When people find out I went to boarding school, they automatically think it was an easy decision. They some how react to it like my family was/is extremely wealthy, and that I am very fortunate to have gone to a fancy pancy boarding school.
Here is the basic low down on a diplomatic kid who goes to boarding school:
- Since education all the way up to high school is free in our country, the government will subsidize school education abroad, or subsidize boarding school, but only up to a certain amount. International schools abroad are pretty incredible, between the teachers, and the access to languages, it is nothing short of an incredible education. Anyone who had to go to boarding school, was out of necessity.
- There was only one school that was benchmarked for the price. Since there had been a drug problem in the boarding school that was actually in our capital city, my Father chose a boarding school in the country side. He also figured tht there was less of an international community, which he thought would be better (not sure his rational on that one).
- My parents had to foot the bill for all school books, uniforms, and a top up, as the boarding school that my parents chose was more expensive than the one the government benchmarked. So, a good $7,000 for a government employee is nothing the sneeze at.
- Diplomatic kids don’t get to join in on any of the extra’s. I was invited to travel for a Model U.N conference, that was never going to happen, it was an extra $4,000. There was a lot that I missed out on because it was simply too expensive. Instead of asking my parents, I simply declined, not wanting to embarrass my Dad.
In my case, we had been living in Venezuela and my Father had to prove to the government that I could no longer safely make it to school, nor could I finish due to the volatility in the country. The interruptions alone with the coup attempts, was making it difficult to carry on.
Yes, my Father had to prove a case at posting in order for my education to be subsidised. So every time I get someone say I am so lucky, I look at them and laugh. I got to go to a boarding school in the country side, 2 hours away from any big city, completely isolated, and terrified something would happen to my parents. While I understand what most mean that I was fortunate because of my education, I look at it another way, I was fortunate to make it to school everyday. Strict education wise, I was way better off staying and graduating in the international system. For safety sake, going to boarding school mean I wouldn’t be traumatized every time I got on the school bus.