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Boarding School Options

There are a variety of boarding schools available to Foreign Service youth. If boarding school is in a child’s future, parents can contact the Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) Education Team. The Education and Youth Team can provide resources and information on boarding schools as well as the away-from-post education allowance.

First Steps for Sending Your Child to Boarding School
  • Start Early – The earlier the better. If you can, begin your research a year out. But if circumstances don’t allow you to start that early, please email us and we’ll help you with the process.
  • Check your Away-from-Post Allowance. Note: The Away-from-Post Education Allowance changes each year and may increase or decrease during an employee’s tour.
  • Watch FSI’s informative “Ask the Boarding School Expert” webinar (December 2020) for expert insight into the boarding school admissions process, the boarding school experience from parent testimonials, and allowances Q & As.
  • Research schools – you know your child’s needs best!
  • Gather the necessary documents your child needs to apply to boarding school (school transcripts, Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT), teacher recommendation letters, etc.).
  • Contact the school to speak with someone in the Admissions Office. Confirm that there is a slot open for your child.
  • Help your child apply to school.
  • Confirm your allowances situation with the Office of Allowances.
  • Register/enroll your child.
  • Fill in the SF-1190, and present it when you arrive at post.
  • Check out perspectives on applying to boarding school and single sex education in these Foreign Service Journal articles.

Important Note: The Department of State requests that children of U.S. Foreign Service employees who attend a boarding school outside of the United States register with the American Embassy/Consulate in that country.

Where Do I Begin My Research?
Admissions Testing May Be Necessary – Be Sure to Check with Your School

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) – Offered by the Educational Testing Service. It consists of two parts: a brief essay, and a multiple-choice aptitude test which measures a student’s ability to solve mathematics problems, to use language, and to comprehend what is read. The SSAT is frequently required for admission to boarding and other independent schools.


Listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department State or the U.S. government of the entity, its views or the products or services it provides. The order in which names appear has no significance, and the links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future