What is Finishing School? (Meaning, Age, Schools, FAQs)

Finishing School? To become well-groomed, one must go beyond high school graduation with decent grades and a job.

“Finishing Colleges” were the go-to places for social graces and demeanor. Even though it is geared toward women, it’s essential to learn how to behave regardless of gender.

The principal objective of most Finishing Institutions is to teach female students how to find and keep husbands.

Even though it is a continuation of regular school and aims to assist students in finishing their education, you may wonder why Finishing schools are not readily available in your area.

What is finishing school? How does it work? What is taught? And when did Finishing Colleges become “charm schools”? This article answers all of these questions.

What is a Finishing School?

Formerly referred to as “Finishing Institutions,” Finishing Schools are places where students learn morals, discipline, etc.

A man named “Graeme Donald” used his assertions to determine the significance of Finishing school. He claims that many young, well-to-do ladies were sent to Finishing Schools to learn how to behave appropriately in public places.

Its roots are Swiss finishing institutes and late-19th-century educational ladies’ salons.

Thus, a finishing institution is a school for young ladies emphasizing social graces and upper-class cultural customs as a primary emphasis of instruction. These lessons serve as preparatory material for the transition into the real world.

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What Age Should One Attend Finishing School?

Attending Finishing Schools does not have a standard age range. But then, it is mainly attended by young women preparing for marriage.

A year or two is often required to complete an academic finishing program. It also served as a bridge between the conclusion of school and the beginning of a marriage.

Depending on where you live, women as young as 18 may be able to get married.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, when Finishing School was at its height, the average age at which people were married was 22.

This suggests the ideal age to leave school is between 14 and 22. Graduating high school and getting married are the same period.

Read more: 10 Low-stress Jobs that Pay Well Without a Degree (Meaning, FAQs)

What is the Significance of Finishing School?

Finishing Institutions were essential for every female child in the 18th century. Initially, it was reserved for society’s elite. This is because their daughters were also trained to be affluent wives for royals.

After high school, Finishing School are an excellent resource for teaching young women the proper manners and behavior expected in society.

When it comes to Finishing school, there is no standard model. The course length at one of these institutions can range from a few weeks to two years.

This school was critical because there were so few educational options for women in the early 1900s.

As a result, women in that age group who attended such a school enjoyed an elevated social position, making them more appealing as potential spouses.

What does Finishing School Teach?

This school teaches you all you need to know to become a well-groomed woman. To turn a young girl into a lady, teaching her how to dress appropriately for various social gatherings and serve others properly is necessary.

It is also part of the “Finishing Schools” curriculum to teach women proper social etiquette and demeanor.

For example, how would you set up a home bar and buffet for a gathering? How many coatroom attendants would you require if your husband were to throw a cocktail party for 100 guests in a chalet?

This and much more are covered at Finishing Schools, which include instruction on everything from the art of making a bed to how to prepare a Martini.

As a result, Finishing School educate young women to be future brides and mothers. Three of the significant areas taught in a Finishing School are:

1. Personal images:

Your appearance influences your self-esteem. It affects how you are seen and treated by others, impacting your perception of the world.

Research shows that people establish their first opinion of a person based on their looks in less than one second. Among the many topics covered in Personal Image are:

  • Elocution and voice.
  • Grooming for one’s self.
  • The way you move your body tells a story.
  • The expression on the face.
  • Sense of style and grace.
  • Management of social media.
  • Dressing elegantly is a skill that requires knowledge of both general guidelines and specific events.

2. Dining Etiquette:

The Etiquette education system emphasizes the importance of dining etiquette above all others. Everything you need to know about the dining etiquette of the European standard may be learned here.

Here they are:

  • Setting up a table.
  • Drinking.
  • What to do when you’ve sat down in a restaurant.
  • How to eat something that’s a challenge.
  • Put your napkin where you want it.
  • The art of folding a beautiful napkin.
  • The napkin’s use.
  • The Dining has a set of rules that no one tells you about.
  • What to do with the utensils that have been provided.
  • The service code is not audible to the user.

3. Social Grace:

There are a variety of themes covered in the book Social Graces that can assist Finishing School students in successfully navigating social situations.

It’s about having the ability to act and speak confidently in any social setting. Topics covered include:

  • First and last names are used.
  • Dos and Don’ts of Conversation
  • Greetings of decency.
  • What to do when the unthinkable occurs.
  • A handshake is an excellent opportunity to make a good impression.
  • How to approach and exit a party with style.
  • Kissing in public.
  • Etiquette for handing out name cards.

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Are There Still Existing Finishing Schools?

During the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, most Finishing Institutions disappeared. The agitations for women’s social positions were the most damaging for these kinds of schools.

The knowledge spread like wildfire, and ladies could no longer resist. Finishing Schools was sidetracked as students sought employment, equal pay, and other societal advancement.

Both then and now, women deserved to be recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments in the workplace and for the contributions they had made. Regarding marriage, they don’t want to be considered just the “well-groomed gender.”

Today, such schools exist, but they do not go by what they were called back in the old days. However, the importance of a pleasant manner cannot be overstated.

As a result, even though most finishing schools have closed, modern educational institutions incorporate the concept of Finishing Schools into their current lessons.

Best Modern Finishing Schools:

Female empowerment has led to the demise of conventional Swiss and European Finishing Schools.

The importance of good manners, social grace, and etiquette in today’s culture cannot be overstated. Some educational institutions are now using the modular model.

More so, some of the best schools have introduced a contemporary Finishing School:

1. Minding Manners International Finishing School:

This is the first time a Finishing school curriculum has been organized at a school. It aims to bridge the gap between a professional position and world-class recognition. It teaches protocol knowledge as well as social and commercial manners.

When completing a task, “finishing” takes on a new meaning. An innovative strategy for women and men of all ages has been pioneered.

Students learn in class how to improve their professional and social skills.

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2. University of the People:

Finishing School teaches you the sought-after skills in today’s competitive job market. It expands on the original premise to create a comprehensive program.

University of the People, unlike traditional Finishing Schools, uses soft skills and cultural competencies instead of etiquette and manners in its curriculum.

As a result, it provides academic degrees that improve students’ abilities to listen and communicate effectively.

These talents can be combined with empathy, emotional intelligence, and intercultural competence in an authorized degree program.

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3. Etiquette Institute of Washington:

Washington etiquette is a little off the beaten path for financial institutions, but it offers a program that teaches interpersonal and digital skills.

Despite its name, it provides more than just instruction in proper manners. Courses are designed to cultivate the intellect and aptitude of students to inspire confidence and grace in tomorrow’s leaders.

Theater, museum excursions, and gourmet dining events are often used to attain this goal.

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Read more: Pros and Cons of Honors Classes in High School (Meaning, Diff, FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions on Finishing School:

Why do they call it finishing school?

The program’s name reflects that it comes after regular school and is meant to serve as a capstone experience, with an emphasis on manners and demeanor, with academics serving as a support function.

What did they do at finishing school?

They learned proper etiquette at the dinner table, including how to shake hands and discuss with others. To enhance their posture, women were ordered to go up and downstairs with books on their heads. Etiquette dictates that one avoid slouching in social situations.

What is a finishing school in the US?

Finishing schools, or charm schools in the United States, are educational institutions whose only mission is to impart the social graces and traditions of the upper class to their students. At Finishing School, etiquette is the major focus, with academics coming in a distant second.

What is etiquette class called?

While the name “cotillion” was initially intended to describe a group dance performed at the end of a ball in 18th-century France and England, it is now more commonly used to denote etiquette workshops for students in elementary and middle schools, particularly in the South.


However, finishing school has dropped substantially in recent times despite some still existing, and this trend saddens some people.

Additionally, the word has been used to describe women’s universities geared to produce submissive, cultured women who aim to marry immediately rather than pursue jobs.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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