New Mexico Military Institute
Source: New Mexico Military Institute

Send a child to boarding school and they’ll learn more than just discipline. Today’s boarding schools afford ambitious youths the chance to become their best selves by focusing on academic, personal, and community development. Young people evolve into responsible adults. Learning independence early, they manage the digital era’s many distractions. They focus on what’s important.

In the same way, military schools are now institutions that offer similar opportunities for holistic education. Establishing routine and patterns in their daily lives teaches young people to rely on themselves, which is the first step towards instilling responsibility.

As former US President John F. Kennedy said, “We must think and act not only for the moment but for our time.” For students at these American boarding schools, learning goes beyond understanding the subject matter at any given moment. It prepares them to instigate and execute actionable plans that positively serve their country, organisations and communities in the future. This is what shapes them into responsible citizens and effective leaders.

So if you are a young person or parent looking for the right institution abroad, check out these American boarding schools — some of which are also respected military academies. 


New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) offers more than rigorous academic and physical education. At this institution located in Roswell, New Mexico, high school and junior college students immerse themselves in a leadership laboratory with over 300 opportunities to lead. Not only do they apply and interview for these positions, but they also attend leadership classes to cultivate relevant skills.

American boarding schools

Source: New Mexico Military Institute

NMMI offers a variety of merit-based scholarships and incentives for first-time international applicants. This institute is an inspirational starting point from which a high school student can transition seamlessly into the first two years of college via a six-year programme pathway.

Graduates have gone on to make waves in the fields of business, industry, public service, education, and in the military — 98% complete a four-year degree at outstanding schools such as Penn State, Stanford, Rice, Cornell, University of Texas, Arizona State University, University of Colorado, and the nation’s Service Academies.

Young people from 48 US states and 33 countries form the diverse cohort of students here, gaining the opportunity to learn and grow in a truly global environment. “I had always thought that being Asian would bar me from truly being a part of this American military school. However, in the diverse environment at NMMI, I learned that our differences in cultures, ethnicities, and religions do not matter, especially when we are all wearing the same uniform through common hardship,” says Class of 2020 High School Valedictorian, PFC Nam H. Vuong from Vietnam.

For international students, NMMI offers the semester-long English Language and American Culture Programme to build the skills necessary to succeed here and to “test drive” the NMMI Experience. To know more about this institution’s rich history and tradition of educating tomorrow’s leaders, click here.


Students from over 80 countries sign up for a classic American boarding school experience at The Village School in Houston, Texas. The Village community fosters a welcoming environment where global connections and friendships are the norm. This is how students develop a broad understanding of other cultures, making them true citizens of the world. 

American boarding schools

Source: The Village School

Students are encouraged to be ambitious, which pushes them to achieve beyond what they may have thought possible, academically, socially and personally. In the words of student Chiedumaga Onyeagoro, “I think The Village School is quite unique compared to the different schools I’ve been to. It gives me a different perspective on how I look at life itself. It gives me a new perspective on how I do work in general, and it gives me unique event experiences that I haven’t done before.”

Children are welcome to enrol from as young as two years old, leading to elementary, middle school, high school, and pre-university programmes. With an average 8:1 student-teacher ratio, classrooms are small and personal yet dynamic and engaging. High school graduates may choose to study the International Baccalaureate, American High School Diploma, or Entrepreneurship Diploma. Whether your interest is in athletics, science, or technology, you will be encouraged to pursue them alongside your academic goals.


The Riverside Military Academy (RMA) in Georgia is a place where young men in grades seven to 12 go to reach their full potential. Of the many private American boarding schools, RMA boasts a long tradition of excellence since 1907. Thus, learning here is guided by a history of exemplary academics, competitive athletics, and adherence to the honour code. 

American boarding schools

Source: Riverside Military Academy

Cadets learn, play, and live together, forming structure and rigour in their day-to-day life. Whether you are gifted in fine arts, music, or one of the 13 varsity level sports, you will find the space to improve and excel at this revered preparatory school. As a Class of 2019 graduate shared, “Before RMA, I would escape from the world around me by immersing myself in video games, refusing to participate in sports and activities. But in my heart, I wanted to be a better me. I just needed the right push and the right motivation to get me there.”

RMA graduates go on to become athletes, inventors, actors, business owners, lawyers, and judges. They don’t only lead their respective industries but also a generation of young people determined to channel their talents into real-world impact. This can only be done with the skillful sharpening of discipline and purpose, which are integral to the private boarding school experience in the US.

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