safe, respectful and welcoming 


Support and homework help by other students.

Develop a sense of independence & responsibility.

Great leisure activities: sports, art, relaxation or cinema.

Flexible options: full boarding, overnight stays or flexi-boarding.

An Inspired School, a global premium private school group.

Boarding Building


Become a part of our boarding family

In Shannon House on the St. John’s campus, our boarders are welcomed by Valérie Charlent, our boarding house parent. She provides the care and support for boarders of every age: from help with homework to leisure activities and duties to keep the boarding house spick & span. Boarders at St. John’s are a part of a wonderful community in which they learn to be themselves, to become independent and to live with others. An invaluable experience, and a great foundation for their further lives.

For the 2021|22 school year we are expanding our boarding offer by launching a remarkable French immersion programme! The programme is open to students looking to lift their French skills to a new level.

Our teachers have a deep-rooted expertise in teaching French and this is reflected in a record-breaking 50% of our cohort achieving the prestigious Bi-lingual IB Diploma. – well above the global average of 32%.

Our French-native-speaking Boarding parents will be exclusively conversing with you in French and on the many excursions and activities that are exclusive to our boarders.

We offer this programme for one trimester up to one year if we have availabilities. Find out more here and inquire below.


Designed to make life easier, for students and for parents.

St. John's International School offers a wide range of boarding options to suit every need and every household.


  • FULL BOARD: boarding for seven days a week during term time.
  • WEEKLY BOARDING: your children will join our boarding family from Monday to Friday during term time.
  • REGULAR OVERNIGHT STAYS: book an overnight stay on set days of the week.
  • AD HOC / FLEXIBOARDING: if you need to travel for work or have a family commitment, you can book ad hoc nights in the boarding house (with advance notice).

Boarding Schools in Belgium: all you need to know

This will, to some extent, depend on the characteristics that one is personally looking for, of course. However, the quality of infrastructure, cultural diversity, and academic excellence, pastoral care, depth of extra-curricular offerings, and the range of opportunities afterward are all things to look for.

Boarding at St. John’s International School is a well-balanced experience with a perfect environment for our diverse cohort of international students to perfect their study habits and focus on achieving top grades.

Equally important are the myriad opportunities to engage in our unrivalled visual and performing arts programme and make the most of access to specialised sport through our extra-curricular offerings. Boarding students are encouraged to fully embrace personal and community responsibility while developing lifelong learning, independence, and leadership skills. Boarders develop their personal integrity, live in a respectful community, and make lasting friendships.

They learn to get along with people from diverse backgrounds with different interests

It can be challenging for parents to decide whether their child is mature enough and emotionally ready to leave home for boarding. And yes, it remains a big decision and, frankly, there is no one perfect age.

However, researches show that 9-12 is the most appropriate age where children have found a balance between having the required level of understanding, adaptability, and curiosity to explore new things. Therefore, at St. John’s, we accept boarders from the age of 11 when they enter middle school and the Middle Years IB Programme.

This is slightly younger than the average Belgian boarding school, but we feel it is the ideal moment to embark on this exciting journey and start life in their home away from home at St. John’s.

There are myriad reasons to choose a boarding school in Belgium. The multilingual and very diverse country lies in the heart of Europe, and other exciting cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Cologne are only a short train ride away.

The town of Waterloo itself, made famous by The Battle of Waterloo (not to mention the Abba song), is a student-friendly town of about 20,000 inhabitants in the French-speaking Belgian province of Brabant-Wallon. It is a pleasant and easy place to live that provides all the conveniences of a large town while maintaining a small-town feel.

Everything one needs in terms of services, stores, medical facilities, and cultural opportunities are available in town. As a result, there are all kinds of free-time activities: from cinema trips and days at the local aquatic centre to visiting the many historical sites and going on bike rides in the countryside. After all, Waterloo is surrounded by the 10,920-acre Sonian Forest, which offers extensive walking, biking, and horse-riding paths.

St. John’s International School is the top 1 boarding school in the country. It is the only international school offering premium accommodation, a tremendously varied extra-curricular experience, and an IB continuum education.

If your child holds a passport of an EU or European Economic Area [EEA] nation, it is easy and does not diverge much from our normal application process.

You can contact us directly here, and one of our admissions officers will be in touch shortly with questions to your answers and other information you requested. You can also book a personalized private tour of our campus and the boarding house just across the street.

Should you not be able to come to Belgium, we can also arrange for a virtual tour beforehand. And finally, you apply for admission, conveniently and paperless, online.

We can offer five small tips, on which we would be happy to expand further in a conversation with our boarding parents: Ensure that you manage your child’s expectations appropriately.

Make a list of things needed for the boarding house and to make your child feel at home. In anticipation of the experience, prepare your child to be more independent. Ensure that your child can accompany you when visiting our school. And last but not least, be ready to tackle homesickness.

Many boarding schools in Belgium do not offer a wide range of activities. As a private boarding school, St. John’s offers more than 30 extra-curricular activities in which ¾ of the school’s population participating. For this purpose, we boast multiple sports arenas, outdoor fields, and even a 400-seat professional theatre where we stage large all-school musical drama performances with more than 100 participants.

Additionally, boarders can enjoy the large common area and weekend trips during their stay.

Most boarding schools in Belgium offer weekly and full boarding. However, not many cater specifically to foreign students as we do at St. John’s. Apart from this being embedded in our DNA as an international school, we offer a Frech immersion programme, for example.

Additionally, we are the only boarding school in Belgium that also offers fully flexible options for the modern internationally mobile families that reside in Belgium

Most Belgian boarding schools in Belgium will either use French in the Walloon south or Dutch in the Flemish north of the country. There are some multilingual boarding schools, but St. John’s is the only one with a long history of language learning.

French is taught throughout the school in the form of a dual-language programme in the primary years and with advanced and beginner options in middle and high school. Many of our teachers are fluent or native French speakers. This expertise is reflected in a record-breaking 50% of our whole cohort achieving the prestigious Bilingual Diploma.

Belgian boarding schools will follow the national curriculum. St. John’s International School is the only boarding school offering the IB continuum programme with over 40 years of experience and a history of academic excellence. Our IB DP results rank consistently and significantly above the world average.

Some will indeed offer football, and so does St. John’s. However, St. John’s is the only one that is also part of the International Schools Sports Tournament, offering competition with other international schools and trips to exciting locations around Europe.

No, they will not. Only St. John’s has a structural partnership with one of the top gold academies in Belgium at the renowned Golf de Hullencourt and is surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful and established golf clubs.

Some will, but the Visual and Performing Arts Programme at St. John’s is unrivalled with a myriad of opportunities for artistic expression.

St. John’s International School is the boarding school with the best Oxbridge passing rate, currently at near 40%.

No, they do not. Only at St. John’s boarders will have the support of a dedicated team of Academic and University Counsellors; we facilitate placement at the best higher education institutions around the globe.

The average teacher-student ratio in secondary education stands at 1:9. At St. John’s, that figure is 1:7.