Image courtesy of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

The evolution of the modern day boarding system means the stereotype of severe school masters and cold showers is undoubtedly a thing of the past.

Today’s Boarding Schools represent expression and creativity, cultivating supportive environments in which students can explore and grow from every challenge. They pride themselves on their ability to produce graduates who are socially aware, with a global outlook and an understanding of the hard work needed to succeed in life.

The qualities and standards these schools instil means Boarding School graduates don’t just get into college, but arrive prepared to succeed. The self-belief, confidence and social abilities learned in school result in strong individuals capable of leadership and possessing self-initiative. This set of attributes makes the transition into college, and eventually the workplace, a much more organic and successful process than many of their day school counterparts will ever get the chance to experience.

Image courtesy of Wasatch Academy

What makes most boarding schools work well is the vast number of activities, programs, and challenges available to students on a daily basis. This variety affords students the opportunity to have experiences outside of the normal, restricted day school curriculum and spread their wings.

The typical boarding school student is one who wants to embrace this huge opportunity, while also embracing the chance to live in a community where learning, personal growth and exploration are top priority and success is celebrated.

You just need to look at the abundance of world leaders and successful members of society – George W. Bush, Mark Zuckerberg, Emma Watson – who began their journey at boarding school, to see the beneficial impact this type of educational environment can have on a child’s drive and ambition.

Here are 4 boarding schools throughout the US that nurture students’ ambition…



Image courtesy of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

Leadership and confidence-building are the cornerstones of learning and life at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. Established in 1931, this Catholic, Dominican all-girls’ Boarding School has a rich history of nurturing girls into strong, capable and confident young women of faith, integrity, and truth.

FSHA’s broad curriculum gives students the tools needed to explore their unique talents and excel in ways they never dreamed possible. A strong belief in creating independent, socially-conscious leaders of the future has driven the School’s learning objectives. Considered equally as important as core academic subjects like maths and English, leadership is a priority and girls are presented with numerous opportunities to embrace it, including clubs and organisations such as Academic Decathlon, Feminists in Action, Speech & Debate Team, and the National Honor Society, whose motto is “leadership, scholarship, service”.

The School also hosts a four-year Research Program; a cross-disciplinary course that empowers students, letting them confidently use college-level research methodologies. Ultimately, students use knowledge and expertise instilled throughout the course to produce a junior year research project, as well as a substantial final project in the senior year. On top of introducing students to the feat of producing relevant research, the Research Program also teaches FSHA graduates how to effectively communicate and defend their results.

FSHA graduates are well-rounded young women who value personal attributes as well as academic. The spiritual retreats, which every year group attend, give the girls time to reflect on their value and place in the world over a four-day getaway in some of California’s most beautiful spots.

They also recognize the value of social outreach in creating valuable members of society so each student takes part in FSHA’s Service Program, which sees girls lead and organise group projects dedicated to community outreach.


The Hotchkiss School

Image courtesy of The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss School seeks to inspire a diverse range of students who are committed to the betterment of self and society, giving them the guidance needed to discover and fulfil their indivisual potential.

The tight-knit community and support network at this co-ed School is what gives students the confidence to grow, gain greater understanding of themselves, and figure out what makes them tick.

With an incredible 90 student clubs and organizations on offer, the pupils at Hotchkiss can explore a diverse range of interests, including clubs in Publications and Media; Affinity, Cultural and International; and Political and Social Awareness.

Students can also expand their horizons on one of the Global Initiative progams which promote dialogue about international issues, foster a broader understanding of citizenship, and build upon the School’s legacy of public service and global connectedness.

The Center for Global Understanding and Independent Thinking, which is based at the School, means students are exposed to the many highfliers and distinguished speakers from all over the world that the Center draws. These include ambassadors, heads of state, and visionary thinkers, inspiring students to realise there’s no limit to their potential if they put their mind to it.


Kent School

Image courtesy of Kent School

With a motto of “Simplicity of Life, Directness of Purpose, and Self-Reliance”, Kent School makes a point of creating dedicated, driven and purposeful young adults. The School instils in each student an ability to be self-sufficient and make their dreams come true through hard work; rewarding self-motivation and initiative, and nurturing those who strive to grow.

As a follower of the Episcopal Church, spirituality runs in tandem with intellectual growth and acts as the moral base for all decision-making. This strong ethical foundation remains with students throughout their studies and as they pursue their future endeavours, turning them into moral and understanding leaders.

There are an abundance of leadership opportunities available to students – including Senior Council, team captain, club president, president of the band, choir preceptor, head tour guide, hall monitor, library proctor, study hall monitor, and editor of the newspaper, literary magazine or yearbook. With so many chances to take control, learners are able to develop the abilities needed to succeed in the modern workplace.

In fact, Kent students enter the workplace before they even graduate. Since the founding of the School in 1906, it’s been a tradition for every student to have a job, whether it’s helping in the dining hall, being a Student Technician, or perhaps leading tours of the school for prospective families. The scheme instils a strong work ethic and understanding of what it takes to succeed.


Image courtesy of Wasatch Academy

Wasatch Academy prides itself on preparing its graduates to become premier innovators, artists and leaders in a 21st century global society. To achieve this, the School implements an individualized, project-based teaching approach, acknowledging that every child learns differently and adjusting their teaching methods to suit, rather than the other way around.

Being outdoors and active in the beautiful Utah outdoors is just as important as classroom learning here. Their outdoor and athletic programs build character and leadership skills, while feeding a student’s sense of self-empowerment and adventure.

Always challenging students to try new things and push past their comfort zone, Wasatch’s outdoor programs allow students to grow together, and explore the wide world beyond the classroom.

To gain a truly global appreciation of the cultures and people of the world, students also have the opportunity to collaborate with other students at partner schools in China, India, Ecuador and Germany on a diverse range of interesting projects, such as comparing bird populations or building drones. Working with students from around the globe gives students a unique approach to problem-solving, communication and teamwork.

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

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