The Island School

Our Admissions Team and Admissions Ambassadors are here to answer all of your questions! Didn’t find what you were looking for? Please email admissions@islandschool.org to get connected with Admissions or an alumni student directly.

A semester school like The Island School, offers semester-long educational opportunities to high school students. Students earn a full semester of academic credits while immersing themselves in a place-based and experiential learning environment. The Island School is also part of the Semester Schools Network, which includes nine other accredited schools spread out across the globe, each offering unique academically-focused programs to high school students.

The Fall and Spring Semesters are for rising sophomores and juniors. The Summer Term is for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students can start applying as early as their freshman year of high school to join us for the following Summer or Semester Term.

We are excited to accept applications submitted from across the globe to bring a geographically diverse group of students together on our campus.

A Semester Term at The Island School means 100 days immersed into the natural and cultural landscape of South Eleuthera. Students dive heavily into research, spend ample time in the field collecting data, lead multiple expeditions followed by a 48-hour solo, and close out the term with either a half marathon or four mile open-ocean swim.

The Summer Term is described as an ‘abbreviated semester’, where students experience many of the same components found in the semester, sandwiched down into an intensive 6-week program. Summer Term students will focus most on how communities can live more sustainably as they explore local settlements on Eleuthera, experience a 48-hour solo after expeditions, and train for a combined monster run-swim.

Through this transformational experience, all students disconnect from technology (that’s right no cell phones or wifi), connect with a new community, experience the world as their classroom, and return home empowered to be leaders effecting change.

There is a tuition which covers program costs, room, and board. We believe our programs are invaluable to shaping future leaders and remain committed to making our programs accessible to families. We offer need-based scholarships following our blind admissions process. You can read more on tuition and expenses, and access the application for tuition assistance here.

Most independent schools we work with remit some or all of your sending school tuition while studying away. We recommend reaching out to your sending school for more information on their policies for remitting tuition.

Semester students receive a detailed transcript covering contact hours for core courses, letter grades for each class, and a detailed narrative to comment on individual skill-areas and course engagement. Our credits can be transferred to both independent and public schools.

We encourage all students to meet with their sending school advisors to ensure a smooth transition between semesters. Please email admissions@islandschool.org for a sample transcript and check out our curriculum guides here!

The curriculum at The Island School is interdisciplinary, meaning there are no clear lines that divide or separate classes from one another. This cross-curricular model pushes students to think outside the box and practice using their newly obtained skill sets in real life situations. Our rigorous academic schedule challenges students at a level similar to honors courses. We are unable to support standardized testing (i.e. AP, PSAT, SAT) on Eleuthera and students should plan accordingly.

After their time on Eleuthera, Island School alumni have continued on to tackle academic, professional, and personal challenges at an impressive collection of colleges and workplaces around the globe. Our programs give students the unique opportunity to gain a sense of independence, find the leader within, broaden their perspectives and world-views, explore their academic interests, and grow their self awareness as they begin to think about post-high school plans. Admissions and hiring managers recognize the benefits of a study-away experience and the value alumni bring to their campus or organization.

Students do not need any previous experiences in terms of outdoor and classroom experiences. Our curriculum accommodates students coming from a variety of academic settings. We also understand that many students are taking their first SCUBA dive, kayak adventure, and solo experience at The Island School.

Maybe you do not consider yourself an athlete and you are experiencing the great big ocean for the first time ever! That is OK, our community is there with you every step of the way to support you through all things new. These are the moments that strengthen the bonds amongst students most.

With students’ safety as our number one priority, we evaluate all risks associated with individual allergies and health concerns. As a campus located on a remote island, we consider all resources available to us in order to best accommodate each student’s needs.

We support students with learning differences by providing intentional resources through things such as advisories, a high faculty to student ratio, and dedicated time for additional help from faculty and staff members. During their time with us, we encourage students to manage their workload independently and advocate for themselves when seeking assistance. We also have a dedicated Learning Specialist on campus to further assist our students. For individuals who require mental health support, we have a certified Mental Health Specialist, available to meet with students. Upon the enrollment process, we ask that families reach out to us directly in regards to student accommodations.

Our campus sits on the most Southern point of the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. All students are housed on campus where we have two separate dorm facilities complete with bunk beds, bathrooms and a common area, a dining hall, classrooms, and staff housing. Our campus has become an edu-system of programs, a center bringing together individuals from Pre-K to PhD. Island School students often interact with staff from our affiliate organizations across campus, i.e. sustainable engineers at CSD, reading buddies at ELC, and researchers at CEI. Students disconnect from technology and learn how to live sustainably on our green campus- not to mention learn how these sustainable systems work to keep our campus running on clean energy!

Our curriculum is based off of a 6-day work week. Everyday students have free time built into their schedules, which we encourage them to use to explore our greater campus with a buddy. On Saturdays, students typically find themselves traveling to another part of the island to learn more about our host nation through interactions with our surrounding communities. Sunday is meant for resting- and more exploring! Over the weekend, students also help to organize community events such as talent shows (we call those Coffeehouse), dances, movie nights, field days, and more. You can read more about what a typical day may look like here!

The Island School Stories

Island School classes taught me that there are multiple solutions to different issues and that collaborating and participating in discussions is as important and effective as individual work. I learned that we should always share our ideas in writing and verbally and try, even if we don’t know how, to ask questions.

Amy S19

Semester student