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Should High School Students Study Abroad?

Written by Michael Nz. on January 1, 2023

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Traveling abroad can be scary – even for adults. No one would blame a high school student for feeling a little nervous about studying abroad.

But you really should consider it. While studying abroad can be fun at any time in life, it can be especially fun during high school. Why? Because you can explore your independence, say goodbye to the norm (at least for a while), and say hello to new ideas and perspectives on what you’d like to do in life after high school. 

Another great advantage of doing so is that at this stage of your life you will have a great safety net. No one will send you, a young person, to a new country and expect you to survive on your own. 

The programs usually place you with a host family, so you will have a home facility to come home to at the end of the day. There are other checks and balances to ensure that you are taken care of and prepared for any challenges that may arise, including emergencies. 

You’ll know if you enjoy being away from home

It is a fact of life that you will (probably) leave home one day and move away from your parents, while some students choose to attend college near their hometown, others prefer to go much further afield, perhaps to another state or to the United States. the opposite side of the country. 

Studying abroad in high school can be a way to find out if you thrive in an unfamiliar environment. If you choose a short program (like summer camp) instead of a long-term one (like year-round) you have the security of knowing you’ll be home soon if you’re homesick. 

You can learn a new language

Knowing a second language is a great skill, and it can be useful in many ways. It’s best to learn languages ​​when you’re still young and your mind is flexible, and immersion through study abroad is a great way to improve language skills or learn new ones. 

Whether you choose to study abroad and learn a common international language like English, French, or Arabic, or something more specific like Polish, Thai, or Maori, learning a new language through a high school study abroad experience will open up the possibilities for you. doors to new worlds. 

Learning another language increases high school student’s cognitive abilities, increases achievement in other academic areas, and produces higher standardized scores. It gives high school students a competitive advantage for colleges and jobs and is the key to really learning about another culture and its people.

You can taste independence 

Studying abroad in high school can allow you to experience independence in a new and exciting way. One of the wonderful things about a high school study abroad program is that it can allow you to be more independent. 

Yes, you will still have school; yes, you will still “belong” to a family; yes, you will still have responsibilities; but you will be alone and far from your family of origin. This can allow you a free and interesting exploration of who you really are and want to be. 

Experience new experiences

Studying abroad can expose you to new and interesting ideas! There are few things in the world that provide better perspectives than new cultures, different kinds of people, and challenging and rewarding experiences. High school study abroad programs offer great opportunities for mental insights, transformation, and growth. 

Your communication, cultural awareness, acceptance of difference, ability to see cultural rather than universal values ​​and behaviors and the ability to truly be a global citizen can all be developed. This also includes awareness of differences, the importance of different cultural values, and adaptability to change. 

You’ve no doubt heard that traveling broadens your mind. But studying abroad while you’re still young, in high school, reveals much more to you than the superficial differences. You’ll see how young people live and study in other countries, learn about their interests and priorities, and realize that while life around the world is certainly different, there are also many similarities that bring people together.

There is nothing like experiencing this for yourself. You will learn that while the world is really big, it is also surprisingly small. You will be able to not only live anywhere but thrive anywhere – able to handle problems big and small with a degree of self-confidence that can only be gained through this experience. 

See the kind of person you can become

Studying abroad makes you an even more interesting person. Sure, you’re already very interested, but spending a semester or year of high school abroad can make you that much more interesting! By spending time outdoors, you can become a more compassionate, charismatic, and confident person. The experiences you will have and the things you will see will change and enhance who you are in the most wonderful ways!

Perhaps you have traveled a bit with your parents and have enjoyed going on vacation. Well, if you study abroad in high school, you’ll learn what it’s like to travel beyond just being a tourist.

Going to class, learning a new language or dialect of English, and getting away from everyday life in a foreign place is very different from being a tourist, and just as exciting, to say the least, because you learn about a place much more deeply than if you were only touring the must-see places. 

You will understand your path in life much better 

Studying abroad can help you identify your passions and interests. Understanding who you are and what you want to do in your life can be incredibly difficult. If you’re a high school senior, it can be even more difficult trying to figure out what you’ll do in your life after high school. Study abroad programs for high school seniors provide them with the opportunity to discover and explore new and exciting interests, passions, and potential careers or educational paths. 

There are so many exciting things you can study to define your career that it can be hard to limit your options. One way to do this is to study abroad and see what gets you. 

Maybe you excel at art, or are really fascinated with different styles of architecture; maybe you love how math and science break down language barriers or learn about new environmental conservation practices abroad. Your future studies and career can unfold in unexpected ways while studying abroad in high school. 

If you think a study abroad experience might be right for you, then use our scholarship search tool where you may find the perfect scholarship to help you study your course abroad

A good start is to develop your career 

Learning a language, the ways in which other cultures work, and flexibility are key components in today’s global workforce. Skills learned while studying, volunteering, or interning abroad transfer well to the workplace. 

Additionally, students can gain financial and business experience through collaborative activities and fundraising for their international experience, and writing skills by applying for high school scholarships. Employers want to hire employees with flexible thinking, international work experience, collaboration skills, language skills, and the ability to respond well to different situations. 

Having international experience and global competencies will not only make students more employable but will improve everything about their learning and work environments now and in the future, from better grades to more interest in events and cultures. worldwide, for the motivation to work harder, learn more, and travel extensively. 

You will make new friends around the world

Who doesn’t want to make new good friends? And perhaps there is nothing better than having friends in different countries. The friendships you form in your younger years have a tendency to run deep and strong. If you study high school abroad, you are likely to make friends for life. 

These kinds of connections can also help you on the path of life. The more people you meet, the better chance there is that someone can help you when you need it most. 

Improve your university application 

Studying abroad looks great on a college applicant. Universities love knowing that students are upright, mature, studious, and dynamic. Seeing that you’ve completed a semester or year of high school abroad tells colleges that you’re exactly the type of student they’re looking for.

It’s a challenging market – today’s high school students must find ways to stand out from college application pools filled with qualified students. Admissions officers at the best colleges and universities attest to the advantage of the school year abroad. Studying abroad is widely known for producing exceptional high school students who are mature, informed, disciplined, and well-adjusted to functioning away from the comforts of home. Many times, the entrance essay, based on aspects of the study abroad experience, is the essay that makes the difference. 

Be challenged 

For most people, going to university or college is the first test of whether they have what it takes to take care of themselves. Sure, most people eventually come out on top, but there might be a bit of trying at first. 

Do you want to be the guy in the college dorm who doesn’t know how to fry an egg or change the sheets on his bed? Probably not. To help you discover how capable you are of taking care of yourself, studying abroad in high school may be a good option. 

You’ll discover what you’re capable of and learn valuable independence skills while having fun. Studying abroad is also a well-structured way to learn these life lessons – unlike traveling, where you can be on your own without the support of program organizers, teachers, and classmates to help you succeed. 

Studying abroad is fun and challenging! Many of us learn and grow best through challenges. When you spend part of high school studying abroad, you have the opportunity to grow and develop through challenges while having fun! Facing challenges while having fun will make you better equipped to handle many of life’s challenges. 

Have a better education and global experience 

Studying abroad makes education more interesting, especially if you connect your studies to your program. Why not study English literature in Britain or African history in Sub-Saharan Africa? Bring education to life by studying abroad in places connected to your studies. 

You may not have given your resume much thought, but you’ll be asked more and more about it as you get older and finish college, and then enter the workforce. Rather than being impressed by the school, you went to or your individual grades, many colleges, and potential employers are impressed by experiences that set you apart and show you have initiative.  

It doesn’t matter if you study abroad in Japan or Ireland, being able to show that you are flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and creative is a great advantage. Studying in high school abroad shows that you have these desirable qualities. 

Traveling abroad has the potential to open your mind and present you with new opportunities. There’s no good reason why you have to wait until adulthood to get these rewards!

Studying in high school abroad could simply change your life, so what are you waiting for?

You better appreciate life at home 

It’s normal to feel like where you grew up isn’t all that exciting (even to a stranger!); Studying abroad can help you appreciate everything you have at home. 

That’s not to say that living abroad is worse – not at all! But perhaps you had never appreciated the national parks near your city until you studied abroad in a huge city. Maybe you didn’t appreciate your mom’s home cooking until you lived with a family too busy to cook at home… you get it!

Have fun

Finally, studying abroad in high school can be a lot of fun!

Let’s face it: high school isn’t always the most fun. Studying abroad, however, is! New faces, new perspectives, new experiences, and new lifestyles await you in high school study abroad programs.

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