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UK Boarding School Prep

The road ahead and how to prepare.

Preparing for Boarding School in the UK: Embracing New Opportunities

Moving to a new country and starting boarding school can be an exciting yet challenging adventure for any student your age.


If you will be embarking on this journey to the United Kingdom in the near future, it is essential to be prepared for the experiences and opportunities that lie ahead. Don’t forget, one of the greatest opportunities you are about to be given is the gift of independence….but how will you ensure that THIS gift transforms your life in the best way possible?


Here are some important things to think about before you move to the UK which will help you to make the very best of this amazing experience. Remember, the main point is to try not to worry: your school will have chosen excellent staff to look after you who will be experienced in caring for new boarders, just like you.

1. Teaching and Learning Style: Embrace Interactivity

One of the first things you should be prepared for is the teaching and learning style in UK schools, which is very often more interactive than what you might be used to in Hong Kong. It is really important that you do not hide your thoughts away in lessons but instead, be willing to share these ideas in class openly.


Interactive learning helps students to engage in their lessons much more effectively. It helps to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Sharing your thoughts will not only benefit your own learning, but it will also contribute to a collaborative classroom environment where everyone can learn from each other. You will also learn to review your own progress towards important targets and rely a little less on regular test results.

2. Opportunities and Challenges of Boarding: Overcoming Homesickness

the early stages of boarding. If you feel homesick, this does not mean that boarding is not for you: on the contrary, it means that you come from a loving family and it will take time to adapt to life without seeing them every day. Instead, try and look at the opportunity you have to help build your own family in school: what role can you take in your new boarding family and how can you help to build the same special environment for those around you?


Adjusting to a new environment, away from the comforts of home, can be challenging. To cope with homesickness, it is a good idea to keep busy and join various clubs and activities. Being active and helping others can be incredibly rewarding (it helps you to feel that you are in control) and can help take your mind off any homesickness.


It is also very helpful, before you leave for boarding school to make a plan of how you will use your free time in the evenings and weekends.


Boarding school will also bring many new experiences, some of which you may enjoy, and others you might find less appealing. The way to make the very most of boarding is to embrace both the enjoyable and challenging experiences. Your real growth often comes from stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things.

3. Anticipate Challenges and Plan Ahead

One of the keys to a successful change is to anticipate challenges before they arise. Try to think about potential difficulties you might encounter and develop strategies to overcome them if you do. Discuss these challenges with your family: this will provide you with a safe space to brainstorm solutions.

4. Making Friends: Extend a Helping Hand

Starting in a new in a boarding school can be intimidating, but it is important to remember that everyone else is very likely in the same boat as you—feeling apprehensive, nervous, and with similar worries. Try really hard, if you can, to be proactive in making friends, by reaching out and offering a helping hand. Being someone who helps others can help to build strong relationships and reduce feelings of vulnerability.

5. Active Participation in Preparations

Try to be actively involved in the preparations for your move to the UK. Perhaps pack your own suitcase: plan for necessary items and think ahead about what you might need. This level of engagement not only teaches responsibility but also helps you to feel more in control of your journey. Remember this is YOUR experience and the more you are involved, the more confident you will feel when the time comes for your family to leave.

6. Research and Engagement in Activities

Research some of the new sports and activities that you will be offered and that you might consider joining at boarding school. Even if these activities are not your natural interest, try really hard to approach them with an open mind and a positive attitude. Demonstrating eagerness to join in with various activities will show others that you are enthusiastic and engaged and it will help to create in you a sense of belonging.

7. Ask Questions If You Are Not Sure

It is only natural that there will be (important) things that you don’t know at the start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (there will surely be at least 1 other person who will be glad you asked, as they were thinking the same thing!).

Get into the habit as soon as possible of talking in a group: your future learning will depend on this.


Everyone at Academic Asia wishes you a wonderful start to your time in the UK and we hope that they are some of the happiest and exciting of your life.

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