At once architecturally impressive, scenically beautiful, and jam packed with about as many fun and educational activities as you could think of, Sydney is an absolute dream destination for high school programs abroad for students from all over the world. Australia’s largest city wields a tremendous amount of global influence and is also one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet; about one-third of Sydneysiders speak a language other than English at home! From beautiful beaches to prestigious landmarks and museums, Sydney truly has a bit of everything.
High School Programs in Sydney
Australia is an exceedingly popular adventure travel destination, and many high school programs are built around exploring as much of Sydney and the surrounding countryside as possible. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, expeditions to the Outback, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, these are all common activities on the agenda for adventure travel and cultural exploration high school programs in Sydney. It’s not all fun and games though, you will learn a whole lot about the culture and history during your time on the world’s smallest continent too!
Also popular among high school students are study abroad and student exchange programs in Sydney. For a summer, semester, or full academic year high school students can study at a boarding school in Sydney or attend a local high school and live with a homestay family. Available subjects span a wide array of different disciplines, so students of all interests can undoubtedly find something exciting to study while soaking in the sights and sounds of Sydney.
High school programs in Sydney, and anywhere in the world, tend to take supervision seriously, so parents and students need not worry about student safety too much. Students, this is your chance to get out and explore the world, but also remember to be smart and listen to the local staff who are there to help you!
Life in Sydney
With a population of nearly 5 million, Sydney is Australia’s largest city, as well as the leading economic and cultural hub of Oceania. It is rated as an Alpha+ global city, a distinguishment granted to only seven other cities in the world. So stated simply, Sydney is a big deal.
During your high school program in Sydney, you will have access to all that this tremendously diverse and stimulating city has to offer. Some of the most popular attractions include the Royal Botanical Gardens, Bondi Beach, Royal National Park, and the iconic Sydney Opera House. Dig deeper still and you will discover a wealth of hidden treasures beyond these famous sites. Cafes, restaurants, parks, museums, theaters, concert venues, Sydney has them all in spades.
But what makes Sydney truly great is the thriving local culture and laid back attitude. Australians are tremendously friendly and outgoing people. Even though Sydney is such a prominent hub on the global stage, a “Hakuna Matata” attitude still seeps through many aspects of city life. It will be hard to find anything worth complaining about when the weather is great, the scenery beautiful, and you are thousands of miles away from home living the dream.
Scholarships & Costs
Here’s the kicker, Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the whole world. But, nothing in this world is free, right? While many everyday costs, such as housing, food, and transportation, will be covered in upfront program fees, you will still want to plan a budget ahead of time and stick to it while abroad. To help with the costs of the trip, make sure to check out all the fundraising and scholarship opportunities that are available for those applying for high school programs in Sydney.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are the most popular housing option provided by high school programs in Sydney, while dormitories are also often made available. Each have their pros and cons (think cultural immersion vs. living among peers), so be sure to discuss the options with your parents and program provider before making your decision. Adventure travel programs that move between different locations will generally have a set agenda with group accommodations already organized.
Australia’s visa policy varies from country to country. Students coming from Europe will typically have to obtain an eVisitor visa, while students coming from the United States and several other countries require a different ETA visa. The system can be a bit complex and also depends on how long you are staying in the country for, so contact your nearest Australian consulate via GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more info.
Benefits & Challenges
Live it Up Down Under. Among other things, Sydney is one of the most fun cities you will ever visit. With all the beautiful outdoor adventure opportunities, you will have the time of your life while learning a lot about local history and customs.
Push Yourself. High school programs abroad are one of the greatest adventures you can take, and so naturally programs come with a fair share of obstacles to overcome. Culture shock and homesickness can be real, so treat your time in Sydney as an opportunity to learn and grow!
New Experiences. The best philosophy to take on during a high school program in Sydney is to maximize experience. Take advantage of every opportunity, engage with as many people as you can, and don’t be shy to try new things. By the end of your program, you’ll return home a veteran traveler!