Does your student imagine themselves living in another country and practicing a language firsthand? Does your student find international collaboration and culture fascinating? Your student might be interested in studying abroad, and there are many opportunities for them in high school and college.
What is study abroad?
Studying abroad is an opportunity for students to earn class credit for high school or college in another country where they can delve into different cultures and experiences. The length of studying abroad can vary and be molded to your student’s needs. Programs can come from your student’s high school or college, but can also be found independently.
Why study abroad?
There are many reasons why your student could benefit from studying abroad. They can broaden their horizons, gain new experiences and valuable skills, and have the ability to join a global community of individuals who value and respect cultural differences. Is your student interested in an international-oriented career? Studying abroad will enable them to immerse themselves in their interests and get some exposure to new experiences. Additionally, studying abroad will be valuable on your student’s resume and can help with college applications or postgraduate studies as employers and admission committees look for well-rounded individuals.
How does it work? What can your student expect?
There is no one way to study abroad. Your student can find the program and experience that best fits their needs, interests, finances and schedule. They can expect many different types of experiences depending on the program they pick, from more intensive studies, to longer or shorter travels, to excursion-based activities, to more independent adventures. Your student’s high school counselor or their college’s study abroad office is an invaluable resource to find programs and other information. In addition to what their high school or college has available, encourage your student to look into independent programs. Check out the U.S. Department of State’s study abroad website and share with your student the information on programs, financial resources and student stories — there is even information for parents.
Study abroad for high school students
Studying abroad is typically thought of as a college experience, but it doesn’t have to be! High school students can take part in study abroad experiences as well.
When to study abroad
There is no perfect time for your student to study abroad — it could be any time. Discuss together the schedule your student would like as it could happen during a semester or over a summer. It is recommended that your student look into programs at least nine months to a year in advance of when they would like to study abroad.
Your student can apply for scholarships and grants to help pay for studying abroad. These can apply to a portion of the total costs or for all of it. Encourage your student to reach out to their high school counselor about financial aid resources for study abroad programs.
Study abroad programs can be just as diverse for high school students as for college students. Are they interested in immersing themselves in the local language? Are they interested in volunteering for a zoo or an excursion-based adventure? Share with your student this article about some of the best study abroad programs for high school students to see if they find any that are interesting to them.
Study abroad for college students
Study abroad programs for college students are diverse and many of the same principles for high school students apply for college students as well. Remind your student that study abroad experiences are not solely available at a traditional university — they can be found at community colleges as well.
When to study abroad
Students in college can also find a program that best fits their schedule. It is recommended that students begin looking for a program a semester or a year in advance to make sure they have all the information, preparations, finances, etc. in order to be successful in their experience.
College students can also find scholarships to help pay for study abroad programs. Depending on whether they choose a program from their college’s study abroad office or from an independent program, they’ll be able to communicate with either about scholarships and funding resources. Tip: An excellent program will help your student by pointing out and sharing information about potential scholarships.
The program types are endless! College students can find opportunities for a week, a month, a semester, a summer, a year or any other time frame. The types of programs can differ depending on the kind of study the program offers, from language immersion to STEM-related programs to sea-based programs — your student will be able to find the program that fits them the best. Share with your student this article about some of the best study abroad programs for college students.
Encourage your student to contact their high school counselor or their college’s study abroad office to discuss how they can benefit from studying abroad. Most students say that it was the hallmark of their high school or college experience.