We get questions all the time from prospective students and families wondering if it makes sense to get some boarding school visits done before the school year begins. There are certainly pros and cons to a summer visit, and we’re going to try to give you all the information you need to decide whether or not a summer visit could be beneficial for your family.
A clear head! You will get to see a boarding school without worrying about getting back home in time for soccer practice or a flute lesson, and without having to do homework in the back seat of the car. This space may allow you and your family to really contemplate what you’re looking for in a boarding school.
Also, many schools offer programs throughout the summer. Miss Porter’s School offers a full schedule of leadership programs for middle school girls, with events focusing on athletics, academics, and the arts. You may just want to check out a session to get a taste of what life may be like at a boarding school.
Where are the students? In the summer, they’re not at boarding school obviously. Just as you may be relaxing and enjoying some time off, our students are as well. It may be hard to get a true sense of what daily classes and activities are like without students on campus.
Tips for making a summer visit to a boarding school worthwhile:
- Ask the Admission Office if there is any way for you to meet a student or have a student take you around on tour. Even if you don’t get to see the campus in full swing, this student can probably paint a pretty good picture for you.
- Do your research beforehand. Coming to campus armed with questions about the programming during the academic year will help you to imagine how the different spaces and places are utilized throughout the school year.
- Spend some time in the surrounding area. Take advantage of not having anywhere to rush off to and spend some time getting to know the area around the boarding school that you are looking at. Do you and your family feel comfortable in the town? Are there places to walk to or are the students confined to the campus? Get a feel for what life in that location would be like.