Appleby Collegereview by Queen's University student. Appleby College is very strong academically. They have a wide variety of classes and a number of 4U/AP combined classes, which prepare you well for university courses. The emphasis is on small class size (I was never in a class larger than 25 people) and all the faculty really care about their job. Not all the teachers I had were amazing, but compared to some you find in the public school system there is a definite improvement. The work load was never too strenuous for myself, but others did complain occasionally. It is definitely not an "exam factory". There are numerous group assignments and presentations built into the curriculum so that exams only count for about 25% of your final mark in a course. The student body is not too competitive, although you do run into some competitive types. I'm now in my second year of university and would say all the courses I took at Appleby prepared me well for university courses, and the social skills they teach at Appleby has prepared me well for future challenges.
The school's campus is absolutely stunning, with gorgeous waterfront. The food is not great, and the housing situation is adequate but some houses are nicer than others. It is a very safe almost all-white area in Oakville and there have never been any problems with crime on campus other than occasionally drugs and drinking, which the school takes a very strict no-tolerance policy on. For international boarders there are usually weekend social events organized by the housemasters. Ethnically the school is about 75% white, 15% Asian, and the rest is a mix. The majority of the students are from a fairly wealthy background, although there are bursaries available.
The school has a mandatory Outward Bound program, in which in grades 9 and 10 students travel to Appleby's northern campus in Lake Temagami for leadership and team-building exercises with their classmates. I had a blast doing this, especially in grade 10 when you go in the winter. In grade 11 I was a Junior outdoor leader and went back in the winter leading the grade 10's. It taught me valuable survivor skills and leadership skills, as you sleep outside in quincys (similar to igloos) and it's a really cool experience. Athletically the schools swim team is very strong, but other than that there's no athletic program worth writing home about. It is mandatory for students to take sports after school; these can be intramural or varsity. Most major sports are available. There are also a number of service placements, as the school places strong emphasis on community service.