High School Programs in The Caribbean

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A Guide to High School Programs in the Caribbean

Because of its beautiful island landscapes and warm tropical climate, many people think of the Caribbean as a dream travel destination to get away from it all. Embarking on a Caribbean high school program abroad however, you will come to see this oft misunderstood region through a different light; one which encompasses complex national histories, a diversity of local languages and cultures, and the continuous challenges of economic development faced by the region at large. Get ready for the educational adventure of a lifetime.


The Caribbean Sea encompasses over 700 islands amidst what is generally regarded as a sub-region of North America. There are 30 recognized territories in the region, some of which are independent nations and some of which are dependencies of larger countries such as the United States or United Kingdom. The population of the entire Caribbean region is just over 40 million people, similar to the size of Central America in this regard.

Some of the most popular destinations for Caribbean high school programs abroad include Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Spanish is most commonly spoken throughout the Caribbean region, although a wide variety of other languages are used such as English, French, Dutch, and Creole.

Also known as the West Indies, the Caribbean region has been largely influenced throughout history by a melting pot of cultures from around the world. Today the various territories all have their own unique cultural heritage and thrive under different political and economic circumstances. It is important to research factors such as these when deciding where you think will be the most enriching destination for your Caribbean high school program abroad.

Caribbean High School Programs

Caribbean high school programs abroad fall into several categories. First are traditional study abroad programs. It is possible to earn academic credit in a variety of subjects while enrolled in a Caribbean high school program abroad, ranging from history to environmental studies to language immersion. Study abroad programs usually last between two to eight weeks, and will offer the opportunity to either study at a local high school or international school.

Because many nations in the Caribbean qualify as Less Developed Countries (LDC’s), volunteer programs are also very popular for high school students in the region. Many citizens of the Caribbean nations lack dependable access to valuable services such as healthcare, education, and sound infrastructure. By embarking on a volunteer high school program in the Caribbean, you can devote your time to helping locals overcome many of these development obstacles.

Lastly, adventure travel and cultural exploration programs are also very popular choices for high school students in the region. By choosing this type of Caribbean high school program abroad, you can look forward to a wide range of activities ranging all the way from scuba diving and snorkeling to culturally immersive activities such as music or dance lessons. These types of programs also often move around between destinations, so you will not have to settle on just one location for your Caribbean high school program abroad.

Scholarships & Costs

While it is overall an affordable region to travel to, a high school program in the Caribbean can still often prove expensive because of fees for tuition, housing, transportation, and more. Fundraising is one great way to help cover the costs of your dream trip; there are also a wide array of scholarships available for high school students in the region.

Accommodation & Visas

Homestays are usually the most popular type of housing for high school students who are staying in one location in the Caribbean. If your program travels throughout different destinations then you will likely be staying in hotels, dormitories, and other various accommodations. Remember that the Caribbean is a developing region, so you may not always have access to commodities such as internet, air conditioning, or hot water while abroad.

Visa policies vary throughout the Caribbean region, so consult your program provider about what type of documentation you may need to obtain before your program begins. Often you will not need to apply for a visa unless your high school program in the Caribbean exceeds three months. You can check out our Embassy Directory for more information about your destination’s visa policy.

Benefits & Challenges

Island Experience. High school students from everywhere will benefit from the laid back lifestyle that many countries in the Caribbean take pride in. A healthy balance of work and play is important, after all.

Personal Development. If you have never travelled to a developing region, then be prepared for a perception-altering experience. Among other important life lessons, you might just learn that you don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy.

Localized Education. Home to some 40 million people, the Caribbean does not hold a very large section in most history books from the English speaking world. Embarking on a Caribbean high school program abroad is your chance to learn all about this fascinating region firsthand.

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A Guide To
High School Programs in the Caribbean


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High School Programs with Projects Abroad

Become immersed in Caribbean culture while developing an awareness and appreciation of the language, music, and people of Jamaica through the international high school program of Projects Abroad. Work alongside professionals, locals, and other volunteers while participating in community projects, intensive language training, and cultural exploration. This program is for high school participants...


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GoBeyond British Virgin Islands - Preserving Paradise

The GoBeyond British Virgin Islands "Preserving Paradise" journey aims to preserve and protect one of the most beautiful parts of the Caribbean islands - The British Virgin Islands! This journey will find you exploring the islands both above and below the water while living aboard a 46 foot sailing catamaran. Tagging sea turtles with the Conservation and Fisheries Department, working to improve...


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Carpe Diem Education Gap Year Language Exchange in Cuba

Travel back in time and tap into the vibrant charm of a previously “forbidden country.” Dance in the music-filled streets of Santiago. Practice your Spanish at the University of Havana. Learn about sustainable agriculture and farming in vibrant western Cuba. Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through Cuba and make up your own mind about this complex and dynamic country that’s on the verge ...


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Broadreach International Summer Programs

Earn college credit, certifications and service hours as you explore the world and your place in it. Since 1993, Broadreach has taken over 14,000 students on adventures abroad that inspire new ideas and awaken passions you’ll continue to explore long after you’ve returned home. Have the best summer ever while gaining valuable experience that makes any college application shine.


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Summer Volunteer Projects with RSVP Caribbean in Jamaica

This program is for volunteers who want to use their summer for a meaningful experience. This project runs for 2 weeks for each batch of volunteers from June - August each year. Our program is different because it addresses the specific needs of the beneficiaries and all activities are designed to ensure that all persons involved benefit. It is properly structured and volunteers have chaperone ...


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ActionQuest Summer Adventure Program for Teens

Living aboard a sailing yacht in a small group of 10 to 13 shipmates of similar age, participants to this ActionQuest summer adventure program will experience the confidence of succeeding as both an individual and as a team. Up to eight yachts sail together in a flotilla, allowing participants to connect with others from all over the United States and the world. Under the guidance of licensed s...


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International Student Service Learning in Jamaica

Student service learning in Jamaica offers the opportunity to sample a new travel experience by combing exciting and rewarding volunteer work with the JOYS of learning. Jamaica is an exciting place for service and learning as it offers all the tools you will need to develop new skills or find a new interest. This exotic island has crystal clear waters and the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea b...


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Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

This is a two-week adventure service program focused on environmental conservation and research. Explore the crystal blue waters of Bayahibe Bay and the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Work alongside marine biologists to rebuild the coral reef habitat that is home to many marine species, including manatees, dolphins and sea turtles. Learn biological techniques to monitor sea animals in the wild. Get m...


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Putney Student Travel

For 62 years, Putney Student Travel has offered high school and middle school students the opportunity and insight to shape their world through travel, unique cultural engagement, friendship, and fun. Our summer programs include community service, language immersion, adventure travel, pre-college enrichment, and global awareness. We believe that an essential component of every young person’s ed...


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School in Dominican Republic Looks for Qualified Educators

American-type international school located in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Classes are taught in English, except for subjects required by the Dominican Ministry of Education. The school has students from pre-school through 12th grade. MC School is accredited by US-based AdvancED, and is a member of the Tri-Associations and the Association of Colombian-Caribbean American School...


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High School Programs with CIEE

The Council on International Educational Exchange helps individuals to acquire knowledge, develop skills, and gain understanding of changing realities and a culturally diverse world. American teenagers can participate in this customized study abroad program and live in the Caribbean Region. The program offers Cultural Exploration, Language Immersion, Student Tours, and other activities.