Europe is one of the world’s largest continents, with a rich cultural legacy and historic landmarks, as well as some of the most prominent and academically distinguished boarding schools. With a track record of exceptional education that transcends borders, the boarding schools in Europe stand as beacons of excellence.
In this comprehensive guide, we will be embarking on a journey through the educational treasures of Europe, unveiling the top 15 boarding schools in Europe that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to nurturing young minds, fostering global perspectives, and shaping future leaders.
From the ancient halls of England’s historic institutions to the stunning landscapes of Switzerland and beyond, each of these schools offers a unique blend of tradition, creativity, and internationalism.
Join us as we travel through Europe’s educational landscapes, where centuries-old traditions meet modern teaching, students are encouraged to push boundaries and uncover their true potential, and lifelong friendships are formed in an environment of academic rigor and personal growth.
Whether you’re a parent contemplating the best educational options for your child or a teacher seeking inspiration from these centers of learning, this guide is your passport to discovering the top 15 boarding schools in Europe, where excellence knows no bounds, and the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong adventure.
Related >>> Top 12 Best Boarding Schools in Italy
Table of Contents
Best Boarding Schools in Europe
- Edward College Malta
- Harrow School
- Aiglon College
- Institut Le Rosey
- The American School in Switzerland (TASIS)
- St. George’s International School
- Brillantmont International School
- Institut Monte Rosa
- Bedford School
- Caxton College
- St Peter’s School, York
- Stowe School
- Hurtwood House
- International School of Bremen
- Benenden School
Diging deeper, let’s see what sets these schools apart from the numerous boarding schools in Europe…
1. St. Edward College Malta
Address: Triq San Dwardu, Birgu (Citta Vittoriosa), Cottonera – BRG 9039, Malta, Europe.
Located in Malta, St. Edward’s College is one of the best boarding schools in Europe, dedicated to fostering academic excellence and character development in a globalized world. Established in 1929, the college offers outstanding boarding facilities that go beyond tradition, providing students with unparalleled comfort, privacy, and affordability.
Eligible for boarding are Middle and Senior School Boys (ages 11 upwards) and Sixth Form students (ages 16 – 18), both boys and girls. The college prioritizes pastoral care and character growth, offering support services like counseling, TEFL assistance, and special needs support.
Boarders enjoy leisure activities, including water sports, general sports, and music lessons. The accommodations feature spacious, comfortable rooms overlooking the college grounds, with access to sports and recreation facilities on-site and off-site cultural venues.
To maintain a clean and tidy environment, there are daily cleaning of shared areas, twice-weekly room cleaning, and regular bed linen changes. The school also gives boarders nutritious meals, including vegetarian and halal options. St. Edward’s College combines academic excellence, comfortable living, and personal development, fostering an environment where students flourish academically and personally.
2. Harrow School
Address: 5 High St, Harrow HA1 3HP, United Kingdom
Harrow School, situated in the United Kingdom, stands as a beacon of academic distinction and character development. Founded in 1572, this renowned boys’ boarding school is deeply committed to nurturing well-rounded individuals who excel academically and contribute to society.
This boarding school offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum encompassing a wide range of subjects, both traditional and contemporary. With a rich history of academic excellence, the school empowers students to explore their passions and achieve their highest potential.
Harrow School boasts world-class boarding facilities that provide an exceptional living experience for students. The historic notion of dormitories has evolved into comfortable, modern accommodations that prioritize privacy and convenience.
The campus features state-of-the-art facilities, including well-appointed dormitories, classrooms, libraries, sports complexes, and cultural centers. They also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, from sports to arts, ensuring a balanced and enriching experience for boarders.
3. Aiglon College
Address: Avenue Centrale 61, 1885 Chesières, Switzerland
Aiglon College, nestled in the breathtaking canton of Vaud, Switzerland, is a distinguished private co-educational boarding school. Established in 1949 by former Gordonstoun teacher John C. Corlette, this institution offers some of the best educational facilities and boarding houses.
Aiglon College grooms its students for IGCSE exams and the IB Diploma, renowned for its academic prowess. Beyond academics, the school stands out for its extensive outdoor education programs and exceptional performance in winter sports.
Spanning approximately 60,000 square meters, Aiglon’s campus comprises around 40 distinct buildings and chalets. The school features eight senior boarding houses and two junior houses. The campus seamlessly combines existing chalets, renovated hotels, and purpose-built structures, offering students a unique and comfortable living environment
4. Institut Le Rosey
Address: Chateau du, Le Rosey 1, 1180 Rolle, Switzerland
Institut Le Rosey, commonly known as Le Rosey or simply Rosey, is an illustrious private boarding school situated in Rolle, Switzerland. Founded in 1880 by Paul-Émile Carnal, Le Rosey occupies the historic 14th-century Château du Rosey in Rolle, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in Europe, earning it the title of the “School of Kings.”
The school prides itself on its international atmosphere, with a quota ensuring that no more than 10% of students hail from a single country. Le Rosey’s diverse student body, ranging from ages 8 to 18, represents approximately 58 countries, with a majority from Europe. The student-teacher ratio is an impressive 5:1, fostering a personalized learning environment.
Le Rosey’s campus spans 28 hectares (69 acres) of meticulously landscaped grounds. The school’s sailing center, “Fleur d’Eau,” graces the shores of Lake Geneva, offering a unique waterfront experience.
Institut Le Rosey’s legacy of academic excellence, unique campuses, and commitment to fostering diverse talents has solidified its reputation as one of the most prestigious and distinctive boarding schools in Europe.
5. The American School in Switzerland (TASIS)
Address: Via Collina d’Oro 15, 6926 Montagnola, Switzerland
The American School in Switzerland also known as TASIS is an American international boarding and day school located in England. Established in 1976, it stands as the second oldest among the TASIS Schools, a distinguished group of American international boarding institutions.
TASIS England welcomes students from Pre-Kindergarten through Postgraduate programs, fostering a diverse learning community. The school comprises Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, collectively enrolling approximately 750 students annually. Notably, around 260 Middle and High School students reside on the campus.
TASIS England proudly boasts a global student body with representatives from nearly 60 different nations. The school’s vibrant community encompasses more than 30 different first languages, creating a rich tapestry of cultures and perspectives.
High school students at TASIS England have the opportunity to tailor their education by selecting specific Advanced Placement (AP) classes or pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. This flexibility has enabled graduates to receive offers from top colleges and universities over the past five years.
6. St. George’s International School
Address: Chem. de Saint-Georges 19, 1815 Montreux, Switzerland
St. George’s International School, Switzerland, also known as St. George’s, is a prestigious private co-educational international school that serves boarding and day students aged 18 months to 18 years.
The school’s enormous 45,000 square meter campus offers breathtaking views of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) and the Chablais Alps. Its main building complex houses administrative offices, an assembly hall/theatre, a library, the boarding section, and purpose-built rooms for art, dance, music, and information technology, in addition to general-purpose classrooms.
The school offers a comprehensive range of sports facilities, including a spacious multi-purpose sports hall, seven outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts, and expansive playing fields. These amenities enable students to engage in various athletic pursuits, fostering physical fitness and teamwork.
7. Brillantmont International School
Address: Av. Charles-Secrétan 16, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Founded in 1882 and currently under the guidance of its fifth-generation founding family, Brillantmont International School provides a nurturing and welcoming environment for approximately 100 students, both boarding and day attendees, aged 13-18, hailing from 30 diverse nationalities.
Brillantmont’s boarding facilities are situated right on the school’s campus, occupying the upper floors of five buildings. These buildings are equipped with secure access systems, ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment.
Boarding rooms are spacious and inviting, creating a sense of warmth and home away from home. For student comfort and diversity, boys and girls reside in separate houses, organized by age. Many students share rooms with peers from different nationalities, fostering a rich multicultural experience.
The school’s dedicated boarding team members live on each floor, playing a vital role in the well-being and happiness of the students. They provide support and guidance, ensuring that students have a positive and successful boarding experience.
8. Institut Monte Rosa
Address: Av. de Chillon 57, 1820 Montreux, Switzerland
Institut Monte Rosa is one of the best boarding schools in Europe dedicated to nurturing the individual growth of its students, aged 9 to 19, fostering their unique personalities, social skills, and sense of responsibility.
The school maintains small class sizes, typically ranging from 2 to 10 students. This fosters motivation and encourages students to find joy and pride in their academic endeavors. The academic program is highly flexible, accommodating the unique needs of each student, ensuring they can reach their full potential without undue pressure.
The school’s boarding house allows them to keep an eye on your kids, making sure they have that adult guidance. Students reside in spacious double or single rooms, with separate floors for boys and girls. All rooms are furnished according to European standards, ensuring a comfortable stay in a secure, structured, and supervised family-like environment.
The campus is equipped with modern classrooms, IT and multimedia rooms, an arts and crafts space, a laboratory, a snack bar, and indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including a private tennis court. These facilities create an environment conducive to academic achievement and personal growth.
9. Bedford School
Address: De Parys Ave, Bedford MK40 2TU, United Kingdom
Bedford School stands as a boarding school at its core, with both boarders and day students benefiting from a strong boarding ethos. The boarding community, comprised of 250 boys and approximately 40 staff members living on-site, infuses the school with a vibrant heartbeat and sense of permanence.
While over 80% of students hail from the UK, Bedford School proudly welcomes boys from more than thirty different nationalities. This diversity instills a global perspective that equips students well as they navigate their future paths.
Boarders constitute about a third of the Upper School population and occupy a dedicated boarding house in the Prep School. Bedford School aims to ensure that students enjoy their time with them and cherish their childhood experiences, understanding that childhood is a precious and irreplaceable phase in their lives..
Bedford School’s extended working week, which includes Saturday school from Year 6 onwards, provides more time for students to explore a wide range of opportunities that may not be feasible in a day school setting. It also fosters a calmer and more balanced school day, contributing to a productive learning environment.
10. Caxton College
Address: Carrer Mas del Leon, 5, 46530 Puçol, Valencia, Spain
Caxton College, located in Valencia, stands as one of the outstanding boarding schools in Europe that offers a warm and welcoming educational environment. With a friendly and knowledgeable staff, the school boasts excellent facilities, creating an ideal setting for learning and personal growth.
Caxton College takes pride in offering a wide range of multicultural and multilingual classes, ensuring that students are exposed to diverse perspectives and languages. The school’s teachers are known for their patience and care, and the curriculum is customized to meet the unique needs of each student.
In addition to academics, Caxton College offers a wide array of educational and extracurricular activities that contribute to the holistic development of students. These experiences allow children to learn, grow, and thrive both inside and outside the classroom.
In summary, Caxton College provides an exceptional boarding experience in Valencia, where children can learn, grow, and develop into well-rounded individuals.
11. St Peter’s School, York
Address: St Peter’s School, Clifton, York YO30 6AB, United Kingdom
Another leading institute on our list of the best boarding schools in Europe is St Peter’s School, York. The St. Peter’s School in York is not just a place of learning; it’s also a home to a diverse community of pupils who embrace full-time, part-time, or occasional boarding arrangements.
Boarding at St. Peter’s School offers students the opportunity to devote more time to their passions, positioning them to make the most of the school’s extensive offerings.
Boarders benefit from structured prep supervision and unparalleled access to the school’s sprawling 47-acre riverside campus. This access extends to the sports facilities, music rooms, library, and House gardens, allowing students to explore and thrive in a variety of pursuits.
Unlike other boarding schools in Europe, St peter’s school also offers families the opportunity to maximize their time together. Students are allowed to return home after Saturday games and return as late as Monday morning, allowing for valuable family moments during exeat weekends.
12. Stowe School
Address: Stowe, Buckingham MK18 5EH, United Kingdom
Stowe School, located in Stowe, England, is a prestigious public school catering to pupils aged 13–18. Founded on 11 May 1923, it initially welcomed 99 schoolboys, under the leadership of J. F. Roxburgh as the first headmaster.
Originally established as a boys-only institution, Stowe School has since embraced coeducation, now enrolling approximately 550 boys and 300 girls, with a total student population of 837 as of September 2021.
Stowe School boasts 13 boarding houses, comprising 8 for boys, 4 for girls, and 1 mixed Sixth Form house. Many of these houses are named in honor of members of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos’s family, with each house assigned a unique number or letter identifier.
Stowe School stands as a renowned institution with a rich history, offering a world-class education in a coeducational setting. Its commitment to academic excellence and nurturing the potential of each student has solidified its place among the leading boarding schools in Europe.
13. Hurtwood House
Address: 1 Radnor Ln, Dorking RH5 6NU, United Kingdom
Hurtwood House stands as one of the premier boarding schools in Europe, providing students with a safe, structured, caring, and joyful community that serves as a true home away from home. Hurtwood House’s commitment to providing a nurturing and enriching environment is evident in its House-based living, balanced routines, and extensive activities.
Students live in one of five country houses or lodges, each led by a Housemaster and a team of House Tutors. The Housemaster serves as the primary link between parents and the school for academic and pastoral matters.
The school cultivates a sense of “structured informality,” where House staff oversee student well-being, academics, and create a supportive family-like environment.
Hurtwood House’s daily routine keeps students on-campus during the working day, and they are safely returned to their Houses in the evenings.
Accommodation includes comfortable study bedrooms, dining in an award-winning ‘refectory’ with wholesome meal options, kitchen facilities in each House, and internet access.
The school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities throughout the week, ensuring students can explore their interests and passions.
14. International School of Bremen
Address: Badgasteiner Str. 11, 28359 Bremen, Germany
The International School of Bremen (ISB) is one of the leading boarding schools in Europe with a long history dating back to 1996. With a student body representing over 40 countries, ISB takes pride in its multicultural identity, celebrating the richness of diversity as an integral part of boarding life.
At ISB, student achievement is viewed as a personal journey. Remarkable academic success in the renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), consistently exceeding international averages, opens doors for boarders to attend universities worldwide, including a close partnership with Jacob’s University in Bremen.
The boarding facilities are housed in a purpose-built, multi-million Euro building designed for university accommodation. These facilities cater to students aged 14 and above pursuing the IBDP in Bremen.
The school’s surroundings are enveloped in stunning countryside, only minutes away from the cultural, historic, and vibrant attractions of Bremen City Center. Additionally, it is conveniently positioned near Bremen airport and the central railway station, providing easy access to Europe and the world beyond.
15. Benenden School
Address: Benenden, Cranbrook TN17 4AA, United Kingdom
Benenden School, located in Hemsted Park at Benenden, Kent, England, is an esteemed independent boarding school exclusively for girls. The school is nestled between Cranbrook and Tenterden and boasts a thriving boarding community comprising over 550 girls aged 11 to 18, in addition to a limited number of day student spaces.
Benenden Boarding offers numerous advantages for female kids. It provides them with the time and space to explore new activities, fosters the development of vital social and emotional skills, and creates lifelong friendships.
At Benenden, the philosophy is that boarding should complement, not replace, family life. Each girl’s boarding House becomes her home away from home, serving as the epicenter of her personal life. It’s the place she returns to after school, where she finds happiness, safety, and exceptional care.
Girls start their journey at Benenden as members of friendly dormitories, a characteristic feature of the school. Here, they quickly learn the importance of mutual support. Students actively participate in running their Houses, providing them with valuable opportunities to develop leadership skills, a strong sense of responsibility, and empathy towards the needs of others.
Read Also >> The Best Therapeutic Boarding Schools In America
Which country is best for boarding schools?
You can find excellent boarding schools in Europe’s countries. However, the United Kingdom (UK) is known for having multiple top-tier boarding schools like Harrow School, Bedford School and the Beneden School.
What is the most exclusive boarding school in the world?
There are many exclusive boarding schools in the world at large however, one of the boarding schools in Europe that stands out is Le Rosey.
Le Rosey is a boarding school located in Rolle, Switzerland and is considered one of the most prestigious and expensive schools in the world.
What is the Most Expensive Boarding Schools In Europe?
The most expensive boarding schools In europe includes the following;
- Institut auf dem Rosenberg, Switzerland.
- Le Rosey, Switzerland.
- Eton College, United Kingdom.
- Aiglon College, Switzerland.
- Collège Alpin Beau Soleil, Switzerland.
- Château de Sauveterre, France.
- St. Clare’s, United Kingdom.
What is the Cheapest Boarding school in Europe?
Our pick for the cheapest boarding school in Europe is the International School of Bremen. The school accommodates over 300 students from over 34 different countries of the world, with a student-teacher ratio of 1:15.
The yearly tuition for for this school ranges from EUR 11,300 to EUR 17,000.
What age is best for boarding school?
While some researchers say that there is not really a right or wrong age, I strongly believe that the age of 8 – 13 years is appropriate for stating boarding school education.
In the world of education, Europe stands as a beacon of excellence, and within this diverse continent, we have explored the finest boarding schools that seamlessly blend tradition and innovation, fostering the growth of tomorrow’s leaders.
From the historic halls of institutions like The American School in Switzerland and Harrow School in England, where centuries-old traditions meet modern educational approaches, to the stunning landscapes of Switzerland, home to prestigious schools like Aiglon College and Le Rosey, the European boarding school experience is nothing short of transformative.
Each of these top 15 schools offers a unique environment that encourages academic excellence, personal growth, and the development of lifelong friendships. Whether your child dreams of becoming a scientist, artist, athlete, or global citizen, these institutions provide the fertile ground where dreams take root.
In the end, the choice of a boarding school is a profound decision, one that can shape the trajectory of a young life. The top 15 boarding schools in Europe showcased here offer not only a world-class education but also an unforgettable adventure, where the pursuit of excellence knows no bounds, and where the bonds formed last a lifetime.