Moving to boarding school in a new country is an immensely exciting experience. It provides the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and experience a new way of life. If you were to ask a current or past international student what their favourite aspect of boarding school life was, it is more than likely they will mention the friends they made.
Yet, Academic Families understand that each child is unique. Where some children will make friends with ease, we know that for some this can be more challenging. We want to ensure that your child’s transition to their new school is as smooth as possible. That is why we have put together our top tips for making friends at boarding school.
Encourage your child to leave their dorm room door open when possible, as this will create an inviting atmosphere for others to come in and interact with them. It will show other boarders that they are friendly and willing to chat.
We also recommend that your child spend as much of their free time in communal areas as possible. This way they are in an environment where people are interacting and getting to know each other.
Each boarding house will be equipped with a brilliant team of adults who are there to look after your child. They will be experienced in dealing with the challenges of settling in and can make a huge difference in helping your child with those first steps when making new friends.
This one may sound a little strange but encouraging your child to limit their contact with people from home can be highly beneficial. Remind your child that they are at boarding school to meet new people and make new experiences. Always talking to people back home can make them feel more homesick and make it harder to settle in.
Everyone else in your child’s boarding house will either be in the same boat or will have been new themselves before and be keen to help newcomers settle in. Even though starting in a new place can feel lonely it’s helpful to remind your child that there are others feeling the same.
Each of the schools we work with offer an exciting range of extra-curriculars. Whether your child loves sports, music, art, drama or academia, you can be sure the school will have a club that is perfect for them. Schools will also offer a lot of social events, trips and fun activities, so encourage your child to participate in as many of these as possible.
They may seem obvious to us, but many children are not aware of the little actions that can help them to make friends. Here are some simple tricks that you can remind your child of that will help them make a good impression when meeting others.
If your child struggles with confidence issues, you can encourage them by setting smaller, more achievable goals first. This will help them gain confidence and show that it is not as scary as they might think. Here are some examples:
Life at boarding school offers so many incredible opportunities, yet the thought of entering a new environment can be daunting. This leaves many parents are left questioning: “will my child make friends at boarding school?”. That is where Academic Families step in. Through our guardianship services and 24/7 support, you can have peace of mind that your child will be well looked after during their time overseas. We hope these tips can help ease your concerns and assist your child in making friends and memories that will last a lifetime.
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