The Russian Academy of Magic is a colossal onion-domed structure drifting aimlessly across the surface of Lake Baikal brought to existence using centuries of levitation charms perfected by a group of Russian witches experimenting with portable floating ice rinks. Self-heating fur scarves are all the rage amongst students and professors alike, although they have been known to overheat from time to time, leading to mild cases of heat stroke. When traditional Quidditch games become dull, players would discard their brooms for skates and duke it out on the frozen surface of the lake.
India’s Academy of Sorcery boasts an impressive display of flashy colours, from enchanted saris that shift colours sporadically throughout the day, to the lavishly painted exterior of the academy which is situated in a nondescript location along Ganges River. Due to the frightening rate at which the school’s ancient mango tree (jokingly nicknamed “Mammoth Mango Machine”) produces mangoes, students have to endure the perpetually evolving art of mango cuisine at least five days a week. Every year, to the students’ great enjoyment, classes are halted for Diwali to make time for various competitions that take place: firework flourishes and charms for upper-year students (bonus points if it doesn’t set any part of the school on fire), and lantern designing for lower-year students (use of animals, alive or dead, is forbidden).
Catering to western students in the vast land of Canada, the Banff Academy of Magical Studies is a sprawling château-style structure nestled comfortably in the snowy peaks beyond Lake Louise. The students have opted for stylish layered knitwear in place of traditional wizard robes, and are often named some of the most fashionable amongst the international wizarding community. Every winter, students would don their warmest clothing and spend hours outside casting adhesive charms on the walls of the academy so falling snow would later stick to the exterior, transforming the school into a frozen palace.
Disguised as a Mayan ruin in the jungles of Chiapas, the Mexican School for Enriched Magical Studies is a sturdy moss-covered structure blanketed by lush greenery. The students are no strangers to muggle tourists ambling about, and will often pose as fellow tourists or locals and interact with them, making them one of the most outgoing, lively, and tolerant communities in the wizarding world. For festivals, students like to don vibrant headdresses, and the school becomes a kaleidoscope of colour as girls twirl around like tops, their skirts lifting up into the air, filling empty space with colour and painting the school with embellished splendour. The campus often reverberates with music from the school’s ghost mariachi band who plays cheerfully day and night; although it tends to get annoying at times, the constant activity makes the school feel like home.
WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: SOUTH AFRICAClinging haphazardly to the jagged sides of the Drakensberg escarpment, the South African Institute for Witches and Wizards is an impressive conglomeration of architectural wonder and eccentric contraptions that keep the sprawling institute welded to the steep slopes of the mountains. Many say roaming the institute is an arduous test of one’s stamina as the primarily vertical layout of the institute relies on a plethora of stairs to navigate (luckily it has gotten better after the restriction on the indoor use of broomsticks was lifted). Over centuries, many pockets of shallow caves have been dug out and furnished by students who like to spend their free time observing the vast landscape before them from high up in the mountainside. The student population supplies much of the profits for Mava’s Zoomtastic Glasses, which is a popular accessory for observing the abundance of wildlife that roam the lands.
The Young Witches and Wizards’ Preparatory Academy of Magic is not one but two single-sex schools hidden deep within the misty green swamps of Louisiana. The schools are widely known amongst the American wizarding community for it’s infamous reputation of being the rowdiest academy for young wizards and witches resulting from a fierce inter-school rivalry cultivated through centuries of competition and trickery-wars. Students are frequenters of the headmistress and headmaster’s offices for hexing unsuspecting muggle wanderers, and hosting inter-school midnight dueling matches in the marshes. Legend has it that there is a gargantuan alligator, the unfortunate victim of various experimental (and ultimately irreversible) engorgio charms, lurking in the general vicinity of the schools, although no one has laid eyes on the beast in centuries.
WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: SCANDINAVIAFormed shortly after the Kalmar Union in protest against Durmstrang’s growing acceptance of the Dark Arts, the Scandinavian Academy for Sorcery Studies is situated in an undetectable location in Hinnøya for students predominantly from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (and occasionally Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands on account of their historical associations with the region) whose parents preferred for them to be educated in a more sympathetic environment. There is a large heated bubble on the outskirts of campus created for astronomy studies (by far the most popular academic stream at the school) where students can observe the night sky with an unobstructed view. A particular branch of divination correlating to celestial patterns and the movement of stars is studied intensively, and students occupy a large portion of their time speculating various outcomes of the alignment of stars and planets (overheard in the halls: “If Venus and Jupiter had been two degrees closer, I guarantee you I would have found that rogue troll already. The planets have not been helpful lately.”).
The Brazilian School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a smattering of low-rise cottages hidden in the coastal forests of Bahia near a mid-sized bay where Senhor Cardoso’s martial arts students like to practice a fusion of defensive magic and capoeira (often to an audience of wide-eyed first-years), and build soaring sand castles to pass the time. Wands were introduced by immigrants and have grown in popularity with the diversification of the student body; however, the use of focal objects and organic magic still remain prominent. Students dress in demure robes throughout the year, and break out their flashiest clothing for Carnival during which there is an unofficial competition for the most creative clothing enchantments (glitter-burst charms are common, as are colour-shifting spells although they do tend to backfire and turn clothes an ugly medley of brown and vomit-yellow if the fabric doesn’t take well to enchantments).