Boarding school has always offered families the opportunity to secure a high-quality education for their child regardless of where the parents live. The Nobel Education Network also finds that boarding provides students with key academic and social benefits, which has increased Nobel’s commitment to expanding boarding options across the network.
Currently, boarding is offered at two Nobel Schools, Amadeus International School Vienna and Nobel International School Algarve. Students aged 12-18 are eligible to apply, with admission based on the same criteria as day students. We offer full-term and weekly boarding options to meet family needs. At both schools, staff have noticed that boarding enhances certain aspects of academic achievement.
“One of the reasons parents choose Nobel Schools is our exceptional English language education,” says Anthony Skillicorn, Senior Academic Advisor to the Nobel Education Network. “Boarding students find their English skills improve faster than if they were living at home, because they speak English with their peers after school and in the evenings.”
Another benefit Nobel boarding students enjoy is access to the experienced educators who staff the boarding houses. “If a boarder needs extra help, there is always someone around whom they can turn to for academic support,” says Mr Skillicorn. “The academic benefits are considerable – the students do not leave the academic precinct, so that gives them access to resources which day students don’t have.”
Overall, Mr Skillicorn believes boarding students enjoy an exceptionally high level of care at Nobel Schools. “The attention offered to the students far exceeds what I have seen or experienced in previous schools,” he says. “These kids are getting far more attention and care than in traditional boarding institutions.”
Another key advantage is the opportunity to live and learn in a truly multicultural environment. “Nobel Schools highly value cultural diversity, and we enrol students from all over the world,” says Mr Skillicorn. “Boarding allows children from different cultures to have an educational experience with other people who they may never otherwise have been able to meet.”
Research has demonstrated that boarding helps to accelerate social development, because students must learn to live in harmony with their peers. “Their soft skills improve, including negotiation and independence,” says Mr Skillicorn. “They become far more mature quickly because they have to look after aspects of their life which other people used to manage for them.”
Mr Skillicorn believes any child can successfully navigate the boarding experience, although he finds students who have siblings and have spent time away from home before tend to adjust more quickly. “Boarding is a great equaliser,” says Mr Skillicorn. “Everyone is expected to get on, so it teaches students to become more self-sufficient. Beyond doing one’s own laundry, students learn to make decisions, negotiate relationships, and solve problems on their own.”
One problem Nobel boarding students do not have is boredom. The staff plan activities and excursions for evenings and weekends, and students join together to go to the gym, go to a show or go shopping downtown.
“The students also have a lot of time to pursue their own interests,” says Mr Skillicorn. “We don’t over-programme them. We want to leave room to pursue their own interests. For example, we have a group of Chinese students who get together on Saturdays for lessons in Mandarin. We also have several students who’ve formed their own rock bands.”
Author Robert Kennedy, writing for Boarding School Review, says the advantages of boarding do not end with graduation. “Taking a lot of little steps towards maturity is one of the intangibles of going to boarding school,” he writes. “The lessons in life learned in boarding school will lay a solid foundation for adulthood.”