It is advisable to make the transition to a boarding school right at the beginning of a school year – regardless of how long your child wants to stay abroad. After the summer holidays the pack is often reshuffled in the boarding houses which makes it easier to integrate and find friends. Entering the 8th, 9th or 10th form of the English school system (LINK School System) are ideal moments for transition. A change of schools is more likely approved by the Austrian / German schools as well as the schools in the UK at this stage. Children should be about 12 years old and show enthusiasm towards spending time abroad.
Costs for boarding schools in England, Wales and Scotland are calculated per term. They range around 11,600 GBP. Additionally, there are expenditures for school uniform, visa, school material, guardian, and pocket money. A guardian is a reference person for the international pupil in the UK.
Overall, parents should calculate between 40,000 EUR and 50,000 EUR for a school year of three terms including additional expenses. Pupils who have a gift for sports or are musically or artistically talented have the opportunity to apply for a partial scholarship at the respective boarding school. We can look into this for you in advance and help you with the application.
The international school leaving certificate: International Baccalaureate Diploma IB
Those who have an IB diploma in their pocket know all doors open to them. Due to its international comparability, this school leaving certificate is accepted at almost all universities around the world. It is regarded as the most demanding school-leaving qualification.
Like in Germany, during the last two years of senior school (12th and 13th year of the British school system) the choice of subjects is diversified. Pupils choose six major subjects from at least five different areas three of which are attended in the higher level. The remaining three subjects are completed at standard level. Main subjects are the pupil’s mother tongue, a foreign language, mathematics, sciences, social sciences, and art.
What is more, IB diploma candidates have to accomplish 150 hours of extra-curricular activities in areas such as sports, art and social service, participate in the course “Theory of Knowledge” and submit an extended essay (EE).
The subject-linked school leaving certificate: A-Levels
With the traditional British school leaving certificate known as A-Levels, graduates have access authority to all universities in the UK. To be granted access to universities in Switzerland, The Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany the right combination of subjects in senior school is vital. Different from the IB diploma, A-Level pupils choose three to four subjects out of 40 different subjects. This means, pupils concentrate on only a few subjects which are taught with a high number of lessons in Lower Sixth Form (A1, British Year 12) and Upper Sixth Form (A2, British Year 13). This is ideal for everyone who already knows their professional direction and field of study at university. With the right subject combination students can successfully study at universities in their home country, too.
General Certificate of Secondary Education GCSEs
GCSEs are the first important school leaving certificate in secondary school. It is equal to the secondary-school-leaving certificate in Germany and is taken in 8-15 subjects. The GCSE curriculum stretches over two years from Year 10-11 in the British school system. In Austria this period equals 5th and 6th Year of high school. Afterwards pupils continue with their A-Level or IB programme.
Application to a Boarding School. With system and success, but without [wɪˈðaʊt] stress
Boarding schools in England and Scotland are not all the same and have different focus areas. To find the right school for your child it is best to meet in person in the region of Vorarlberg or to arrange a meeting via video-call. We can then get to know you and your child and get a better feeling for the individual preferences and needs of your child. We look into the strengths and interests as well as academic abilities and personality of the student. Is your child outgoing or rather an introvert, what are his/her needs?
Important points to be clarified in a mutual talk:
We take our time for all your questions, such as:
When do we have to decide for a school to meet the application deadline?
Does the child have to have a certain level of English and take an English preparation course prior to his/her year abroad?
When are the times for a flight home or a visit of the parents?
Are the children accompanied on their way to the airport?
How do we find a guardian for our child?
Are particularly the younger pupils permanently supervised?
How much luggage is appropriate? What may the child bring along to feel at home in the boarding house?
How and when do we get the school uniform? What happens if the trousers are too short or the blazer too long and school starts the next day?
As soon as we have a clear profile of your child, we look for suitable boarding schools for you and present these schools to you. Together we select the favourites and we contact the schools for you to ask if they have availability in the following school year. To start the application process, we need the following:
If a longer stay abroad is planned, we recommend visiting one, two or three favourite schools in person. This helps you get a good impression of the school. Furthermore, we have realised the gut feeling of your child is a vital factor to tell whether a stay at the boarding school will be successful or if it is advisable to look at another school. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic many boarding schools currently offer virtual tours of their schools and online meetings with the head of school, head of admissions, teachers, student representatives and house parents. We at Future Perfect are happy to organise all these appointments for you. Should your child need to take an acceptance test, we will support you with that, too.
After some time your child will receive one or two available places at a boarding school. Let us know if we can assist you with your final decision, if you would like us to analyse the pros and cons together again.
Important: Future Perfect will remain at your side before and during the stay abroad. Let us know if you have questions or need support. We will stay in touch with you and be there for you.
Summer schools have various focus areas, they vary in length, age groups and curriculum. As there are many different summer schools, it is best to discuss the offers in detail in person. The best thing about them is that they are all so much fun – in fact it makes many parents wish they were kids again!
In a one-to-one chat we will get to know your child and his/her interests. This can take place in our offices in Vorarlberg, at your home or via video-call. Together we can set the scene and clarify the following points: