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Rochester Independent College: A top UK boarding school

RIC offers a real alternative to traditional independent boarding schools and our halls will quickly become your home from home. Up to 180 of the 425 students at the College board each year with boarding from 13+. It’s an international community and the perfect place to find your direction.  

You’ll board on campus, in a single room, some of which have ensuite facilities. Boarding at RIC combines the informality of a university hall of residence with the supervision and pastoral support appropriate for older teenagers. The emphasis is on providing a comfortable, happy and fun environment. We have a small number of twin rooms for younger students. 

For students over the age of 18 who would prefer not to board on campus at College we have a small number of offsite houses where students can live more independently but still benefit from College support and catering.

A lively, diverse boarding school community

Many of our cosmopolitan mix of boarders each year are English, including many from Kent, but we also welcome international students looking to study in the UK in order to gain entry to top UK universities and art schools. 

British students whose parents are in the armed forces or based overseas as expatriate workers often join after taking their GCSEs at international schools. Some have previously been home-schooled. Third culture kids from all over the world come to RIC to finish their secondary education before proceeding to universities in the USA and Europe. 

As half of the residential community is new each year it’s easy to make new and interesting friends. Overseas students are fully integrated into the life of the school rather than in a separate international study centre. 

Boarding that is safe and well supervised, close to but outside of London

Moving to a new school can be tough but at RIC there’s a dedicated team of boarding staff to make you feel at home. There are also academic tutors living in each of the halls to provide expert homework help in the evenings. Boarders are supported by the College nurse and medical team. RIC's boarding community offers a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, and a helping hand whenever you need it most.

RIC’s accommodation is on campus and students do not have to travel between teaching buildings and accommodation. 

For students over the age of 18 who would prefer not to board on campus at College we have a small number of offsite houses where students can live more independently but still benefit from College support and catering.

London is 37 minutes away by train.

Flexible, modern campus boarding in single rooms with great food

Weekly boarding is an increasingly popular option for students from elsewhere in Kent, London and the Home Counties. Students can opt to stay at RIC from Sunday evening or Monday morning and return home after College finishes on Friday.

For students who choose to stay over the weekends there is a full activities programme. There are no compulsory exeat weekends. Students are free to sign out in the evenings as long as they return by agreed times. Our study bedrooms all have wifi.

And let's talk about the food, shall we? Our boarders are served a range of delicious food prepared by our catering teams. All of our boarding is fully catered with a range of delicious options served at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. All houses have access to a student kitchen for after hours snacking. We listen to your likes and dislikes and respond to feedback from the food committee. Our international food nights are particularly popular and this year we have seen celebrations of food from Nigeria, Brazil, Thailand, China and Eastern Europe. 

Any special dietary needs and allergies can be catered for including Coeliac, Halal, non-dairy, etc, as long as we are notified in advance. A vegetarian option is available for all at every meal.


A busy and fun UK boarding school where you shape your own extracurricular activities

But boarding at RIC isn't just about the creature comforts; it's about the experience. Weekend activities have included trips to Bath, Brighton and Oxford, a graffiti tour around Shoreditch, East London, a hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons, a day at Brands Hatch Racing Track, Harry Potter World, Edinburgh, Stratford Upon Avon and Cambridge. Theatre, art gallery and museum trips are always popular as are our regular shopping trips to Bluewater! In the evenings we can go to the cinema locally or into London for West End theatre shows. 

Bespoke boarding designed for the needs of students on intensive one-year A level programmes

RIC specialises in fast track one year A level courses. It is not unusual for boarders to be 18, 19 or 20. Older students retaking A levels are grouped together in houses so they live and study with others in the same position.

It is no disadvantage to have in your Chemistry class a student who struggles with English if that student has recently won a Gold medal in an international Chemistry Olympiad. Jiratheep ‘Boom’ got no fewer than 5 A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Statistics and went off to Oxford to study Chemistry. Boom’s main worry was his English. Joe who joined RIC from Tonbridge School achieved grades A* A* A in Biology, Chemistry and Physics from scratch in one year and says of his Thai classmate “I’m not sure I would have done anywhere near as well without Boom in the class. And while there aren’t that many international The Thai scholars really make it a great place to be. We help them with their English and they help the rest of us with our homework – it’s a great partnership.” Joe joined Boom at Oxford where he studied Medicine.