An investment in your child’s school is really like any other investment—you put in now for a payoff in the future. The payoff in the case of a boarding school is your child having an education and connections that will lead them to having a happy and productive life.
As with any kind of investment, you’re going to want to take a good hard look at the people that are going to be helping shape your children into young adults. If your child is getting to the appropriate age, it’s time to ask the big questions: How many boarding schools are there in the world? Are the most expensive boarding schools in the world really that good? And of course, what are the best boarding schools in the world?
Today we’re going to give you some insight into the world of international boarding schools. You spent time researching your luxury yacht, and you certainly didn’t stumble all willy nilly into purchasing your dream home. So it stands to reason you wouldn’t dare jump blindly into making the biggest investment of your life… the future of your children. This list was compiled by comparing international school rankings offered by reputable educational sites. We analyzed each ranking to identify the absolute best boarding schools in the world. Read on to find out about the top 15 best boarding schools today.
A quick note: The prices per year listed below are the tuition fees. You’re likely to come across additional fees that can add a significant amount on top of the tuition each year. For example, when your child first joins a school, you may be charged an additional enrollment fee on top of the tuition.
The 15 best boarding schools in the world
15. The International School of Catalunya, Spain
ISCAT was founded on the principle of educating youth with a values-based approach. This means that students, aged 3 to 18 years, are not only given a traditional education, but they also participate in the school’s Forest School Program (outdoor lessons involving problem-solving, team-building, and environmental awareness). Additionally, ISCAT has been accredited by UNICEF as a Rights Respecting School, where the articles of the Declaration of Rights of the Child underpin the school’s overall approach. ISCAT is also one of the more affordable boarding schools in Europe to make our list.
Country: Spain Price per year: $7,350 Year founded: 2007 Number of students: 200 Website: iscat.es
14. Bromsgrove International School, Thailand
One of the best boarding schools in Asia, Bromsgrove International School is associated with their namesake school in the UK, giving this school over 460 years of experience to draw from. Bromsgrove accepts boarding students aged 9 through 18, and uses the British Boarding School Association Standards for their procedures. What makes Bromsgrove really stand out is that the main campus is nestled next to a 36-hole golf course, allowing the school to integrate the healthy activity into its curriculum.
Country: Thailand Price per year: $8,948 Year founded: 2002 Number of students: 500 Website: bromsgrove.ac.th/
13. Eton College, United Kingdom
Eton College is one of the best boarding schools in Europe, and one of the most famous schools in the world. It has been dubbed “the chief nurse of England’s statesmen” because of the number of future world leaders that have passed through its hallowed halls. In addition to politicians and business leaders, Prince William and Prince Harry attended Eton for their advanced education. This is one of the top schools in the world where the young forge connections that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Country: UK Price per year: $68,244 Year founded: 1440 Number of students: 1,300 Website: https://www.etoncollege.com/
12. St. Andrew’s School, Canada
Situated on 126 beautiful acres, the campus of St. Andrew’s School, the single largest all-boys boarding school in Canada, is an absolute eye-catcher with greenery everywhere. The school boasts a 100% university placement rate for its graduating classes, and 6,000 alumni provide worldwide connections. With alumni like actors Kiefer Sutherland and Stephen Amell, lawyer and diplomat Vincent Massey, and multiple prominent business leaders on their rolls, St. Andrew’s manages to empower young men who reach success in a wide variety of fields.
Country: Canada Price per year: $51,745 Year founded: 1899 Number of students: 650 Website: https://www.sac.on.ca/
11. Amadeus International School Vienna, Austria
If your child has a real affinity for music or the arts, you should seriously consider looking into Amadeus International School Vienna. A unique day and first-class boarding IB World School with an integrated Music and Arts Academy. With more than 50 nationalities, the school is a distinctive blend of rigorous academics with an IB Career-Related Programme, a very unique program that provides students with the perfect pathway to focus on a music career whilst receiving a top international academic education.
Country: Austria Price per year: € 13,295 - € 52,350 Year founded: 2012 Number of students: 400 Website: amadeus-vienna.com
10. Cardiff Sixth Form College, United Kingdom
Cardiff Sixth Form College is the very top school in the UK for A Level results. Accepting students aged from 15 through 19, 99% of their students achieved top A* and A grades in 2020. This is a school that takes academics very seriously, and prides itself on its high university placement rates, so much so that it has been ranked number one for A-level results for the past eleven years by the Independent School League Tables.
Country: Wales Price per year: $55,722 Year founded: 2004 (as the Cardiff Centre of Excellence) Number of students: 380 Website: ccoex.com
9. Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg, Switzerland
Welcome to the most expensive school in the world, Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg. Also one of the most exclusive schools, the Institut only hosts around 230 students at any given time, aged 6 to 18 years. With such high exclusivity and low student numbers, your child is guaranteed a hands-on education with their teachers in a teacher-student ratio of 1:2. Alumni include the likes of German billionaire Gunter Sachs, fashion designer Chiara Ohoven, and Mexican chemist Mario Molina who won the Nobel Prize in 1995.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $150,000 Year founded: 1889 Number of students: 230 Website: instrosenberg.ch
8. Leysin American School in Switzerland (LAS)
The Leysin American School in Switzerland (LAS) strives to not only educate students, but specifically to create future world leaders in their respective disciplines with their Leadership Program. Naturally, the school recognizes that a student’s life can’t be all academics, so it offers weekend trips to other European countries, as well as ski and mountaineering trips in the Alps. The school can boast that 80% of their graduates are admitted to the world’s top 100 universities, so don’t be surprised when in a few years from now, your LAS child ends up picking you up in a world-class automobile or flies you out for a visit in a private jet.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $108,605 Year founded: 1960 Number of students: 340 Website: las.ch
7. Le Rosey, Switzerland
Ranked #1 of the top boarding schools in the world by Forbes, Le Rosey has played host to the children of famous actors like Roger Moore, David Niven, Elizabeth Taylor, musicians like John Lennon and Diana Ross, and captains of industry like the Rothschilds, Benettons, du Ponts, and Rockefellers. Le Rosey features a strong leaning towards bilingual education, leading to a French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $113,000 Year founded: 1880 Number of students: 420 Website: https://www.rosey.ch/
6. Aiglon College, Switzerland
What do Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark and former Google CFO Pietro Dova have in common? They are both alumni of beautiful Aiglon College. One of the unique features of the school is that they recognize that burn-out is a very real thing, even amongst the young, and with that in mind they have the entire school come together for a meditation session for 20 minutes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday morning for the sake of mental health and community-building.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $38,798 Year founded: 1949 Number of students: 400 Website: aiglon.ch/
5. American International School – Salzburg, Austria
With a student-to-teacher ratio of 3:1, and a maximum student body of 100, you can be assured that your child will receive the attention and dedication they need at the American International School, located in beautiful Salzburg, Austria. If your child is really blossoming and excited about their studies, AIS offers an additional summer school program, as well as a Summer Language Program, intended to promote bilingualism.
Country: Austria Price per year: $16,300 Year founded: 1976 Number of students: 100 Website: ais-salzburg.at
4. Brillantmont International School, Switzerland
One of the oldest boarding schools in Switzerland, Brillantmont International School has been owned and guided by the same family for five generations now. After 9th Grade, students are given personalized timetables specifically designed to work on their strengths and to help them prepare for applying to the universities of their choice. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the school’s location is a stunner, overlooking the Swiss Alps and Lac Léman (Lake Geneva).
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $32,248 Year founded: 1882 Number of students: 150 Website: brillantmont.ch
3. Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland
Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz goes out of their way to offer multiple academic programmes: three in English, one in German, and two bilingual programmes (German/English and Italian/German). The multilingual atmosphere, shared by students from over 45 different countries, is going to enrich your child’s grasp of the world and his or her ability to operate within it. And with its beautiful location in St. Moritz, you parents are going to be happy to visit as much as you can.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $91,113 Year founded: 1904 Number of students: 300 Website: lyceum-alpinum.ch/en/
2. Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil, Switzerland
Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil prides itself on challenging their students as much outside of the classrooms as within them. Their expeditions programme leads students to locations such as Cambodia, Iceland, Japan, and Antarctica in order to tackle such problem-solving adventures as climbing Kilimanjaro or going whitewater rafting. With notable alumni like Princess Marie of Denmark, and Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg representing the caliber of students, your child stands a good chance of making some amazing connections that will help build their future.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $70,220 Year founded: 1910 Number of students: 300 Website: beausoleil.ch
1. St. George’s International School, Switzerland
Founded by Lorna Southwell in 1927, St. George’s International School started life as a girls-only establishment, with boys not being admitted until 1993. The school’s 2022 International Baccalaureate results were spectacular, with a stellar 100% pass rate, with 48% of those students passing with a score of 38+ points. But life at St. George’s isn’t all nose-to-the-books; the school offers a wide array of extracurricular activities like art, music, dance, drama, multiple athletics, IT, languages, and more.
Country: Switzerland Price per year: $29,091 Year founded: 1927 Number of students: 480 Website: stgeorges.ch
Choosing your child’s school is a big decision, and we understand that it can be daunting. Don’t be afraid to shop around and really dig into what the schools offer in terms of academics and other life-building experiences. The right school can make all the difference in helping your child grow into a confident young person who is unafraid of taking on challenges.
We would recommend one piece of advice: don’t choose a school for your child, instead choose a school with him or her. Your child’s excitement (or lack thereof) should play a part in your decision. Your child is much more likely to embrace their education if they had a say in the choosing of their school.
Here’s a recap of the 15 best boarding schools in the world:
- St. George’s International School, Switzerland
- Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil, Switzerland
- Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland
- Brillantmont International School, Switzerland
- American International School – Salzburg, Austria
- Aiglon College, Switzerland
- Le Rosey, Switzerland
- Leysin American School in Switzerland (LAS)
- Institut Auf Dem Rosenberg, Switzerland
- Cardiff Sixth Form College, United Kingdom
- Amadeus International School Vienna, Austria
- St. Andrew’s School, Canada
- Eton College, United Kingdom
- Bromsgrove International School, Thailand
- The International School of Catalunya, Spain
Frequently asked questions about the best boarding schools
You can find excellent boarding schools in many different countries and continents. That being said, Switzerland is known for having multiple top tier boarding schools like St. George’s International School and Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil. Read our list of the best boarding schools in the world for more inspiration.
Many boarding school have beautiful campuses, with schools like Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz in St. Moritz and Brillantmont International School with its view of the Swiss Alps and Lac Léman being real standouts.
Le Rosey is the leading contender for luxury at a boarding school. The campus is beautiful, the school offers expedition programs and an extensive arts program, and they even have a mid-morning break for hot chocolate programmed into the day.
The most difficult boarding school to get into is likely The Thacher School, located in Ojai, California. The school has an acceptance rate of 12%. To compare, St. George’s International School, which is the top school on our boarding schools list, has an acceptance rate of about 28%.