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Looking to Study Abroad in High School? These Programs Are for You

March 10, 2018

Studying abroad during college is common (according to the International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 3.7 million students studied abroad in college, and the UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics found that the number increases by 12% each year), however some students choose to go abroad during high school instead. Whether you are looking to study abroad for a semester or want to take a gap year during high school, these programs could be right for you.

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Where There Be Dragons

Where There Be Dragons is a high school and college study abroad program offering semester and year-long courses in over 30 countries, including Peru, Morocco, Myanmar, and Madagascar. Students ages 15 and up are eligible to participate. Where There Be Dragons has nine “program components,” including Rugged Travel, Homestays, and Independent Study Projects to make sure that every experience is memorable. These components ensure that students are “travelers, not tourists.” All students, for example, must take public transportation. Some are paired with local mentors who teach them artisanal crafts. Each component of  Where There Be Dragons’ abroad experiences ensures that students are fully immersed in the country’s culture.

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American Field Service (AFS) – USA

AFS-USA offers semester, year, and summer-long courses, as well as two-week long programs. Students attend local schools and live in small communities so that they can be surrounded by those who are in the same program while simultaneously being immersed in the culture of the country of their choice. Not sure where you want to go? AFS will match you with a country in their “Get Recommendations” quiz.

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Youth For Understanding

Youth For Understanding is a non-profit with partners in over 60 countries offering academic and summer programs for high school students. Students live with a host family in the country of their choice and are immersed in the local culture. YFU also has specialty programs, which have a specific focus, whether it be art, music, film, sports, or language and culture. Students who take these programs experience learning with an emphasis on the topic of their choice and take specific, topic-oriented courses.

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Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)

CIEE offers 178 study abroad programs in 42 countries, some of which come with college credit. Students stay with a host family, are fully immersed in the language and culture of their chosen destination, and take classes in the native language at a local high school. When not in school, students participate in excursions to local landmarks and attractions. CIEE offers $5 million in scholarships awarded to more than 1,000 students annually.

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