Urban Boarding

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • What exactly is urban boarding?

    Good question. Imagine if you could live in a safe, secure, residential area close to a natural park of more than 70 acres, but within minutes of one of the world’s most exciting cities. Picture having quick access to ski hills, golf courses, and the exciting social, cultural, and recreational attractions of a world-class city like Vancouver. Think about what it would be like to live with some of your classmates and teachers, study in small classes under the supervision of great teachers, network with close to 600 local day students, and spend your afternoons and weekends involved in over 60 sports and numerous extracurricular and social activities both on and off campus. That's basically what urban boarding at St. George’s School is like. Urban boarding schools are not hidden in remote areas of the country where students have little to do on weekends. At St. George’s our urban boarding students live, work, and play with young men from over 20 countries around the world, but also have the freedom to enjoy endless activities on their weekends, both on a diverse school campus and within a great west coast city and natural outdoor playground. The choice is always is theirs. We call this “the authentic boarding school experience”.
  • What is unique about urban boarding on the West Coast of Canada?

    Well, for starters, the West Coast has the warmest climate in Canada. In fact, it’s a running joke that during the winter on the West Coast, you can go skiing in the morning and play golf in the afternoon. But more importantly, the West Coast is an outdoor paradise. Spectacular mountains with world-class skiing, beautiful golf courses, lush parks with hiking trails and natural streams, interesting local islands, the great Sea Wall path, endless beaches, and of course the stunning City of Vancouver are all framed by the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Did you also know that Vancouver is consistently voted one of the top cities in the world in which to live?
  • Can you give me some examples of special urban boarding weekend activities?

    Sure. Here we go… Whistler ski days, BBQs, go-karting, Whitecaps soccer games, cooking classes, pitch and putt golf, Granville Island, Vancouver Canucks Hockey games, snow tubing, movie matinees, Watermania, Vancouver Island and Victoria, shopping downtown, BC Lions football games, the Vancouver Aquarium, rock climbing, glow bowling, Paintball, Battle of Harker Hall interscholastic competition, Cultus Lake Waterpark, cycling in Stanley Park, Harker Hall Olympics, Richmond Night Market, Paddleboarding, and Laser Tag. We also have a wonderful Residential Curriculum which gives you the chance to participate in health and well-being seminars or learn practical life skills.
  • What facilities do you have for urban boarders?

    A lot! An indoor swimming pool, large multi-station weight room, a spin-bike room, access to four gymnasia, four tennis courts, a running track, a full theatre, a state-of-the art high-end Macintosh lab for animation, two cafeterias, an onsite café, large multi-level student centre known as the Great Hall, a boathouse for our rowers, four playing fields, and an outdoor basketball court. And in the boarding house itself – which we call Harker Hall Residences – you will have access to a mini weight room, comfortable lounges, pool tables, pianos, ping pong tables, large screen TVs, kitchenettes with refrigerators, and wireless internet. For senior boarders, bedrooms have private telephones and ensuite washrooms.
  • Will I have some freedom to be myself in an urban boarding school?

    Yes! In fact, that’s what makes the urban boarding school concept unique—we give you "controlled freedom". Of course, you'll have boarding parents. You'll have a curfew. You'll have responsibilities. And, yes, you’ll even have compulsory homework time. But you'll also be treated like a young adult—and expected to behave like one. In other words, we will give you the chance to grow up, develop independence, and prepare for university and life. That also means that, unlike a traditional boarding school where you would normally spend your weekends on campus, in an urban boarding school your “controlled freedom” will include being allowed to visit and enjoy all that the Vancouver area has to offer. You’ll be able to be a teenager. You’ll be able to be you…as long as you treat that freedom responsibly.
  • Will I make friends?

    Let’s just say that it is impossible not to make friends in an urban boarding school. First, there will be your fellow boarders who come from all over the world who will be looking to build new friendships. Secondly, there will be your roommates who you will live with, work with, and play with. And on top of everything, as an urban boarding school, you will interact and make friends daily with hundreds of local students from the Vancouver area, some of whom might possibly invite you to their homes on occasion.
  • Do urban boarding schools offer competitive courses and clubs?

    How does this sound…over 40 academic electives, over 20 Advanced Placement Courses (AP), over 60 sport options, 7 school bands, numerous outdoor education opportunities, and over 50 clubs? Or, how about an animation course taught by a former animator at Walt Disney, a TV production course with state-of-the art filming equipment, an optional Outward Bound-style full-year course in Grade 10 called Discovery 10, a course in journalism in which you produce a regular online blog, or a course in Mandarin, one of the world’s fast growing and most important languages? And if you are thinking about applying to an American College or university, we also offer onsite SAT tutoring as well. At St. George’s we have it all. The challenge will be to narrow down your choices.
  • Do urban boarding school students go to great universities?

    Urban boarding school students in particular go to great universities because more and more universities want to see applicants who have had a broad educational and life experience. Think about it. How many applicants to universities can say that they have lived with students from around the world, learned life and leadership skills by being part of an urban boarding school community, and benefitted from an award-winning school that offers one of the most comprehensive curricula in the country? How many students can say that their school’s graduating class received over 500 acceptances from universities the world over?
  • What do your grads say about their urban boarding school experience?

    One word – transformational! When members of our urban boarding grads – who we call Georgians – return to our school for alumni events, which we hold at the school and all over the world, they typically gush about how important the urban boarding school experience was to them becoming successful in life. For them, it was the experience of a lifetime.
  • What happens during holiday periods?

    Unless it is our Winter Holiday or Spring Break when the School closes, during all other holiday breaks we make sure that our boarders remain under our supervision and enjoy special activities. In short, we take care of you.
  • What do my days in urban boarding look like?

    Here is a quick look...
    7:00 - Breakfast
    8:30 - Classes begin
    10:15 - Morning snack
    1:00 - Lunch
    3:15 - Classes end – Students attend games activity or return to the house to check in
    5:30 - Dinner
    6:45 - Attendance
    7:00 - Study Time Begins
    8:30 - Study Time Ends
    8:30 - Evening snack
    10:00 - Lights Out - Grade 8/9
    10:30 - Lights Out - Grade 10/11
    11:00 - Lights Out - Grade 12

    10:30 - Brunch
    11:30 - Weekend Activity (Varies)
    5:30 - Dinner
    6:45 - Attendance
    12:00 - Lights Out – All Students

    10:30 - Brunch
    12:30 - Students have the afternoon to themselves to catch up on homework, enjoy the campus, or do some local exploring
    5:30 - Dinner
    6:45 - Attendance
    7:00 - Study Time Begins
    8:00 - Study Time Ends
    10:00 - Lights Out - Grade 8/9
    10:30 - Lights Out - Grade 10/11
    11:00 - Lights Out - Grade 12

General Inquiries

Junior School Admissions
T: 604-222-5883
F: 604-224-5820

Senior School Admissions
T: 604-221-3890
F: 604-221-3893
St. George’s School acknowledges that we are situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation.
Contributions to St. George's School are tax creditable as prescribed by Canadian law. St. George's School's Charitable Registration Number is: 11917-5511 RR0001.
St. George’s School
Junior Campus: 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1T6
Senior Campus: 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1V1
604-224-1304  ● info@stgeorges.bc.ca