North of the Bible Belt and east of the Borscht Belt lies the Boarding School Belt. Of the 300 or so boarding schools in the U.S., 120 are in the Northeast, what might be called the Eden of American education. You know, that magical place where Andover and Exeter lead inexorably to Yale and Harvard.
Every fall, parents from all over the world descend on the region for the Tour de Boarding Schools, a grueling épreuve that can require three or more rounds before a match is found. Some foreign kids go alone in hired cars, which has a 19th-century sound, though it reflects a very 21st century phenomenon, Asian parents’ determination to get their children a rigorous, English-language education.