by: Bridget Bailey
Picking a boarding school can be a daunting task. There are a plethora of options around the country but what does a Florida boarding school have that sets it apart from the rest? If you have ever visited Florida, the reasons become apparent: the weather, the international culture, theme parks, beaches, the natural beauty, the academia, festivals, and the lifestyle. However, Florida is not just an amazing place to live but it is, also, an amazing place to learn. Florida has 10 college-prep and junior boarding schools and over 45 higher ranking universities.
The Sunshine State really has it all. It was tough job but we managed to narrow it down to the top five reasons you should consider a boarding school in Florida.
It is no secret that Florida is known for its exceptional weather. With warm sun and blue skies, going to the beach on Christmas Day is not uncommon. Santa wears shorts down here, in case you didn't know. However, there are actual benefits to our good weather. With the warmer temperatures, athletic training, sporting events, and cultural activities can take place all year round. Florida is the winter home of many sporting teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Also, a little known fact, when Walt Disney was picking locations for his dream theme park, he chose Florida because the park would be able to stay open all year round for guests. Indeed, Florida sees an average of over 300 days of sunshine a year. As a boarding school student in Florida, this means you can take advantage of outdoor activities such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and the like, all year around. Some schools even have their own lake access. So, if you are looking for sun and fun even in the winter, Florida is where you need to be.
Contrary to popular belief, Disney World isn't the only famous theme park in Florida! To name a few, there are: Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, LegoLand, and Wet-n-Wild. Each park is different, so there is something for everyone. If you are wanting a family outing, then Disney's Magic Kingdom would be your best option. If you are a thrill-seeker and enjoy monster roller coasters, then check out the collection at Universal Studios. If you are truly daring, then you will want to try SeaWorld's Mako roller coaster. It is the longest, tallest, and fastest roller coaster in Orlando. Plus, you can see the amazing shows performed by the various animals. The great thing about being a boarder in Central Florida is that you can enjoy weekend trips to the different parks as they are all quite near to you and very accessible.
If theme parks aren't quite what you are looking for, they aren't the only attractions in Florida. We are famous for our natural beauty, too.
Florida is famous for spectacular beaches. Every year, millions of tourists flock to our coasts to swim, surf, play, and soak up the sun. With more than 600 miles of beach, there are quite a few to choose from. One of the most well-known beaches is that of Clearwater. With beautiful blue water and white sand, it is one of the most popular in the world. It was named 2016's Top U.S. beach by TripAdvisor. It, also, boasts many different restaurants and the bustling Pier 60, which is a fishing pier and recreational park. Though, it tends to be quite busy during peak season. If you do not want to be surrounded by a multitude of tourists, check out Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island is a short hop over from the mainland but worth the trip. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island enjoys peaceful waters, silky sand, enclaves with dolphins, restaurants right on the beach, and it isn't filled with people looking for a spot in the sand. As a student in Florida, you can choose whichever beach according to your preference, but it is safe to say that you will not be disappointed by the views.
Florida is truly a unique state. We are a crossroads of culture, if you will. There are influences from South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa that enriches our modern lives. There are many different festivals and cultural events throughout the year along with museums and art exhibits. Some of the festivals that happen every year are the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, Hispanic Latino Festival, Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival, and the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of Arts and Humanities. Each of these festivals presents a great opportunity to celebrate and learn about the respective cultures. If you fancy art after attending one of our festivals, we have many world class museums. The Salvador Dali museum is a favorite among tourists, along with the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
The Salvador Dali museum, if you couldn't tell by the name, is dedicated to the famous Spanish artist, Salvador Dali. It houses the largest collection of Dali's works outside of Europe and it is located in downtown St. Petersburg right on the waterfront. Interestingly, the museum is home to 7 of the 18 "masterwork" paintings. Once students have looked over all that the mustachioed artist has to offer, then you can geek out at the MOSI!
The MOSI is located in Tampa, Florida and was founded in 1982. Visitors can enjoy more than 450 hands-on activities at the largest science center in the southeastern United States. Also, the MOSI is home to Florida's only IMAX dome. It is definitely a museum where education meets fun and is less than an hour from Central Florida.
Florida is home to 12 universities, 28 community and state colleges, with 78 other private or technical institutions. Four of Florida's universities place in the top 100 best in the nation. Also, as stated previously, we have 10 boarding schools dotted throughout the state. With so much variety and educational opportunities, it is obvious why so many choose to study here. You should be next!
Between the weather, the attractions, natural beauty, culture, and education, what are you waiting for? Come be part of the excitement and adventure that is being a Florida Boarding Student!