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What to expect after you enroll at boarding schools in the US

Congratulations, you have applied to, been accepted at, and enrolled in one of the top boarding schools in the US! Now what? Here’s what you can expect: You'll need to log into your school email and portal

Most schools will offer students a school email, along with a password protected portal that is designed to help you keep track of everything you need to know. These portals contain a lot of important information, ranging from major dates and forms you need to complete before school starts to summer reading and what to bring with you to campus in the fall. But, in order to get this information, the school needs your contact information. Hopefully you provided this in your application, but if not, you may need to reach out. Some schools, like Cheshire Academy, send regular emails with important information to help you prepare to start at school, so make sure that you watch your personal email address closely. If you’re not sure if the school has your email, be sure to reach out to someone and provide it. You don’t want to miss out on information because you weren’t paying attention!

Book your travel

If you’re traveling from a distance, make sure you book any flights, trains, or bus transportation you may need and talk to the student life office to ensure that you know how you’re getting from the airport or train station to campus, especially if you’re traveling alone. If you’re an international student, make sure all your required forms for studying at a boarding school in the US are completed so you can enter the country.

Complete your summer forms

There are several forms you’ll need to complete prior to coming to campus, and one of the most important forms is your medical information. You will likely need to schedule a physical and have your doctor complete paperwork that says you’re healthy and able to participate in sports and activities. Keep in mind that if your medical forms are not completed, you may not be allowed to move into the dorm, and participation in sports is also dependent on the school having the appropriate information.

Complete your summer academic work

That’s right, you’ll start your academic work before you even move into your dorm room. Most boarding schools in the US have summer reading requirements, and some even have requirements for language learning, math, history, and science. You may be assigned books to read, workbook assignments to complete, or even completion of language learning via apps. Make sure you do complete this work and be prepared to turn in and/or talk about the work you’ve done during the first few days of class. At Cheshire Academy, enrolled students can find this information on the password protected portal known as MyCheshire which is accessible from any page of the website.

Prepare for preseason athleticsboarding schools in the us

If you’re a varsity athlete, you may hear from your coach with some summer expectations for staying in shape so you’re ready to compete from day one. Often, boarding schools in the US will ask athletes to arrive on campus earlier than most to complete preseason training to make sure you’re prepared for the regular season. Even if you’re not a varsity athlete, if you’re playing fall sports, make sure that you have all the appropriate athletic equipment, like cleats and shin guards for soccer. Check with your coach or the athletics department if you’re not sure what you need or if you should be doing to prepare for preseason workouts.

Go shopping

Your boarding school should provide you with a list of things you need to bring with you to campus. Make sure you either go shopping to get everything before you arrive, or shop online and have things delivered to your new school. Many schools will offer some bus trips to local shopping malls so you can get anything you weren’t able to bring, but at least make sure you have some of the basics. Check out this list of 10 Things to Bring to Boarding School and this list of What Not to Bring to Boarding School to give you an idea of what to expect.


Wondering what to wear on your first day of school? Check out this blog.

Stacy Jagodowski

Written by Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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