The Benefits of Boarding


By Claire Kelly - Assistant Head of School, Student Life

 “When our oldest daughter first started at Appleby College in grade 9, we were openly skeptical about the school’s mandatory grade 12 boarding programme. Boy, were we wrong. Boarding was a life changing experience for her. Not only did it prepare her for university life, but she gained independence, confidence and made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Appleby College’s Boarding Life programme is an integral part of the school’s educational experience. This past September, Appleby once again welcomed 274 boarding students from over 40 different countries and nationalities to its campus in Oakville, Ontario, joining the biggest multicultural family they have ever been a part of.

Unlike any other school in Canada, every student who graduates from Appleby will have been a boarder and participated in the school’s Boarding Life programme. “The experience equips students to make a successful transition to university life, while at the same time parents are able to experience their children living away from home with the security of knowing they are in a safe and nurturing environment,” says Luke van der Hulst, director, boarding life.

With a 30-second commute to classes, co-curriculars and hanging out with friends, living in boarding provides students with more time to focus on the things in life that matter most to them. An important component of the boarding experience is the additional academic support and daily study schedule. Boarding students share that the experience helps them be better prepared for post-graduate study while also developing self-discipline, maturity, independence, and the ability to think critically.

Of course, boarding at Appleby doesn’t mean all work and no play. Having settled into their new house community (Appleby has four on campus and also offers a gender inclusive boarding option) each boarder participates in their house’s unique community, culture and traditions. However, being in boarding entails more than getting to know your own house members. All boarders are brought together through the annual House Cup competition, all-boarder outings, special cultural dinners and celebrations. Boarding Life Learning Communities focus on topics such as social emotional learning, health and wellness, inclusivity, character and values development. Designated community weekends also take place throughout the year, involving both boarding and day students and feature multiple sports and related arts, service and other Boarding Life activities. On regular weekends, boarders are invited to participate in off-campus excursions where they have the opportunity to socialize and increase intercultural awareness. Boarders are also invited to stay on campus and participate in the school’s Long Weekend Programme and enjoy a variety of engaging themed activities and excursions of their choosing.

When boarding students leave Appleby, they take with them a suitcase full of memories, important friendships formed through shared experiences, and an extraordinary toolkit of resources equipping them for success as they embark on their exciting post-secondary journey.

For more information about Appleby’s Boarding Life programme, please contact Sophie Grossman, executive director, admissions at sgrossman@appleby.on.ca or visit www.appleby.on.ca.

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