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Study Abroad Programs For High School Students

Connie Said:

What are the best high school year abroad programs for US students?

We Answered:

It's wonderful that you are thinking on going on exchange! It is an experience unlike any other.
I am a 5-time host mom and volunteer with Youth For Understanding (YFU).

If I may, I would like to cast a vote for YFU. When I have asked exchange students why they chose YFU, they basically said because YFU gave them more bang for their buck. YFU is one of the oldest and most respected programs around. The founder of YFU was actually nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

This year, YFU offers summer, semester, year, and gap year (after high school graduation) programs to 39 countries (the number varies a little from year to year so it may change for your junior year). Only 9 of the countries require previous language study.

95% of the fees collected by YFU go for direct program costs (airline tickets, finding a host family, support in the hosting country, etc.). YFU is a non-profit organization and the fees are kept as low as they can be by utilizing volunteers (such as myself) as much as is possible. (Note: I use the word volunteer as it should - for someone who is not paid (except with kind words) and does something for the love of it.) Naturally, there are support positions that are full-time employees - you need some to help insure professionalism.

My biggest piece of advice is to travel with an organization listed with the Council for Standards on International Educational Travel ( They routinely audit programs for quality. While there can still be a very isolated case of things not going as well as they should with the listed organizations, it is rare. I personally believe that YFU is the best organization.

YFU does one thing and one thing only: student exchange programs. In their nearly 60 years of existence, they have learned a few things. As a volunteer, I always strive to make sure that all of my actions reflect the reputation that YFU has rightfully earned.

You don't mention any specific countries to which you would like to go. Please note that there will be some differences between the exchange organizations in the participating countries. Many organizations have temporarily dropped their programs to England/GB/UK due to difficulties in obtaining visas.

I hope this is helpful. If you would like to check out YFU in more detail and live in Colorado or Wyoming, I can put you in contact with someone who will answer your questions without any pressure. You can also email me with more questions - space is limited in this forum.

Good luck to you no matter what you choose!

Corey Said:

Good study abroad/ travel summer programs for high school students?

We Answered:

Hi Becca,

Try checking out

It's a operated directory so it's pretty comprehensive.Also the staff took time in verifying most of the language study providers there(look for the light green check, check+, and check++ logo) and there's even a testimonial for some(look for the "speaking" logo).

Good Luck and Hope this helps
GA :)

Joyce Said:

Are there any study abroad programs within the United States for high school students who live in the U.S.?

We Answered:

While Nico has obviously absorbed much of what I've been posting up here for the last couple of years (almost word for word), he didn't manage to get it quite right.

There are in fact many countries that have a language requirement before you can go on an exchange there. Examples are France and the French speaking areas of Belgium and Switzerland. All require two years of high school French.

Raymond Said:

Anyone know a good study abroad program for high school students ? and would like to tell me their experience?

We Answered:

i did a summer program with lpiabroad. it was amazing! the best experience of my life!!! feel free to email me if you have any questions!

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