Study Abroad Options for High School Students

Monday, January 11, 2021

High school students with a hunger to get to know the world can think about some of the study abroad options that the U.S. Department of State offers.

A study abroad experience does a lot more than simply enhance a high school student’s resume. Studying abroad, which involves true immersion in a culture outside the U.S., will provide students with an enriching experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their personal, professional, and academic lives. 

The decision to study abroad during high school can help students:
  • Have the opportunity to develop language skills in a highly immersive environment
  • Sharpen their interpersonal skills, time management, and personal organization abilities
  • Build confidence as independent citizens of the world
  • The chance to learn about another culture
  • Get to know the world and all its riches!

Another potential benefit of choosing to study abroad during one’s high school career is the ability to make sure one’s college application stands out when applying to elite colleges and universities. Participation in a short- or long-term study abroad experience shows future college admissions counselors and faculty heads that students have the courage and willingness to succeed in unfamiliar environments and work with others who are different.

If you are interested in a high school study abroad experience but your current high school does not offer one, you can start by checking out what the U.S. Department of State has to offer!

Study Abroad Options for High School Students offered by the U.S. Department of State:

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad

This program offers full scholarships for American high school students to both live and study abroad in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, or the Balkans.

The YES program is designed to foster a cultural exchange between the U.S. and countries that have significant Muslim populations. YES Abroad high school students will live with a host family, attend a local school, and help to promote mutual understanding and lasting bonds between the U.S. and the host country.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NYSLI-Y)

This study abroad program is another full scholarship program that gives U.S. high schoolers the chance to immerse themselves in Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Persian (Tajik), Russian, or Turkish for either a summer or a whole academic school year. 

High school students in this program will live with a host family and be able to experience the local culture firsthand. 

There is no previous language study required.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX)

This study abroad program sends high school students with a full scholarship to spend an entire academic school year in Germany.

In Germany, students will live with a host family as they attend high school and/or participate in a local internship. 

Students will learn and live German culture!

Youth Ambassadors

The Youth Ambassadors program offers full scholarships for high school students as well as adult mentors to participate in a three-week youth leadership program. These programs take place in Central and South America during the summer months. 

High school students can use and sharpen their Spanish language skills in Argentina, Chile, or Uruguay, or learn Portuguese through the exchange program in Brazil. 

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