Coming from abroad you may already have a preconceived notion about what life is like in the United States from television, media, and what you hear in the news. A world leader on many fronts, how could you not but conjure up daydreams about this vast land of opportunity? Yet the only way to truly understand life in America is to live it; embarking on a high school program in the United States will in this sense prove to be a definitive journey of discovery.
The United States is one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, so you will have plenty of options when deciding where in this mammoth nation to study abroad. Stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic there are 50 states in total, and many exciting cities therein to choose from.
Some of the most popular destinations for high school programs in the United States include the globally oriented cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. These three largest cities in the United States are respectively located on the east coast, midwest, and west coast of the country, and each offers their own set of unique immersive opportunities for the high school student abroad.
Other popular locations for high school programs in the United States include Washington DC, San Francisco, and Boston. While smaller in scale, these cities are all very important American metropolises nonetheless, with huge contributions throughout history in politics, innovation, and industry.
If cities are not your cup of tea, then there are also many high school programs in the United States which can alternatively place you in smaller towns or suburbs located throughout the country. While perhaps less culturally stimulating, off-the-map locations can be more truly reflective of what life is like for the average American. It all depends on what you want out of the experience!
High School Programs in the U.S.
There are many different paths that high school students can take to travel abroad to the United States. High School Study Abroad programs in the United States are typically the most common among these options. For a summer, semester, or even full year, students from around the world can take courses in a variety of subjects at American high schools, ranging from history to math to science.
Language Immersion is the most popular form of these academic high school programs in the United States, offering international students a great opportunity to master the English language in a native-speaking context. By practicing as much as you can both in and outside of the classroom, you will be amazed by how far English language abilities progress.
Community Service and Volunteerism is another popular area where international high school students can help make a difference in the United States. While a very wealthy country, the United States deals with many problems of inequality and poverty within its own borders. International volunteers are always welcomed to lend a helping hand.
Lastly, high school Cultural Exploration programs are a great way to travel throughout the United States while learning a lot about American life in the process. Typically this type of high school program in the United States lasts a few weeks and moves throughout several destinations in the country, sampling many aspects of American culture. Some of these programs additionally offer academic credit.
Scholarships & Costs
The United States is an expensive country to travel to, although there is significant variance in living costs within the geography of the country. Major cities such as New York or San Francisco may drain your funds fast, while smaller locations are generally more affordable.
The upfront costs of high school programs in the United States can also be quite expensive, covering fees such as tuition, transportation, housing, and meals. If affordability is a concern, be sure to check out our Scholarship Directory to learn about all the helpful financial aid opportunities out there for high school students.
Accommodation & Visas
High school students abroad in the United States typically either live in a homestay or in dormitories among peers, depending on the structure of the program. Programs that move around between destinations will likely utilize a variety of different accommodations as well. Safety is a major priority for high school programs in the United States, so parents can rest assured that students will be supervised.
High school students will usually need to apply for a visa in order to travel abroad the United States. What type of documentation you need will depend on your home country, the duration of your stay, and other such considerations. You can check out our American Embassy Directory for more information regarding your specific situation.
Benefits & Challenges
Join the Melting Pot. What makes America great is the tremendous diversity of peoples and cultures which thrive within it. As an international student you can take a whole lot out of this experience, while contributing back something of yourself.
Debunk the Myth. America is not as appears on television (unless you choose to study abroad in Hollywood). Come see what life in the real United States is all about.
Self-Discovery. America is a place where you can truly be whomever you want to be. Traveling here will be an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself and the world we live in.