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How easy is it to be admitted into boarding school?

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This article discusses the various elements commonly found in the application process of boarding schools. Firstly, it is important to note that the process involves not only the applicant. Although each school implements its own set of procedures, the vast majority would include parents in interviews. This is because in a boarding environment, learning is not limited to the academic side but relates to all aspects of daily life. It is crucial to confirm through interview that parents agree to the school’s educational philosophy, and will be supportive of their child’s learning. It is possible to attend an interview online in case travel is inconvenient.

Having said that, interviews can be rather brief, often lasting for 20-30 minutes. Activities like summer camps offer good opportunities for deepening mutual understanding, and deciding whether the student and the school are a good fit. As for English language proficiency requirements, a test can be waived if the applicant is a native speaker, if English is the official language of the country he/she lives in, or if he/she has been attending international school.

Entry into Japanese high schools is based on the ‘standard score’ of exam results, but the same does not apply to international boarding schools. It is therefore advisable that prospective students concentrate on their middle school studies rather than exam skills preparation. Boarding schools assess applicants on an individual, all-rounded basis. Many do not have a standardised admissions test.

A variety of factors can be considered including:

  • Language proficiency test
  • Transcripts
  • Interview
  • Parental interview
  • Essay writing
  • Reference letter
  • Entrance test