Frequently Asked Questions
We know that you will have many questions. Over the past 10 years we have helped to answer many, many questions. Here are some of the questions asked by families and things you need to ask yourself in preparation to decide which school or location may be best for your child. We look forward to answering these questions for you when you contact us. They are not listed in any order.
Q. Will my child be safe?
A. The locations of these schools are in very safe areas of the USA. Your child will be well-cared for and safety is of the highest priority of each school.
Q. Will there be 24/7 supervision?
A. Most definitely. Directors of Boarding and supervision staff live in-residence at the boarding house and during the school hours there are mentors/tutors and specialized faculty caring for your child's academic, social and spiritual care.
Q. What are the academic results of the school?
A. These schools are highly reputable and well-respected schools for the outcomes they produce. These outcomes are not only addressing academics, they are focusing on building the character of each student so that each student becomes the best they can be, extending to practicing respect, values, manners, compassion, leadership and more.
Q. Does the school providing learning support or can it extend my child if they are clever?
A. Each of these schools have specialist staff and programs to extend the gifted student and support the student who is requiring assistance to reach their full potential. Schools of this quality have staff who understand how to teach boys and how to teach girls 'differently' as each learns at a different pace and prefers a different style.
Q. Is there a Performing Arts program as my child has extraordinary talent?
A. Outstanding performing arts are offered at each of the schools. These performing arts programs are referred to as a 'school within the school'. For gifted musicians, dancers, singers or those heading to an acting career or musical theatre, certain schools offer a great pathway.
Q. What is the accommodation arrangements, ex. single rooms, shared rooms?
A. It depends on which school. Most offer shared accommodation from either 2-4 per room in lower grade levels and progress toward single rooms in upper senior years. Some rooms have their own bathrooms, and some have their own. Each room comes with at least a bed, dresser and desk.
Q. Are there many activities for boarding students during weekends and what about school breaks and vacations?
A. Yes. All the boarding schools ensure that during weekends, their boarding students are occupied either in their own pursuits (with permission) or in organized school activities. Organized schools activities can be out to the movies, museums, shopping, sport games, concerts, and more!
Q. My child will probably be very homesick, how will this be monitored?
A. Boarding schools' staff are trained professionals and have extensive experience in understanding and managing home sickness experienced by students. The caring, warm, friendly environment provided to students will never replace 'home' but the aim is to have students 'feel at home'. Having a friend is very important and in the boarding houses, students make friends with fellow new students and experienced students who help any newly arrived student to integrate, be introduced to others and to 'find their way' around the boarding environment and the school day classes. As time progresses, students will sort out their own friendships and home sickness diminishes. These important early weeks are monitored by staff and assistance and comfort is provided constantly. Parents play a big role in helping boarding staff help their child. They should not constantly phone their child - maybe even be a little 'unavailable' over the first few weeks so that their child does not use 'home' as a crutch that they cannot get rid of. Time is needed. At first your child may wish to phone you 'everyday'. These calls will slowly become less - until the point you will need to phone your child as they will be 'too busy' and enjoying their friendships and school life.
Q. Is a parent able to visit the school at any time?
Of course. Parents must first advise school staff of their plans so they are able to plan for the visit and ensure that parents have meetings with any staff members organized. Schools enjoy having parents participating in the life of the school and welcome the involvement. The school staff will see parent visits as an opportunity to discuss a child's progress and well-being. Please let the school know in advance of intention to visit. The schools encourage parents and to visit the school before the student starts the school year.
Q. What is the induction procedure once our child arrives at the school?
A. Every school has a planned and carefully prepared orientation/induction procedure. It will include a tour, introductions to not only staff but also to possible 'friends' to assist the child settling in and getting to know others and routines. It could also include fitting of uniforms, setting up of bank account and meetings with faculty in regard to subject selection and timetable preparations. Safety drills, fire exits and what to do if they feel unwell - are all covered by orientation/induction programs.
Q. What should they bring? Is bedding and linen provided or do we need to supply this?
A. Some schools provide the bedding and linen required for your child in the boarding residence. Others may require the family to arrange or provide funds for the purchase of these items (assistance is offered if parents are not in America) for the purchase of these items. Many students like being able to select their own personalized bedding. Each school is a little different and so these details need to be checked through admissions prior to the child's expected arrival so that parents are prepared to provide what is required, know it will be provided, or provide funds for the purchase of these items.
Q. Is there an ESL program at the school?
A. Each of our schools offer English language support whether it is English as a Second Language or English Language Learners The cost of each support program varies depending on the school. Some schools offer a summer program to prepare students for mainstream classes. As each school is slightly different, our admissions team can provide you guidance through the enrollment process.
Q. What subject choices, sporting choices are available?
Lists of subjects at each of these schools are extensive and each school has specialized programs. Visit each schools tab on our website and click on Academcs for a list of subjects. Subject availabilities can change year to year and each grade level varies.
Q. What is the minimum period that a student can enroll for at the school?
A. The minimum period is usually for 6 months. A couple of the schools will consider shorter term students, but this is on a case-by-case basis and depending on space availability at the school or in the boarding residences. You will need to check with our admissions team.
Q. What if the child gets sick?
A. There are trained staff (in many instances, registered nurses) who are in attendance or on call 24/7 for the students and boarding students of the school.. Should your child require more serious attention through illness or injury such as medical attention by a doctor, surgeon or hospitalization - the nominated local guardian and the parents will be notified immediately. Parents will also be communicated with about any other illness their child may suffer, such as viral illness where they require isolation.
Q. Are school reports issued to me regularly?
A. Yes. School reports are issued very regularly for all students. This is a question you can ask our admissions team about the school of your choice once your child is enrolled to ensure you know when to expect school reports.
Q. What mix of international students are already in the school?
A. Or schools range from 15-30% international students. The aim of each of the schools however is to ensure a diversity of cultures and never too many students from any one country. Too many students from any one nationality is not favorable for your child - nor is it favorable for the harmony within the boarding environment. Schools work hard to ensure that your child is able to mix within an English speaking environment for their language development. You can be assured that these schools take this matter of diversity seriously.
Q. What are the school semesters?
A. Semester 1 usually begins in August and ends in December. Semester 2 usually begins in January and ends in May/June. The exact dates vary school to school, year to year.
There are so many more questions. In addition, we take into consideration the student's personality: shy and quiet or outgoing and social? independent learner or needs to be assisted to keep focus? These will all affect which school and which location will be best suited for their study abroad education. We here at ABSI are the admissions center appointed by these outstanding schools to focus on their international students’ admissions, needs, provision of information and facilitation of the entire entry process.
There are numerous more questions that will occur and we are here to assist you. One school may suit your child better than another. It is important to be open-minded about location. Don't select a location based simply on the fact you may have visited a city for two days. This is the future of your child. Your child will be able to pathway to ANY University destination, ANY city after schooling - even an overseas University. The important fact is they are happy at school. The school matches their personality, provides them security and comfort and progresses them to the end higher education (University) destination of their choice and provides them the assistance for that pathway. At school, they need to remain focused and happy to achieve the academic standards they need to progress. They need a focused study environment, they need nurturing. Allow us to assist to match your child's needs, personality, needs for academic assistance, language development and so on ... with the school that will best meet their needs.