Canada, the United States and even Europe all offer top-notch English-language boarding schools for girls and boys of all needs and ages. An education in one of these schools will be an enduring gift to your child, opening doors to further education and the enrichment that comes naturally to students with this advantage. These privately-funded schools – called public schools in the British tradition – are a solid investment in your child’s future, yet they can be surprisingly affordable.
Known for its welcoming attitude in accommodating many cultures, Canada has many boarding schools which are a well-regarded part of the private business sector. Citizens and international students are equally able to enjoy these schools, which are devoted to their social and intellectual advancement.
U.S., Canadian and European schools are equal in quality. Academic movement of Canadian students to U.S. and top European universities is quite easy, as is the reverse. Some of Canada’s many universities rival the U.S. “ivy league” and top British colleges.
Students thrive in this international community, co-existing in a social environment that fosters independence and recognition of each others’ mutual dignity. The Canadian dollar is roughly equal to a U.S. dollar, and the cost of living is similar. Toronto and Vancouver are among the most multi-ethnic cities in the world, with many and varied community and religious centres, restaurants, shops and media that offer an additional support to those pining for the familiar.
Although the mother tongue of one in four Canadians is French, the majority language outside the province of Quebec is English, and most boarding schools offer instruction in English. Each province in Canada is governed by a separate educational authority, but all have high standards. Most English-language schools are secular, but it has many Anglican options.
Here are key English-language Canadian government links for those studying there.
The U.S. offers varied regions with a shared and modern culture. This nation has more English-language schools for boarders than any other. It is particularly strong on non-Catholic Christian schools and ones with strict discipline, such as military-inspired ones. Most, but by no means all, are “traditional” – with dress codes, formal dinners, Saturday classes, mandatory athletics, structured study hours, etc.
Any prospective student who does not hold a non-U.S. passport must obtain an F-1 (student) visa to enrol at a school in the United States. But this first requires a completed I-20 from the school you plan to attend. The form is also known as a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status for Academic and Language Students. TABS, a non-profit corporation for boarding schools, offers useful links to help with this:
European schools are prized for their ability to impart the cultural richness and internationalist ethos of the region.
While travel between E.U. nations is even more convenient, many procedures are still governed by the individual nation states. Thus it is best to start with the school itself, and, where possible, with a local consulate.
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