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In Age of Wushu there are 8 major Schools: Shaolin, Wudang, Emei, Scholars, Beggar’s Sect, Tangmen, Royal Guards, and Wanderer’s Valley.
When you advance far enough along the beginning storyline you will receive a task to join a school. To complete the task find the Coachman, or a School Guide.
Please note that each school has a specific alignment, righteous, neutral, or evil. Also there are two Schools that have specific requirements to join, the Scholars and the Beggar’s Sect. To join the Scholars you must learn one of the four cultural professions, such as Calligrapher, Painter, Weiqi Player, or Musician. To join the Beggars you must take up the Begging profession.
You may choose to not join a school, but that is not recommended. Joining a School allows you to learn three sets of school specific Skills, and one set of Internal Skills.