It’s widely known that study abroad experiences enhance a resume and provide a finishing touch to a college education that involves real immersion in a culture outside the U.S. For students on track to enter the global business environment, this shows an ability to learn to think internationally. For others, it provides an enriching experience that informs one’s education and professional career no matter where it takes you.
More and more, parents and students alike are learning that these benefits don’t have to wait until college. High school study abroad opportunities provide many of the same benefits and sometimes even more, as students have a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures at a pivotal time in their development.
Benefits of High School Study Abroad Programs
When you study abroad during your high school years, there is less need to emphasize the career and professional aspects of the experience and more opportunity to approach the situation as one that is primarily academic and personal. This gives students the time and space to connect more directly to the cultures they immerse themselves in. High school programs that provide out-of-country experiences also provide students with:
- Opportunities to develop language skills in an immersive environment
- Personal organization and time management skills
- Confidence-building and experience with independent travel
- Opportunities to learn about new cuisine and new lifestyles
- Travel opportunities during breaks and on weekends
High School Study Abroad and College Admissions
Students looking to compete for placement in elite colleges and universities will find their chances increase when they take advantage of opportunities like study abroad. Not only does studying outside the United States help build necessary language fluency for all college-bound students, it shows those headed to elite institutions will go outside their comfort zone and expand to meet the challenge. Nothing speaks to the ethics of those institutions quite like a commitment to that kind of excellence and personal achievement.
Studying Abroad Without College
Another great reason for students to experience this opportunity in high school is the chance to study abroad without committing to a college education. This can be very useful to students looking to go directly to work or to enter a trade school because many opportunities for skilled workers are available at international companies inside and outside the U.S.
It can also be especially useful to those who are looking to go into military service, the diplomatic corps, or any kind of NGO work outside the country, all of which have tracks that are accessible outside of the traditional path through college after high school.
Improvements to Academic Scores
Students who have a wider range of personal experiences and who challenge themselves to learn in unfamiliar environments almost unilaterally report an improvement in their academic scores upon returning home. The additional challenge of learning new language skills and cultural norms while immersed in an educational program provides a stimulus that carries over into one’s personal growth back home.
Networking and Personal Development
If you’re looking to become a person of interest, to develop those life experiences and stories that others will want to hear about, you need to go out and have those experiences. That’s what a high school study abroad program offers every participant, no matter where it takes you. It’s also a chance to build up your personal network, developing friends and contacts outside the country that help enrich your life and provide you with opportunities to keep growing as you develop your relationships over time.
Choose Your Study Abroad Destination and Length of Stay
Saying that every high school student should study abroad is controversial not only because of the relative uniqueness of the opportunity but also because many students believe that study abroad programs are limited to a few countries with a full-semester length of stay. That might have been true decades ago when these kinds of opportunities were harder to arrange. Today, demand and educational development have led to the creation of a wide array of study abroad programs with vastly different lengths of study abroad.
If you’re interested in a concentrated, short-term study abroad that fits into your regular life without disrupting school schedules, you need to check out the opportunities provided by International Business Seminars. High school students have the opportunity to choose between highly anticipated destinations for their study, and short intensive programs allow for immersive opportunities during summer and winter breaks. This provides a perfect balance of preserving the social life and academic progress students have at their home schools while giving them unique study opportunities that would not otherwise be available.
International experience can be the highlight of any education. All it takes is planning and the foresight to find the program that fits your needs and your schedule. Check out International Business Seminars’ Asia and Europe seminars to learn more.