Objective: To determine the distress levels of adolescents leaving rural Queensland towns for urban boarding schools. Design: A questionnaire study and focus groups were used to collect data from students who made the transition and those who did not. Participants: Two hundred and fifty-five rural students completed the questionnaire and of these 36 left home to attend an urban boarding school. Twenty-eight students participated in one of five focus groups. Measures: Self-report scales administered were Life Events Scale and the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale. A semistructured set of prompts was used in the focus groups. Results: Both methodologies revealed adolescents reported coping well with the transition from rural and remote family homes and schools to boarding school in the city. Reported distress levels of those who moved were no higher than those who did not and homesickness, while common, was rarely high or enduring. Adolescents who moved offered useful insights in the focus groups into the best and worst aspects of the transition; how best to cope, and how families and schools can ease their path. Conclusions: In general, adolescents who leave isolated homes and schools to board in the city manage the transition surprisingly well and regard the transition as having a number of advantages. Being prepared for the move emerged as important.