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How to pick the perfect wizard school for you

This week’s Wizarding World Book Club theme for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is International Magic, so we’re taking a look at wizarding schools from around the world.

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Sure, everyone wants to go to Hogwarts. But there are other institutions all over the world, you know.

Although we are definitely not wizards (as we keep having to harshly remind ourselves every morning), we do wonder which would be the best wizarding school to go to – besides Hogwarts.

With so many magical schools all over the world, let’s take a look at where we could best receive our (totally fictional) magical education.

Mahoutokoro

Wizarding School Mahoutokoro with name

Where is it?

This ornate jade palace sits on top of the volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima in Japan. Great, unless you’re afraid of heights.

Why should you go there?

Mahoutokoro isn’t a boarding school like Hogwarts, so students are transported there every day on a flock of giant storm petrels. Pretty good if you enjoy your home life.

Pros:

Mahoutokoro has a very passionate Quidditch culture, to the extent that the entire Japanese team cites their time at the school as the reason for being so darn good. Pupils also receive enchanted robes that grow in size as they get older, and change colour the more experienced they get. If they’re brilliant, they go gold. Pretty good, and saves a bit of cash from not having to buy new robes every year.

Cons:

If you ever engage in ‘illegal practices’ (you know, Voldemort-levels of Dark magic, for example) your robes will betray you and turn white – resulting in instant expulsion and a trial.

Anything else I should know?

There is a neighbouring Muggle airbase nearby, so be careful of that.

Uagadou

Wizarding School Uagadou with name

Where is it?

The Mountains of the Moon, somewhere in Uganda. You’ll figure it out.

Why should you go there?

For one, it’s the largest of all wizarding schools. It’s also a good place for all-rounders: Uagadou promotes wizarding prowess in Astronomy, Alchemy and Transfiguration.

Pros:

The school got a bit of a reputation for the quality of its younger students, many of whom are already adept Animagi. If we were kids, we’d obviously want to turn into animals as soon as possible – so, yes please.

Cons:

Although African witches and wizards do use wands, the school encourages spells to be cast with hand gestures. Fair enough, but wands are just cool, aren’t they?

Anything else I should know?

If you are accepted into Uagadou, Dream Messengers will appear to you as you sleep and leave an inscribed stone in your hand. Sweet dreams!

Castelobruxo

Wizarding School Castelobruxo with name

Where is it?

In Brazil, hidden deep within the rainforest.

Why should you go there?

Seeing as Castelobruxo is in South America, a lot of its students thrive in nature-based subjects, such as Herbology and Magizoology. So if you’re green-fingered or an animal lover, this one is for you.

Pros:

A lot Castelobruxo’s ex-students are famous, which bodes well: Libatius Borage, the author of Advanced Potion-Making, and João Coelho, captain of the world-renowned Quidditch team the Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers, both attended.

Cons:

Furry spirit-beings called the Caipora protect the school’s grounds, but are known to be mischievous. Basically, it’s like hundreds of mini-Peeves flying all about the place.

Anything else I should know?

The school has a popular exchange-student programme for European schools, so the culture there is bound to be bountiful.

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic

Wizarding School Beauxbatons with name

Where is it?

Beauxbatons resembles a beautiful château, thought to be located somewhere in the Pyrenees.

Why should you go there?

If you like your magic served with a dash of savoir faire, this school is for you. Beauxbatons welcomes a multitude of students of different nationalities, mainly French, but also Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Luxembourgian and Belgian.

Pros:

The castle is said to be ‘stunning’ and features a magical fountain believed to have healing and beautifying properties – now it’s this kind of thing that makes us want to be part of an institution.

Cons:

Not much, to be honest. Although judging by Fleur Delacour, the pampered ways of the Beauxbatons lifestyle may leave you guilty of complaining about other schools and general showboating.

Anything else I should know?

The man who gave us the Philosopher’s Stone, Nicolas Flamel, attended Beauxbatons and met his beloved Perenelle Flamel there. In fact, that cool fountain we mentioned is named after the couple. Makes sense – the Flamels were very much the pioneers of everlasting youth.

Durmstrang Institute

Wizarding School Durmstrang with name

Where is it:

You tell us. Memory charms erase any recollection of its whereabouts to visitors, but we believe it’s in Northern Europe.

Why should you go there?

You’ll certainly hear a few interesting stories at Durmstrang, seeing as this is the school that Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was expelled from.

Pros:

If you’re not a fan of the academic, this school is known for embracing the more physical side of wizardry, such as duelling and martial magic. Also, it has a cool ship.

Cons:

The school has got a bit of a bad reputation, and not just because it produced Grindelwald. Ex-headmaster (not to mention ex-Death Eater…) Igor Karkaroff cast a cloud of intimidation over the school during his tenure, too. It also sounds pretty cold there, judging by the fact that Durmstrang students are often shrouded in furs.

Anything else I should know?

This is where Quidditch ace and Triwizard champion Viktor Krum hailed from – so the school doesn’t just churn out bad pennies.

Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Ilvermorny Wizarding Map News Hub

Where is it:

Mount Greylock, USA.

Why should you go there:

If you fancy living a Hogwarts-style life across the pond. The founder of Ilvermorny, Isolt Sayre, always wished she could go to Hogwarts, and the school definitely seems to embody some of its traditions.

Pros:

Ilvermorny has a rich history and proves that anyone can make it if they believe in themselves, just like Sayre. The school also has cool houses you can join, represented by native magical creatures: Wampus, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird and Horned Serpent.

Cons:

There’s a lot to love about Ilvermorny and its democratic spirit, although we suppose you won’t like the school’s robes if you don’t like the colour blue.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Wizarding School Hogwarts with name

Where is it:

Its exact location will always remain a mystery, but Hogwarts is somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland.

Why should you go there:

Because you love it. But also because of its detailed history, secret passages, eccentric professors, wisecracking ghosts, lovely house-elves, talking portraits and much, much more besides. Most importantly, Hogwarts seems to have a sense of humour about itself, and round every corner is a new delight.

Pros:

Where to begin? As well as being one of the most well-protected wizarding schools, Hogwarts prides itself on honour, diversity and ancient traditions. A huge number of successful and talented wizards went there, including a certain Albus Dumbledore.

Cons:

Lord Voldemort went to Hogwarts, let’s remember. Also, there’s a high amount of danger involved in going here: there’s a tree that will beat you up, and an entire forest brimming with terrifying beasts and mysteries. Some people are quite wary of students that come from Slytherin house, but that stigma has lessened a bit over the years.

Anything else I should know?

Don’t try to socialise with the Bloody Baron. And yes, there was once a Chamber of Secrets that held a murderous Basilisk, but that’s been taken care of.

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