Queen Margaret’s School is known as a place where the world comes to meet in a comfortable environment that nurtures young learners.

On his recent trip through Asia, Iqbal Parekh, Associate Director of Admissions for Queen Margaret’s School, had a chance to see a bit of the world, meeting with a global group of prospective students and their parents.  The 35-day tour took him through five cities in China and two cities in Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul, before coming to Japan.

While in the Tokyo area, Parekh stopped at Kijijo-joshi, one of QMS’ sister schools, where he gave a presentation to a group of 40 students and 20 parents. He also visited a boarding school fair at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel, and met with the parents of some current QMS students to give them an update on how the school year was going for their daughters.

QMS is also renowned for its elite equestrian programs, and this brought him for a visit to Gotemba, the site of Japan’s National Dressage competition. With the scenic view of Mt. Fuji as a backdrop, the National Dressage competition is one of the top equestrian events in Japan; it was also an opportunity for Parekh to visit with the Japanese Equestrian Federation and meet the families of young riders who might be looking for an opportunity to join the QMS environment. Schools that combine a rigorous and rewarding curriculum with a strong equestrian program are rare, and as Parekh explained, “many of the families I met said they have always wanted their daughters to attend a school like QMS, but did not not how to go about looking for a school like us. They truly appreciated that we came from Canada to be at this event.”

Iqbal Parekh at the National Dressage competition in Gotemba.

Iqbal Parekh and Takayuki Sakurai at the National Dressage competition in Gotemba.

While the trip was a busy one, it was an experience that puts Parekh in closer contact with the backgrounds of QMS’ international student body. And although he is a seasoned world traveler, he still marvels at the Japanese spirit of everyday omotenashi: “I met many wonderful people during my time in Japan. Everyone had been very kind, generous and helpful. Even when I was lost or confused at a train station, I found people willing to go out of their way to help me.”

From Japan, at least six families will be sending their daughters to QMS in the next year, where they will join a unique girls’ boarding school environment in the picturesque surroundings of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. If you are interested in a university preparatory experience for your daughter where athletics, academics, and service to the community are all equally emphasized, look to QMS.

The academic year at QMS runs from September until June, and the school is accepting applications for the 2014–15 school year until March 1, 2014. Documents required for the application process include a school report card, copy of a birth certificate and citizenship record, and evaluations from current instructors. An admissions interview is also required and can be completed over the phone or via Skype/Facetime. For detailed information, please visit QMS’ admissions page or send an email to [email protected]. Mr. Parekh is looking forward to returning to Japan in February 2014.