City or Suburbs? Boston Private Schools vs Private Schools Outside of Boston

Choosing between a private school in a city like Boston and a more suburban school can be difficult. Do both types of schools offer the same opportunities? And what types of activities do each type of school have?

Considering school fit is paramount in making your decision about where to attend the next few years of your high school career, choosing to leave home - and possibly venturing out of state to a smaller town - is a big decision. Here are a few key things to look for in a suburban or rural private school will help you better make a decision as to whether the move is right for you.

What are the activities like in private schools outside of Boston?

The reason many choose to attend a boarding school in a smaller community is precisely because of the educational fit and expanded opportunities available. From after school athletics to theatre and dance, chances are you will find more excitement in your daily routine than ever before. Many private schools also offer cultural weekend excursions (such as trips back into Boston or NYC,) including spring break trips to different countries where you will immerse yourself in art, language and history like never before. And don’t be surprised if visiting artists and artists in residence take up a home on campus for a semester. Another draw to attending school outside of the city? The incredible facilities available. One thing most rural and suburban schools have in common is an expansion of state of the art facilities and playing fields that most cities cannot accommodate. Your home away from the city can be what you make of it - getting involved and taking advantage of weekend excursions are just the beginning. Want to start your own indie music club? Start a band? You’ll likely find that possibilities are endless when you lead the way.

What will a typical day be like at a boarding school outside of Boston?

Your school life will likely keep you busier and more connected than ever. Students typically start the day by grabbing breakfast with friends in the dining hall, then heading off to classes for the day. Some hours you may have a free period, when many students head back to their room for downtime or get some work done in the library or on the quad. After lunch and afternoon classes, you’ll likely head out to your afternoon activities, from soccer to theatre class or even fencing. After dinner, students typically have a quiet study hall in their dorms or in the library for a couple of hours, before joining friends in the common lounges for a movie, game night or evening snack. While you’ll have a regular routine most days, it’s entirely up to you how you’ll shape your experience. Most private schools strive to hand you the resources to flourish and let you gain the independence necessary to succeed on your own.

Bottom line

 Consider school culture and academic experience above location - and know that no matter where you are, the friends and experiences you make will have the biggest impact on your quality of life. Once you identify how far away from Boston you are willing to travel (keeping in mind the expenses of travel and what is affordable for you and your family,) you’ll want to create a comparison list of school size, location and methods of travel (depending on how often you will plan to return home). Then, let yourself imagine where you might find the best fit - and all of the exciting stories you’ll have to tell your family when returning home for a visit.