Selecting a Boarding School in Canada: A Pathway to Success?

One of the biggest decisions a parent can make on behalf of his or her child is the choice in how they are going to be educated. Selecting the right institution will have a lasting impact on a student’s social and scholastic development and there are many parents who wonder about the best route to explore for the greatest positive influence on their children. Many debates exist as to whether a child benefits more from a local day institution or a boarding school & community whether at home or abroad. Both have their draws, however there is a reason that many families opt towards boarding as the best possible option in terms of academics. While wonderful facilities exist around the world, there is also a reason that so many international parents are choosing Canada as the primary destination for their child’s education. With that in mind, here is a list of the top reasons why families globally have their eye on private international boarding schools in Vancouver.

1. Immersion in the Global Language: English as a Shared Language

English as a Second Language

One of the primary reasons that parents send their children abroad for an international education is to acquire a new language. While there are many available options for spoken and written instruction in English in every country, the experience and the cohesion with the language simply isn’t the same as when a child participates in a fully immersive environment. With enrolled students representing a myriad of nationalities, friendships and academic relationships are built on a foundation of English from which confidence and fluency are the eventual outcomes.

2. Round the Clock Care and Programming: Dormitory Supervision & Activities

In terms of parenting, one of the greatest concerns a caregiver has when making the decision about international schooling is what kind of supervision their child is going to receive when they move to another country. Canadian international private schools have earned themselves the reputation for being some of the best monitored facilities in the world. Staffed with individuals who have been educated in the healthy and holistic approach to youth development, parents can be sure that the enrolment of their son or daughter into such institutions will be a guarantee of an unprecedented level of care and attention. During out-of-school hours, students are supplied with numerous sports and activities to further their growth and social development, and all such programs are supervised by exceptionally trained individuals who are particularly skilled in discovering the ultimate potential of a student in an extracurricular field that might one day very well lead to achievement in the professional world. For an insight into Bodwell’s boarding program and the multicultural, supportive environment, click here.

Boarding Program Experienced Advisors

3. Extended Academic Periods: Year-round Enrolment & Faster Graduating Times


While parents may send their children abroad for an enhanced education, families do not want to be separated for any longer than is necessary. Some international private schools allow students to fully take advantage of year-round rolling enrolment and the trimester system. Such an option allows new students to begin their academic year during any semester, and for those determined students, to accelerate the period of their scholastic term abroad. Such a system permits students to return home faster if they so choose, or opens up the allowance for early university admission, and the possibility towards further unique travel and skill building endeavours. Bodwell’s trimester system approach, for example, allows for three years to effectively be completed within two, providing academic progress and grades are satisfactory. Find out about Bodwell’s unique trimester timeline here.

4. Access to Exceptional Post-Secondary Institutions: North American Universities

Canada and the United States boast some of the finest universities in the world, and students from every nation have found themselves considering options at some of these amazing institutions. Studying in Canada offers preparatory lessons that students will find invaluable while focusing on their university application. Successful completion of the British Columbia Provincial Examinations allows students to sidestep otherwise costly and time consuming English entrance exams such as TOEFL and IELTS. This alone is motivation enough for most students although some do in fact complete both depending on results and requirements. Add to this that many private international schools host thorough and comprehensive university fairs and staff highly competent counsellors and post-graduation advisors, and you can be sure that your child will receive significant guidance when selecting a university that will suit them best. Find out about Bodwell’s extensive university preparation program here.

North American Universities

5. Sterling Student to Teacher Ratios: Small Average Class Sizes

Small Class Size

The ratio of students to teachers is an ongoing concern for most parents. British Columbia offers tremendous rates of participation and touts excellent statistics in terms of graduation for all its educational facilities. One of the primary benefits of private education however is the limited class size under which teachers operate. Student teacher time is of critical importance, and every parent wants to know that their child has as much access to their educators as possible. While the public education sector does its best to facilitate such needs, they simply do not hold the resources to support students on an individual level that the private system controls. Registering your child in the private system means that they will likely be present in a class of between 20 and 24, compared to a class size of between 30 and 40 in the public sector. Such class sizes means that your child will have more opportunity to interact with their teacher and extract the best possible academic experience. Bodwell’s average class size is 18 for both the regular program and the Academic English Preparation (AEP) program.

6. Living in a Common Community: A Shared Identity & Home!

Another key benefit of choosing a private boarding school here in British Columbia is the real sense of community that comes when living under the same roof as your peers. Students participating in residence programs will commonly tell you about the strong relationships they have been able to cultivate by living so close to friends. Additionally, that same sense of community fosters benefits such as large and direct support networks, a sense of belonging and pride as the school is not simply a place to be educated, but the students’ home as well. Residents divided into halls who share common spaces such as kitchens and leisure areas develop a sense of respect for one another as each must do their part to uphold the values of their residential community by taking care of the facilities together. The end result is a lasting bond that students carry with them well into their adult lives.

Living Together with Harmony and Unity

7. A Real Lesson in Life and Maturity: Becoming a Responsible Adult

Gain Life Skills

When you select a boarding school in Canada, the education your child receives will not be limited simply to academics. The same common community that fosters such strong relationships also teaches students about the responsibility they have to their fellow residents and their shared living areas, and wider society around. Children who grow up under a parent’s roof, are probably not responsible for such chores as laundry, light cooking, or ironing. When moving into a boarding program, students quickly learn valuable life skills and a sense of maturity that comes with being out on your own. There are not so many responsibilities that the student feels overwhelmed and the experience as a whole acts as the perfect stepping stone for teenagers before moving on to university and their adult lives. Residing in some cases hundreds and even thousands of miles from home helps students to develop confidence in themselves and their relationship with life itself.

In summary, deciding whether to attend a local school or international boarding school in a foreign country such as Canada is a huge life changing decision, not just for the student themselves but also for the entire family. Families must be confident that their children are going to properly looked after in a safe environment and that they have the opportunity to perform to their highest academic and non-academic ability. They also require hope for the future… Hope that one day the child will be able to attend a top-ranked university or pursue whatever unique passion they may have in a safe and welcoming country. We are confident that Bodwell High School and Vancouver, Canada checks all the required boxes and more in order to offer such an opportunity. It is a role and responsibility all of our school staff take very seriously… to create global well-rounded citizens that leave Bodwell with the confidence and skill-set to make a difference to the world whether they remain in Canada, return home or migrate to a different country.

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