Why choose boarding for your child?
There are many reasons for students to choose to live away from home during their secondary schooling, including:
- Geographic isolation — familes who live in remote areas where schools are not easily accessible may choose to send their children to boarding schools
- Parents' work schedule — parents who work overseas or who travel frequently and for extended periods have the potential to disrupt their child's schooling, so sending the child to a boarding school provides stability.
- Learning difficulties — there are young people whose interests are best met in a specialist setting rather than at a nearby school
- Family tradition — families have sent their children to boarding schools over several generations, which makes boarding a familiar and attractive option.
In recent years, boarding schools have welcomed a growing overseas student cohort. Drawn by high educational standards, and the prospect of immersion in another culture, these students are opting to undertake their secondary schooling in Australia in increasing numbers. They and their families look to boarding schools and other school-supported living arrangements, particularly homestay, to give them a safe and secure base in Australia.
There are two main options for school-supported living arrangements: boarding school or homestay, with many independent schools are able to provide both.
Boarding schools do all they can to provide a home away from home. Options can range from full-time (seven days per week) to weekday-only accommodation. Boarding school students can expect privacy in the senior years, with accommodation in single or double rooms. Co-curricular activities, entertainment and outings may also be arranged for the boarders. The school library, supervised study areas and computer access are there to enhance the academic program, but pastoral care will also be a high priority, with good meals, supervision and care provided.
Homestay represents the second living away from home option. Many independent and government schools now organise homestay. Here, students become members of a household outside of school hours. The relationships built up during the homestay period will often be as important to the hosts as they are to the students.
The Good Schools Guide provides comprehensive profiles on every boarding school in Victoria, including information on fees and financial assistance, scholarships offered, location, curriculum and much more.