General Questions

What school grades does Chester College cater for?

Chester College caters for children and teenagers from Kindergarten (aged 3) to Grade 12 (aged 18). The boarding facilities, however, would be for students Grade 7 onwards.

When does a school year start and finish in Chester College?

School years typically start around mid-September and finish mid-June. The school year is split into three terms: fall, winter and spring. There are two main holidays throughout the year (Christmas and Easter) and a number of national or local bank holidays.

Can a student enrol during the current school year?

Yes, if accepted and there is availability in the appropriate grade level. We recognise that family and student circumstances vary and we are used to accommodating students arriving midyear, except in Grade 12. Registration is open October 15 to December 15 for the 2nd semester starting in January.

Do I need to speak Spanish to attend Chester College?

No, it is not necessary to speak Spanish. Students with little or no Spanish upon arrival will take part in a daily intensive Spanish lesson to enable them to learn and develop the language. The rest of the subjects will be taught in English, until the student has gained a sufficient level of Spanish to attend further classes in Spanish.

What level of English do I need to attend Chester College?

It is recommended that students starting in Grade 10 or over have at least an intermediate level of English. However, if a student already has a good level of Spanish exceptions may be made, and each student’s application will be considered on a case by case basis.

Is there a uniform in Chester College?

Yes, there is a school uniform for students in all grades. It can be purchased in a local department store in Santiago de Compostela.

What are the regular school hours, from Monday to Friday?

School hours for Kindergarten to Grade 6 go from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM. School hours for Middle & High School go from 9AM to 5:30PM.

What subjects are offered at Middle & High School level?

Students at Chester study a wide range of subjects, including English, Spanish, Science, Maths, Geography, History and Religion. In addition, if a student has a particular interest or wishes to continue another subject they were studying at a previous school, we will (wherever possible) accommodate their preferences.

What subjects are offered at Middle & High School level?

The American system is designed to foster breadth of knowledge, creativity and independent thought. Students are not just taught how to memorise information, but rather to want to know why things happen and are the way they are. The system also allows the teaching to be tailored to each student, as in any given class individual students who have a particular interest in the subject or are very able in the field of study can elect to take more challenging and higher level studies (known as Advanced Placement classes).

What qualifications will I gain from Chester College?

At Chester College students work towards being awarded an American High School Diploma and a Spanish Titulo de Bachiller. Having two qualifications is very advantageous. In the last year of study, students can choose between doing the Spanish university entrance exams (called the Selectividad) or the American ones (the SAT and AP tests). Many students do both exams, meaning that they can choose their best grade to apply to future universities.

Can I transfer my credits from another school?

Yes. An automatic transfer system between Chester College and any other American school is in place, making it easy to continue your studies. There are also transfer systems in place with all other schools worldwide and Chester College will be happy to assist with this process.

What careers guidance does Chester College offer?

Chester College’s mission is to support each student to reach their potential and go on to become successful global citizens. Providing careers guidance is an integral part of this mission and from a young age we take an active interest in the goals and ambitions of all our students. Each student has a personalised development plan so they are clear about their chosen pathway and what steps will be needed both during school and once they finish in order to achieve it.

What support does Chester College give students who are planning on going to university?

Each student at the school has a personalised development plan which is agreed with the student and their tutor. Depending on the student’s individual goals, staff will support the student with their decision regarding which university and course to apply for, and guide them through the application process. Our alumni have progressed to universities in a variety of countries, so we have experience in navigating a great variety of university admissions services!

What extracurricular clubs and activities does Chester College offer?

Chester College offers a full range of extracurricular activities. Students of all grades have P.E. lessons on a daily basis, and many of our international boarding students have joined local sports teams to continue training at the weekends. In addition to the physical education programme, all students have weekly singing lessons, and we offer students the chance to take additional music lessons to further develop their skills. We also put on regular dramatic performances and have a debate club for secondary students. Finally, we encourage individuals with specific interests and talents to enter local and national competitions to challenge themselves and gain important experience for their CV and academic record.

What is the food like?

We enjoy all our meals in a light and airy cafeteria with views of the garden. Our wonderful cook (who used to be a professional chef and run her own restaurant) cooks traditional Spanish food. However, all dietary requirements can be catered for.

Boarding Students

Do you accept boarders of any age?

Chester College´s boarding facilities are for students in Grades 7 – 12 (roughly 12-18 years).

What are the boarding facilities like?

Our boarding facilities are located just minutes away from the school building and there are separate buildings for boys and girls. Students normally share a room with one or two other students, and can relax and socialise with other residents in the common areas. On weekdays and Saturday morning, breakfast and the evening meal are served in the school canteen which is just around the corner, whilst on Saturday afternoon and evening and on Sunday students eat in their residences.

Who takes care of boarding students in the boarding facilities?

Boarding students are accompanied by dorm-parents at all times whilst in the residence. They strive to create a homely, caring environment, for them, offering them pastoral support and guidance.

Do boarding fees for international students include Guardianship?

Yes: boarding fees do include guardianship.

What is the evening and weekend activity programme?

Our students are lucky to live next to the world heritage site Santiago de Compostela. Both Santiago and the wider region of Galicia offers countless interesting activities to do during the weekends, and our students often take part in organised trips to the city and to other local sites of interest. When the weather is nice, we take advantage to go to some of the magnificent beaches that are just 30 minutes away.

Is there supervised evening study hall for boarding students?

Yes. Boarding students have supervised study halls in the evenings to enable them to do their homework and school projects as well as study for tests. Study halls are supervised by teachers, who are also around to help students whenever it is needed.

Can parents come and visit their boarding children?

Of course! We encourage parents to come and visit their children. Since school attendance is important, we suggest visits take place during local holidays or long weekends. We kindly ask parents to let the School Office know up to 1 week in advance. We would love to ensure an appointment with the student’s tutor can also be arranged, if possible, during the visit.

Are boarding students expected to return home during the Christmas and Easter holidays?

Students are expected to return home for the Christmas season (2 weeks) and highly encouraged to also return home for the Easter break (10 days). In exceptional cases, alternative host-family arrangements could be made for students unable to return home. We kindly request families to get in touch with the School Office once they have their children´s travel arrangements and also to discuss alternative scenarios should they not be able to travel. There are normal boarding-life activities for students during local bank holidays or festivities.

Do boarding students need to get their own medical insurance?

Yes. Students from EU/European Economic Space (EES) countries may freely apply to get the European Health Insurance Card prior to travelling to Spain. Students from other countries would need to get their own private insurance. This is also often a visa requirement in many countries.