The Best Type of Boarding School Visit You Should Schedule

Before determining which boarding school you want your child to attend, it is crucial you schedule visits with each option.  

Sure, you may feel you have a good idea what the school is like thanks to their carefully crafted website, YouTube videos, and extensive social media profiles.  But remember, these are the very best snapshots of the school and are intended to drawn interest in their school.  It is highly unlikely you will find anything you don’t like on any of those platforms.

Plus, nothing beats meeting the staff in person.  In fact, any reliable college prep boarding school you want your child to attend should insist on meeting you and your child in person to ensure a good fit before starting the application process.

That said, there are several different kinds of visits you can schedule with your child.  Today we will look at all of your options so you can decide which one best suits your needs.  

1. Open House

Boarding schools typically advertise that they will be conducting an open house of the school on a specified date and time.  From there, anyone that has any interest is invited to attend.

At an open house visit, you can expect various staff to be on hand to answer your pressing questions.  You will also be able to tour the campus and see what everything looks like.  

Also you will be able to attend an informational session with speakers that will explain everything there is to know about the school.  You might learn about the school’s values, admissions process, academic structure, and even extracurricular activity opportunities.  

That said, there are some drawbacks to attending a boarding school open house:

  • You will be one of many people attending so having all of your questions answered may not be realistic
  • You will not get to see any of the classes in session since open houses are typically held in the early evening hours
  • There are limited times to attend open houses, as they are not held on a regular basis, which makes it hard for you to attend if you have a busy schedule

2. Tours

School tours are held in a variety of ways depending on the time of year you attend.  However, the basic process is straightforward.  You show up to a scheduled school tour with others that are interested in the school and tour the school’s facilities, asking questions along the way and learning about the school as the tour progresses.

Since scheduled tours often have time constraints, it may be difficult for you to ask everything you want during the actual tour.  However, a simple call to the admissions office afterward can help with this.

3. Shadowing

Though not all boarding schools offer shadow visits, if one your child is interested in does, it might be worth it.

With a shadow visit, your child pairs up with one of the students and follows him around for the day.  Your child will attend classes as though one of the students and see firsthand how things operate on a daily basis.

This type of visit is an excellent opportunity for your child to see how the school runs things and whether it is something they like.

4. Overnight Visits

The last kind of visit available to students interested in attending boarding school is the overnight visit.  This type of visit allows your child to experience what it would be like to live at the boarding school. However, the caveat is that most schools do not offer overnight stays for perspective students. 

During this visit, your child will spend the night in the dorm with host students and attend meals and activities with them.  This gives your child a sense of what living there might be like, as well as an impression of the student body.  

In the end, no matter which type of visit you decide to partake in, a visit is necessary.  If you are going to invest money into a school your child must live at, even if only for the weekdays, it is essential you make sure the school you choose is best suited for both your pocketbook and your child.