In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, aspiring students need a formal invitation letter to attend the fictional Hogwarts, but when it comes to the real world, it turns out that all you need is a stable internet connection. Yep, thanks to a group of dedicated Potterheads you can now attend the wizarding school online, and it's all for free!
“Hogwarts is Here (HiH) is the Harry Potter fandom's most incredible Online Hogwarts experience there is—created by fans, for fans,” the site reads. “Create a character and immerse yourself at Hogwarts and the Harry Potter universe with thousands of others by enrolling in realistic online Hogwarts courses, earning house points, meeting new friends in the common room, and so much more.”
As mentioned above, once you sign in and come up with your own character, you can freely sort yourself into your Hogwarts house and interact with fellow fans in your respective dorms. To make the experience even more realistic, there’s also an option to hang out in Hogsmeade, or visit the Quidditch pitch.
Subsequently, the fan-made website is packed with realistic courses and classes like Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Potions, and a whole lot more. As long as it’s a canon subject taken up in the series, they’ve got it ready for you. Students can work their way up from first through seventh year classes with the help of an actual syllabus, and reading materials. You can even take exams, and write essays that will be graded by the online school’s professors.
That said, if you think your school days are way behind you, not to worry because you can always sign up for a different role. This includes being a house ghost, a magical creature expert, and an auror, among others. So cool!
Though the site was first launched in 2014, it’s been getting a lot of traction and traffic as of late due to the global pandemic currently keeping millions at home. With that in mind, the creators of HiH are asking for your understanding should you encounter technical difficulties when enrolling.
“The absolutely staggering amount of witches and wizards on the site is amazing, but we’re definitely feeling the strain,” they wrote on a Facebook post last April. “We’re working on our servers to cope with the extreme traffic, but as more and more people keep joining, things may be a bit slow over this weekend… and it seems that Peeves is loving all the attention and wreaking even more havoc than usual.”