Asia is home to nearly 4.5 billion people, constituting roughly 60 percent of the world’s population. Do you actually need any more reasons to choose Asia for your high school program abroad? High school students that are looking for an educational adventure will find nothing but golden opportunity through high school programs in Asia. Asia’s sheer size is only rivaled by the tremendous amount of cultural diversity that exists within. At the center of civilization, high school programs in Asia will open your eyes to just how vast a world we live in.
Asia is the world’s largest continent, so it will be easiest to cover potential locations for high school programs in Asia by breaking it down into sub-regions. There are 48 recognized countries encompassed by the region of Asia. However, since the Middle East is considered its own region by most geographers, we will focus on high school programs in the following sub-regions:
In East Asia, China, Japan, and South Korea are all very popular destinations for high school programs abroad. The history of these countries is long and closely intertwined, each having developed from ancient civilizations into unique and globally influential modern states.
In Southeast Asia, most countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, provide incredibly enticing destinations for high school programs abroad. Southeast Asia is largely a developing region, with a recent history that has been the focal point of much regional conflict. Today the region stands out as a safe and fascinating place for high school students to travel to and explore, culturally and geographically.
Moving further west, the Indian subcontinent, which includes India, Nepal, and Bhutan, is another distinct Asian sub-region, offering high school students an enriching opportunity to expand their education abroad. Largely sheltered by the Himalayas to the north, the Indian subcontinent shares a connected history and a deeply spiritual culture.
High School Programs in Asia
High school programs in Asia tend to take on a variety of different forms. First, there are traditional study abroad programs, which enable students to attend classes at a local high school or other academic institution within their country of choice. While subject matter obviously varies depending on the country, most classes are in the realm of general introductory courses to that country’s history and culture.
Language immersion programs are generally the most popular form of high school programs in Asia, as a large number of Asian languages are becoming increasingly more and more in demand globally.
Due to the lack of development in many Asian countries, especially in Southeast Asia, volunteer programs are very popular. High school students who choose to volunteer in Asia will spend their time contributing to a variety of community service projects, rather than attending classes for academic credit. Available volunteer opportunities vary by the country, as each country has its own set of project needs. High school volunteer programs can be extremely rewarding experiences, especially if you have never traveled to a developing country.
Last on the list is the broader categories of adventure travel and cultural exploration programs. These high school programs in Asia are unique in that they usually entail travel to several destinations throughout a particular region, following a full on agenda jam packed with fun, culturally immersive activities. Studying and volunteering can be, but are not necessarily, an additional component of these types of high school programs in Asia.
High school programs in Asia generally last between one and eight weeks and run over the summer. There are a huge amount of opportunities out there, so take the time to look into as many different options as you can!
Scholarships & Costs
High school programs abroad can be costly, but the good news is that Asia is at-large an inexpensive continent to travel to and around. While some Asian destinations, such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, are an exception to this rule, you can typically expect on-the-ground prices to be much cheaper than in the developed world.
By utilizing all the available resources out there to fund programs abroad, such as fundraising platforms and scholarship opportunities, it is possible for high school students from nearly anywhere to make their dream trip become a reality!
Accommodation & Visas
Home stays are the most popular form of housing provided to students participating in high school programs in Asia, although student dormitories are also made available in some circumstances as well. If you are traveling throughout several different regions as part of your program, then expect to stay in a variety of accommodations. Safety is a priority for high school programs in Asia, so parents fear not, students will be well-supervised!
Whether or not you will need to obtain a visa to participate in a high school program in Asia will depend on the country you are visiting, where you are coming from, and how long you plan to stay. For more specific information regarding your visa requirements, you can check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Expand Your World. High school tends to be a bubble for many students, but by traveling abroad will give students a healthy dose of perspective on the world, which is definitely not possible to the same extent at home. Some things you used to care about might seem very small and unimportant upon your return!
Connect. The people you travel with and meet during your high school program in Asia will make for some of the most rewarding connections you ever make. Don’t be too shy to converse with as many people as possible during your time abroad.
Stand Out. While the experience itself should be your main motivation, high school programs in Asia will also be a nice boost to your college applications. It will show schools you are a well-rounded and ambitious future student.