Boarding schools are well known for their academic excellence. With small class sizes, diverse curricula, and individual attention from teachers and advisors, the boarding school experience gives students many distinct advan-tages. Boarding school students acquire the abilities that help ensure success in college and in life.
During the academic year, boarding schools become extended families where teachers and students live and learn together. The 24-hour community of a boarding school environment allows the faculty to seize every teachable moment whether in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the dormitory.
Boarding schools are sometimes referred to as “intentional communities” because the faculty and staff at boarding schools work very hard to create an environment for students that is safe, academically challenging, active, and fun.
What Boarders Say About Boarding
• Being around others gives you the opportunity to do lots of different activities.
• I have learnt so much from boarding, both academically and socially.
• Friendly homelike atmosphere in boarding houses, especially at inter-house competitions. Being there for others and having someone there for you, a constant social life, you don’t miss out on anything with friends.
• Feeling part of team and living with friends’ means that you get to know people better.
• All the music I can do now with extended access to the department.
• Ability to talk with friends direct instead of calling to arrange to see them. You are never bored, there are always things to do and people to do things with.
• Boarding has given me a greater sense of responsibility and independence. I feel I am now more organised and prepared for the challenges to come at University.
• Rapport with teachers is better. Everyone knows you and you know everyone.
• Getting to know friends so well. Sense of community and belonging.
The above list of benefits of boarding was expressed by Sixth Form boarders in the UK report “Boarding in the 21st Century”.
Stenhus Kostskole is a boarding located next to the Stenhus Gymnasium with a total of 850 students. Located some 60 km west of Copenhagen, the school has room for 50 boarders who are supervised by seven boarding school inspectors, two of whom live on the premises.
The school follows the Danish school system with a special 10th grade for international students preparing for Gymnasium.
DK- 4300 Holbæk
Phone: +45 59 43 02 69
Herlufsholm School & Manor
Herlufsholm, established in 1565, was formerly a boarding school for boys only. Day pupils were admitted in 1966 and girls as both boarders and day pupils in 1985.
Herlufsholm aims to provide a Danish framework, encompassing Christian and democratic ideals, in a historic setting, for the optimal preparation of young people – irrespective of background and financial means – for their adult lives.
Both in and out of the classroom, students at Herlufsholm acquire the professional and personal skills required to be able to play their parts as responsible citizens making a positive contribution to national and international society.
Herlufsholm offers possibly the most comprehensive educational programme in Denmark to boys and girls from their sixth year of schooling up until their school-leaving examinations.
Starting from Junior school – also known as the Middle Years Programme, through to Senior School ending with either the Danish General Certificate of Education, A level, or the International Baccalaureate which is typically preceded by a PrelB year.
A unique network among former students is also one of the hallmarks of Herlufsholm. Once started at the school, you are a member of the school network for the rest of your life.
Herlufsholm has in recent years engaged itself in a major expansion.
Herlufsholm School & Manor
DK 4700 Naestved
Phone: +45 55 75 35 00
Fax: +45 55 75 35 14
Bagsværd Kostskole og Gymnasium
Bagsværd Kostskole og Gymnasium is located in Bagsværd only twenty minutes from Copenhagen. The school offers both boarding school and day school. Most of the boarders are 14-19 years old and with their mostly international background give an international atmosphere to the school.
In High School – or ‘Gymnasium’ in Danish – the school values small classes which gives many possibilities for special attention to develop and guide each individual student. Apart from the educational time there are many activities in the leisure time – sports, trips, annual school comedy, music, art .
Phone: +45 44 98 00 65
Nyborg Gymnasium is located in the middle of Denmark on the east coast of the island of Funen. The school offers education leading up to a Danish A-level or the special “hf”-examination.
Most of the students are day time students, but some 90 are boarders who all have their private room. Boarding school staff is on duty at all hours. Close cooperation between boarding school staff and school teachers guarantees a fruitful condition for students personal development.
Phone: +45 65 31 02 17
Fax: +45 63 25 52 19
Staying Behind in Denmark
Signe Mathiesen Skødt, a current student at Stenhus Kostskole in Holbæk in Denmark, didn’t want to move with her parents to Canada, where her Dad was going to be posted for his company. The only solution seemed to be moving to a boarding school.
“After about two months I was homesick,” she admits in an interview whith the local newspaper Holbæk Amts Venstreblad.
Signe’s story is a story about her – and then it is also a story about a typical situation for many students in Danish boarding schools. There is often a foreign posting in the picture – either the student is already living abroad with his or her parents and the local alternative is not attractive, or the parents know that they will be moving overseas during the high school years and prefer their son or daughter to complete the education within the Danish system.
In Signe’s case she had already been uprooted once, she told the newspaper.
Originally from the town of Gram in Southern Jutland, Signe had a few years ago had to move with her parents to Holbæk on Sjælland. She had just completed 8 Grade and was not happy moving away from all her friends.
“I was sad in the beginning. You move away from your whole childhood,” she says. But today she thinks the change was in many ways actually to the better. She got new friends and she liked living in Holbæk.
In fact she liked it so much, that when her Dad was posted to Canada, she downright refused to move and eventually her parents agreed to let their then only 15 year old daughter stay if she would move in as a boarder at Stenhus Kostskole.
When the initial homesickness disappeared, which it did just as her teachers had told her it would, she soon came to appreciate the benefits of being a boarding school students.
“In many ways it’s quite cool. But you have to wash your own clothes and clean up your own room – there is nobody here to do that for you,” she says, dispelling a common misconception of boarding school life.
She is also Okay with the strict schedule of meals and bedtime which is part of being a boarder.
“I couldn’t move to live in my own apartment anyhow. I am only 16 today,” she adds.
With modern communication tools it is no problem for her to keep in close touch with her parents and her 12 year old sister and 11 year old brother, who moved with the parents to Canada. Email, chat, SMS has not been invented in vain. In the article, she even mentions how she knows about her mother’s trip this morning to the hairdressers.
At this point Signe has no wish to move to Canada. At least not until she has graduated from Stenhus Kostskole, which she will in 2008. She may at that time also be better equipped to start studying at a Canadian university – if her family has not moved to another place in the mean time, that is..