Best Boarding Schools in the World


All great schools naturally strive to remain unique so as to set themselves apart from their rivals and to maintain their own distinct character. Le Rosey is unashamedly proud of the fact that it does not really need to participate in this particular struggle since it feels inherently different from other international schools – not because it considers itself superior in every respect, but rather because of a combination of qualities which together confer upon it a unique identity.

The world’s most expensive boarding school is this prestigious dual campus institute sprawling across the exclusive Swiss regions of Gstaad and Rolle. The bank-busting school fees cover activities from skiing, to equestrian programs and everything in between

The school’s alumni, eloquently titled as anciens roséens, is an impressive roster of royalty and other celebrity types. Many legacy families have chosen to educate their children at Le Rosey with the von Furstenbergs, Rothschilds and the Molsons of the Canadian beer brewing fortune. Also notable is the presence of Diana Ross’ daughter Tracee Ellis as well as the late Princess Diana’s alleged lover Dodi Al-Fayed.


This prestigious all boys school takes the title of smartest boarding school in the United States according to data gathered from Business Insider. Its rich list of notable alumni including American politician and environmentalist Al Gore make it an exclusive option to the world’s elite.

Along with academics and social service, the athletic program at St. Albans is considered co-curricular and all students are required to participate. St. Albans competes in the Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC), a league of independent schools in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to fielding varsity teams in 14 sports: cross country, football, soccer, aquatics, basketball, indoor soccer, ice hockey, wrestling, track and field, lacrosse, baseball, tennis, golf, and crew, the school offers the Voyageur Outdoor Experiential Education program in which students can participate in such sports as indoor rock climbing on a climbing wall and white water kayaking. St. Albans rock climbers compete in the Washington Area Interscholastic Climbing League and kayakers no longer participate in interscholastic competition on the Great Falls rapids of the Potomac River, because the other schools decided to stop competing.


This is one of the few boarding schools that is actually gaining its name from the merger of two established boarding schools founded in the late 1800s, Choate Rosemary Hall remains a top-ranked educational institution.

Having educated generation upon generation of the social and political elite, the list of Choate, as it is frequently called, alumni is lengthy. Hollywood actors Michael Douglas and Paul Giamatti were educated at the school as well as Dov Charney, the founder of controversial clothing brand American Apparel. Additionally, heiresses to the Trump and Hearst fortunes both attended Choate, as did American President John F. Kennedy.

Choate's curriculum includes elective and interdisciplinary courses, from astronomy and architecture to printmaking and post-modernism to digital video and development economics.There are more than 300 courses in the curriculum, which has requirements in community service and in contemporary global studies. All disciplines have honors courses. There is Advanced Placement (AP) preparation in 27 areas.

A two-year intensive Science Research Program includes mentored laboratory work during the summer at universities in the United States and abroad. The Capstone Program allows sixth form (senior) students to explore an area of the curriculum in depth. Working under a faculty adviser, students take at least five courses that focus on a curricular theme, culminating in a substantial final project. During the college application process, Choate's College Counseling Office highlights Capstone Project participation in letters of recommendation.

The performing and visual arts are supported by the resources of the Paul Mellon Arts Center. Among extracurricular arts clubs are five a cappella groups; step dance, slam poetry, hip hop, and rap groups; improv, musical theater, and instrumental ensembles of all sizes; photography and film-making clubs; and supporting publications for the arts, fashion, and culture. The Arts Concentration Program provides students with individually tailored instruction and class scheduling.


Harrow School is a prestigious institution attended by an elite selection of boys. It’s located just outside of London in Harrow on the Hill and was founded in 1547 under a Royal Charter granted by Elizabeth I and remains as prestigious as ever to this day.

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, musician James Blunt and, of course, Winston Churchill, are among the exclusive list of boys able to call themselves Old Harrovians.

According to a 2009 article, the school has expanded overseas, opening additional schools in Beijing, China (Harrow International School Beijing); Shanghai, China (Harrow International School Shanghai), Bangkok, Thailand (Harrow International School, Bangkok); and New Territories, Hong Kong (Harrow International School Hong Kong).


The pinnacle of boarding school by definition is the centuries-old Eton College attended by both Prince Harry, Prince William and other members of the British royal family. Mentioned as a social class indicator in films such as The Riot Club, Eton, which borders the royal residence of Windsor Castle, emits a centuries-old air of decorum and privilege.

Eton has turned out a whopping 19 prime ministers of Great Britain inclusive of the current one, David Cameron, and its alumni include other famous faces such as City of London Mayor Boris Johnson, Academy Award winning actor Eddie Redmayne and Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series.

The school is headed by a Provost and Fellows (Board of Governors), who appoint the Head Master. It contains 25 boys' houses, each headed by a housemaster, selected from the more senior members of the teaching staff, which numbers some 155. Almost all of the school's pupils go on to universities, about a third of them to Oxford or Cambridge.

The Head Master is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the school is a member of the Eton Group of independent schools in the United Kingdom.

Eton today is a larger school than it has been for much of its history. In 1678, there were 207 boys. In the late 18th century, there were about 300, while today, the total has risen to over 1,300.


Should you want to send your child to the same boarding school as NBA superstar Steve Nash, not only will it put a dent in your bank savings, but your son will have to perform exceptionally well academically.

However, the massive expense seems well worth it as the school is known to turn out extremely successful individuals with the likes of Flickr co-founder Gareth Rees, politician Jason Kenney and author Kenneth Oppel all calling themselves alumni of St. Michaels.

The average amount of APs taken by SMUS students ranks first in country across all schools as of 2012. The record for most APs taken and completed by a single student is 14. In terms of average mean grades, SMUS students achieved an average of 3.68, which was higher than the global average of 2.92. Of the 650 exams across 25 different AP subjects taken by 245 SMUS students, 81% of them received grades of three or higher on the five point scale, which was also higher than the worldwide rate of 59% achieving grades of three or highe.


Founded in 1371, Westminster School, within the precincts of Westminster Abbey, remains one of the top boarding schools around the globe. It's home to 750 pupils, of which a quarter are boarders.

It has produced seven Prime Ministers in its history and the likes of famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, who designed St Paul's Cathedral in London. More recently movie actress Helena Bonham-Carter studied there.

According to a report by the Sutton Trust, Westminster School had the highest average Oxbridge acceptance rate over the period 2002–2007 of any school at 49.9%and in the period 2008–2013,[10] with 97 pupils achieving Oxbridge places in 2014.It also has an 85.6% (5-year average) acceptance rate into the Sutton 13 list of the top 13 universities for research in the UK. The report claimed that, in general, independent schools achieve 16.3% more places at Sutton 13 universities than would be expected on merely from A-level grades, although it has been accepted that module grades were significantly better at Westminster and that the new A* at A-Level should provide more accurate differentiation.


Oundle, in the central English county of Northamptonshire, has remained an exclusive institution since its foundation in 1556 educating an elite 1,100 students per year.

With the list of Old Oundelians including the likes of Cecil Lewis, co-founder of the BBC, and Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, it's clear the school has proven its ability to produce outstanding individuals.

Oundle has 835 boarders and 235 day pupils. It is the third largest independent boarding school in England, after Eton and Millfield.The various school buildings which date from the 15th century are scattered around the market town, with the Cloisters acting as the nucleus of the school community.

The Good Schools Guide described the school as a "Popular, well oiled, well heeled co-educational boarding school which is riding high."Pupils obtain strong results at GCSE and A Level. In their 2013 A Levels pupils achieved 89.1% A* to B grades, with over 60% of grades either A* or A. Many pupils go on to study at Oxbridge; the overwhelming majority continue to Russell Group universities.


Referred to as the “Catholic Eton”, Ampleforth was founded in 1802 and is still managed by the Benedictine monks and lay staff of Ampleforth Abbey. It remains the largest private Catholic boarding school in the UK.

Though originally only a boys' school the college is now fully co-educational. In 2009 an OFSTED Social Care report said that the overall quality of care was outstanding.

Ampleforth has educated its fair share of aristocracy and celebrities alike including actor James Norton, British Royal portrait painter Andrew Festing and Michael Whitehall, father of comedian and actor Jack Whitehall.


As one of the oldest military schools in America, the New York Military Academy maintains a strict regiment which students must follow. Having begun as an all boys establishment, it’s more recently become co-educational.

he days at NYMA typically begin at 6:00 am and end at 10:00 pm. Cadets attend grade-specific classes during that time and also participate in organized or intramural sports, activities, and study hall. During closed weekends, cadets are expected to attend additional leadership training, drill & ceremony, and maintain the appearance of their respective barracks. Upon gaining the opportunity for an open weekend, cadets in good academic standing can apply for weekend furlough.[22] Along with Academics, Athletics, and Leadership, the fourth "pillar" of cadet life is Character, reinforced continually by the Cadet Honor Code that NYMA shares with West Point.

With alumni such as US Presidential candidate Donald Trump and the late descendants of Abraham Lincoln hailing from NYMA, it’s no wonder the school finds itself listed amongst the world’s most elite.


Nestled in an affluent lakeside community in Oakville, Appleby College is arguably the nation’s top boarding school. The school offers its pupils access to the top academic and extra-curricular facilities.

Appleby has identified six Pillars of Strength upon which to concentrate: Community Spirited, Technologically Empowered, Universally Diverse, Academically Vital, Globally Responsible, and Actively Engaged.[5] Appleby students and faculty use technology in virtually every aspect of student life (currently Fujitsu Lifebook T4410 tablets and SMART Boards). Appleby was the second school in North America to fully utilize laptops and other technology in all areas of the school, after Cincinnati Country Day School.[citation needed] Each boarding room and classroom is equipped with internet ports and power outlets. A large portion of the assignments are done on the computer and subsequently emailed to the teacher.

The academic program of Appleby College gears students towards writing AP examinations with a broad range of AP courses. Students at Appleby College generally take several AP courses in the Senior 1 and Senior 2 years. Currently, the AP courses offered at Appleby College include: AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Literature, AP French Language (AP French Literature was offered until the exam was discontinued in 2009), AP German, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Music Theory, AP Physics B, AP Psychology, AP Statistics, AP United States History, and AP World History. (What happened to Canadian History?).

Performers such as Raymond Massey and elite athletes like professional hockey player Sam Gagner all hail from Appleby.


Upper Canada College is an elite private all-boys boarding school located in the middle of the busy Canadian city of Toronto.

Upper Canada College encourages students to engage in voluntary community service.[149] In relation to this, the college runs the Horizons program, in which local underprivileged children are tutored in music, digital media, and academics twice a week by current UCC students.[149] Further, each year, usually for two to four weeks during Spring Break, UCC also organises trips for 15 to 20 of its Upper School students to various developing countries where they take part in community building services such as constructing schools, wells and homes, or aiding in conservation work. Students have ventured to places like Venezuela, El Salvador, Kenya,[150] and China.[149][151]

It’s an educational investment that is likely to pay off with the school’s alumni including businessmen and politicians such as Michael Wilson and the controversial former newspaper baron Conrad Black.


Founded in 1855 under the authority of the Church of England, Geelong has remained a front-runner in academic excellence amongst the world’s list of best boarding schools. With a student body of about 1,500, .

The school had planned in the 1990s to open a campus in northern Thailand, but the project was cancelled following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, as the Thai government suspended many major projects,[14] and also due to the collapse of the hillside site on which the campus was to be built, as the school had failed to undertake a geological survey to establish the suitability of the site. The school lost approximately $3.5 million in this planning failure.

Geelong has educated its fair share of famous faces including: Prince Charles; Portia de Rossi, the wife of American actress and TV host Ellen DeGeneres; Australian Prime Minister John Gorton and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.


With its outstanding sports program, Queen’s College in South Africa only enrols a select 575 students. Founded back in 1858, it remains an all boys school and charges its pupils surprisingly low tuition fees in comparison to other globally ranked boarding schools.

Queen’s College turns out a notable number of professional athletes with various rugby and cricket players hailing from the school.


››Allan Beswick, Springbok Rugby

››Jimmy White, Springbok Rugby

››Dick Muir, Springbok Rugby Player, Springbok Assistant Coach 2008 – present

››Kaya Malotana, Springbok Rugby

››Robbi Kempson, Springbok Rugby

››Owen Lentz, American Rugby

››Carlo Del Fava, Italian Rugby

››Lionel Cronjé, South Africa U20 Player of the year 2009

››S'bura Sithole, South African Sevens 2010 – present

››Daryll John Cullinan, South African Cricketer

››Tony Greig, English Cricketer

››an Greig, English Cricketer

››Justin Kemp, South African Cricketer

››Glen Dell, Advanced World Aerobatic Champion in 2004

››Norman Walsh, Rhodesian and Zimbabwean air marshal

››Ken McEwan, Eastern Province and Essex cricketer

››Rocco Jansen, Emerging Springboks Rugby 2008