27 Jul Study abroad in high school: The ultimate guide
Are you a high school student and are you considering studying abroad? Don’t really know how to go about it? Do you need help with the process? Our ultimate guide “Study abroad in high school” is made for you! Find all the answers to your questions and start planning the high school study abroad program of your dreams!
Can you study abroad in high school?
Yes, it is totally possible to study abroad when you are a high school student.
Actually, there are many study abroad providers specialized in organizing programs for high school students, such as Centro MundoLengua!
Why study abroad in high school?
Studying abroad in high school has many benefits, such as honing your language skills, making new friends, seeing the world, acquiring essential skills such as independence, responsibility and leadership skills, and, most importantly, making your college application stand out!
Not convinced yet? Read our article “Benefits of studying abroad” and eliminate any lingering doubts you may have!
How to study abroad in high school?
Follow our step-by-step guide to make studying abroad in high school very easy!
#1 – Define your study abroad goals.
What is your biggest motivation for studying abroad in high school? Do you want to make quick progress in French, Italian, or Spanish? Or perhaps to get prepared for your language exams, such as AP® Spanish language or AP® Spanish Literature? Are you interested in making the world a better place by volunteering abroad? Do you wish to improve your college admission chances?
It is very important to define your exact objectives. It will allow you to narrow down your choices and identify your ideal high school study abroad program!
#2 – Decide where and how long you want to study abroad.
Would you rather study abroad for the summer or for a full semester/academic year? In the latter case, it is very important to meet your school counsellor to make sure that your program abroad can be validated by your home school (see point 4).
Other questions to ask yourself might be:
- What language do I want to learn?
- What is my dream study abroad destination to learn the targeted language?
- Is my dream study abroad destination safe?
- What is the culture like in my dream study abroad destination?
- Would I prefer a beach destination or a city escape?
- Do I prefer warmer or colder climates?
For instance, Centro MundoLengua’s programs are perfect for high school students wanting to improve their Spanish. All the programs take place in Andalusia in Spain, which is a very safe and sunny destination. High school students at Centro MundoLengua can choose between studying abroad in Cadiz (with its white-sand beaches) or Sevilla (home of many traditions such as tapas, flamenco, sevillanas, and much more!).
#3 – Convince your parents to let you study abroad.
After having defined your objectives and your perfect study abroad destination, it is time to convince your parents! To do so:
- Tell them about all the benefits of studying abroad, and focus on all the academic and personal gains. To find inspiration, read our article “Benefits of studying abroad”.
- Show them you will be safe. To convince your parents, it is very important to choose a safe study abroad destination. You can consult Travel.State.Gov for specific country information.
- Finally, ask their help to find the ideal study abroad provider and promise them to stay in touch during your study abroad program!
#4 – Meet your school counsellor.
If you plan to study abroad for one full semester or academic year, this step is fundamental. You have to make sure your time abroad will be recognized by your home institution. In order to avoid repeating a year, meet your school counsellor and decide together which courses will work best and can transfer back.
#5 – Choose the right study abroad provider.
This step is probably the most important one. The choice of the study abroad provider will directly impact on your adventure abroad. Here are some pieces of advice to choose the right study abroad provider:
1- Do some research and read reviews!
This is very important, because it can give you a clear idea about the overall quality of the study abroad provider’s programs, as well as the satisfaction rate of former students. Always look for external reviews (e.g.: Google Reviews, Facebook reviews, GoAbroad Reviews, etc.) instead of reviews you can read on the study abroad provider website.
2- Contact some alumni.
Ask your study abroad provider to put you in touch with alumni to have some references. These alumni will provide you with an honest feedback to help you make a good decision.
3- Check what is included in your study abroad program.
Make sure your study abroad provider provides you with health insurance as well as a 24 hour assistance in case of emergency. For instance, at Centro MundoLengua, all students can contact us 24 hours a day. We also personally accompany our students to the doctor should they need any medical assistance!
Also, make sure your study abroad provider will organize for you your pick-up, your accommodation, as well as a program of activities to get immersed in the local culture.
Finally, check what is included and what is not included in the final price of your high school study abroad program.
4- Learn more about our accommodation while abroad.
If you will be living with a homestay, ask about the selection process and make sure your homestay will be within walking distance to the school. Also, make sure to check if the study abroad provider can accommodate specific diets.
5- Check scholarship opportunities.
Should you need it, check if the study abroad provider can offer scholarships and installments plans.
6- Look for an authentic study abroad program.
To make the most out of your experience, make sure the study abroad provider will provide you with an authentic study abroad experience, the one that will allow you to experience the local food, build local connections, and fully engage in the local culture.
7- Contact the study abroad provider.
Send them an email and call them, to make sure they are nice and knowledgeable and that you will be able to count on them during your study abroad adventure!
#6 – Apply.
- Our advice would be to apply as soon as possible. Very often, the sooner you apply, the better the final price! For instance, at Centro MundoLengua, we offer early-bird discounts for students who apply by January 31st for the summer programs. You also want to make sure there will be space left for your dream program!
#7 – Apply for financial help.
- If you need financial help to study abroad, you should start the process as soon as possible! Many study abroad providers, such as Centro MundoLengua, are offering partial or total scholarships to study abroad in high school. There are many other ways to finance your high school study abroad program:
- Use the power of crowdfunding with platforms such as FundMyTravel.
- Research other scholarship options. Financial aid can come from federal, state, school, NGOS, and private sources.
- Work a few hours per week to save a bit of money!
#8 – Prepare for your high school study abroad program!
Before your high school study abroad program, you should:
- Make sure you have a valid passport that will not expire for a minimum of 6 months after the last day of your study abroad program. If you have no passport, you should apply for a passport as soon as possible.
- Depending on your country or citizenship, check if you will need a visa.
- Book your flight. To enjoy the best fares, book your flights as soon as possible. Some study abroad destinations can be very popular, especially during summer.
- Plan on visiting your doctor to make a health check, get any necessary prescriptions, and check if you will need any immunizations.
- Research your destination’s customs and traditions and learn about cultural differences. If you plan to study abroad in Spain, here is an interesting article about cultural differences in Spain.
- Refresh your language skills .
- Obtain some cash in the currency of your study abroad destination.
- Start packing!
You are now ready to study abroad! Studying abroad in high school is a life-changing experience and a major decision. If you follow these steps, we are sure you will be fine and make the most out of your experience.
Have not found a study abroad provider yet? At Centro MundoLengua, we offer a range of short-term and long term study abroad programs in Spain for high school students. We will guide you every step of the way. Here are some of our most popular programs right now:
Summer programs in Sevilla, Spain for high school students
Summer Spanish Immersion Programs for High School Students
Pre-AP® Spanish Literature and Culture Program in Sevilla, Spain
Pre-AP® Spanish Language Program in Sevilla, Spain
Pre-AP® Spanish Language Program in Cadiz
IB® Spanish summer course in Cadiz, Spain