You want to see the world, save the world, meet new people, learn a new language, prepare yourself for college, and bulk up your brand new résumé? You’d love an overseas odyssey away from family vacations in tourist-trap resorts but aren’t quite ready for solo stays in dodgy hostels? Then 2-4 week high school programs abroad are for you! One of the safest ways to explore the world, opportunities abound for the intrepid high school traveler, from the teeming streets of Bangkok, to the lush jungles of the Amazon, to the tranquil Alpine towns of Switzerland and France. Time to grab that passport!
High school programs abroad for 2-4 weeks are perfect for first-time lone travelers who want a taste of independence and adventure without completely breaking the bank! Summer and spring break programs for high school students can whisk you away to a huge variety of incredible locations across the globe.
Costa Rica. Ziplining through breathtaking cloud forests, scuba diving, and sailing off the beautiful tropical coastlines, or hiking to the majestic Arenal volcano; Costa Rica is much more than a fantastic place to polish your Spanish! A great destination for animal lovers and budding ecology and conservation majors, you’ll be struck by the sheer abundance of wildlife, from photobombing three-toed sloths, to the aptly named resplendent quetzal—it’s no wonder Costa Rica is said to be one of the happiest nations on the planet!
Thailand. Whether your interests lie with Muay Thai matches and swimming with sharks, serene Buddhist temples and incomparable coral reefs, feeding elephants and trekking emerald-green jungles, or treasure-hunting in the famous night bazaars and floating markets—you’ll find it all in the Land of Smiles! The perfect opportunity to combine a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with an intensely rewarding volunteering experience, you could be rescuing stray puppies, teaching English to local children, or helping out in a national park forest!
England. From the awesome weirdness of Morris dancing and the annual Gloucestershire cheese-rolling-and-wake, to the world-class festivals and colorful events of Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the Notting Hill Carnival, this green and pleasant land has a lot more going on than afternoon tea! Serious scholars will find brilliant summer school opportunities at world-renowned academic institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge universities.
Popular activities on 2-4 week high school programs abroad
There are many 2-4 week high school programs abroad that provide great opportunities to explore your passions in a way that fits around your full-time studies, and that don’t get in the way of enjoying yourself. Whatever type of program you choose, expect a jam-packed itinerary with activities ranging from merengue dancing and coffee tours to white water rafting and mass karaoke!
Language immersion. Aspiring bi-, tri-, or multi-lingual? Heading to a country where you can converse with native speakers on a daily basis is a brilliant way to level up your language skills. Build the foundations in structured language classes 3-4 hours a day before heading on exciting excursions around the country—grab the chance to flex your language muscles while haggling in a local market or ordering unusual cuisine in nearby restaurants. Try staying with a vetted local family to really immerse yourself in your new language!
Community service & volunteering. High school programs abroad for 2-4 weeks can allow you to make a real difference in the world without saying bye-bye to your savings! Rooming in a homestay with a local family or shared accommodation with other high schoolers, you could be involved in anything from building schools and teaching English to rescuing baby sea turtles or protecting the rainforest. A brilliant addition to your résumé/CV or college application, many programs offer certified community service hours and optional local language classes.
Summer schools and pre-college programs. If you’re considering experiencing college life as an international student or interested in exploring a subject not available at home, summer abroad programs for high school students are ideal. Tackle college-level classes at top universities and room in university dorms for the full undergraduate experience, or delve into STEM industries in Dublin, medical practices in Kathmandu, or musical theatre in London’s West End. The best high school study abroad programs will often grant academic credit, either at high school or college-level, which not only looks brilliant on university applications but gets the next stage of your academic life off to a great start!
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop
Time to get packing! Not just a highlight on your résumé and college applications, a 2-4 week study abroad high school program is an amazing opportunity to encounter new cultures and perspectives, expand your global network, and develop independence and maturity. You’ll prove you can hack it in any environment (and won’t fall to pieces the second you move out of your parents’ home!) and get to immerse yourself in an exciting new culture with no need to worry about your meals, accommodation, transportation, or deep, dark fears of being stranded alone in a foreign country!
But be prepared and be realistic! Know exactly what you want to get out of the experience and make sure the program you choose is right for you by reading reviews from program alumni and contacting the placement organization to get your questions answered. If you’re looking to get academic credit, check with your school or the universities you’re hoping to apply to that they’ll award the credits. Check out GoAbroad’s scholarship directory and look into fundraising among family and friends to help fund your trip.
Figuring out what you want to do with your life can be incredibly difficult and branching out on your own for the first time might seem nerve-wracking (or unbelievably terrifying…) but learning to head out into the unknown now will give you a huge head start in identifying your vocation and preparing for your future. The world awaits with 2-4 week high school programs abroad!