Australia has an unparalleled number of boarding schools –over 10 thousand, no less! Boarding is offered for senior students or those in Years 7 to 12 and accompanied with strong pastoral care and systems for the wellbeing of students, supporting them academically, socially, developmentally and in any other way they need.
Some things to consider when choosing an Australian boarding school for your child is whether to send them to a co-educational, girls-only or boys-only school – both co-ed and single-sex school have their benefits and, arguably, their flaws. You should also think about whether you prefer the school to be non-denominational or denominational, though it is worth noting that all the schools on this list emphasize inclusivity and diversity, regardless of their underpinning religious principles. Whatever you go with, boarding schools have unparalleled benefits for your child’s development into well-rounded, independent, well-connected and curious individuals.
All this considered, we diversified our list of top boarding schools in Australia to bring you a taste of what Australian education has to offer to international students – and kick-start you on your search for your kiddo’s ideal home away from home in “the Lucky Country.”
Wesley College is an independent, co-educational, open-entry private school. It was established in 1866 and is the only school in Victoria to offer the International Baccalaureate from early childhood to Year 12. Wesley believes in coeducation as the best way to prepare girls and boys for the world and encourages inclusivity, acceptance, diversity and holistic development. With academic excellence as a hallmark of its education, its alumni, among others, include two former prime ministers, five supreme court judges and 33 Olympic athletes! Its Learning in Residence boarding program is innovative and student-centred, inextricably linking learning and living to the benefit of its weekly and full-time boarders. Learn more about Wesley’s international student applications here!
St Ursula's College challenges girls to become critical thinkers, curious learners and confident communicators in order to become agents of transformation in a global community of the contemporary world! It’s an independent Catholic secondary school built around a deep understanding of how girls think, work and feel; its spirituality is centred around the spirit of Jesus, therefore unconditionally recognizing the giftedness of each person. As far as the boarding environment is concerned, St Ursula’s College has been awarded an Australian Education national Boarding School of the Year Excellence Award in both 2020 and 2021! Find out more about admissions for international students here!
The Hutchins School has celebrated its 175th anniversary on August 3, 2021 – making it one of the oldest continually operating schools in Australia. Hutchins has an outstanding academic record and offers a unique learning environment designed specifically for boys’ education, which encompasses everything from learning spaces, methodologies, resources and programs tailored for boys’ developmental needs. However, the school implements a unique co-operating school model that allows boys to attend subjects with girls at its sister school St Michael’s Collegiate and its co-operating school Fahan School. Its boarding house is newly redeveloped, overlooking the River Derwent and surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Tasmania – where they can venture into outdoor activities! Learn about international enrolments here!
It’s safe to say that Caulfield Grammar succeeded in its goal to be a leading, internationally recognized, co-educational school fostering responsible global citizens – and it has been accepting international students for over a century. The school encompasses 5 campuses (two of which offer an outdoor and international program) which allows for the forming of close-knit communities while having abundant resources and a vast range of broad and balanced programs. Boarding here offers students the benefits of living within walking distance of Melbourne’s beaches, parks, cafes and shops, making the experience equally vibrant within and outside of school grounds. Read about admissions for overseas students here!
Wenona’s purpose is to deliver world-class, contemporary, relevant education for girls, with a culture based on positive, respectful relationships, a focus on leadership and service. Its holistic educational approach and diverse curriculum raise Renaissance women: creative, resilient, articulate, well-educated, filled with a sense of humor and a capacity for adventure. Besides welcoming international students, the school offers girls transformative international opportunities such as their Service Learning trips on which girls undertake community building and humanitarian work in countries that include Tanzania, Cambodia, Laos, Borneo, Thailand, Fiji and Peru. Depending on their interests, students can visit art capitals of the world, take part in sporting tours, music tours in North America and Europe, as well as undertake post-school exchange programs. Learn about how to enrol here!
Nicknamed Churchie, Anglican Church Grammar School has had boarding – and academic excellence – as an integral part of its community since it was founded well over a century ago. The school is proud of its tradition but progresses through a contemporary lens. It teaches its students to become leaders as well as to serve and to continually grow in breadth and depth, and boarding at Churchie only catalyzes this academic, social and personal development. Churchie has state-of-the-art facilities and purpose-built learning spaces, as well as a range of progressive programs such as Emotional Intelligence Initiatives and an enviable range of co-curricular activities. Learn how to enroll here!
John Paul College educates, inspires and its students make a difference in turn. They are treated as individuals with individual needs, different levels of ability and interests. As they progress on their education journey, students are increasingly given opportunities to choose subjects they have a particular interest in, ranging from highly academic to vocational courses, traineeships and apprenticeships (the overwhelming majority of our go on to tertiary education regardless of their choices). The school’s Boarding Village is a “global village at the heart of the school” with a home away from home atmosphere, vegetable gardens and academic and pastoral support on site. Get info on enrolments here!
John Paul College, +61 7 3826 3333, www.jpc.qld.edu.au
With a motto like “A place to belong,” you know your child is coming to an exceptionally friendly, inclusive, welcoming school which also spreads this spirit outwards – Hills offers world-class education that emphasizes empathy for other cultures and peoples, teaching students to take their place as world citizens. The school encourages parent participation and maintains small class sizes to be able to identify weaknesses or special talents as soon as possible. International students can stay at the campus dormitory or with a local family as part of a homestay arrangement. Read more about boarding here and get info on admissions here!
This year, not for the first time, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School has received Excellence Awards in three categories of the 2021 Australian Education Awards: Best Student Wellbeing Program, Best Strategic Plan and Principal of the Year (Non-Government). Similarly, IGGS’s tertiary entrance outcomes and literacy and numeracy results are continually among the best in Queensland. Established in 1892, the school is one of the eight original Queensland Grammar Schools and some of its buildings are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register! IGGS offers boarding for girls from Year 5 to 12 – you can read all about it here. For info on international enrolments, go here!
Knox is one of Australia’s leading Uniting Church day and boarding schools for boys. It has an exceptionally well-developed and implemented Next Generation Boarding program with superb facilities and unparalleled support for boarders (and their parents), as well as extra courses such as independent living, citizenship, social justice, cooking, etiquette, etc. as part of the Whole of Life program for boarders. The school is equally committed to developing academic, artistic, cultural and athletic excellence. Go here to find out how to enroll!