5 Little-Known Insights for Chinese Boarding Students

Getting into the right boarding school is challenging — and being an international student often poses added challenges. From campus visits to applications, Chinese students may not know what to expect during their search for the right school.

One of the best things parents can do to prepare their child for boarding in the United States is to learn about what to expect during their search and application process.  Many parents and families have misconceptions about boarding in the United States — that’s why we’re here to help.

See what you can expect with these insights for international boarding school success:

1) Academic high fliers in China don’t always become high fliers in the U.S.

The academic focus in U.S. schools is different requiring: discussion-based learning, teamwork, and kids who elevate the intellectual discussion in the classroom are those who soar.  Lack of participation lowers the final grade, so the ability to work in a collaborative environment is essential.

2) American schools may follow a different schedule.

The application timeline is very different.  You should begin your boarding school search at least a year and a half before you plan to matriculate.  Deciding the spring before matriculation is often too late.

3) American schools aren’t always easier.

The most competitive American schools require the same amount of work and often the discussion makes the learning much richer and deeper.  The homework is much more than memorization. Instead, the homework requires making deep connections, thinking in a new way and understanding at a deeper level.

4) Having the top TOEFL score doesn’t guarantee a spot at a top boarding school.

Yes, top scores help students make the first cut during the admissions process.  However, the process is so competitive for Chinese students that they must have some piece of their story that stands out when the admissions committee is reviewing files.  This must be a real talent and needs to be shared in a compelling way during the process.  I coach clients so that they stand out in the best possible way with whatever talents they have.

5) Boarding schools don’t always prefer students from the traditionally rigorous/ top Chinese schools.

The boarding schools want the most mission-appropriate students and admit students from a wide range of feeder schools.

Want to learn more about what to expect from international boarding? Check out our blog on common myths about boarding schools in the U.S.