global citizens, changemakers
Source: Albert College

Boarding schools can offer many benefits to international students, preparing them to become future-ready individuals. Through their cohort recruitment and character-building opportunities, these schools can transform into effective spaces for children to not only understand the wider world and their place, but also to develop themselves mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. 

These are competencies that will take boarding school graduates far. As new technologies, including automation and artificial intelligence (AI), transform the world as we know it, advanced IT skills, programming, and basic digital skills, are projected to have the strongest growth in demand by 2030. Same goes for social and emotional skills as well as higher cognitive skils such as leadership and critical thinking. The best boarding schools recognise these shifts, implementing initiatives within and beyond to prepare its learners for what’s coming.

Below are the North American schools with track records of readying their students to become future global citizens and changemakers: 

Smaller schools can offer exceptional leadership opportunities for students, like these Grade 12 Prefects. Source: Albert College

Albert College

Founded in 1857, Albert College is Canada’s oldest independent co-ed boarding and day school. But its approach to education is far from old. Nestled in safe and beautiful Belleville on the shores of Lake Ontario, this small, family school inspires excellence in all five of the ‘A’s: Academics, Arts, Athletics, Active Citizenship and Adventure. The result? Graduates who are well-rounded global citizens, set for success in the 21st century.

From their first day here, students embark on a journey of personal growth and cultural exploration. They study, work, play, form long-lasting relationships, and learn about other cultures as well as themselves. There’s no shortage of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that will set Albert College graduates apart in their post-secondary education of choice. Incredibly varied and rich, the school offers an array of options in which every student will find something to love, make friends for life and be well-prepared for university and beyond.

As they polish their talents and discover new ones, many will find their potential to become future leaders. At Albert College, there are many opportunities for all students to understand, experience and fulfil this aptitude for leadership. For example, in Grade 12, they may be elected by students, teachers, and staff to become prefects who lead the school community, work together as a team, meet to plan activities that inspire school spirit and set the tone for the school year. They become role models for younger students and their peers, all while maintaining a strong academic record.

Albert College offers opportunities for boarding students to become leaders among their peers as well. As flat seniors, these students help boarding life staff in numerous activities that instil accountability, initiative, and organisational skills. Support is available every step of the way, ensuring each boarder gains self-confidence, a growing sense of independence and lasting friendships. During weekends, activities encourage boarders to step outside their comfort zones and embrace new experiences to broaden their horizons and discover their full potential. To learn more about how the College nurtures every student into an ‘A’ student, click here.

Students at Colegio Marymount experience a world of learning, diversity, and endless possibilities. Source: Colegio Marymount Facebook

Colegio Marymount

Built on Catholic principles, Colegio Marymount Colombia has stuck to its roots and established a school that aims to educate and empower the future leaders of tomorrow. The school is guided by “The Marymount Way” which focuses on teaching students based on examples to become entrepreneurial leaders with global competence.

The school believes that nurturing students is a team effort. As such, directors, teachers, parents and collaborators work together to build stronger ties, to be united and to increase the potential of each student.

All their hard work to raise leaders has led to the school being shortlisted in the International School Awards 2023. Colegio Marymount Colombia won the Digital Technology in Learning award. It’s given to a school that best supports learning in a way that includes the development of digital responsibility.

Such an approach ties in with the school’s focus on preparing students for the rigours of school, university and beyond. They are equipped with 21st-century skills, global competence and positive entrepreneurial leadership. By the time they graduate, they’re set to become tomorrow’s leaders in many fields, including government, medicine, business, arts and sports. To find out more about Colegio Marymount Colombia, click here.

Every day at Miss Hall’s School is an opportunity to learn, grow, and create lasting friendships. Source: Miss Halls School

Miss Halls School

Since its founding in 1898 — the first girls’ boarding school in Massachusetts — Miss Hall’s has been inspiring and encouraging each student to pursue the highest academic standards and to contribute boldly and creatively to the common good. Situated in the beautiful New England landscape, with rolling hills, a river, and two ponds, its 80-acre campus is an ideal setting for girl-centered learning. What truly sets this boarding school apart, however, is its ability to nurture girls into young women with the confidence to lead and the skills to make a positive difference in the world.

Miss Hall’s School is recognised internationally for its experiential leadership curriculum, service and internship programmes, and its supportive, inclusive community. The school currently enrols 180 students from 24 countries, living and learning together as global citizens. Its signature Horizons programme has over 75 volunteer and pre-professional opportunities tailored to each girl’s interests — 100% participate every week throughout the year. Life in the classroom is just as dynamic, as advanced Hallmark classes at Miss Hall’s provide in-depth and challenging coursework in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Creative Writing, Art Intensive, Latin, Biotechnology, and the Law.

Every young woman here is encouraged to develop their voice— whether that means advocating for girls and women in science at the United Nations, speaking before the Massachusetts State legislature about restricting the distribution of single-use plastics, or providing needed translation services to immigrants. When it comes to their aspirations, Miss Hall’s students are empowered to take action and solve problems with intellect and creativity while embracing a spirit of exploration and curiosity.

Girls emerge from this transformative experience as self-aware, resilient, and courageous participants in a multicultural society. Their pioneering spirit is exemplified in social activist Ubah Ali, New York Supreme Court Judge Lucy Adams Billings, acclaimed sculptor Nancy Graves, and international policy advisor Zelia Peet Ruebhausen — all impressive graduates. Theirs is a worldwide network of women leaders with vision and the know-how to create change.

Students’ passions are ignited here every day. To discover yours while developing the competencies of an effective global changemaker, click here to learn more about Miss Hall’s School.

Students graduate from UWC Costa Rica carrying a world of experiences and the promise of a brighter future. Source: UWC Costa Rica Facebook

UWC Costa Rica

UWC Costa Rica, situated in the lush rainforests of Santa Ana, offers a transformative boarding programme designed for international students seeking a study abroad experience like no other. As part of the United World Colleges network, the school is committed to providing an education to unite people, nations, and cultures for a peaceful and sustainable future.

These values are seen through its boarding programme that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds with an immersive and holistic education. As the only UWC in Latin America, the school offers a bilingual programme with opportunities to learn more about the region’s social, political, and cultural history.

Here, learning takes place inside and outside the classroom. Students learn through experiential learning opportunities such as projects related to environmental sustainability, social justice, and community engagement. This exposes students to real-world situations, equipping them with critical thinking, empathy, and social responsibility skills.

UWC Costa Rica places a strong emphasis on community service and environmental sustainability. Students actively engage in service projects, addressing local and global issues, from conservation efforts in the rainforest to community development initiatives. 

Click here to be one step closer to experiencing UWC Costa Rica’s comprehensive curriculum, immersive boarding programme and close-knit family. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International