SEM's Residential Program

We invite girls from across the region, the country and the world to enjoy a rich and rewarding experience as a boarding student at Buffalo Seminary in either our 5- or 7-day residential program.

Why Boarding School?

  • 70% of boarding school students say that boarding school has helped them develop self-discipline, maturity, independence, and the ability to think critically.
  • 60% of students apply to boarding school primarily for the opportunity to get a better education.
  • Boarding school students spend 17 hours a week on homework versus the 8 hours public school students spend.

Statistics provided by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

Why Choose to Live at SEM?

  • SEM’s cozy urban campus allows our residential students to experience the best of both worlds - our school and four student residences are located in the historic and bustling Elmwood Village neighborhood, just steps away from stores, coffee shops, museums, and restaurants, while still nestled within a safe and inviting courtyard, complete with a grassy lawn, trees, picnic tables, and heated sidewalks!
  • Our student residence houses: Lipke, Niscah, Wendt and Oishei are just that - houses! As opposed to impersonal dormatory buildings, these renovated historic homes provide intimate and comforting spaces for our girls to call home.
  • Girls live family style with faculty, who join residential meals, supervise study hours, engage in bonding activities, and chaperone extensive weekend activities (everything from theatrical productions to pumpkin picking).
  • Scheduled weekend college visits and one-on-one meetings with our College Counseling Team (Molly Greene and Kanika Durland) ensure that each and every residential student is supported and encouraged throughout the college application process.
  • SNOW! There’s no place quite like Buffalo when it comes to winter fun. Residential students can experience Buffalo winters by building snowmen and making snow angels in our courtyard or curling up with a book and a cup of tea in front of one of our eleven fireplaces.
  • Residential students have uncurtailed access to SEM’s 17 sports and teams and 33 arts and academic clubs, and a place to safely develop autonomy and the independent thinking that is preparation for college and life after high school.
  • Our in-school English language support specialists (Sharon Ammerman and Sarah Wooten) provide extensive support for international students, working with faculty across all departments to support English language learners.
  • Our student body speaks nine languages, and 23% of our students are from countries outside the United States.

Why Choose 5-Day Boarding?

It's all the opportunities of 7-day boarding but students and their families reunite for weekends.

  • Family time is for enjoying each other not for school related stress like homework or getting to and from extracurricular activities.
  • Living at SEM for week days means no lost commuting time for parent and student.
  • Study hours during the week are supervised by faculty.
  • Students have an alternative to understimulating or inadequate local schools.
  • Students can get familiar with Buffalo and experience its renaissance.
  • Canadian girls from Southern Ontario or "the West End" can find an academic home at SEM and easily return home on the weekends or meet family for skiing in Ellicottville or American-side shopping.


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