This is a descriptive-exploratory study of quali-quantitative nature accomplished with students living in a boarding school, with the objective of identifying the family characteristics, how the option for the boarding school was made, and to know what the separation from the family meant to the student. Thirty students from the three stages of High School, distributed in two groups were studied. Group I consisted of 15 students that sought three or more times the institution health clinic for assistance. Group II consisted of students of the same sex, age and classroom and that had not sought the clinic. The results revealed that the participants were between 14 and 18 years of age, arriving mainly from Southeast (36.7%) and Midwest (23.3%), and distributed equally in the three years of the High School program. In the two groups there was predominance of nuclear families, formed with three to six members and most of the students lived with the parents before coming to the institution. In 2 cases (1 in each group), the decision for the boarding school was made by the parents, in 10 cases it was made by the adolescents, and in 18 cases it was a joint decision (61.1% in Group I and 38.9% in Group II). Half of the students reported that their relationship with the family was very good, and that the arrival to the boarding school turned it even better. It also applies to the students that had referred negative aspects in their family relationship. In spite of the separation from the family, of the coexistence with different people and of the existence of norms and rules, the experience in a boarding school regime was evaluated positively. It is concluded that the option for boarding school involved mainly the possibility of living a new experience associated to the offer of better studies and that the boarding school is seen by the students as an alternative for their individual growth.