U.S colleges consider this when making their decision. 

4. Embrace the Great Outdoors

The truth of the matter is that no matter in which country you choose to go to boarding school, participation in sport and other social activity is a compulsory component of everyday school life. Canadian education is all about the development of the whole person and students are encouraged to choose at least one sport as well as another activity or club to coincide with their studies- in a country with such a vast and beautiful landscape, there is unlimited potential for adventure!

The dignified peaks of the Rocky Mountains offer the finest snow and most exhilarating runs in the world; the roaring waterfalls make ventures on the river not only utterly thrilling, but also incredibly stunning; rugged canyons make for breath taking hiking and climbing opportunities; and picturesque meadows give students free-range to run and play as they infuse their lungs with that fresh Canadian air. From calming seaside breaks, to once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters, and lively urban exploits; your child can have all of this on their doorstep in a school that fully embraces the Canadian Great Outdoors.

Rosseau Lake College, Ontario

Rosseau Lake College is the preeminent boarding school in Canada, boasting exceptional academic and extracurricular programs and a tradition that values community and leadership. Despite being a younger institution — Rosseau Lake was founded in the late 1960s— it has developed a reputation as a high-level boarding and day school that is continuing to gain international renown.

Rosseau Lake is an increasingly international campus, with students from 10 countries currently part of the population, including Hong Kong, Egypt and Russia. English is the required language during daytime study hours and the school runs an English as a Second Language (ESL) program to support students making the transition to learning full-time in English. Those who choose to enroll in the ESL courses may earn one academic credit if they complete a certain number of ESL course hours.

The outdoor education programme is meant to bolster both physical activity as well as classroom learning. Trips to surrounding areas of the Canadian countryside are often coordinated as supplements to lessons on wildlife habitat, natural history, environmental literature and ecology.

Students who choose to board at the school enjoy a comfortable living location overlooking the actual Rosseau Lake, and are encouraged to view their fellow students as family. Boarding students are taught to be respectful, engaged members of a community while also enjoying their right to privacy and personal space. Full-time live-in teachers chaperone each of the three residential houses so students will always have a helpful resource there if they should need one.

Rosseau Lake is located about two hours outside of Toronto, but students have the opportunity to visit the city through class trips or on weekends. This advantageous setting gives students the peace, transquility and safety of a rural campus while still allowing them access to a major metropolis.

Branksome Hall, Toronto

Founded in 1903, Branksome Hall is one of Canada’s premier day and boarding schools for girls. Educating girls from junior kindergarten to university entrance, it is an independent, non-denominational girls’ day and boarding school and teaches the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB), a qualification recognized around the world.

Branksome offers a strong liberal arts curriculum that develops critical thinking and inquiry skills, fosters a balance between academics and co-curricular choices, and emphasizes a global perspective. Boarding students at Branksome can enroll from Grades 8-12, and enjoy an enriched program within the caring residence environment.

A small contingent of students lives on campus as part of the residency program. These students live in one of three boarding halls in an idyllic 13-acre forested setting. Each girl in the residency program has a roommate assigned according to age, grade and mutual interests. Beyond this, activities including spirit week and the “Walk for the World” encourage a tighter-knit campus community.

Life in Toronto includes fantastic cultural opportunities, as well. Students in residence embark on weekend excursions that explore local art galleries, museums and libraries, and there is ample opportunity to head out on supervised shopping expeditions. Boarders also undergo thorough orientation, so that they can make full use of the city’s transit system, festivals and restaurants when appropriate.

St. John’s- Ravenscourt, Manitoba

One of the country’s leading independent co-educational day and boarding schools, St. John’s-Ravenscourt (SJR) offers comprehensive, high-quality education to talented boys and girls from all over the world. It is proud of its rich heritage, and are keen to create a synthesis between traditional and modern learning techniques to enable all students to thrive as part of an ever-changing society, not only as school pupils but also as university students and professionals.

Those enrolled at SJR have the opportunity to challenge themselves and develop into proactive, globally aware citizens by engaging with the institution’s comprehensive curriculum. The School has very strong math and science programmes. The School has produced 18 Rhodes Scholars, three Math Olympians and our students consistently rank nationally in mathematics and science competitions.

Students excited to listen to the Junior School Choirs at Friday's Musical Festival. #SJRschool

A photo posted by St. John's-Ravenscourt School (@sjr_school) on

Students that want to challenge themselves further may take Advanced Placement (AP) classes beginning in Grade 10. By taking these courses students are learning university level material and can earn advanced standing in courses when they get to university or have earned university credits before even graduating from Grade 12. The School offers AP classes in six subject areas.

An institution dedicated to achieving and maintaining academic excellence, the high quality of education offered at SJR is reflected in the success of its students. In 2014, 100% of SJR graduates progressed into post-secondary education; 96.9% were offered a place on their first choice of program or at their first-choice university. Destination of graduates are equally impressive; over the last five years, former SJR students have gone on to study at a broad spectrum of world-class universities, including Princeton, Cornell, Sheffield, Dundee and McGill.