The Foreign Service Journal, December 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2020 81 In fact, academic preparation for college is perhaps the strongest feature of American boarding schools. Schools meet students where they are and provide the right measure of challenge and support to ensure their success. Honors, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses are common, as are systems to support students who encounter difficulty. Some schools have a dedicated department staffed with professional experts to support students who have learning differences or disabilities and who need structure, support and, most importantly, strategies to overcome their specific learning difference or dis- ability. Students can tailor parts of their academic program to their particular interests. Faculty who live on campus are always available to work with their students and are deeply invested in their success. For these reasons, and many more, attractive college doors swing open for boarding school graduates each year. An International Atmosphere The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) lists tens of thousands of students in member schools, most of them in the United States. Nearly half of the board- ing students in these schools are from countries outside the United States, and many of the students who carry Ameri- can passports are the children of parents working abroad. The international “feel” of a boarding school campus offers a measure of famil- iarity to diplomatic dependents whose worldviews give them the ability to adapt to new surroundings quickly and easily and make friends anywhere. “One of the big attractions was the diversity of the students,” offers one For- eign Service mother. “Living in a dorm for our daughter was fantastic. She didn’t lose that ‘home feeling,’ and she always got support.” The student’s father reflects: “We’ve been overseas for 15 years and have expe- rience with four international schools. We found that the quality of the teachers was hit or miss. At [boarding school], the teachers were all excellent. For children who need a little extra attention and sup-