5 Reasons High Schoolers Should Study Abroad

July 31, 2019

Your high school years are some of the most important developmental years of your life. You have the chance to meet new people, get involved in new things, take interesting classes, and learn more about yourself. It’s a time to find your interests, and learn what you want to do and where you want to go in the next chapter of your life. So why not take advantage of something something that is going to change you… for the better?

Whether you know you love to travel and crave adventures or you’re wanting to try something new and unfamiliar, high school study abroad programs are a fantastic option. API is proud to offer several summer programs for students in high school. From Salamanca to Dublin to London, where in the world will you go abroad?

Here are 5 reasons why you should study abroad in high school

Alex on API Salamanca high school summer study abroad program
API high school students in Salamanca

1. Pursue interests (and find new ones)!

API offers a variety of programs to students, which means there are plenty of opportunities to explore individual interests. Interested in theater or film? Try API’s Arts in London program in London, England! Is STEM more your cup of tea? Look no further than the Walton International STEM Experience in Dublin, Ireland. Not sure what you’re looking for? Wanting to try something new? API has you covered! Through API programs, high school students can explore interests through a multitude of activities such as cooking, dancing, farming, and much more!

2. Navigate a brand new world

For many students learning a new language, developing fluency can be difficult even after years in the classroom. Often, entering a country in which one is totally immersed in a language can prove extremely beneficial to achieving ease and confidence in language skills. Furthermore, studying abroad gives students an opportunity to be exposed to a culture different than their own. Through API programs, students build global skills by learning to understand and appreciate new customs and values in an unfamiliar landscape. 

3. Make personal connections

During students’ time abroad, there are numerous opportunities to make friends – both with fellow API students and with those in the local community. Through activities such as volunteering, cultural experiences, and classes, students will interact with and understand the community surrounding them while building bonds that can last long after students’ time with API.

3 high school study abroad students at Glendalough Round Tower, Dublin
API high school students in Dublin

4. Develop a professional network and build your resume

In addition to meeting students, professors, and locals with similar aspirations to oneself, the unique skills and experiences acquired during students’ time abroad look impressive to colleges as well as future employers. After all, it is not often that students can report that they have built an electronic car in Dublin, Ireland or learned about meditation from a monk in Bhutan!

5. Come back with a new outlook on life at home

A student’s time abroad often results in a changed mindset once they return home. Skills and experiences during their travels can easily be applied to day-to-day situations well after a student’s study abroad program is over. With API programs, students are given the opportunity to challenge their way of life and gain insight that sticks with them for a lifetime.

How to Plan Your Summer Abroad

Alex and friend - API high school study abroad

Choosing a program

When exploring different options, students should research the general history and culture of different locations as well as the major cities, safety and crime rates, transportation options of each country. Additionally, students should consider factors such as program duration, subject options, costs, age and admission requirements, cultural immersion and local engagement, included excursions, student support systems, housing accommodations, emergency response systems when looking at specific programs. 

Funding study abroad in high school

Often, high schoolers acquire a part-time job as a babysitter, a retail worker, or waiter/waitress in addition to using fundraising websites in order to earn money for their study abroad experience. API also offers two $250 scholarships to students participating in high school programs!

Preparing for your departure

Before students leave, they should be sure to have the following items: a passport, a visa(s), prescriptions and health care coverage, an international phone plan OR a local phone, travel insurance, and an emergency savings account. It is also a good idea for students to travel with $100-200 on hand. In addition, it is important that students have a doctor check-up prior to their departure.

Choose from a variety of locations, subjects and activities!

High school students may choose from programs in England, Ireland, Spain, France, Costa Rica, AND Bhutan. Enjoy a multitude of fun activities such as hiking the Arenal Volcano or taking paddle surf lessons all while taking courses that interest you! Options for high school students are endless with API!


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