Why wait until you get to college to study abroad? Get a head start on your world adventures while you’re still in high school. It’s possible to go to high school abroad on any continent, from the Americas to Asia. There are lots of study abroad opportunities for high school students out there so how do you choose one?
[Watch this: High School Study Abroad is LIT]
First of all, think the language barrier. Even though many international high school programs don’t require you to be fluent in the local language, you shouldn’t go there without knowing at least the basics. If you’re currently studying a foreign language, what better way to put those skills to the test? Second, note that the more different a country is from yours, the more drastic the culture shock. Can you handle eating natto instead of cereal for breakfast? If you’re a small town kind of guy, can you handle the crowds and smog in mega cities like Delhi?
If you can commit, high school abroad is well worth it. You will learn way more Spanish from your host family than Mr. Dingleberry’s class. You’ll also have lots of unique stories to ace those college application essays.
Ready to dive in? You’ll love this report (the good kind—this isn’t homework!). Millions of searches from meaningful travelers have spoken, and we’re here to share the world’s best places to study abroad in high school in 2018!
1. South Korea
Wanna find out what South Korea is really like? Spend some time in a high school abroad there to learn a country that so more more than Gangnam Style. South Korea is really for the adventurous ones who aren’t afraid of a fairly complicated cuisine and language! Spend time in a homestay with a local South Korean family and you’ll be slurping noodles noisily in no time! Study abroad programs for high school students in South Korea are usually based in Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju City.
Recommended program: Spend a summer in Seoul with LanguBridge
Hands down, one of the most popular high school international programs can be found in España. The Spanish language really comes to life in the mother country as you explore architectural wonders like La Sagrada Familia and stroll through El Prado. If you choose to go to high school here, you’ll also be surprised to know that Spain has not one but four official languages! Spend a summer or an entire year in student-friendly cities like Granada, Madrid, Sevilla, and Barcelona.
Recommended program: ISA's summer study in Spain program
Where in Asia has some of the best study abroad opportunities for high school students? Japan, of course! The land of the rising sun has always been a force to reckon with, especially when it comes to a unique language, culture, and business style. Many students flock to Tokyo, the world’s largest megacity, while culture vultures head to the old capital, Kyoto. History buffs will find Okinawa and Hiroshima bewitching. Language immersion and exchange programs are two popular routes to spend time in Nihon.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Japan with YFU
Watch any teen movie and one country comes out on top for high school abroad. France is a high schooler’s dream destination because (shock horror!) you can actually drink a little wine with your homestay family at the dinner table! Study in the ever popular Paris or off the beaten trail. When you return to your home school, your friends will love your new French guy/girl style and je ne sais quoi attitude!
Recommended program: Nacel's high school abroad in France program
On the heels of France is England, another top destination for international high school programs. Even though it’s just across the pond for Americans, it’s a world away when it comes to a distinctive pop culture (think Monty Python rather than SNL). Set your sights on studying with the local teenagers in London, Manchester, Oxford, and Cambridge. Stay long enough and you’ll soon be swapping that coffee habit for a good old English Breakfast or Earl Grey.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in England with API
6. Western Europe
No, you’re not dreaming! You can sign up for study abroad programs for high school students in one of the coolest continents in the world! With 17 countries to choose from, you’re bound to find something that floats your boat in Western Europe. Start saving those pennies because this part of the globe can get expensive but it’s totally worth it! Where else can you find such a high concentration of art, languages, food, and culture? Sign up for student exchanges, language immersion, cultural experiences, and exploration programs.
Recommended program: Do high school abroad in Greece with GVI
With an intense history yet diversity-friendly reputation, Germany is certainly intriguing when it comes to study abroad for high school students. Students can explore its uber-cool cities like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, or its Cinderella castles and spooky Black Forest that inspired many a Grimm tale. Brush up on your German or explore the country’s fascinating traditions and culture. High school abroad summer programs are the most popular in Germany.
Recommended program: Sign up for high school abroad in Germany with Travel For Teens
Want to get as far away from your parents as you can? Try study abroad programs for high school students in Australia! This country/continent is not only immensely beautiful, it also has some of the most progressive high schools in the world. Study in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, or Perth. Also, don’t miss adventure travel abroad programs for high school students that take you into the heart of the Outback or the Great Barrier Reef.
Recommended program: Go to Australia for high school abroad with CEA
From the Great Wall in the north to the Himalayas in the south, China has tons of study abroad opportunities for high school students. Why schlepp through high school back home like a zombie when you can expand your perspective and academic life in one of the world’s oldest civilizations? Study in the three most popular cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, or smaller gems like Kunming and Chengdu. Alternatively, travel throughout the vast country with other high school students. Study abroad here for the adventure of a lifetime.
Recommended program: Try high school abroad in China with Go Abroad China
Even though Israel has always been a controversial spot on the world map, its religious history and fascinating culture continue to attract those on abroad programs for high school students. Spend time exploring Jerusalem, a city that’s been important to Christians, Jews, and Muslims throughout the ages. If you’re after a more modern Israeli experience, try study abroad high school placements in Tel Aviv. Popular study abroad programs for high school include Hebrew and Arabic language immersion programs.
Recommended program: Go to high school abroad in Israel with Young Judaea
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. Photo credit: Freepik.
Browse more of our report on international internships—broken down by region
- 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
- Best Destinations to do High School Abroad in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel