North America is rich in geographic/topographical/climatic diversity. It has mountains and lakes, forests and oceans. The west coast of California is as different from inland Quebec as sunny Florida is to wet, wild West Vancouver. North America is a melting pot of people and cultures from all over the world. There is a place for everyone and everyone has a place.
Schools are every bit as diverse, from the boarding schools of the East Coast built on centuries of tradition, to the newer schools in the south and west, springing up where population has brought about demand.
When choosing a school, the important thing is to find the right school for the right child. Learning about the different options available, from AP to IB, from Junior Boarding schools to PG programs, from ESL curricula to Athletic scholarships, is what educational consultants/agents will gain from the workshop. Schools' representatives must be well-versed in the key selling points of their own educational institutions and be able to communicate that information effectively during the workshop.
Education ranks only second to parenting, in the influence it can exert on a young person's life. American and Canadian boarding schools have a world-wide reputation for excellence in educating the whole person, and in providing the training not just to become scholars, but also thinking managers, capable of seeing the big picture. These are skills which will prove invaluable to them whether they return to their home countries to pursue their careers, or whether they decide to remain in the United States or Canada.
The next decade will see a more aggressive approach by boarding schools in North America seeking to recruit students from countries other than their own. Along the way, they are likely to find motivated students seeking scholarships who might not otherwise be able to afford the tuition fees of the 21st century. Giving such students a chance, especially from emerging markets such as Vietnam, will reap rewards of many kinds in the years to come. Getting an early foot in the door in such markets will attract full-fee paying students later.
Participation in the North American Boarding Schools Workshop in London is the first step forward along the road to increased international enrolments and greater diversity.
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