Alongside excellent teaching staff and modern facilities, location is increasingly a key factor when selecting a world-class boarding school for students. Whereas Singapore and Hong Kong previously topped the charts as international study destinations, alternative options offering stunning scenery and holistic learning techniques are prompting parents and students to consider different locations around the globe.

In fact, location can play just as important a role in a child’s education as teaching and pastoral care alone. Today, international boarders are able to experience an incomparable educational experience in a setting most would choose for a five-star holiday. This is not to mention the fun and exciting extracurricular activities that such locations offer students. With activities such as snorkelling, water skiing and mountain biking, students are able to explore new areas of interest and connect with nature – a well-deserved break from study time.

Beautiful locations also attract a different type of boarding school staff. With safety less of an issue than in more urban locations, students will benefit from lessons where nature takes center stage. From growing their own vegetables to construction projects which give back to the local community, students will acquire and develop life skills which encourage them to become more independent people. Learning to respect their surroundings and act mindfully are excellent life skills for students to possess, ensuring that they develop into outstanding critical thinkers and individuals who understand and respect the importance of leading a more sustainable way of life.

Looking for a different educational experience? Read on to discover what these world-class boarding schools can offer, in addition to jaw-dropping scenery and stunning surroundings:


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The tiny state of Brunei, located on the northern coast of Borneo, has one of the world’s highest standards of living. Featuring uniquely opulent architecture and tradition, Brunei offers Asian charm in a peaceful setting, reflected in its sparkling waterfalls, gold-topped mosques and vibrant market places. In fact, over 70 percent of the country is dominated by tropical rainforest, making Brunei a nature lover’s paradise.

Since 1997, Jerudong International School (JIS) has welcomed students onto its stunning 300-acre campus. Located in primary rainforest, Sea Eagles are often seen soaring overhead the school. Their facilities are top of the range, with a purpose built, extensive boarding facility recently accredited as “outstanding”, a modern Arts Centre, spacious classrooms, 26 fully equipped Science laboratories and superb sports facilities. Next January, the school will also have a new sports centre, providing the school with an additional two gyms and an Olympic-sized pool.

JIS is proud of its comprehensive education, with students progressing to world-class universities such as Cambridge (UK), Melbourne University (Australia) and Stanford University (USA). The school is also one of the biggest participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme, with more than 300 students completing the Gold, Silver and Bronze level leadership programme each year. At JIS, students can benefit from an unparalleled music and arts programme. Students can learn their instrument and watch performances at the School’s premier Arts Centre.

Thanks to the school’s international focus and small-community atmosphere, students will experience a unique education during their time at JIS – as unique as Brunei itself.

You can get in touch with Jerudong International School via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit their YouTube and Flickr channels.


Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, lies off the west coast of the country in the Andaman Sea. Famed for its crystal clear waters and long stretches of beach, Phuket’s interior offers spectacular waterfalls amid the tropical jungle. While now famed as a tourist hotspot, life away from the main resorts is still very relaxed and retains its welcoming Thai charm.

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The British International School, Phuket (BISP) is located on a purpose-built 44-acre campus with high-quality accommodations and world-class facilities, enabling students to excel in sports and the arts, as well as in their studies. At BIS, students board and study in a supportive community setting, where curiosity is valued and encouraged. Each student is treated as an individual and is able to thrive within a rigorous academic framework.

You can keep up to date with BISP via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


With its vibrant cultural calendar and stunning snow-topped peaks, Japan is an exciting contrast of tradition and modernity. Although famed for its bustling cities and growing technology sector, take a trip outside of the larger cities and you will discover some of Japan’s best-kept secrets.

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The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is home to students of around 38 nationalities and faculty and staff from 13 countries, welcoming new students into a community that is diverse, dynamic and multicultural. ASIJ is proud of its innovative and challenging curriculum designed to nurture each child’s potential. At ASIJ, students are passionate about learning and can benefit from the school’s modern campus facilities. ASIJ was also one of the first schools in Japan to offer programs such as Chinese language, robotics and forensics. Putting together solar panels, recycling, and compost-making are just some of the activities in which students participate, as environmental issues are embedded in the curriculum school-wide.

The ELC had an amazing taiko performance today! Here’s an ’87 tribute to taiko. #asij #throwbackthursday #tbt #school #taiko #japan #japaneseculture #culture

Posted by The American School in Japan on Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Keep up to date with The American School in Japan via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Hawaii, the gem in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is the birthplace of hula dancing and surfing. One of the youngest geological formations in the world and boasting the tallest sea mountain on earth, Hawaii offers a whole host of outdoor activities in spectacular scenery.

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Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) offers its students a variety of excellent academic programmes in a close-knit community. Students are encouraged to develop supportive relationships with faculty members and coaches. HPA is located in Waimea’s ranching country, a 2,500-foot stretch between the Kohala Mountains and majestic Mauna Kea. Thanks to the island’s diverse cultures and magical landscapes, students will experience tailor-made opportunities enabling them to discover passions that will inspire them for a lifetime. Students at HPA become part of a family, in which independent spirits and inspiring adventures await them both inside and outside of the classroom.

#MiddleSchool #ThemeWeek has begun! #HPA students practice in #DowsettPool for their #mantaray #dive this week! #hpakamakani #hpamiddleschool #hpatraditions #scuba #scubadive #hpathemeweek

Posted by Hawaii Preparatory Academy on Monday, 8 February 2016

Keep up to date with Hawaii Preparatory Academy via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Thanks to its striking scenery – which features in the Lord of the Rings movies – temperate climate, and warm and friendly locals, New Zealand remains a firm favourite among locals and tourists. Rocky coastlines, lush forests and wide open plains are among some of the backdrops awaiting students in Auckland.

Image via Pixabay / Cowins

Established in 2003, Auckland International College (AIC) is an independent day and boarding school of approximately 300 students, offering a three-year senior secondary school education. At AIC, academic excellence is a key part of the school’s curriculum, with students provided access to learning pathways at some of the top universities in New Zealand and beyond. Cultures are shared and respected at AIC. Students are nurtured during their time at the school, developing them into open-minded, caring and balanced young adults. AIC’s multimedia library and technology center provides students with the opportunity to access and research information globally.

You can keep up to date with AIC via Facebook, and YouTube.


Famed for the stunning Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef, Queensland is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery on earth. The state’s mild climate and relaxed locals offer students the chance to experience nature as they may have never seen it before.

Image via Pixabay / AWFG_Berlin

At Whitsunday Anglican School, students are encouraged and supported to become responsible and committed citizens while learning Anglican Christian values. Located in Australia’s sugar capital, the small town of Mackay offers students a welcoming community setting in which to complete their studies. Tolerance, dignity and trust form part of the school’s values, promoted through all areas of the curriculum, be it in the classroom, sports or the arts. Whitsunday provides a warm, supportive and family-like atmosphere for its boarders, where no problem or issue is too big to deal with. Students soon feel right at home.

You can keep up to date with Whitsunday Anglican School via Facebook and YouTube.

Main image via Flickr / Romain Pontida