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Boarding like Harry Potter Does! Hogwarts Magic Still Hold the Hearts of Overseas Parents and Studen

  • Hogwarts Magic Still Hold the Hearts of Overseas Parents and Students

  • Going to a boarding school teaches us how to enjoy the being in the community, going back to the nature, following rules, respect others, as well as other interpersonal and social skills needed. Dreaming of studying like Harry Potter and his friends--- in architectural buildings with spiral staircases, gothic towers as classrooms with medieval interiors, with fountains and mazes laying on remote shire in England?



This is so-called “The Hogwarts Effect”-- which has brought forward a wave of renaissance to the British boarding schools. According to a survey by the Independent Schools Council, there are approximately 70,265 children educated at British boarding schools. The boarding school student population was in a continuous decline in the 1990s, until the Harry Potter series have become a worldwide global blockbuster in the 2000s. There is a slight decline of British students, albeit the strong growing number of international students.




Robin Fletcher, Chief executive at the Boarding Schools’ Association, insists that overseas parents and students still share the Hogwarts/Harry Potter impression:

“UK families will have all sorts of sources of information about boarding schools. They might live near one. They might know people who’ve been to one. Harry Potter is only one of the influences they’re considering. Harry Potter might have a slightly disproportionate effect [on overseas students]. If you live in China, you might just see Hogwarts and think, I want to go to a boarding school like that.”

Nick Wergan, chairman of the Boarding Schools' Association, agrees that the Hogwarts effect is lessening in the UK. “It’s more: ‘I want to bridge the gap of independence from school to university’,” he said.


“It’s the community, the friends, the enrichment.”

Fletcher adds: “While Harry Potter is a completely mythical place, it does show young people living together in community, trying new things, bonding with each other,” he said. “Becoming independent characters in a historic environment. That is representative of boarding.”

Nick Wergan, chairman of the Boarding Schools' Association, agrees that the Hogwarts effect is lessening in boarding schools in the UK but such “spirit” has been transferred to the university life of “the community, the friends, the enrichment”.

Some of the “Real” Boarding life that is far from Harry Potter’s fictional settings:

Not all historic, gothic buildings Undoubtedly, most of the boarding schools are set in the areas of natural beauty free from the hustle of modern life and traffic with comprehensive facilities. Not all boarding schools are housed in historic buildings, nor they are all privately owned.

Tight and Rigid Access and Rules See that Harry and Hermoine seem to have free access to any places they wanted to go? No students are allowed to the dormitories during the day for any reason. While Harry Potter and his friends are often hanging out, some boarding schools require students to take up different roles, for instance, in charge of serving dinners and community work. Going to the right class on time with the right dress code is a must. No one is excluded from the set time for studying in the evening.

Life and Social Skills to survive There isn’t enough free and leisure time--- not like Hogwarts borders who would have much leisure time. Since learning is round the clock, the majority of the time you would be spending with a crowd of people: little time you have for yourself and so one needs to learn how to communicate and make friends. Also, learning to cook and do your own laundry are also essential. People often say boarders probably did not like boarding life back then, but when they look back they would always find an unbreakable tie and bond with their teachers and classmates.



We have partnered with some of the best UK independent boarding schools that are recommended by The Good Schools Guide. For more information about finding the right schools, please contact Karen Li Foster, our Education Consultant at James-Lee Consultancy: karen@jamesleeconsultancy.com.

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