If it weren’t for the couches, flat-screen TV, Playstation, X-Box, and the teens decked in board shorts and t-shirts, house meetings in the Bethune House common room would resemble a meeting of the nations. Through the noise that only a house of 53 teen boys can make, you can slightly decipher the different accents – Mexican, German, Chinese, African, Canadian, and more.
A year in a boarding house can have the same effect as a year traveling the globe, with international students bringing their country’s customs, traditions, and perspectives into one place.
Having grown up in Toronto, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia, Kate Carroll already had a worldwide perspective before going to Lakefield College School in Peterborough, Ontario. But after graduation, she’s taking it even farther by traveling through Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, along the way visiting the international friends she made at school.
"I met gentlemen from around the world. Hong Kong, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, Ecuador – pretty much all the continents around the world."
—Marco Cianflone, Upper Canada College Graduate
The continent-crossing friendships between boarders begin in the dormroom, but there are no boundaries in sight.
Canada, eh? Find out what makes Canada an international destination.
You know the saying – behind every great House stands a great House Master.
Okay, maybe that's not how it goes. But it's certainly true for boarding schools. For every practical joke or dance party that pops up in the halls of a boarding house are supervisors to partake in the fun, even encourage it, but also make sure it doesn't get out of hand.
Sure, it sounds like they're raining on everyone's parade. But they're really there for the students – to make the boarding experience the best it can possibly be. That means getting enough sleep and spending enough time on homework. It also means creating house-wide games, rituals, inside jokes, and bonding experiences.
In the Bethune House meeting at Trinity College School, House Master Dave Ingram commends the guys for showing great team spirit at that day's intramural volleyball tournament. His assistant Jeff Biggar even offers to personally wash their Bethune t-shirts, if it means they'll wear them to the school's production of Rumours by Neil Simon the next day.
They may have the authority, but that doesn't put them on any pedestal.