Being a student in the UK

While you’re living and studying in the UK, you can rely on us to look after you every step of the way.

We take care of all the essential details on behalf of your parents whenever they can’t be with you, helping you make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

How we support international students

Fettes College
Akshay talking about his time in the UK

Coming to a UK boarding school

Soon you will discover a whole new world of possibilities in the UK, with all kinds of positive opportunities, challenges and experiences to look forward to and enjoy. At the heart of it all will be your boarding school where you’ll live and study during term.

While you’re in school you’ll live in a boarding house, which is usually part of the campus. It doesn’t matter which one you join, like other students you’ll soon develop strong loyalties to your house. With lots going on from morning till lights out, it’s a great place to make new friends and develop life skills.

You’ll be welcomed on your first day by your House Parent who lives in, or close to, the boarding house with their family – creating a real family atmosphere.

Daily life at a UK boarding school

At most UK boarding schools, students usually attend lessons six days a week during term. Saturday morning school and afternoon sports might be a new concept for you, but you’ll soon get into the swing of things!

  • Homework is called "prep" and usually consists of personal study and group assignments. Tutors and prefects will help you complete work every evening in your boarding house.
  • Your day will start before 8am and continue after classes with sport, prep and extracurricular activities.
  • After a packed day of learning, exercising and developing skills and interests, organised activities can often finish around 9pm.
  • Bedtime and lights out will be set according to your age.

Learning boarding school lingo

boarding school students enjoying a cup of tea

Students and staff at boarding school seem to have their own funny way of talking - it isn't just their accent - it's boarding school lingo!

Read our blog post to make sure you understand what your peers are saying and you'll fit in instantly.

Boarding school has been the best experience of my life. You learn so much about yourself!

Academic Families has done a lot for me - I can't thank them enough. They've always done whatever they can to make me happy and at the end of the day, I've learnt a lot about myself, I've grown as a person and I've made friends which I'll keep for the rest of my life.

Akshay 17-year old student from Kenya

Why do I need a guardian when I'm the UK?

Although you might think that boarding school staff, host families or friends living nearby can act as your guardian, there are many situations that require a professional.

For example, Academic Families has local staff across the UK and are on-hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can quickly fix problems such as helping you with your mobile top ups, or coming to the rescue if you get stuck in the airport or run out of cash while in town or on a school trip. We'll also organise your UK travel arrangements. It's important for you to remember that you can only travel with safe, security-screened drivers (never in an Uber).

As the days go by, we're also here to make sure you settle well into your classes and boarding school life. We can always help if you are missing home or don't understand something at school. Of course, we can attend school meetings that your parents are invited to. In fact we can do all the little things your parents would do if they were nearby!

Have a question?

question mark

You'll probably have many questions about the exciting times that lie ahead. We are here to reassure you and help support your education adventures in the UK.

Message us on Live Chat or request a callback and one of our team members will contact you whenever you like.

Helping you while you are studying in the UK

Schools placement

You will need local support as your family are not close by. Choose your guardian carefully to be sure you have the best support to fit in quickly and adjust both academically and culturally.

Our team is on hand 24/7 to support you throughout your time in the UK. We're here to help! 

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Quality you can trust

Academic Families has personal and professional experience with boarding schools. Many of our staff attended boarding schools themselves when they were young or have worked in them. We have all lived overseas and most of us are mothers, so we understand how important it is to find the very best education for every child no matter where that might be in the world.

From our headquarters in Edinburgh to our local staff across the UK, our team regularly visits hundreds of British schools. Our excellent knowledge of the UK education system and certification from the British Council means we understand UK boarding education from the inside and out, and know how to find the best school for each child.

In addition, our guardianship service has been fully accredited by AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) since 2016 so you know, with Academic Families, you're guaranteed to have the best local support anywhere in the UK.

Moreover, our team are trained MHFA Mental Health First Aiders so we are qualified to support our students with any wellbeing and mental health concerns.

AEGIS accreditation
British Council
UK English Partner Agency
MHFA England
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