This former monastery in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania largely functions the same way it did when it served only religious purposes, but much of the space has been converted to accommodate classrooms for students. The external structure is simple, but the interior rooms feature a variety of mosaics and artwork. The main building hosts a central meeting and dining hall and spaces for learning, along with two wings that branch off of it for student housing, the library, and offices for the professors. There are also several small towers that have been converted into gathering spaces which are situated along the narrow covered walkways that connect the different parts of the school to one another.
In addition to the primary structures, the school grounds also include an infirmary and apothecary, chapel, a small farm for livestock and crops, and an outdoor gathering space for special meals, services, and celebrations. There are also catacombs beneath the school that are typically off limits to students, as they still serve the purpose of housing the dead. A courtyard fills the center area of the school campus, and many students enjoy using the space to study, eat, and socialize.
Beyond the walls of the school patches of forest and open green fields can be seen, most of which are protected. A winding dirt path leads to a nearby village about an hour away, where many older students use the inn's floo network to return home. Due to the small size of the school, many students choose to visit home on weekends, though it is increasingly popular for older students to stay at the school to be free from parental supervision. Students in their fourth and fifth years of Elementary School may visit the neighboring village on weekends on their own, but may receive demerits if they do not return to campus before curfew.
The Spellcasters Institute is comprised of two schools, beginning with Primary School at age 8. Most students begin their enrollment at this age, but many who have not shown magical capability, are privately homeschooled, or are otherwise not ready to be part of a classroom may wait until later years to enroll. Primary School lasts for three years, during which students are in Introductory I at age 8, Introductory II at age 9, and Introductory III at age 10. Students in these years have a single teacher that they take short lessons with throughout the day, though they may visit other classrooms for lessons in electives.
The upper level Elementary School consists of students aged 11 to 16, making for a shorter education period than some of their western counterparts as they are enrolled for a total of five years beginning at age 11. These students may choose their own courses from a wide variety of subjects including several mandatory ones, and upper-level students may even be eligible for independent study programs. Though Elementary students are not required to wear uniforms for every day classes, a strict dress code is required during ordinary school hours to prevent students from wearing anything that could be considered distracting, inappropriate, or contradictory to the school's religious roots.
All Elementary students must participate in Work Duty to assist with the upkeep of the school and monastery. Work Duty changes from week to week and is treated like a normal class where students are responsible for tending to the farm and livestock, cleaning dormitories, common areas, and classrooms, leading worship services in the chapel, and other similar tasks. Older students may take on Work Duty assignments that involve preparing meals, tutoring younger students, or even assisting professors.
Unlike many larger magical schools, the Spellcasters Institute lacks much of the standardized, rigorous education, classes, and standardized testing found throughout Europe. While the traditional magical subjects such as potions, transfiguration, and Herbology are usually taught, the school often bends its curriculum to the needs and interests of the students, and as such there are often a variety of unique courses offered throughout the year for Elementary students that are often not found at other schools.
Students in their first three years of Primary school are required to wear uniforms of traditional Romanian dress. Those in the Elementary school are not required to wear uniforms during day to day activities or lessons, but all students must have traditional Romanian dress for special gatherings, holidays, and feasts.
Religion is readily taught, and although Orthodox services are held each week in the chapel, they are not mandatory and students may choose whether or not to attend. Meetings are also held for students of other faiths, including a small service each week for students practicing Judaism.
Dormitories typically house six or eight students at a time, who are of the same gender and who are usually close in age. An older student is usually assigned to each dormitory to keep an eye on younger students, and this job typically rotates throughout the year is it becomes the responsibility of different students. Those ages 14 and older are not assigned a dormitory leader to supervise them. Though dormitories for younger children do exist, many Primary students are brought to the nearby village each day to ride a carriage to the school, and are picked up in the village after their lessons.
Students who misbehave, break rules, or infringe on the dress code are given demerits from professors and nuns. When a student receives three demerits they must attend detention, even if they have already received detention for the action that earned them a demerit. Students who exceed three detentions a year may be required to perform extra work duty.