Looking up the compound "boarding school" I get definitions such as "a school where students live and study" (Cambridge dictionary); "a school that provides meals and lodging" (Merriam-Webster) and so on. That is, the focus seems to lie on the place aspect, rather than on the activity aspect. Now I'm wondering whether "boarding school" can also be used in the more abstract activity sense?

More specifically, could "boarding school" be used in a context where a school or a university organise for their students (who usually live in their own homes) to stay in a particular place (which is specifically not a school) for a limited period of time during which they live and study together?

For instance, would the following make sense to say in a description of a university programme:

"The programme includes a two-week boarding school, during which students participate in seminars and workshops..."

If this doesn't work, what should I use instead?

Edit: If the person who down-voted my question and voted to close could let me know what's wrong with my question I'd be truly grateful – and perhaps I could learn from my mistakes.

  • 1
    'Residential course'. Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 21:16
  • @MichaelHarvey Thank you! Helpful as always! Could you use that even if it's not one single course, but rather a collection of seminars, lectures, mini-courses etc?
    – Helen
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 21:23
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    "a collection of seminars, lectures etc" is "a course". That is the definition of a course at a school or college.
    – James K
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 21:37
  • @JamesK :) I see your point, but I meant seminars, lectures etc on different topics, that do not together constitute a coherent course, and also mini-courses consisting of, say, five lectures each, so there are several courses plus other activities during the same stay, if you see what I mean?
    – Helen
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


The term to use is (as Michael mentions in comments) "Residental course". A course consists of a collection of seminars, lectures etc. It is a matter for the university how coherent these are. It is quite possible to design a course with lectures on unrelated topics. The point is that it has been designed.

You can abbreviate to "residential" used as a noun.

"The programme includes a two-week residential, during which students participate in seminars and workshops..."

  • Thank you so much!! I really like the solution where you use "residential" on its own, as a noun – that's just perfect!
    – Helen
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 22:37

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