With the expansion to the Wizarding World franchise via Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling began expanding on the universe. After all, not all wizards live in the UK or have a good way to get to Hogwarts. Now, there are eleven other wizarding schools from around the world. We only know the names of eight: Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Castelobruxo, Durmstrang Institute, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mahoutokoro School of Magic, Koldovstoretz, and Uagadou School of Magic.
Only three out of the seven have been mentioned in canon and even then, we were never given information about beyond their location during the main story. Thanks to Pottermore, we have some neat little biographies and history to dig into.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about wizarding schools (that aren’t Hogwarts).
10 Beauxbatons - Friendly Rivalry
Located somewhere in the Pyrenees, Beauxbatons is hidden away in the mountains that separate France from Spain. Due to its influx of French students, it’s probably closer to the French border, though students from the surrounding area attend the school. This includes students from Spain, Portegul, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
As we learned in the Goblet of Fire, Beauxbatons and Hogwarts have a history. The schools have always had a good relationship, including a friendly rivalry when it comes to the Triwizard Tournament. So far, the official tally is 62 wins for Beauxbatons and 63 for Hogwarts.
9 Castelobruxo - Sister Schools
Castelobruxo is located in Brazil, supposedly in a rainforest. It actually shares its method of camouflage with Hogwarts. If any Muggle stumbled upon Castelobruxo, they would find the castle in ruins. Apparently, wizards are split on which school came up with the idea first and which one copied the other.
But this rivalry seems to be nothing but friendly. Castelobruxo holds popular exchange programs with the European wizarding schools for any students interested in their teaching specialties: Herbology and Magizoology. Bill Weasley was part of this program, but couldn’t go abroad due to financial reasons. Disappointed, his penpal apparently sent something not-so-nice through the mail. Rude.
8 Uagadou - Wandless
The most reputable of the African schools, Uagadou specializes in Astronomy, Alchemy, and Self-Transfiguration. Due to cultural differences and differences in magical practices, students of Uagadou can cast spells without the use of a wand. Many spells can be cast by simply pointing a finger or using hand gestures, so that suggests that wands are just a conduit to help wizards focus their magic.
7 Ilvermorny - The Founding
Turns out that the wizarding school in the United States was partially founded by a No-Maj (or Muggle, which has a better ring to it). James Steward accidentally found out about the existence of magic and understandably, was spooked. But the more he was around it, the less fearful he became. This led to him founding the Pukwudgie house and eventually marrying the witch Isolt Sayre. He later learned how to create wands and did so for the students of the school.
6 Mahoutokoro - Changing Robes
The smallest of the wizarding school, Mahoutokoro is located on the “uninhabited” island of Minami Iwo Jima. They actually accept students starting at age 7, but the students can’t board until age 11. But what stands out the most from this school is the robes.
Eliminating some of the financial burden on parents, students are given enchanted robes upon arrival. These robes grow in size, since 11 is really where those growth spurts kick in, and change color based on the wearer’s skillset. Based on intellectual prowess, the robes will turn from pink to gold. However, if a student breaks a law or explores Dark magic, the robe will turn white. This is not only a disgrace upon the student, but results in immediate expulsion from the school as well as a trial with the Japanese Ministry of Magic.
5 Durmstrang - An Unfortunate History
Believed to be somewhere in Northern Europe - people have to submit to a memory charm that makes them forget the exact location - Durmstrang has the worst reputation out of all the wizarding schools. That’s not to say good wizards haven’t come out of the school, but the bad ones have them beat 2 to 1.
The most infamous of alumni is none other than Gellert Grindelwald. You know, he started the first Wizarding War. No big deal. He also had that movie where very few crimes were committed, but the worst is yet to come. However, more recently, the whole bad wizard uprising took a backseat. Alumni Viktor Krum was the Seeker for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team while still in school. For the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, he came out of retirement and essentially won the tournament for Bulgaria.
4 Koldovstoretz - Not Quite Quidditch
The only one of the eight schools that was not given a proper description, Koldovstoretz is a wizarding school based in Russia. That’s pretty much all we know, beyond the fact that like the other wizarding schools, it has been registered with the International Confederation of Wizards. Oh, and they play Quidditch! Well, sort of. It is a variation of Quidditch, but wizards fly on uprooted trees instead of broomsticks.
...Yeah, that seems cumbersome.
3 Castelobruxo - Caipora
Caipora are magical creatures that are small, fuzzy spirit-beings that are very mischievous. So you can imagine how that gets when you throw children at them. The good thing is that Castelobruxo employs the Caipora as a defense mechanism for the school. Though it sounds like a questionable decision, nothing says the idea hasn’t worked. And who really wants to deal with pesky spirits?
At one point, the former headmaster of Hogwarts, Armando Dippet, complained to the former headmistress of Castelobruxo, Benedita Dourado, about Peeves the poltergeist. Now poor Peeves didn’t make it into the movies, not even a whisper, but he’s famous for terrorizing the students (and faculty) of Hogwarts with various pranks and other mischief-making. Dourado simply laughed because her entire life is just Caipora and offered to send some of them over. Needless to say, Dippet didn’t approve.
2 Uagadou - Student Selection
All students have to be indicated in some way that they’re eligible to enroll in a wizarding school. Uagadou is no different, but they implement a unique way of recruitment. The headmaster or headmistress of Uagadou will send a Dream Messenger to students. While the kids are asleep, the Dream Messenger will come to them and leave a token for them when they wake up. Usually, the token is inscribed stone and the student will wake up with it in their hand.
1 Ilvermorny - Salazar Slytherin
Why is it always the Gaunts?
One of the founders of Ilvermorny, Isolt Sayre, was actually a descendent of Salazar Slytherin. Her estranged aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt, took Isolt in after her parents were lost in a tragic accident. Well, as it turns out, that wasn’t an accident and Gormlaith murdered them. Isolt eventually escaped from Gormlaith, stealing her wand in the process, and fled to the United States.
It was only years later, after the founding of Ilvermorny, that Gormlaith tracked Isolt down. Though Gormlaith was ultimately defeated in her revenge attempt, she put the stolen wand to sleep. That wand was Salazar Slytherin’s. When all was said and done, Isolt buried the wand, causing a snakewood tree to grow. At least some good came out of it. The tree can’t be killed, but its leaves have great medicinal powers.