Why it's never too early to embark on study abroad

By Annie Rose Stathes, edited by Valeri Boyle
Published November 2, 2013

While studying abroad can be fun at any point in life, it can be especially fun during high school. Why? Because you get to explore your independence, say good-bye to the norm (for at least a semester), and say hello to new ideas and insights about what you would like to do in life after high school.

Practice 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 on your own and away from your family of origin. This can allow for an interesting and free exploration of who you really are and want to be. 

Improve Your College Application

Studying abroad looks great on a college application. Colleges love to know that students are well-rounded, mature, studious, and dynamic. Seeing that you’ve completed a semester or year of high school abroad communicates to colleges that you’re exactly the type of student they’re looking for.

Exercise Language Skills

Studying abroad can help you put your language skills to use. Spending a semester or year of high school abroad can allow you to put the language you’ve been studying in high school to use. Simply find a program in a country that speaks your new language and you’ll be well on your way to speaking more fluently! 

Experience New Cultures

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

Learn About Yourself

Studying abroad can help you identify your passions and interests. Figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life can be incredibly difficult. If you’re a senior in high school, it can be even more difficult as you try to determine what to do with your life after high school. Study abroad programs for high school seniors grant seniors an opportunity to discover and explore new and exciting interests, passions, and potential career or educational paths.

Become a Person of Interest

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

Expand Your Global Network

Studying abroad helps you expand your global community! Wouldn’t it be cool to have a little brother in Portugal, a mother and father in China, or best friends in Uruguay? You can expand your circle of family and friends simply by studying abroad in high school.

Be Challenged

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

Take Your Education to a New Level

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

Have Fun

Lastly, studying abroad in high school can be a load 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 all await you in high school study abroad programs.

Annie Rose Stathes is a Colorado-based writer, teacher and political scientist. Her background is in international affairs and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science.