International Military Schools

In very few cases is international military school a viable or desirable option. To understand more about how international military schools differs from other types of private boarding school and military schools for troubled youth, read this article.

How International Military Schools Differ From Other International Schools

In the United States, most military high schools (known as military academies) have a JROTC program, also known as a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. This program is modeled on the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) found on college campuses, which is, in turn, based on the branch of the United States Armed Forces with which it is affiliated. In other words, the whole tenor of the military environment at a military school in the United States is in keeping with the United States Armed Forces in terms of approaches, policies, style, and content are geared for continuity between the experience of the American teenager and the potential American soldier. In considering an international military school, one steps outside one’s country’s system, which is likely one reason why sources say that most military schools only accept students from their own country.

This is clearly different from other types of private schools. A school that specializes in college preparation, in sports, in the arts, in science and math, has a much greater foundation for translation, so to speak. Ski racing, woodwind playing, and facility with language does not have the kinds of barriers across country borders that military practice may.

In addition, just as the best private schools may be staffed by those with a high degree of excellence in the academics they teach, so military schools are often staffed by former members of the country’s military, and this is certainly the case at many US military schools. In the context of a military school, but not other kinds of private schools, this feature again makes the setting primarily of value to students who live in the country in which the military school is.

These facts probably all figure into the truth that military schools do not, as a rule, accept international military school students.

International Military School Exchanges

At the college level, the Virginia Military Institute has a Study Abroad Program, as many other colleges do, but in this case, a Foreign Military Academy Exchange is one of the options. Military exchanges are made with military programs in England, France, Germany, Hungary, and Lithuania. The program recommends accessing the State Department’s study abroad site  and the exchange is done in both directions with institutions on an ongoing basis, which is more likely to ensure safety than sending a child to an international military school without this type of institutional relationship and backing.

If You Are Seeking an International Military School for a Trouble Youth

The United Stated Department of State website on sending young people out of the country for programs in behavior modification should make any parent stop in their tracks. Added to the fact that military schools are college preparatory institutions, not designed to deal with troubled youth, the State Department warnings about the abuses of the rights of minor, the lack of control over health, safety, nutrition, sanitation, and educational standards, and the possibility for minors abroad to refuse disclosure of information to their parents should all be convincing evidence that this is not a good idea. In addition, the National Institutes of Health have argued convincingly that research shows a military environment is not effective in rehabilitating troubled youth. For information about better options, visit the website of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs parents section


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