All of you who imagine scenes from Oliver Twist when someone says boarding school should check this list of 10 international boarding schools in Europe. Instead of kids begging for another bowl of porridge, here you will find the offspring of world’s elite splashing about in Jacuzzis, skiing and sailing.
But modern international boarding schools offer more than just luxurious amenities, although they are a must. You could hardly expect billionaires, royal families, and Arabian sheiks to send their sons and daughters to spend most of their childhood in an institution that doesn’t have the basic necessities like a school polo team or five star bedrooms. These schools place a high value on the academic success of their students. They can afford to hire the best teachers, have the best equipped classrooms and abundance of teaching resources. Classes are small and a lot of emphases is placed on individual learning progression of every student, with lots of 1 on 1 time with the teachers. Teacher to student ratio in these schools is very low, sometimes as low as 5 students to 1 teacher. When money is not an issue, education can be a very smooth and enjoyable process. This week in Art class kids are learning about Michelangelo? Why not organize a field trip so they can see The Sistine Chapel? History class is working on Napoleonic wars, so it’s a trip to Paris. Senior year is doing a paper on 2008 financial crisis? Let’s get the Vice president of the Swiss National Bank to give them a lecture about it.
Not all international boarding schools in Europe cost an arm and a leg. You can see some of the most affordable ones in our list of the 6 cheapest boarding schools in Europe.
While undoubtedly there are parents who send their children to international boarding schools just so they can say they did, most of the global elite expect their heirs to get the best education money and influence can buy. Often, kids are held to very high standards, since they are expected to one day manage multibillion hedge funds, Fortune 500 companies and in some cases even entire countries. This would be very difficult to accomplish without a proper education and boarding schools are an excellent first step towards that goal. It is no wonder that Mommy and Daddy spend so much, so that Junior doesn’t squander away the family fortune.
Most of the European international boarding schools are located in Switzerland, with the UK on the close second place. One reason for this is that many of the richest companies are based in Switzerland, so the schools are conveniently close to parents’ work. The other reason is that the Swiss are proverbially good at keeping secrets, so it is unlikely that paparazzi will find out where the heirs of the world’s wealthiest people attend school.