High School Programs in North America

Back to Programs

A Guide to High School Programs Abroad in North America

Although there are only three countries which constitute North America, its huge presence on the global stage outweighs the relatively small sum of its component parts. Embarking on a high school program in North America will introduce you to a dynamic and diverse continent amidst one of the most unique and well-preserved environmental backdrops on the planet. Vastly influential along a variety of political, economic, and cultural avenues, North America is a must-visit destination for any high school student with a drive to adventure in the big time.

Locations

Although some definitions of North America are expanded to include the island countries of the Caribbean Region, most measures designate the continent as encompassing just the countries of Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Mexico, the southernmost nation on the continent, stands out as a distinct destination because it is the only one of these three which is technically also part of Latin America. Therefore much different culturally than its heavily industrialized Western neighbors, Mexico will prove a very enriching location where to land through a high school program in North America.

One step to the north, The United States is typically the most popular destination for high school programs in North America because of its pre-eminence on many fronts of the global stage. Embarking on a high school program in the United States will enable you to experience a whole new side of the world superpower, debunking many preconceptions you may have developed from its portrayal in media and popular culture.

Canada, the northernmost country on the continent, can also be a great place where to enroll in a high school program in North America. Although Canada is the second largest country in the world by land area, it is actually home to a relatively small population of just 35 million inhabitants. Nonetheless Canada has a very powerful economy and also measures very highly on most measures of human development and social equality; a great model to learn from for high school students abroad.

Program Opportunities

There are many different types of high school programs in North America that you can enroll in, the most traditional being a study abroad program. Generally running for anywhere from two weeks to two months over the summertime, a study abroad program in North America will enable you to explore a variety of academic subjects such as math, science, and history alongside local high school students. Language immersion programs are especially popular within this type of high school program in North America.

Volunteer programs are also quite popular among high school students abroad in North America.  While there is a tremendous amount of wealth in North America, there is also a great deal of economic inequality that is pervasive throughout the continent. High school students from around the world can lend a helping hand by providing valuable services in education, healthcare, and infrastructural development to aid the continent’s underserved.

Lastly, cultural exploration and adventure travel programs can also be a great way to explore the continent through as a high school student abroad. These types of high school programs in North America will often travel throughout several different destinations on the continent, making them a good option for students who do not want to stay in just one place.

Scholarships & Costs

The United States and Canada are both quite expensive places to travel, while Mexico is considerably more affordable because it is a developing country. In all three locations, the fees for a high school program abroad can nevertheless run up to be quite expensive. Our Scholarship Directory and Fundraising resource are two great places to get started working to cover the costs of the trip.

Accommodation & Visas

Again, the type of accommodation you have during a high school program in North America will vary significantly depending on your destination within the continent. Homestays and student dormitories are generally the most popular options for high school students abroad in North America, while adventure travel programs will often utilize a variety of different housing situations as you move between locations.

Visa policies differ for Mexico, Canada, and the United States depending on your home country and the duration of your high school program in North America. In many circumstances you will be able to enter Mexico or Canada without obtaining a visa prior, while in the United States you will almost always have to apply for a visa before entry into the country. For information visa policies on the continent, check out our .

Benefits & Challenges

Diversity. The immense diversity of people, cultures, cities, and landscapes throughout North America makes it an incredible place to travel. Come experience the so-called “melting pot” firsthand. 

Education. North America boasts some incredible learning opportunities, from its prestigious higher education system to the lessons embedded in travel itself. Get ready to return a wiser person.

Demystification. North America consistently finds itself at the center of the world stage in politics, finance, culture, and entertainment. Yet what you experience while on the inside may be quite different than what you’d have come to expect.

Read More

A Guide To
High School Programs Abroad in North America

READ ARTICLE

 Explore Teen Travel Programs in North America

Save

This listing has been saved 25 times

SPI Study Abroad: Spanish Immersion & Volunteer Mexico

Querétaro is an enchanting colonial Mexican city where old world charm and history meet modern innovation. The city was the third most important city during Mexico’s colonial era, when Spain governed the country and remains to be a growing cultural and economic center. In 1996, the historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and Querétaro has repeatedly been recognized as the c...

Save

This listing has been saved 34 times

High School Programs with Projects Abroad

High school students from all over the globe are eligible to join Projects Abroad programs in the North American Region. Travel to Mexico for a fun and educational learning experience that includes community service, language immersion, and cultural exploration. The program includes food and accommodation, travel and medical insurance, and 24-hour staff support.

Save

This listing has been saved 5 times

Sol Abroad

Experience studying in North America with Sol Abroad high school study and Spanish immersion programs. The program, based in the charming colonial city of Oaxaca, provides students with a deeply immersive experience thanks to limited interaction with other foreign students and better communication with native speakers.

Save

This listing has been saved 4 times

Study Abroad in Mexico

Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery. A Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) study abroad program is an experience that will immerse you in the lives, cultures, and communities of a real life family in one of more than 40 countries around the globe. An adventure where you'll learn---in a year, semester or a summer---what life is like for teens in another part of the world. An experience...

Save

TFT for Younger Teens: Aloha Hawaii

Join Travel For Teens and other adolescents from around the world, ages 12-14, in this summer adventure to Hawaii! It will be a fun, action-packed 11 days of sun, sand, and sea turtles. This program takes you to Honolulu, Maui, and Oahu - some of the best destinations across the state. It covers Hawaiian highlights like beaches, activities in and on turquoise waters, and hula dancing, among ...

Save

Westcoast Connection | Canada Summer 2018

'O Canada'! Join Westcoast Connection this summer on an amazing experience in Canada. From a French ski resort town in the east to crossing glacial ice fields of the west in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Canada's vast landscape doubles as an enormous natural playground. Choose an Active Teen Tour to discover the excitement of Niagara Falls and Mont Tremblant, or maybe a program that expl...

Save

This listing has been saved 1 time

High School Marine Conservation & PADI Advanced Open Water

Keen to learn how to identify key fish and coral species and how to conduct reef-based research? Come and explore the magical underwater world that Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has to offer. Volunteers will learn first-hand the issues facing marine ecosystems while earning their PADI Advanced Open Water qualification. The program is specifically designed for volunteers between the ages of 1...

Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Experiment in International Living

Various thought-provoking travel programs await high school students with Experiment in International Living, in the North American locations. Students may opt to take part in community service with a Navajo Nation, delve into incomparable marine ecosystems of Baja, or spice up their trips through special excursions to see uncharted areas of the continent.

Save

This listing has been saved 40 times

Broadreach International Summer Programs

Earn college credit, certifications and service hours as you explore the world and your place in it. Since 1993, Broadreach has taken over 14,000 students on adventures abroad that inspire new ideas and awaken passions you’ll continue to explore long after you’ve returned home. Have the best summer ever while gaining valuable experience that makes any college application shine.

Save

This listing has been saved 11 times

American International School of Utah

Instead of sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher lecture, students at the American International School of Utah find themselves immersed in workshops, personal projects, and design studio experimentation and creation with classmates from all over the world. Teachers, tutors, and success coaches serve as facilitators and provide one-on-one instruction. Students utilize online and compute...

Save

This listing has been saved 30 times

Volunteer and Explore on a Gap Year of a Lifetime!

A world of possibilities awaits you with Frontier. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white sand beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a wildlife conservation project working with lion cubs! * Choose the best for your dream adventure Frontier has over 300 projects in countries throughout Africa, South America, Europe and Australasia, giving you un...

Save

This listing has been saved 5 times

Rustic Pathways

Learn the basics of what it means to study abroad as a high school student. Rustic Pathways gives students the opportunity to explore the country as well as choose from a wide range of courses including literacy and learning in South Carolina, excursions in the Grand Canyon, and rebuilding in New Orleans.

Save

This listing has been saved 8 times

International Programs

Spend a semester in Canada on an English language study program with International Programs. The thirteen week program is designed for high school students to enter university and those who want to improve their English skills for personal or professional aspirations. The program places students in Brandon University, Manitoba's third largest university.