Living away from home can be hard on anyone. For children, however, it can be especially challenging. International boarding school helps kids learn to cope in a new environment without the ready support of their parents. In addition, students enrolled in a boarding school come away with more than an education. They also learn valuable life lessons like those that follow.
1. Responsibility is a characteristic of maturity.
Children who are enrolled in a faraway school soon realize they must depend on themselves for unanswered questions and unmet needs. Parents and other family members are unavailable to take care of problems that may arise. Becoming more responsible is perhaps the most important trait for children to acquire as they grow up, as it prepares them for life-long experiences to come.
2. Self-motivation may be necessary to reach goals.
Although good quality schools are staffed with professional directors and educators who will encourage students to succeed, they can’t be ever-present to all students. Children often must learn to motivate themselves to overcome obstacles and reach goals.
3. Accountability is expected.
Although some children may experience a sense of freedom and escape from parental supervision, they will soon learn that they must be accountable to the school headmaster and their teachers. Being accountable to a non-family member can be even more demanding than to a parent, which can enhance a child’s maturity level.
4. Respect for authority is required everywhere.
Children who are spoiled or have an undeserved sense of entitlement or privilege may soon experience a rude awakening. The need to respect authority will quickly be instilled and enforced, which helps to bring children into a more natural order of behavior.
5. Self-discipline is the key to success.
Learning how to manage personal time and a school schedule are valuable skills for children in boarding school. These skills will carry over into their adult life and professional career.
6. Diversity should be respected.
Living in an international school typically exposes children to students from other cultures, possibly from other countries. Learning to get along with non-native students and treat them with respect provides a foundational cornerstone for a global future.
7. Cultures are unique and interesting.
If a child lives in a school in another country, exposure to a new culture can be very enlightening and socially stimulating. Learning about a new region in a different part of the world is an enriching experience.
8. Communication media may require adaptation.
Depending on the school’s location, students may need to adapt to different communication media. A cell phone and texting might no longer work reliably. Instead, applications like Skype or a video camera exchange, along with email if Internet service is available, may be necessary.
9. Self-reliance is the bottom line.
As children become adjusted to a new school, they begin to discover their own limitations and capabilities. They learn that they must rely on themselves more than on anyone else. This is another way in which they begin to mature into responsible young adults.
10. People are often the same everywhere.
Living and studying among people of other races and ethnicities in a foreign country will be an eye-opening experience for students. It also shows over time that, in general, people are often the same wherever you go. Although coping mechanisms may be needed and students will probably mature more rapidly in a school away from home, they will also learn to appreciate the value of human nature around the world.
A boarding-school experience prepares students for a successful future. With few negatives, it offers a well-rounded experience and a beneficial education.