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Why the West?

The members of the Western Boarding Schools Association combine the most remarkably diverse range of educational opportunities of any association of schools in North America. None are alike except in one aspect....the student’s educational experience.
Imagine traversing the Wasatch Mountains, the Sierra Nevada or Cascades with your classmates, riding the waves off Monterey or skiing in British Columbia.

Imagine the opportunity to connect with Stanford, CalTech, Univ. of British Columbia, Rice Univ., UCLA, Berkeley or one of the many other extraordinary western universities. And they're in your back yard!

Imagine attending school on the Pacific rim with its remarkable ethnic and cultural mix and easy access to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. All this is in proximity to world class cities where innovation and technology mix seamlessly with the world's cultures.

Imagine a boarding schools with the best of education and informal supportive communities. Many schools can prepare you for traditional success, for what you "should" do with your future. Western boarding schools cultivate your unique vision for what you could do with your life, for a future that reflects your individual talents, interests, and role in the global community.

What Exactly is Boarding School?
Good question. Imagine a private high school where you live on a beautiful residential campus with all of your classmates and teachers, study in small classes under the supervision of great professors, and spend your afternoons and weekends immersed in exciting sports, extracurriculars, and social activities. That's basically what a boarding school is. They are—to use the official lingo—generally called "college preparatory" schools, and there are a number of features that set boarding schools apart from traditional public and even private schools.

You'll Learn a Lot.

A boarding school education is among the best in the world.
For starters, the educational experience is second to none. Highly qualified and passionate teachers. A diverse curriculum. Small classes—which means you'll interact more with your classmates and instructors. And, yes, boarding schools students do spend more time studying than kids in other schools. That's a good thing. No one ever regrets being smart!

You'll Make Lifelong Friends.

Campus life promotes learning—and friendship.
There's also the promise of an exceptional campus environment. Boarding schools are frequently found in beautiful locations. Think great architecture set along a stunning coastline, or at the foot of a snowcapped mountain. You'll live on campus in residences with your classmates and friends—as well as with your teachers and mentors. You'll build lasting friendships and make great memories. The buzzer beating basketball game, the all-night study sessions. And you'll be busy. Boarding schools offer a rich variety of sports to play, plus plenty of social clubs and student organizations to join. You might go from lacrosse practice to a French club meeting, or from a swim meet to a film club gathering. Almost all boarding school students participate in one way or another. But what you do is up to you.

You'll Have Room to Grow.

Boarding schools treat you like a young adult.
Maybe the most popular advantage is that—brace yourself—boarding schools give you your freedom! But don't get too excited. You might think of it as "controlled freedom," probably a little less freewheeling than you had in mind. But still, that's a lot better than no freedom, right? Remember what we said about living with your peers? You'll also live in the same dorms with your teachers. You'll have a mentor. You'll have a curfew. You'll have responsibilities. But you'll also be treated like a young adult—and expected to behave like one. In other words, boarding schools give you the chance to grow up, develop independence, and prepare for college and life.

You'll Shape Your Future.

Boarding school graduates go on to do great things.
And last but not least, boarding schools prepare you for that important but somewhat vague reality your parents are always going on about—the future. Boarding school graduates go to the best universities, and a lot of them go to graduate school. They are highly successful in their professional careers, and they tend to give back too. All in all, not a bad career outlook, huh?

A rare opportunity.
So, you're probably thinking, what's the trade off—being thousands of miles away from my family and friends? Not necessarily. As you'll discover on this site, you can find boarding schools within a short distance of nearly every major metropolitan city. There really aren't many downsides to boarding schools, but definitely a lot of upsides.

For more information about the benefits of a boarding school education, visit