I get it. Canada is a long way from some parts of the world. This latest recruitment trip I have been on 13 flights spending over sixty-one hours in the air and covering over 25,000 miles visiting countries we have students from or would like to. I really get it.
People often ask how I can travel so much and over such great distances? The answer is that the reward is always worth the effort. This holds true for families considering boarding school. Canada is worth the effort.
For a prospective student, studying in Canada is rarely an extra flight compared to what they would have to take to get to a boarding school in the US, UK or Switzerland. Once on the flight it might be two or three movies more, or if they are anything like my kids, they might sleep the whole way. But once they arrive, it is Canada:
- Naturally beautiful
- One of the world’s most highly ranked education systems
- Lifelong friends
- World-class facilities
- Excellent health care
Why not travel a little further if necessary to benefit from all of this?
We parents of the helicopter parent generation may fret about distance. In Bulgaria for example, I am told parents prefer boarding school in Switzerland to be able to drive if necessary, or the UK to be a short flight away from their children. It is never about how far their children have to fly but how far they have to fly to visit or in case of an emergency. (I get wanting to be there fast in case of hospitalization.) Easy for me to say, but I would look at the end result of what you are paying for and the value for the money of the program offering. Back to the Canada list above. Canada is a special education destination. Unfortunately, many in Bulgaria haven’t heard about the Canadian boarding school advantage so education and familiarization is the first step. I am working on that.
If parents are worried about their children flying alone, there are always the unaccompanied minor programs that dove tail really nicely with pre-arranged transportation at the Canada end facilitated by LCS staff delivering students directly to campus. LCS takes into account jet lag and the rest students arriving from long flights require. If it is their child’s health, we have excellent health care available on campus and in nearby hospitals for the occasion sports injury or illness. We have found that airlines have been most accommodating of our parents who have had to fly to be with their children in Canada.
I could never cover every objection a reluctant parent might have, essentially it comes back to assessing the reward for the effort. After the flight is over, which students rarely mind, it is all about the hours, days, weeks and months taking part in the boarding school experience.
What is the reward that makes my efforts worth it you may ask? For me it is discovering a fantastic family with a child interested in Lakefield, meeting alumni or current parents, or meeting a new agent or consultant prepared to show me their country, culture and customs to better understand their clients. At the end of the trip it is coming home to family, friends, the Village of Lakefield and The Grove. It is Canada after all. Nice to come home to.
To learn more about The Canadian Boarding Experience visit the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools site www.boardingschools.ca
Unaccompanied minor program http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/youngtravellers/minors.html#faq:0-2-3-*