Best Summer Abroad Programs for High School Students

March 4, 2024
5 min read

There are a ton of great summer abroad programs for high school students out there. Let’s take a look at them. 

Are you ready for a summer like no other? It's time to pack your bags, broaden your horizons, and jet off on an adventure that will shape your life in ways you can't even imagine. 

High school is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and discover the world, and these top 10 summer abroad programs are your ticket to an unforgettable journey. 

Top 10 Summer Abroad Programs for High School Students

Whether you're looking for adventure, cultural immersion, or a chance to make a positive impact, there's something here for everyone. Let’s explore some of the best summer programs for high school students abroad. 

Arcos Journeys Abroad

Imagine spending two to four weeks in the heart of Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina, or Mexico during the summer. Arcos Journeys Abroad makes this dream a reality for high school students seeking immersive language experiences. 

What sets them apart? They offer the opportunity to live with carefully selected host families, which guarantees an authentic and local perspective.

Your days with Arcos Journeys Abroad are filled with intensive language classes, ensuring that by the end of your journey, you'll be conversing confidently with locals. But it's not all about hitting the books; you'll also embark on exciting adventures, exploring the rich cultures of these vibrant countries.

Picture yourself strolling along the charming streets of a Spanish village, savoring authentic paella in Costa Rica, or delving into the vibrant culture of Mexico. Arcos Journeys Abroad combines language acquisition with unforgettable summer escapades, making it a top choice for adventurous high school students.

Projects Abroad

For the high school student with a heart full of compassion and a thirst for adventure, Projects Abroad is a great option. They operate in a number of destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Their programs typically last two weeks during the summer, making it perfect for a meaningful yet manageable break.

What makes Projects Abroad special is their focus on volunteer work. Whether you're passionate about medicine, human rights, conservation, or other causes, there's a project tailored just for you. Imagine spending your summer contributing to a worthwhile cause while exploring a new corner of the world.

If you’ve ever imagined trekking through the lush rainforests of Costa Rica, caring for elephants in Thailand, or assisting medical professionals in Ghana—check this program out. Projects Abroad gives high school students the chance to make a tangible impact on global issues while having the adventure of a lifetime. 

Travel for Teens

If your idea of a perfect summer involves globe-trotting and immersing yourself in different cultures, Travel for Teens is your ideal companion. They offer programs ranging from 11 to 30 days during the summer, featuring destinations as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and various parts of Europe.

What sets Travel for Teens apart is their versatility. They cater to a wide range of interests, from community service and cultural exploration to language immersion and photography. It's like a customized summer experience where you get to choose your own adventure.

Whether you're helping with conservation efforts in Australia, exploring the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, or engaging in community service projects in Costa Rica, Travel for Teens ensures that your summer is not only memorable but also meaningful.

Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is all about combining adventure with sustainability and global citizenship. They operate year-round in diverse locations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, offering programs that can last from one to 24 weeks. What makes GVI stand out is their commitment to responsible travel and impactful projects.

You can spend your summer in Ghana, contribute to marine conservation efforts in Seychelles, teach English in Cambodia, or preserve sea turtle habitats in Greece. GVI programs allow high school students to step out of their comfort zones and make a real difference in the world.

Not only do you get to explore stunning destinations, but you'll also acquire new skills and perspectives, fostering personal growth and a sense of global citizenship.

Greenheart Travel

Greenheart Travel is for the environmentally conscious high school student who's passionate about making a positive impact on the planet. They offer year-round programs in a wide array of countries, including Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

One of the standout features of Greenheart Travel is their dedication to animal welfare. They offer programs like elephant conservation in Thailand and stray dog rescue in Costa Rica, giving students the opportunity to work directly with animals while promoting responsible tourism.

Additionally, Greenheart Travel offers one-week language immersion programs, allowing students to improve their language skills while experiencing the culture firsthand. 

Whether you're snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or learning the art of Italian cuisine in Italy, Greenheart Travel encourages responsible and immersive travel experiences.

Academic Programs International (API)

API understands that high school students have diverse interests and goals, which is why they offer summer programs in Bhutan, England, Ireland, Spain, and Costa Rica. Their programs typically range from 1 to 4 weeks and cover a wide range of disciplines.

Whether you're into art, want to earn college credits, are interested in community service, or have a passion for STEM subjects, API has a program to match your aspirations. The best part? API's program fees are comprehensive, covering everything from housing and insurance to excursions and fees.

Imagine studying art history in the vibrant city of Dublin, delving into environmental science in the lush landscapes of Costa Rica, or taking on a leadership program in Bhutan. API ensures that your summer abroad is not only academically enriching but also culturally immersive.

Performing Arts Abroad

Calling all aspiring dancers, musicians, actors, and filmmakers! Performing Arts Abroad offers unique programs that blend your artistic passion with global engagement. Their programs typically last from one to six weeks and take place in regions such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific.

What makes Performing Arts Abroad stand out is the opportunity to combine your creative pursuits with community service projects. You might find yourself teaching dance to underprivileged children in India, participating in theater productions in Italy, or creating documentaries in Costa Rica.

These programs offer a chance to not only hone your artistic talents but also foster cross-cultural understanding through the universal language of the arts.

Centro MundoLengua

If your heart is set on studying abroad in Spain, Centro MundoLengua is a top-notch choice. Their programs typically last two to three weeks during the summer, providing high school students with an immersive Spanish language and cultural experience.

Centro MundoLengua offers the opportunity to stay with a welcoming Spanish host family, attend language classes, master the art of Spanish cuisine, and explore the enchanting streets of cities like Seville and Cadiz. 

Centro MundoLengua ensures that your summer is a whirlwind of language and adventure, allowing you to embrace the beauty of Spanish culture.

Spoleto Study Abroad

Italy, with its rich history, art, and culture, beckons high school students with a passion for the arts. Spoleto Study Abroad offers summer programs lasting two to three weeks, immersing students in the heart of Italy's artistic heritage.

Whether you're studying visual arts, theater, or music, Spoleto Study Abroad provides a unique opportunity to refine your skills while forming lifelong friendships with fellow art enthusiasts. Imagine painting in the picturesque town of Spoleto, performing in historic theaters, and exploring the wonders of the Italian language, art, and architecture.

It's not just a summer program; it's an artistic journey through the heart of Italy.

Worldwide Friends Iceland

For those who crave the wonders of nature and the serenity of peaceful landscapes, Worldwide Friends Iceland beckons. In just 11 days during the summer, high school students can experience the breathtaking beauty of Iceland, known as the "Land of Dreams."

This program offers a unique blend of adventure and tranquility. Picture yourself horseback riding through Iceland's stunning landscapes, watching whales in their natural habitat, hiking to hidden waterfalls, and kayaking amidst glaciers. 

It's a journey that fosters a deep connection with nature and the camaraderie of like-minded adventurers. Iceland's pristine wilderness becomes your playground, and the memories forged here last a lifetime.

To wrap it up, each of these top 10 summer abroad programs for high school students offers a unique and transformative experience. 

Whether you're passionate about language immersion, volunteering, global citizenship, cultural exploration, the arts, or simply looking for your next adventure, there's a program out there that suits your interests and goals.

These programs provide more than just a summer vacation; they offer opportunities for personal growth, cross-cultural understanding, and making a positive impact on the world. 

As you set out on your adventure to learn a new language, make a positive impact, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, or explore your creative side, your high school summer abroad experience is ready and waiting. 

It's your opportunity to expand your horizons, gain invaluable insights, and connect with a world that goes far beyond the confines of your classroom.

Summer Abroad Programs for High Schoolers FAQs 

Are you looking into summer abroad programs for high school students? Here are some common questions and answers to help you navigate this exciting opportunity:

1. Can High Schoolers Do a Semester Abroad?

Typically, high schoolers do not participate in full semester abroad programs due to academic commitments. However, many organizations offer summer abroad programs, which are shorter and more manageable for high school students. These programs provide a taste of studying abroad without interfering with your regular school year.

2. Can I Study Abroad as a Junior in High School?

Yes, you can study abroad as a junior in high school. Many summer abroad programs are designed specifically for high school students, including juniors. These programs offer a chance to explore new cultures, languages, and experiences during your summer break.

3. How to Afford Summer Study Abroad?

Affording a summer study abroad program is possible through various means. First, research scholarships and grants are available for high school students interested in international programs. 

Plus, many program providers understand that studying abroad can be a financial stretch, so they offer flexible payment plans to ease the burden for you and your family. 

Final Thoughts

Are you considering one of these summer abroad programs for high school students? They offer a ton of experiences, from language immersion to community service and cultural exploration. You might just want to add them to your summer checklist

These programs take your summer break and turn it into a chance for personal growth, cultural awareness, and positive change. So, as you plan your summer, remember that you're not just traveling; you're learning, evolving, and creating lasting memories.

As you get ready to set off on your journey, keep in mind that the world is your classroom. The lessons you'll learn and the experiences you'll gain will be priceless. Get set to explore, connect, and make a meaningful impact. 

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