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Study Abroad Goes To High School

study abroad in high schoolStudying abroad can be one of the most exciting experiences of high school -- yes, high school! Moving to a new country, far from home and becoming immersed in an entirely new culture can expand your life experiences in so many ways. It can also help your college application stand out from the crowd when you're competing with thousands of other students for that acceptance letter. Is studying abroad the right move for your high school education? Check out some of the pros and cons of spending a semester or more on the other side of the pond to help you decide if it's the right move for you...

Vast Opportunities
Dozens of countries around the globe provide opportunities for high school students to study abroad. Students who are looking for the cultural experience of a lifetime can travel to nearly any continent and find a program to suit their needs. Most study abroad programs offer a choice of time commitment from a single semester to an entire year. Students can also choose a Summer Session abroad for the ultimate summer vacation! By living in a different country, students can add so much more than educational credits to their resume.

As an international student, you have a unique opportunity to learn about your destination country. Living with a host family allows you to get an insider's look at the customs, food, recreation and family lifestyle in a way no other travel experience can provide.

Most host families have at least one child near the same age as the student they host. This can enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to make friends and socialize in addition to your studies. The friends you make during a study abroad trip can often last a lifetime as you share the similarities and the differences of your home countries.

Global Awareness
Studying abroad also helps you understand your home country in a fresh new way. When you learn how other people view the United States, it can help you understand policies and global relationships from an entirely new perspective. This expanded global understanding can open new opportunities for college and career options you may not have considered previously.

During your international high school experience, you will attend a local high school in your chosen country. Your U.S. school will work with you to coordinate the transfer of credits. It's important to check with your home school to be certain that your international credits will be counted toward your graduation requirements.

College Application Boost
Colleges and universities may give preference to students who have studied abroad. The experience of living in another country gives a high school student a level of maturity and responsibility that prepares them for the challenges of college life. Your international studies will also boost your ability to apply for and win scholarship opportunities.

International study opportunities are usually limited to high school students who carry a 3.0 GPA or higher and who are willing to participate as fully as possible in the host country's language and culture. If you do choose to add an overseas study experience to your high school career, it's important to embrace the opportunity fully to gain the most from it. Spending time learning about your destination and its language prior to your travel is crucial to a successful experience.