Study abroad programs provide students with an invaluable opportunity to broaden their horizons prior to graduating from high school. Aside from academic benefits, studying abroad provides many other advantages too – becoming more independent and creating a deeper sense of self. Furthermore, studying abroad programs are invaluable when applying to colleges or future career paths; admissions offices look for applications with varied experiences, making the decision process faster.
Some programs specialize solely in foreign language acquisition and provide students with an immersive language learning environment, while others combine this study with cultural exploration. There are also programs offering home stay arrangements with local families as well as short-term exchange programs lasting anywhere from several days up to an academic year; students should explore all available programs before selecting one that fulfills both their academic and personal goals.
Based on the duration of their program, students must save for everything from housing and airfare expenses to school supplies. A good way of planning ahead for such expenses is creating a budget and savings plan well in advance of when their start date should come around. Although some programs are open to high schoolers of any grade level, usually participating during sophomore or junior year is recommended in order to adjust more quickly to an unfamiliar class schedule and more independent living environment.