A Life Changing Experience - Not Only About an
Education, But Also a Life Experience
U.S. boarding schools
have high academic standards, high expectations on
students and tight course schedules. In such an
environment, students grow and mature in different
aspects. In academics, they need to improve their
English. Outside classrooms, they need to actively
participate in various extracurricular activities.
In social life, they need to mingle with the local
community and fit into the American culture.
Living away from home, a boarding school student can
master well the skills in self-discipline, time management, prioritization and
maintaining a balanced life. Through
this learning experience, students become more
persevering, independent, mature and confident.
The boarding life is not simply about an education, but
also a life changing experience. Students can be
2. A Happy Learning Experience
At a U.S. boarding
school, learning is happy, thanks to the close relationships between students and faculty. The learning
environment is intimate, interactive and inclusive.
Passionate in teaching, teachers are willing to teach
until their students understand completely. They also
design different courses for students with different
abilities. American education emphasizes
independent thinking and encourages students to ask,
analyze and conclude critically, hence training their
ability to express themselves openly. All these are
essential skills to survive and perform well in any walk
of life. What is more, without requiring students to
laboriously cram for knowledge, this interactive way of
learning is highly interesting. It can effectively
elicit students' enthusiasm towards learning, motivating
them to learn for life.
3. Character Education
Apart from acquiring
academic knowledge, students studying in the U.S.
receive a whole- person development and make correct
judgments on values. They learn to treat people
with respect, manner, honesty, trust and care.
Education is not only the passing of knowledge, but also
an inspiration to a life of wisdom. It is about
love, care and pride. In the U.S., the teachers are
close to their students, who are often cared, encouraged
and praised. On the one hand, the teachers' caring
acts are a strong force driving students to excel in
their academic career. On the other hand, from
interacting with their teachers, students gradually
learn to treat other people with the same respectful,
appreciating and caring attitude.
4. Getting to A University
Under the same education
system and the support from the college counseling
office, students applying to U.S. universities from a
local boarding school have much higher admission chances
than students from non-U.S. high schools. Besides,
instead of determining a student's ability in one single
examination, the American education system evaluates a
student's qualities holistically, with multiple
assessment methods such as his/her grades, class
discussions, standardized tests scores, extracurricular
activities, aspirations etc. A U.S. boarding school
prepares students well for colleges, and also allows
students to enjoy more in the process of learning.
5. Whole Person Development
What distinguishes a US
education is to learn across the disciplines (liberal
are encouraged to learn broad knowledge in different
areas and a strong sense of values, ethics and civic
engagement. It is not only about reading and writing.
More importantly, students also
need to develop inter-personal skills and essential
personal qualities that can benefit one for life. These
include a good conduct, leadership, a healthy lifestyle,
time management, social skills, etc. Through building
these attributes, one can establish friendships, expand
his/her social network and develop perseverance, courage
for challenges, a global vision and an optimistic way of
life. Well equipped with these qualities, students enjoy
an unprecedented level of independence and prepare them
well for whatever challenge they undertake in
universities and beyond.
Speech Given By
Alice Lau at the TABS Boarding Schools Fair, Hong Kong