J.K. Rowling Shows Off The International Wizarding World With New Magical Academies

Illustration for article titled J.K. Rowling Shows Off The International Wizarding World With New Magical Academies

We’ve known about the existence of an international wizarding community in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe. Now, in a recent update to Pottermore, she’s revealed the identities of a number of additional magical academies across the world.


Writing for Pottermore, Rowling deeply broadened her world, explaining that there are several more magical schools in addition to the ones that we already knew about:

There are eleven long-established and prestigious wizarding schools worldwide, all of which are registered with the International Confederation of Wizards. Smaller and less well-regulated institutions have come and gone, are difficult to keep track of, and are rarely registered with the appropriate Ministry (in which case, I cannot vouch for the standard of education they might offer).

Through the novels, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Beauxbaton Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute were well known entities. (And if I remember correctly, there was some mention of students studying aboard). Now, we know of a much larger, international community, and some new details that further enrich Rowling’s world:

There’s Castelobruxo (pronounced Cass-tell-o-broo-shoo), located in Brazil, hidden deep in the rainforest. It’s an academy that appears to be a ruin to anyone who stumbles upon it.

Castelobruxo students wear bright green robes and are especially advanced in both Herbology and Magizoology; the school offers very popular exchange programmes for European students* who wish to study the magical flora and fauna of South America.

Mahoutokoro (Mah-hoot-o-koh-ro, according to the site, but which is apparently correctly pronounced mah-HOE-toe-KO-ro) is located on the Minami Iwo Jima island in Japan, which is the smallest of all the international schools, and takes day students.

Students are presented with enchanted robes when they arrive, which grow in size as they do, and which gradually change colour as the learning of their wearer increases, beginning a faint pink colour and becoming (if top grades are achieved in every magical subject) gold. If the robes turn white, this is an indication that the student has betrayed the Japanese wizard’s code and adopted illegal practices (which in Europe we call ‘Dark’ magic) or broken the International Statute of Secrecy.


Uagadou (Wag-a-doo), the largest of all the wizarding schools, located somewhere in Africa.

The only address ever given is ‘Mountains of the Moon’; visitors speak of a stunning edifice carved out of the mountainside and shrouded in mist, so that it sometimes appears simply to float in mid-air. Much (some would say all) magic originated in Africa, and Uagadou graduates are especially well versed in Astronomy, Alchemy and Self-Transfiguration.


On Twitter, Rowling responded to a point that while the other schools were identified as being in specific countries, Uagadou didn’t appear to be, and noted that it was in Uganda:


Finally, there’s Ilvermorny, (Ill-ver-morn-ee), located in North America. This latest Pottermore update didn’t include any information about the school, other than its name and location. According to an update on the site, we’ll be getting more information soon:

All of you eagle-eyed fans had an inkling that word was going to mean something special, and Pottermore will bring you more writing by J.K. Rowling on this magical school soon.


This is no doubt going to tie into some information about the upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is set in 1920s New York.

Interestingly, that’s only seven schools that have been named: four are still unaccounted for, and it’ll be interesting to see where those are located and what they specialize in. Rowling noted on Twitter that there’s more to come, including what appears to be a Canadian school:


There’s also mention of underground or unliscenced schools. I’d love to see a Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy reference thrown in there.




Brian Burns

I wonder if there are shadey for-profit ones like Devry School of Technical Magic or University of Phoenix Owl-Based Distance Education.

Also, I would think the largest school should be in either China or India, the countries with the largest populations, particularly if the schools take students from all over Asia, the continent that is home to the majority of the entire human species. But then again, perhaps several of those remaining unnamed schools are in Asia, so the numbers can be spread around a bit