10 Best Places for High School Study Abroad in Africa in 2018

by Published

Want to head off the beaten track and score bazillions of cool points? Make your college application really stand out from the crowd? We’ll let you in on a little secret. Why not consider going to high school abroad in Africa? Now, I know what you’re thinking. Africa sounds scary or dangerous. Don’t always fall for the hype on CNN or FOX news. Although there are pockets of trouble on the continent, not everywhere is off limits.

Sunset over an African plain with giraffes and birds

Come experience Akebu-lan, the mother of mankind, for yourself.

What are your options for high school programs in Africa? What’s your motivation for going to school over there? Do you want to spend a summer mastering Yoruba or Swahili? What immersing yourself in Kenya and Tanzania’s Maasai culture for an entire gap year? Are you looking to earn high school credit by volunteering abroad in Africa?

Where should you go? Do you want to rub shoulders with other high schoolers in Cairo? Spend a summer with the cool kids in South Africa? Channel your inner Queen of Katwe and play chess with rafiki in Uganda? 

Not sure yet? Don’t worry! We’ve made it a whole lot easier with the top destinations for high school study abroad in Africa in 2018—brought to you by the awesome An admirationmunity.

1. South Africa

Colourful graffiti painting of Nelson Mandela

Take a page from Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it's done.” 

Don’t be put off of South Africa because of dystopian flicks like District 9 and Chappie. Social problems aside, South Africa promises a lot of rewarding experiences for the discerning student. Learn what it really means to be unprejudiced in ethnically diverse cities like Cape Town, Durban, and Jo’burg (Johannesburg). Also, get involved in the local community working with underprivileged kids or environmentally sustainable projects in its national parks.

Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in South Africa with GVI

See ALL high school study abroad programs in South Africa

2. Morocco

spices

Let the colors of Morocco entice you!

Do you want to learn Arabic in one of world’s travel meccas? Why not consider, Morocco, one of the top destinations for high school study abroad in Africa? Located in the northern part of the continent, Morocco is the perfect place for Africa summer programs. Learn the local language and all Morocco’s tapestry-like history and art in legendary places like Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech.

Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Morocco with Travel For Teens

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Morocco

3.  Ghana

Guy taking photos at sunset

Make sure your camera’s charged—there’s plenty to capture when you study in Ghana

Thinking seriously high school study abroad in Africa? Why not make a beeline for West Africa’s Golden Child? Ghana is one of the most stable places on the continent, making it very attractive to adventurous teenagers and helicopter parents. Learn street smarts and the art of bargaining in Accra and the open air markets of Kumasi. Experience history IRL in places that were central to the dreadful transatlantic slave trade. Base yourself in Tamale, the main hub for high school programs in Ghana and totally different to the Mexican treat. 

Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Ghana with Projects Abroad

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Ghana

4. Egypt

Camel riders at sunset

Studying abroad in Africa is the perfect time to catch a lift on a camel

Alright—we get it. You're still looking for high school programs in Africa. Well, who doesn’t dream of studying in the land of pyramids, pharaohs, and embalmed cats and crocodiles? During the week, learn Arabic in the classroom and break aish (bread) with your Egyptian homestay family. On the weekend, grab a shawarma, chill in bohemian Dahab, ride camels across the Sinai desert, explore the souks, mosques, and churches of Cairo, or cruise down the Nile on a felucca like a boss.

Recommended program: Study abroad in Egypt with Broadreach

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Egypt

5. Ethiopia

Ethiopian orthodox priest dressed blowing a brass horn

Toot to the Horn of Africa by experiencing the richness of Ethiopian culture.

Let's really go to high school off the beaten trail. Head to this massive nation for high school programs and summer camps in Africa and the alleged final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Ethiopia is also a great place to get extra credit volunteering with environmental conservation groups. Ethiopian history is unique because it’s the only African country that wasn’t colonized by any European nation, making it a fascinating place for any history student.

Recommended program: Study abroad in Ethiopia with CrossContinental

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Ethiopia

6. Kenya

African woman portrait

You’ve never seen strength and beauty quite like this.

Everybody knows that Kenya is one of the best places to go for an African safari but did you know it’s also a great place for high school programs in Africa? Understand why over 40 million people like to call this place home, from Nairobi to Mombasa. Sign up for adventure travel programs to wildlife conservation parks, Lake Victoria, and rural Kenyan villages. Do gooders, pay it forward by teaching English in local schools. 

Recommended program: Have a meaningful adventure in Kenya with DWC

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Kenya

7. Tanzania

Three zebras playing together on an African plain

Get out of the classroom and up, close, and personal with zebras in Tanzania.

Besides killing it on the summit of Kili (Mt. Kilimanjaro to the locals), students can explore a fascinating country on a high school study abroad in Africa. Make Arusha your home base for volunteering trips and projects in the Serengeti and Maasai villages or head to Dar es Salaam for more high school summer programs in Africa. Tanzania is also the perfect location to really immerse yourself and have a digital detox. Share those amazing pics with friends and family when you get back rather than on Instagram!

Recommended program: Study in Tanzania with Frontier

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Tanzania

8.  Uganda

Gorgeous birds in Uganda

Did you know Uganda has more varieties of birds than anywhere else in the world? Find out this + more when you study there!

The Pearl of Africa is calling your name. As one of the top destinations for high school study abroad in Africa, Uganda  offers opportunities to track gorillas in the mist, see the Big Five, and raft down the Nile. Explore Kampala’s chaotic markets and streets ripe with color and sound. Ask your Ugandan family where you can get the best Rolex (a flatbread wrap filled with omelet, tomatoes, and cabbage) or learn some Swahili slang from them.

Recommended program: Study abroad in Uganda with Carpe Diem Education

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Uganda

9. Senegal

Boy playing games with string

You and your homestay brother are bound to be instant friends.

Senegal holds its own as one of the more culturally diverse countries in Africa. Settled along the Atlantic coast, throughout history, Senegal has been a site of cultural and linguistic infusion stemming from all over sub-Saharan Africa and even Europe. Making the leap to do high school abroad in Senegal is a great way to experience an oft-overlooked African nation, while helping bring opportunity to sectors of the population that continue struggling with poverty and inequality.

Recommended program: Where There be Dragons—Under the Shade of the Baobab Tree

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Senegal

10. Madagascar

Sun setting behind baobab trees

High school study abroad in Africa’s Madagascar is pure magic.

Living by it’s lonesome in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is the definition of ultra-cool. It’s vibrant capital, Antananarivo, is the gateway incredibly unique island adventures. Madagascar gives whole new meaning to the idea of geographic diversity. For high school students craving adventure and unique cultural exchange, Madagascar is ideal. Delve into the mysteries of pirates, community projects, a new language, lemurs, and countless mangoes. If you’ve been wanting to get away from your parents—like, really far away—this is the spot for you. ;-)

Recommended program: Global Nomadic’s Forestry & Wildlife Program

See ALL high school study abroad programs in Madagascar

A note from GoAbroad

We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.

Learn more our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.

Read the full report here.

Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for high school abroad

Find your dream program for study abroad in high school