In Goblet of Fire, we learn about the Triwizard Tournament, and how each of the three schools takes turns hosting it (every five years).

Delegations from the two guest schools, made up of students (one of which will be champion and participate, the rest are supporting/cheering) and the headmaster/headmistress (who act as judges), attend the host school for the duration of the tournament, meaning they'll be absent and won't attend classes in their own respective schools, apparently for an entire academic year (October-June).

In this answer it's made clear how much of a big deal being a champion is, so I can understand their willingness to suspend their education and examinations for a year, but what about the rest of the delegation (the other accompanying students)? Do they get sent back to their own schools in the books? Do they attend the guest school's lessons, like an exchange student program? Or do they legitimately just lose on an entire year's worth of education just so they can cheer their champion on?

  • 26
    A more interesting question would be, "did anyone think this schedule through?" If the contest is to be every five years, and only sixth and seventh year students are eligible to compete, then 3/7ths of students will never be eligible to compete at all... But then, lots of the things wizards do seem to be completely arbitrary, so I can't say that it's out of character.
    – Perkins
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 1:48
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    @Perkins JK Rowling: "Oh my dear Math!!"
    – Deepak
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 4:10
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    @Perkins It was every five years when it got started, and at that point there was no age restriction. The tournament was abolished because a Cockalice had injured all the judges, a couple centuries ago. The 1994 tournament of Goblet of Fire was the first one since then, and the age restriction is something new Dumbledore and Crouch implemented to try to make it less dangerous, it was something experimental and new, and they probably wanted to see how it went before thinking about when it was gonna happen again (it probably got abolished again) Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 8:26
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    @Deepak JK Rowling is English, she would never refer to mathematics as "Math", as that is an entirely American thing. In Britain (and Australia) we refer to it as "Maths". Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 14:32
  • 3
    Personally I'm a big fan of the fanon that the other students are replacement contenders for when the Champion inevitably dies. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 20:52

6 Answers 6


Well mostly, they don't actually arrive until the 30th October:

The delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving at 6 o'clock on Friday 30th of October.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.207 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 15, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

But they stayed till the end.

This is during the end of term feast:

Dumbledore looked from Madame Maxime and Hagrid, to Fleur Delacour and her fellow Beauxbatons students, to Viktor Krum and the Durmstrangs at the Slytherin table. Krum, Harry saw, looked wary, almost frightened, as though he expected Dumbledore to say something harsh.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.627 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 37, The Beginning

As for where they had their lessons, there's clearly some disagreement, and it isn't completely clear, because we aren't in their year, so Rowling doesn't bother showing us their schooling arrangements - why would she? But I can't see Maxime or Karkaroff teaching an entire year's syllabus, across all classes, in their little carriage/boat - they seemed to just be the sleeping arrangements. Also what's the point of keeping the students there, if they're not going to attend Hogwarts classes? They might just as well go home.

But do I have anything other than an appeal to Occam's razor?

Well, yes, I think the clearest example is:

Harry glimpsed Fleur Delacour from time to time in the corridors; she looked exactly as she always did, haughty and unruffled.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - pp.281-2 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 19, The Hungarian Horntail

It's very difficult to see what she'd be doing in the corridors if she was just popping up to Hogwarts for meals. But here's a few other pieces of evidence.

'He's really nice, you know,' she said. 'He's not at all like you'd think, coming from Durmstrang. He likes it much better here, he told me.'

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.386 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 24, Rita Skeeter's Scoop

This seems like a pretty meaningless statement if he's being taught by Karkaroff on his boat, doesn't it?


The Hogwarts staff, demonstrating a continued desire to impress the visitors from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, seemed determined to show the castle at its best this Christmas. When the decorations went up, Harry noticed that they were the most stunning he had yet seen inside the school. Everlasting icicles had been attached to the banisters of the marble staircase; the usual twelve Christmas trees in the Great Hall were bedecked wth everything from luminous holly berries to real, hooting, golden owls, and the suits of armour had all been bewitched to sing carols whenever anyone passed them. It was quite something to hear 'Oh Come, All Ye Faithful' sung by an empty helmet that only knew half the words. Several times, Filch the caretaker had to extract Peeves from inside the armour, where he had taken to hiding, filling in the gaps in the songs with lyrics of his own invention, all of which were very rude.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.344 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 22, The Unexpected Task

Certainly makes it seem to me like the guests do more than just come up to Hogwarts for meals. And what would be the point? If you can teach Potions and Charms in there, you can surely get a meal delivered there. Also, don't forget, the age limit is seventeen, which means sixth and seventh years can participate, so there's not necessarily just one year group.

Anyway, I haven't yet found a smoking gun, but both Fleur and Krum seem to know the castle fairly well.

'Vell, ve have a castle also, not as big as this, nor as comfortable, I am thinking,' he was telling Hermione. 'Ve have just four floors, and the fires are lit only for magical purposes. But ve have grounds larger even than these - though in vinter, ve have very little daylight, so ve are not enjoying them. But in summer ve are flying every day, over the lakes and the mountains -'

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.363 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, The Yule Ball


'Zis is nothing,' she said dismissively, looking around at the sparkling walls of the Great Hall. 'At ze Palace of Beauxbatons, we 'ave ice sculputres all around ze Dining Chamber at Chreestmas. Zey do not melt, of course ... zey are like 'uge statues of diamond, glittering around ze place. And ze food is seemply superb. And we 'ave choirs of wood-nymphs 'oo serenade us as we eat. We 'ave none of zis ugly armour in ze 'alls, and eef a poltergeist ever entaired into Beauxbatons, 'e would be expelled like zat.'

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - p.364 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, The Yule Ball

  • What about the language barrier? Not all of them speak Eenglesh.
    – user68762
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:15
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    @R.Skeeter I don't think there's any evidence of that. All the hints are that they speak English, every interaction we see with them is in English, Karkaroff talks to them in English, they go to the Yule Ball with the English students, they listen to Dumbledore in English, the tournament is English. Also don't forget, Durmstrang is in Norway or Sweden. Viktor Krum is from Bulgaria. So I kind of assume Durmstrang is probably English-medium, since it seems to take students from all over. Draco Malfoy was thinking of going there, for example.
    – Au101
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:26
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    bah - forget about the exterior size of their transports - remember, GoF is also where we were introduced to the magical tents at the Quidditch World Cup - tiny exteriors - Tardis-esque interiors. It stands to reason that we may be meant to infer the same thing is happening in the carriage and ship. There is enough room for classes and sleeping because magic.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:01
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    Well yes, but as we've also seen, food cannot be magically created and requires preparers as well - it was probably easier to just pop into Hogwarts than *also bringing along a full staff of house elves ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:32
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    @NKCampbell Maybe the carriage and ship work like a TARDIS, but that's a big assumption, and you also forget the key part of class isn't just the classroom but the teachers as well. If there are teachers going on the trip with them, what about the students at their original school (and vice versa)? Plus, we have even less evidence that teachers came along as part of the delegation than we do of TARDIS ships and carriages. Not convinced. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 14:36

The delegation of students from the foreign schools all stay at Hogwarts for the entire Tri-wizard tournament.

The most likely explanation is that the students continue their studies together in their respective residences on Hogwarts campus.

The book gives no reference of any shared classes between Hogwarts students and others, and mentions multiple times how the other schools students all leave their respective housing together, trudge up to Hogwarts for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then trudge back down to their carriage/boat.

In fact taking lessons at Hogwarts would be unusual given the competition between the 3 schools.

‘There’s traditionally been a lot of rivalry between all the magic schools. Durmstrang and Beauxbatons like to conceal their whereabouts so nobody can steal their secrets,’ said Hermione matter-of-factly.

Here we see how strongly Karkaroff at least wants his schools secrets kept, most likely due to the emphasis on the dark arts the school is rumored to have.

‘Now, now, Viktor!’ said Karkaroff, with a laugh that didn’t reach his cold eyes. ‘Don’t go giving away anything else, now, or your charming friend will know exactly where to find us!’

Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling. ‘Igor, all this secrecy ... one would almost think you didn’t want visitors.’

‘Well, Dumbledore,’ said Karkaroff, displaying his yellowing teeth to their fullest extent, ‘we are all protective of our private domains, are we not? Do we not jealously guard the halls of learning that have been entrusted to us? Are we not right to be proud that we alone know our school’s secrets, and right to protect them?’

‘Oh, I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts’ secrets, Igor,’ said Dumbledore amicably.

Allowing your students access to other teachers and ideas is dangerous when your own teaching and ideas may be frowned upon by others such as his students leaking how much time they spend on the dark arts. Id expect the Durmstrang students to be isolated as much as possible, other then Krum, who was allowed access to Hogwarts extensive library to increase his knowledge for the tasks ahead.

Viktor Krum was in the library an awful lot, too, and Harry wondered what he was up to. Was he studying, or was he look- ing for things to help him through the first task?

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    How are the schools locations a secret if every 15 years the other 2 schools went there for the tournament?
    – yitzih
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:19
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    @yitzih its been close to 200 years since the last tournament, and the books just read that the schools hosted the tournaments, it never said where they hosted they tournaments. while its most likely a slight oversight on rowlings part, the schools could simply have a designated plot of land in which they would all come out near ish or in the schools home country. Beauxbatons does not have expansive grounds from what we know so they may not even have the physical space to host the tourny.
    – Himarm
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:23
  • 4
    @yitzih A wizard did it.
    – Jasper
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 17:24
  • We might not have heard about shared lessons because the visiting students are older than Harry although I don't think this is the reason. I don't believe they had lessons with each other. There is also the possibility that they had private lessons by the headmaster/-mistress. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 11:27
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    @GhotiandChips teaching some 20 students is not unreasonable for a headmaster and headmistress. 50-60 year old fully qualified witch or wizard whom was made the headmaster/mistress of a magical institute which is in charge of teaching at least 1 if not multiple countries wizards, should have the skills needed to finish teach the majority of topics needed covered. However, i doubt karkoff would actually teach his students mostly just focusing on trying to get Krum to win, maxime on the other hand def would have fit the bill to teach/care for her students.
    – Himarm
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:41

It's never addressed in the book whether the foreign students attended classes at Hogwarts or if their respective headmaster/headmistress taught them, so we can only speculate.

In the one hand, taking classes at Hogwarts can be problematic:

  • There is the language barrier: It seems not all of the foreign students speak English (at least not on a level required for advanced Newt-classes)

  • The curriculum and ministry requirements may be different: Durmstrang, for example, teaches the dark arts, not just DADA. An ambitious Durmstrang student who wants to specialise in the dark arts won't be able to take the relevant class at Hogwarts.

  • A headmaster like Karakaroff may object to expose his students to the too liberal, Hogwarts-style education or even might insist on teaching the champion (and the rest) himself in order to prepare him for the tournament fearing that the Hogwarts teachers would sabotage his students and hide information about spells that might prove useful in the tournament. After all they didn't even agree to lodge in Hogwarts and I don't think the reason was the castle being overcrowded. There's plenty of free space there - after all, in Harry's first year Dumbledore closed off an entire floor Fluffy was in.

On the other hand it's a good opportunity to learn new things and to see different methods implemented, and it might well worth to retake some classes at home.

The ministries of the respective countries probably made arrangements beforehand concerning the lodging, use of the library, meals and classes, but we have no information about the last bit.

  • Don't you think the ministries of the respective class might have made arrangements beforehand for an intensive language course for those wanting to compete. And sure your language skills might not be amazing, but as in the Muggle world when we go on exchange programs, the visit is partly seen as a chance to improve your language skills. This is a well-reasoned answer, and I've UV'd though i disagree, but I think you're getting a bit hung-up on language, I can't honestly see why they'd stay around for the entire year and not go home if they weren't gonna hogwarts classes
    – Au101
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:59
  • @Au101 - the reasonable thing would be to attend classes, i agree. It's how it's usually done in the muggle world. each foreign student is given a local rommate so they'd practice the language & learn the culture and they attend classes. I am not so sure K is a reasonable person, tho. Maybe Madam Maxime did agree to her students attend some classes.
    – user68762
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:17

Certainly the guest school's students stay at the host school for the entire year - there are plenty of mentions of the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students being around throughout Goblet of Fire at numerous times, aside from the tasks themselves and the Yule Ball.

There's nothing concrete in the text, but I would imagine the guest students attend the same classes as their hosts. There weren't a huge number of them so they wouldn't affect class sizes too much, and remember they were all several years older than Harry which is why we'd never see them in lessons.

It's unlikely that the students' respective schools would allow them to spend a whole year effectively on holiday!


As well as the circumstantial evidence, Dumbledore tells us directly that they are.

"The delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving in October, and remaining with us for the greater part of this year. I know that you will all extend every courtesy to our foreign guests while they are here..."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 12: "The Triwizard Tournament"

In terms of lessons, we're never told. We know that

...there were barely twenty additional students..

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 16: "The Goblet of Fire"

so they could probably integrate into NEWT classes without causing too much difficulty (assuming they don't all take exactly the same subjects), or be taught by their own headteachers. Harry wouldn't see either of these scenarios.

We do know that they sleep in the carriage and boat, rather than the castle (numerous quotations about them going to/from the grounds) which might indicate some level of separation, and make being taught separately more likely, but there's no canon evidence for that.

"Where is he?" said Ron, who wasn't listening to a word of this conversation, but looking through the crowd to see what had become of Krum. "Dumbledore didn't say where the Durmstrang people are sleeping, did he?"

But this query was answered almost instantly; they were level with the Slytherin table now, and Karkaroff had just bustled up to his students.

"Back to the ship, then," he was saying. "Viktor, how are you feeling? Did you eat enough? Should I send for some mulled wine from the kitchens?"

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 16: "The Goblet of Fire"

Madame Maxime and the Beauxbatons students had just emerged from their carriage, clearly about to set off for the feast too.

[...] The Durmstrang party was walking up toward the castle from the lake.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 16: "The Goblet of Fire"

The oak front doors opened, and everyone turned to look as the Durmstrang students entered with Professor Karkaroff.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 23: "The Yule Ball"

Apart from Fleur after the ball apparently...

A whirl of color, and now everything darkened, and Snape and Dumbledore stood a little apart in the entrance hall, while the last stragglers from the Yule Ball passed them on their way to bed.
“Does he?” said Dumbledore softly, as Fleur Delacour and Roger Davies came giggling in from the grounds. “And are you tempted to join him?”
“No,” said Snape, his black eyes on Fleur’s and Roger’s retreating figures.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 30: "The Pensieve"


"Harry, whose attention had been focused completely upon Madame Maxime, now noticed that about a dozen boys and girls, all, by the look of them, in their late teens, had emerged from the carriage and were now standing behind Madame Maxime."

^This passage says that there's around 12 students (maybe that huge carriage was a little over-kill for a relatively small amount of kids), all in grade 6 or 7. And I assume it would be pretty similar for the Durmstrangs. Headmasters of any kind of school, muggle-y or magic, are usually very well-versed in school curricula, I mean Dumbledore himself apparently OWLed 'Outstandingly' in all his subjects like Hermione did. I suppose the Heads of Beauxbaton's and Durmstrang's just slogged through and taught their lot home-school style every day.

  • You say grade 6 or 7, the book says "late teens" so more like 11/12. The next issue do you have any reference that they would've taught them "home-school style" everyday?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 12:25
  • Did you reply to the wrong question? The question here is if they stay for a year. Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 12:55
  • @Fabian I suggest you read the body of the question. The answer is saying they stay for a year and are home-schooled.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 13:00
  • "read the book" isn't the answer. You should provide an answer that doesn't require reading an entire book. Actually, it should be completely self-contained. And especially: On topic! Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 13:09

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