You are googling high school abroad. You are scrolling through Instagram to see all the inspiring travel photos. You are preparing a powerpoint to easily present this crazy idea to your parents – they may even have said “Yes!!”. You’ve watched all the Youtubers you can and you are ready to go!! What is stopping you? In case you need even more inspiration to take that leap – here is a helpful list of the ways you will be forever changed if you do decide to go on a high school abroad program.
Did you know only about 1,200 students go on a high school abroad program every year? That is for the entire United States! You will be one of the select few students who actually becomes an exchange student in high school.
There is NO better way to gain fluency in another language. I get asked all the time if it would be better to study abroad in college and don’t get me wrong that is wonderful BUT the problem is you don’t usually get the same level of language and cultural immersion. How you can settle in and learn about the daily life of your host country and how can you have any hope of gaining fluency in the language if you are with international students and speaking English all day.
The host family you stay with will be your family for your whole life! How beautiful is that? You essentially become their son/daughter, you do life with them and that is a bond that lasts. Ask anyone who was an exchange student in high school and they will tell you that even into adulthood, they stay in touch with and visit their Host family. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for a sincere connection with a family abroad. Not to mention your local friends.
If you study abroad in High school, there is nothing that will intimidate you. If you can leave your comfort zone and spend three months, a semester, or (eek!) a year of high school abroad. You will become SO much more confident, independent, and mature. It’s amazing and you are learning a million things that you could never learn if you stay home.
You’ll get much more out of your college years if you study abroad in high school. So many students go to college and have no idea what they want to do. I sure didn’t! Living in another country and seeing another part of the world really helps you understand yourself better and move into your college years with more confidence and clarity.
I hope this list was helpful. If you are still unsure, I’d be happy to talk discuss the options with you or your parents or you can reach out to past and current participants in our Facebook group. Here is my calendar, find a time that works for you and we’ll talk soon!