Choosing an international boarding school in Paris: why could it be the right choice for my child?

Should my child attend an international boarding school in Paris? Expatriates often face multiple choices while deciding on their child's education in their new country. Notre-Dame International High School Paris is a boarding school in France.
 
 
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Boarding School Paris
 
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Feb. 15, 2012 - PRLog -- More and more parents choose to have their child attend a boarding school. Why? Reasons are very different from a family to another. In all cases, it should be a choice of wellbeing: less daily transportation for a child and his parents, less time lost in public transportation, motivating and structured study environment, development of autonomy and maturity, socialization… Sometimes boarding is not a volunteer choice but a necessary choice, either because distance from home to school is too long or because the daily family life became too difficult for everyone, in case the relationship between a teenager and his parents is not an easy one.

More than 250 000 French students are enrolled in a boarding school today. Most of the French boarding schools even have a waiting list! What about international students? Can they be offered the same opportunity like French students when they arrive in France?  Expatriates relocating in Paris have a wide choice of international day schools to choose from: British schools, American schools, International sections of French schools etc. Moving close to these schools is sometimes difficult, due to availability of houses and flats, or due to the real estate’s costs involved. Even if some families are ready -and able- to invest more and live at walking distance of the school, not everyone can afford it. Distance from home to school may therefore be an issue, knowing the average time spent in public transportation in Paris. Long journeys can be exhausting and reduce the daily time dedicated to homework and leisure activities. Expatriates relocating outside of Paris, in province, even face a bigger challenge:  how can I enrol my child in an international school when there is none at a reasonable distance from where I live?

In those cases, choosing an international boarding school in Paris should be considered. Few international schools currently offer boarding facilities to their students, even if the demand is there.  Fulfilling this need, a new American school has been created two years ago, welcoming boarders either 5 or 7 days a week, even on bank holidays and school holidays if necessary. Notre-Dame International High School offers international students to be hosted on campus, enjoying a 13 hectares wooded park, modern catering facilities, buildings full of history and sharing the boarding quarters with French students of the same age. A Latvian student says: “I have been in boarding schools before, but only here did I really understood how small this world is!” Most of the international boarders indeed come from abroad. Their parents choose to offer them the opportunity to study abroad and wish to have them stay full time at the boarding quarters: 18 different nationalities currently live at the NDIHS. Living in a boarding school also means daily routine and rules: “I have my rituals here – morning showers after evening talking with friends from other rooms. Time when friends are passing by around 7pm, to go for a dinner, sometimes I’m joining them, sometimes eating sandwiches from the supermarket close to school.” The campus is closed, ensuring students to live in a safe environment. International students wishing to discover Paris enjoy Saturday afternoons’ excursions to the capital city, as well as Sundays’ activities organized on campus.

Even if it is a volunteer choice, adapting to a boarding school requests time. Sharing your daily life with others, respecting their private life and belongings, complying with school rules and timetables can be challenging for some teenagers. It’s a learning process. An expatriate student, who so far only attended day schools in Paris, explained us that his idea of boarding was much different from what he finally experienced: “I applied to Notre-Dame International High School because I needed a place where I could stay at a dormitory or where I could live close to. […] I expected a very overly-strict atmosphere with no freedom at all. That was my biggest fear, no space to move and breathe. Dormitories schools are shown in the media as over disciplined. […]But when I arrived I didn't find it so oppressive and depressing at all! [… ]I think since I came I have become more confident in my studies, and also more knowledgeable about socializing with people of different cultures.” Choosing a boarding school in Paris can be a successful step in your child’s self development and experience. Another international student finally commented: “This boarding school in Paris is my life now. And I do not know how I will manage without…”

Notre-Dame International High School, an international boarding school in Paris, American curriculum, Grade 9 to 12. Visit http://www.ndihs.com for more details.
Listing of French boarding schools to be found on http://www.internats.info.
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Tags:Boarding, Paris, International School, American School, France
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