As a parent, one of the hardest decisions you make in life is finding the right school for your child. Chances are, that from pre-school to their University days, there will be changes, challenges and the need for to adapt to rewarding learning environments.
At some point, parents consider the boarding school option, especially, when we can uproot ourselves and travel like never before. Being mobile is a necessary requirement these days with any job and sometimes the country you thought of as “home,” is the one you rarely go back to, except perhaps, on vacation, to visit relatives and friends.
Offering a stable environment for your child is part of boarding school culture, as well as learning skills which one might not find in the school across the street: such as integrating with students from the four corners of the world. With so much choice in education and schools which have a long and established history, finding that school for your son or daughter should require the advice and personal guidance from someone who knows the system well, and has visited the best ranked boarding schools in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
At the Hilton hotel in Bogotá on Saturday, September 27th and Sunday 28th, the Boarding Schools Fair and Summer Camp will showcase colleges and camps in the U.S and Canada, and representatives will be available to talk on a one and one level with parents looking at the possibility of a boarding school education.
John Linden is one such expert and who helps parents to find the right school, based on first hand knowledge of academic facilities and his close working relationship with the Deans and Heads of Admissions of carefully chosen schools. As the founder of Linden Tours, John has visited Colombia on several occasions and the recruitment fair will also head for the first time to Cali on the 30th of the month. “We have started to see movement in Colombia towards the boarding schools,” claims Linden. With 25 schools represented in Bogotá this weekend, parents can also examine the possibility of sending their child away for a one year learning exchange. While the Asians tend to send their children away from four to six years, in Colombia there is growing awareness of the value to having children exposed to a global market. “A lot of Colombians families who might send their child away to a boarding school, probably already have them enrolled in an international school or in an English language program at a private school and want them to be totally bilingual,” stated Linden. “It’s a big world out there.”
Of the 25 schools represented, most offer English as a second language courses for students who might need extra time in becoming fluent and bilingual. And the portafolio is extensive: from all-boys schools, to all-girls schools, and mixed academies. “Colombia is interesting in this respect as there are options for everyone,” states Linden.
Unlike Universities, boarding schools are aware that they are dealing with children, hence the selection process to be represented at the fair is thorough. “I can talk with a youngster for five minutes, and get him five schools,” states Linden, whose aim in Bogotá is to guide parents. “We have to make sure the kids are safe and in a good place.”
Visiting 70 to 80 schools each year, Linden insists that the boarding schools must apply a long time in advance to be present at these recruitment fairs. While tuition fees will vary from country to country, parents should be aware that sending your child overseas is an investment of some US$50,000 a year. While Colombian parents can look into this option, many of the parents who will attend the fair, are expats who are constantly on the move, and want a different option from a Colombia-based education.
According to Linden, visas for sending your child overseas “is not a problem” and most Colombian parents just need some extra time when planning for a boarding school. So head over to the Hilton this weekend and meet the people who can offer your child a truly global education and invaluable learning experience.
Cra 7 No.72-41.
Starting 2:30 pm.