We asked boarding school students from Grand Cayman and beyond about their experience abroad. Now you can find out what life is really like from the boarders themselves!

Breannach Clongowes


Clongowes Wood College SJ, Ireland

Breannach joined from Cayman Prep (Year 10) into the Transition Year (TY) at Clongowes in September 2022.

What is the best thing about being at boarding school?

I’ve really enjoyed how full the schedule is. We are always kept busy with a range of sports and different activities.

What is the hardest thing about boarding school?

I didn’t find many things very hard as the TY is a very good year to settle into the school. I was a bit homesick at the beginning but that didn’t last long.

How did you overcome your homesickness?

I have lots of contact with home and can call home every day if I want. Getting to know the other people in my year and getting used to the routine of a new school really helped.

What does a school day look like for you?

We have school on six days, with half days on Wednesdays and Saturdays for sport. We are up at 7.30am on weekdays; later at the weekend. We have Morning Prayer with the rest of the school at 8.25am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Class runs from 8.45am to 3.45pm (or noon on Wednesday and Saturday). We have sports from 4pm to 5pm and study from 6pm to 8pm. Then we have free time from 8pm to 9pm and the gym or sports from 9pm to 10pm and we’re in bed by 10.25pm. It’s a busy day but very enjoyable.

How does the work load compare to Cayman Prep?

I moved from GCSEs to TY which is not an overly academic year but was a great year to settle in. I expect my workload will greatly increase next year!

What advice would you give a new boarding school student?

I’d say that getting involved in as many things as possible will really help you settle in. There are many different things offered to TYs at Clongowes, so there is a lot to keep us busy.

Jaxon St Andrews


St. Andrews College, Canada

Jaxon joined from Cayman Prep and is currently in Grade 11.

What was the best thing about being at boarding school?

St. Andrew’s College has many great things to offer, but the diversity at the school is the most noticeable. SAC attracts students from all over the world, which creates a diverse community.

What do you do on a weekend at boarding school?

As a student-athlete, I sometimes travel to other locations to play games, but when I'm on campus over the weekend, I love hanging out with my friends and getting involved around my house or school. I enjoy playing soccer on the Yuill Field, pool in Sifton House, or playing basketball.

What advice would you give a new boarding school student?

Take advantage of the facilities; the facilities have helped me excel academically and athletically. Some of my favourite facilities include the La Brier Family hockey arena, which includes a state-of-the-art weight room; Bedard Gymnasium, which Upper School students and sports teams use; McLaughlin Hall, which was just recently renovated is where we have our Science classes, and my favourite is the dining hall where we share our meals.

Did you feel adequately prepared for boarding school?

I feel like I was ready for all of my courses in my first year at St. Andrew’s, and Cayman Prep prepared me well for this next step.

What are your favourite extracurricular activities?

Since coming to St. Andrew’s and being exposed to ice hockey, I’ve found a love for the game and joined the school’s U16 Hockey team.

How did you find the social side of boarding school?

People at SAC are really easy to talk to and friendly. It’s a very inclusive group of students. I’ve learned that you can be friends with many different groups of people, and you aren’t restricted to finding one friendship group.

Asia L and Kaia R

Asia & Kaia

Bishop's College School (BCS), Canada

Asia and Kaia joined BCS from Cayman International School (CIS) and are both currently in their first year (Grade 7).

What is the best thing about being at boarding school?

Kaia: I am experiencing things that I would not have experienced in Cayman. For example, snowboarding, having a roommate, gaining a level of independence and responsibility that I didn't get when living with my parents.

Asia: Being a boarder myself! My best friend is my roommate, and it's so much fun being in a house with 14 girls.

How did you find the social side of boarding school when you first started?

Kaia: There were team-building activities and events like cadets and a walk up Mount Orford that were organised to help us socialise. These activities allowed new and returning students to interact with each other so that we were able to become more comfortable with each other, as well as get to know each other better.

Asia: When I first started, I came in with all the new kids, which I think is great because everyone was in the same situation. Everyone that was here last year was kind and welcoming.

What are your favourite extracurricular activities?

Kaia: Going on afternoon walks in the forest with my friends, along with going to the cardio room.

Asia: Football (soccer) because in Cayman I played football a lot. I thought when I went to BCS that it would stop, but the sports here are great and I really enjoy playing football at BCS.

How does the workload compare to CIS?

Kaia: The workload is quite similar, maybe a little bit more structured and the expectations are a little higher.

Asia: The workload at BCS is really similar to the workload at CIS.

What advice would you give a new boarding school student?

Kaia: I would tell new boarding students that it is rough at the beginning and that it is hard being away from your family, but that in the end, it is worth it because you learn so much, meet new people and gain self confidence.

Asia: The advice I would give to a new boarder is that it is hard at first and different, but in the end it is all worth it, I promise.

What do you do on a weekend at boarding school?

Kaia: On weekends my friends and I choose between weekend activities provided by the school, such as mall trips, snowboarding trips, ski trips or going to the movies. Sometimes we go see friends and family that live in the area. We also sometimes walk into the local town, Lennoxville, where there are restaurants and cafés.

Asia: On weekends I sometimes go out with my family or friends, but if I am on campus then I would usually go on the mall trip or go to Lennoxville. In winter I would go snowboarding.

Did you find the transition to boarding school a challenge? And did you struggle with any particular subjects?

Kaia: No, I did not find the transition a challenge. I found it easy to move from one school to another. I did have a challenge with one of my courses; French. It was difficult starting a new language that I've never spoken before, but something that helped was the Spanish I'd taken at my previous school in Cayman. There are many similarities between Spanish and French both being Latin based.

Asia: A subject I didn’t feel adequately prepared for was Geography, but I overcame this by studying a lot during prep.

Did you experience homesickness? How did you overcome it?

Kaia: Yes, I did and still do miss my friends and family at home sometimes, but it gets easier knowing I have made new friends who are and will continue to be there for me.

Asia: I did experience homesickness. I really did miss my family, and I still do now, but I try to think on the positive side and be grateful for what I have.

What does a school day look like?

Kaia: Every day there is something to do from when we wake up to when we go to sleep. During the day all students are focused and determined to do great things. There's laughter in classes, conversations at lunch, fun during crease and constant activities.

Asia: A school day at BCS looks like this: Period 1, Period 2, Snack, Period 3, Lunch, Period 4, Period 5 then crease (sports). Also on Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is chapel (morning assembly).

Grace St Caths


St. Catherine's School, Surrey, UK

Grace joined St. Catherine's from the British School in the Netherlands and is currently in Year 12.

What is the best thing about being at boarding school?

You make genuine friends for life. When you spend so much time living with people, you get a closer bond with them compared to if you just saw them during day-to-day school. I feel like I always have people to support me and I truly don’t believe I would have made friends like that without being a boarder.

What advice would you give a new boarding school student?

Keep a very open mind to new people and try to be very tolerant of everyone. Letting minor issues go and learning to live with each other is the best way to have a positive experience with boarding. Be willing to try new things and get involved with as many different extracurricular activities as possible, as this is a great way to make new friends and keep yourself busy if you start to get homesick.

What is the hardest thing about boarding school?

Adjusting to living with people who work differently to you. It took me quite a while to accept that everyone has their own values and way of living, and that not everyone wants to work around you or do things your way. I had to adjust to roommates who were not as neat and tidy as I am, or who woke up extremely early in the morning (which I still don’t understand). It’s a key life skill that is very important and transferable for the future, but it took me a while to adjust to this.

What are your favourite extracurricular activities?

I have really enjoyed doing drama, even though I am not the most confident person and dislike going on stage, I found doing the LAMDA and RADA awards offered by the school incredibly rewarding and confidence building. I also really enjoy playing tennis, especially as I get to be in a group with my friends and we just have a lot of fun together. I also take part in a cooking course, which is very helpful and makes me extremely popular in boarding when I come back on a Monday with boxes full of freshly-cooked food! I really enjoyed playing lacrosse further down the school, as even though I am not the most skilled player, I loved going to weekend matches and attending tournaments.

What do you do on a weekend at boarding school?

There are many different activities on offer and they become more flexible as you go through school. This means I can revise during exam season and also take breaks for more fun activities. My favourite activities are the trips into London, especially to Winter Wonderland at Christmas, the annual Thorpe Park and Brighton beach trips during the summer, trips to the cinema, and the cooking workshops. Sometimes it's just nice to go for a walk, to the gym or simply just hang out with friends.

Zachery Young


The Webb School, Bell Buckle, Tennessee

Zachery joined The Webb School from St. Ignatius in 2020 and is currently a Senior.

What is the best thing about being at boarding school?

The trust I earned from my family. They trusted that I would do my best as a young man and mature each day as I learn different skills and be successful in college and life.

What advice would you give a new boarding school student?

Have patience and know everything will work itself out. Set goals and be as involved with the school as possible.

How did you find the social side of boarding School when you first started?

I found it easy because I had a friend who came with me from Grand Cayman. We started to meet new people from different cultures and backgrounds, and I was infatuated by the things they liked and they were intrigued by my background as well.

How does the workload compare to your previous school in Cayman?

The workload here at Webb is rigorous. However, comparing it to Grand Cayman, it is not too different.

What do you do on a weekend at boarding school?

I stay as busy as possible. I'm involved in the outdoor programme at our school called WILD (Wilderness Instruction Leadership and Development). I like to take walks to downtown Bell Buckle where there are shops and things to do and I also like to play games with friends in the dorm or on campus. I also do my homework assignments for the upcoming week.

And did you struggle with any particular subjects?

Physics. It took a toll on me to conquer this class. However, with diligent studying, assistance from our Study Center and the help of my teachers and friends, I was able to pull my grade up and passed the class with a B+.

Did you experience homesickness? How did you overcome it?

Yes. When I first arrived at The Webb School, I was very homesick. However, once the school year was in progress, I filled my time with different things around campus to take my mind off home. Also, here at Webb, we have a lot of breaks to travel back home to see family. So, I took advantage of those breaks to go back to Grand Cayman.

What does a school day look like?

I have a usual daily schedule from morning to afternoon. I have a free period to go talk with teachers, go to the study centre, or just to catch up on things I need to do around campus. I eat lunch around noon and after school I socialise with friends.