international students

Boarding School Dorms in San Diego

If you live locally, you may not know that there are boarding school dorms in San Diego on our Army and Navy Academy scenic beachfront campus. As an internationally recognized college prep school geared for boys in grades 7-12, we offer both boarding and day options. 

Although the majority of our students do reside on campus in the dorms (aka “barracks”) at Army and Navy Academy, some local students enroll in the day program. The main difference between boarding versus day status centers around the 24/7 experience.  

As the only boarding school in Carlsbad and the only private military high school on the west coast, dorm life is an important part of the campus life experience at the Academy. Similar to dormitories at the top boarding schools in the U.S., Army and Navy Academy has dorms with beds, closets, and desk spaces. However, here are some aspects of dorm life that really set the Academy dorm experience apart from other boarding schools. 

At Army and Navy Academy, you will gain independence, self-discipline and follow a set of protocols as part of living in a dorm.

Dorm Life Builds Independence

1. Learn How to Deal with a Roommate.

Dorms at boarding school require roommates and the Academy is no exception. Learning how to live with others is an integral part of dorm and campus life. Although your preferences will be taken into account for a roommate, be prepared to be paired with someone from another state or even a different country. Army and Navy Academy is home to students from all over the U.S., including: California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and even the midwest, south, and east coast. International students come from countries both near and far, including: Mexico, Canada, China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, S. Korea, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Rwanda, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines. 

2. Learn How to Maintain Your Uniforms and Prepare Laundry.

Part of living away from home at a military academy entails learning the dress code, maintaining your uniforms, hanging them properly, and preparing your laundry every week. This is certainly the case at Army and Navy Academy, where formations are held throughout the day to ensure adherence to the dress code. This is great preparation for college and life. 

3. Learn How to Follow Good Hygiene.

Living in a dorm requires being attentive to the basics like brushing your teeth at least twice per day, washing and showering daily, and washing your hands frequently. This will help you establish good lfie habits, but also improve your health. 

4. Learn How to Make a Bed Military Style.

Part of attending a military school is learning how to make your bed properly! Military style is required, including learning how to make a diagonal fold at the corner of the top sheet. Expect to make your bed every day in your dorm while attending this West Point-style military academy. Make your mom proud! 

5. Learn How to Study Independently.

Students (aka “cadets”) are allowed to study in their dorms to keep up with homework, establish college prep study habits, and master academic subjects. If you are not passing classes or missing homework, you may be required to attend a supervised study hall. In college, you won’t have anyone supervising your studies, so it is important to follow good study habits in your dorm.

6. Learn How to Get Support.

In the evenings, beyond your assigned TAC officer, who will mentor and guide you, the faculty offers evening office hours on a scheduled basis. You are free to leave your dorm room and get support from faculty, peer tutors, or the counseling office. The Student Enrichment Center also offers special workshops and facilities for various purposes to augment dorm life.  

7. Learn How to Protect and Secure Your Property.

Students are given a code to secure their dorms and you will be expected to follow protocols to ensure the safety of your personal belongings. Being aware of your surroundings, making good peer choices, and taking care of your possessions are all part of living away from home. 

8. Learn to Follow the Honor Code.

The Academy has an Honor Council to ensure cadets adhere to the motto “do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do.” At Army and Navy Academy, our values of honor, integrity, respect, responsibility, compassion and gratitude are integral to leadership training and character development. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the values and ethics carry over in the boarding school dorms at this San Diego military school. 

9. Learn How to Prepare for Dorm Inspections.

Inspections are part of the routine and structure of attending a military school. Students at the Academy should expect regular inspections to check for cleanliness, order, and life habit protocols. Remember that military schools are intentionally strict for safety reasons, especially when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Even prescriptions must be kept secured in the Health Center.

10. Learn How to Follow a Structured Schedule.

Military schools are structured, so the Army and Navy Academy wants to ensure students follow a structured schedule for classes, athletics, clubs, rest and relaxation, study time, as well as when you wake up and sleep. Creating a balanced day between academics, athletics, and campus life is all part of becoming an adult. Contact the Admission team to learn more about the structure. 

11. Learn How to Communicate Effectively.

Dorm life at any boarding school in the U.S. typically includes dorm meetings. Dorm meetings are a way to address residential life issues in the dormitories and help you learn how to resolve conflicts, work in teams, and how to lead and guide others. 

Boarding School Dorms in USA

As you can see, dorm life at this west coast military school is quite unique from other boarding schools in the U.S. and abroad. The West Point-style military approach provides young men with the structure and self-discipline to navigate life away from home. 

Living away from home can help boys move toward manhood, as they learn how to navigate decisions, choices, and adhere to a rigorous, yet balanced daily schedule. As they learn how to take the lead in their lives, they become poised to face challenges with a growth mindset and the mental fitness required in college and life beyond. Dorm life at boarding school makes it possible to grow mentally, socially, and emotionally. 

Need Structure, Independence, and Self-Discipline? 

Contact the Office of Admission at 888.762.2338 or fill out our contact form.  Schedule your personalized campus tour now! 


Campus Aerial Full
What are the dorms like at this boarding school?

A number of dormitories have been renovated in recent years, alongside new buildings like the Duffield Sports Center, Beachfront Recreation Hall, and Student Enrichment Center. Check out our blog about amenities to learn more.

Dorms include bed, closet, desks, chairs, and more. Plus, you have an oceanview when you walk out the door! 

How are roommates chosen?

Cadet Life assigns dormitories and roommates. One of the benefits of attending a boarding school is the chance to meet someone from a different city in the U.S. or from a different country. Check with your TAC officer if you have questions or concerns about your assignment. 

Do the upperclassmen receive any dorm privileges?

The Battalion staff (top student leaders) have the privilege of a special space to reside and meet, called Battalion Headquarters. Also, most high school students can choose their own roommates after the first year. 

Are the middle and high school dorms separated?

Middle school and high school students are in separate buildings and every “Company” (see ranks for more info) has an assigned TAC (Trainer, Advisor, Coach).

Are students allowed to have computers in their dorms?

Yes, of course! We understand students need to communicate and have access to technologies and devices. There are times and places on campus where devices are used, including dorms. 

Do you have adults monitor the dormitories?

The short answer is yes. TAC officers are adults who support student activities after classes end and through the night, including: tutorial period, athletics, “local liberty”, morning and evening meals, study time, dorm meetings, dorm inspections, dorm safety, lights out, and much more. They are here to mentor and guide cadets in all aspects of campus life.

What kind of security is offered on campus?

To ensure the safety and privacy of all cadets, there is an Operations Office with full campus surveillance systems. In accordance with privacy laws, the cameras show only the exteriors of dorms and the buildings on campus. There are also staff members who are charged with roaming the campus at night, securing the gates, and monitoring alert systems to ensure safety on campus.

Welcome Back Cadets
How does this Academy differ from other boarding schools?

 Every school is unique and different, but Army and Navy Academy is the only military school on the west coast offering an intensive leadership training program, career oriented programs like the Warrior Aviation Program, and a strong emphasis on character development. Check out The ANA Difference

The other boarding schools near you might include St Catherine’s Academy in Anaheim, a school for boys in grades 4-8th with a Catholic tradition. Then there is the Webb School in Claremont, which has a Paleontology Museum on campus. Southwestern Academy in Pasadena caters primarily to international students, and then of course, there are a number of boarding schools located in Ojai. To name a few, boarding schools in Ojai include Ojai Valley School, Besant Hill School, Thacher, and Villanova Preparatory. 

Why do teens live away from home?

 Sometimes families ask, “why would you send your child away to boarding school?” Although we fully understand this question, consider the east coast and European countries, where it is far more typical to hear the common refrain, “why wouldn’t you send your teen to a boarding school?” With boarding schools more prevalent on the east coast and abroad, they know the history and appreciate the many positive outcomes that result from a boarding school experience. To determine if you might be a good fit for Army and Navy Academy, check out our typical student profiles under Who We Are

Do some private day schools offer dorms off-site?

While a few private day schools also offer hosted or off-site dorms, these are typically for international students. Also, keep in mind this is not the same as an immersive boarding school campus experience.

If I live close enough, is it okay to go home on the weekend?

Yes, some students go home on the weekend or during selected weekends. Airports are close by, so some even fly home on longer weekends. Block schedule on Fridays helps too and allows students to get out early.  On Closed Weekends, all cadets must stay on campus for events and/or special training.  

Do you get to go home during the holidays?

Yes, all students are required to go home or stay with a host family during holidays and during the summer. 

Are boarding schools for high achievers only?

Whether you choose a military boarding school or a more traditional boarding school, these schools are life and college preparatory. In fact, many famous people, including diplomats, politicians, entrepreneurs, and executives have attended boarding schools. As a result of living away from home, they earned a competitive edge for college and/or their career. But unlike many boarding schools, Army and Navy Academy fully appreciates the challenges of being a teenage boy in today’s world. With this in mind, we are often more open to candidates with high commitment and potential. Learn more about types of schools in our blog.

Will we get to see the dorms when we schedule a tour?

Yes, absolutely! Contact the Admission Office to schedule your personalized tour and campus visit. 

“This is not a school — it’s an institution for life, success, cultural intelligence and relationships. The range of diversity among the cadets helped me to grow with others of all different backgrounds. I use what I learned at Army and Navy Academy more in my everyday life than my college education.”

Alex H. (Alumnus)