Seeing everyone’s travel pics on the gram and feeling some serious FOMO? Can’t convince your parents that you’d like to ditch school to travel the world? Instead of feeling salty it, try a different tack that might actually work. Why not make everyone happy by taking your high school experience abroad?
Keep it 100 by trying a high school year abroad in Asia or the South Pacific. Why Asia? Because it’s the largest continent in the world and has enough high school abroad programs to do your head in. Eat a bento with your new friends in a Japanese high school or join the taekwondo club in South Korea. Rent a karaoke booth with your Thai friends or learn some Taglish from your classmates in the Philippines.
The South Pacific is another popular destination for thrill-seeking high school students. Why not live in a tropical paradise or an island continent while earning high school credit? Find your next best mates in Australia and explore miles of coastline and bush. Hurl yourself downhill in a big plastic ball in New Zealand or say bula to immersion language classes in Fiji.
Ready to get turnt? Scroll south and check out the 10 best places for high school in Asia and the South Pacific in 2018 according to meaningful travelers from all over the world.
1. South Korea
Experience what it’s really like to be a student in South Korea in Asia. High school abroad in the land of the morning calm will keep you on your toes with a jam-packed schedule. Even if you’re bad at math, learn the tricks of the trade in the South Korean classroom and you'll be tutoring your friends when you get back home in no time. Find a home away from home with a Korean family and pick up Korean slang you never hear outside of Seoul or Busan.
Recommended program: Do high school abroad summer programs in Seoul with LanguBridge
Do you know that students wear uniforms just like Sailor Moon in Japan? Forget cosplay and dress up IRL for high school in Asia. Get to know Japanese culture inside out while bowing to your teachers on the stairways and when you leave and enter the staff room. If you choose to go to public high school, you’ll most likely be the most popular kid in school because so few foreigners go there. Get ready to answer lots of questions school dances and prom.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Japan with YFU
If you don’t want to learn a whole new language, why not go to high school abroad in Australia? The land down under is perfect for the chill student who doesn’t just want to ace MCQs. Challenge yourself while you’re there: try Vegemite on toast for breakfast, try scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or go on a walk in the bush. Oz is also a great place to meet students from different cultures, whether it’s a second generation Chinese teenager or someone who grew up in Afghanistan.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Australia with CEA
Want to try something totally awesome? Why not sign up for high school abroad summer programs in Israel? Use this opportunity to find your roots, study the ancient Jewish faith, or learn Hebrew and Arabic. Go on location to learn history, like the actual spot where the Maccabees revolted and where Jesus was born. Hike to the sea of Galilee and even learn some krav maga techniques.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Israel with Young Judaea
Go to high school abroad in India for a totally eye-opening experience. Learn more an ancient civilization by visiting the Ajanta Caves and age-old temples in the mountains. See what real poverty is like and you’ll stop complaining your first world problems (e.g. there are no pumpkin spice lattes in this cafe). After your stay, you’ll perfect the art of using a squat toilet, hopping into a rickshaw, and not panicking whenever there’s a power cut. Be extra-prepared if you’re considering high school abroad summer programs here—it’s wet!
Recommended program: Spend a semester in India with Carpe Diem Education
This Southeast Asian nation is one of the best places to go to high school in Asia. Malaysia is one of the most diverse places in the region where you’ll meet students from all backgrounds, whether Indian, Chinese, or Malay. See the fireworks at Chinese New Year, watch devotees pierce themselves with spikes during Thaipusam, and fast with your Muslim classmates during Ramadan. You’re bound to develop a broader perspective into how other people live and worship while going to high school in Malaysia.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Malaysia with the YES Abroad Program
Want to understand Thai culture better than the average tourist? Sign up for an Asia high school in Thailand! The land of smiles is perfect for anyone who’s never visited Asia before, promising a warm welcome with lots of outdoor action, cheap eats, and thrilling cities. Hike through steamy jungles, chill on the beach, and play with elephants at sanctuaries. While at high school in Asia, get beneath the surface of this deceptively simple Buddhist nation.
Recommended program: Travel with Teens' high school travel abroad in Thailand
Forget what your history books say. If you want to learn more one of the more misunderstood countries in Southeast Asia, go to high school abroad in Vietnam to get all the deets. Learn to question the status quo and dig deeper while in a Vietnamese classroom. Explore the country’s green spaces and rice terraces for the perfect Insta shot. One thing’s pho sure: you’ll never go hungry with so much banh mi, goi cuon, and bun cha on the streets.
Recommended program: Find high school summer abroad programs in Vietnam with Projects Abroad
Inspire some serious Insta envy while taking a selfie with your classmates at an Asia high school in Indonesia. Choose from several programs across the sprawling archipelago. Popular places to go to high school include jumping Jakarta and hippie-dippy Bali. Use your time abroad to learn any of Indonesia’s 300+ native languages, hike volcanoes, help protect wildlife, fly kites, do yoga on the beach, or or clear up any misconceptions you may have Islam.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Indonesia with Where There Be Dragons
Want to pick up Mandarin outside the mainland? Go to Asia high school in Taiwan! Taiwan is a whole lot more manageable when it comes to choosing high school abroad programs because it’s physically smaller than China. Not only that, Taiwan has great weather, night markets, hot springs, incredible beaches, misty mountains, and the most delicious Hakka food in the world. Go to school in popular locations like Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Taiwan with CSA
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.
Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for high school abroad
- Best Destinations to do High School Abroad Worldwide in 2018
- Best Destinations to do High School Abroad in Europe for 2018
- Best Destinations to do High School Abroad in the Americas for 2018
- Best Destinations to do High School Abroad in Africa for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel