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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Boarding Schools Part III – A Cayman Mum’s Perspective

Boarding Schools Part III – A Cayman Mum’s Perspective

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Plan to visit at least five different boarding schools with your child and do as much research on them as you can. If possible ask if your child can spend a day and a night at his/her favourite two or three schools – this way he/she can make an informed decision. Before you know it, all the discussions and research will soon become a reality. – Kary Claybourn

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  1. Empowerment, learning to be independent, living in a new country, living in harmony in a dorm with people from far reaching corners of the globe. Learning tolerance, money management and coping with international travel – all character building stuff.
  2. Exposure to activities that just aren’t available in Cayman.
  3. Time spent with family during the school holidays is quality time. No more arguments over homework or getting out of the door on time in the morning!


  1. Disjointed family unit – the family can become slightly disjointed, if brothers or sisters are still being educated in Cayman and one or other parent is regularly visiting their boarding school sibling.
  2. Homesickness – having to deal with the emotional elements of missing your child and understanding their homesickness or sadness.


Insider Tip: Schools that have a long history of recieving students from Cayman, and are particularly keen to continue the tradition include the following: Clongowes Wood College in Ireland, Cottesmore School, Sedbergh School and Stowe in England or Florida’s The Vanguard School.



  1. Choose a full boarding environment, rather than weekly boarding, unless you have family and friends close by who can take your child for the weekends.
  2. Plan for either parent to consistently attend parent meetings or events in the first year, not only to keep involved in your child’s academic and school progress, but also to meet other parents from your child’s year group.
  3. Keep in regular contact with your child’s matron and/or housemaster/housemistress. You are thousands of miles from your child and their role is to keep you up-to-date and reassure you when things get tough.
  4. Be open with your child and ask them how they are feeling in their new environment. Some children take longer to adjust than others. Reassure them that it is normal to feel sad or homesick at times and then talk them through ways to overcome these feelings.
  5. Expect the winter months (January through to March) to be the toughest term. Children raised in Cayman will not be used to cold weather and short daylight hours. This can be a very tough term for many children, especially in their first year.
  6. Check that your medical insurance will cover your child whilst at boarding school.
  7. Keep a reserve fund for more flights or care packages than you may plan to need. Your child may need you to visit more than you expect or need small parcels and postcards, especially in the first year.
  8. Set up member accounts with frequently used airlines for both parents and child.
  9. Join or set up a WhatsApp group with parents of other children at same school or country – very useful for travel arrangements.
  10. Find a network of family and/or friends who are in the same country or close to your child’s school, who can be on hand for leave weekends, etc.


Don’t miss it!

We have compiled a three part series on boarding schools: check out the Part I and Part II. Or see what the student themselves think.



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