Short-term Study Abroad for High School Students

Studying for a year or summer as a high school student can be a life-changing opportunity, one which has the power to influence how we view the world, what we want to study, and where we see ourselves in the future. There are many wonderful programs available around the world, designed specifically for high school students. Below you will find links to programs and search engines for school year abroad programs (where you spend a full year living with a host family and attending a local school) and summer programs, which fall into the general category of leadership, general academic, career exploration, and language learning. I will be adding to this list periodically; also, if you have a suggestion for a great program that you don’t see here, please let me know!

School Year Abroad

AFS Intercultura:

AFS is a non-profit organization whose Mexico office has been organizing school year and semester-long programs, both academic and community service oriented, in dozens of countries since 1976. AFS programs are available throughout the world and may or may not require knowledge of the local language. Pre-departure orientation in Mexico, air travel, and local support provided.


The Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is a non-profit organization based in the U.S. that offers well-run, well-supported semester and year-long programs in dozens of countries. Their programs are primarily for U.S. students, so you should check with CIEE to see if the program you are interested in is available to international students. Pre-departure orientation and group flight is provided starting in the U.S.

Youth for Understanding Mexico:

YFU is a non-profit organization forming part of a worldwide network of offices that facilitate high school study abroad all over the world, in addition to year abroad at community college and gap year programs. Students live with volunteer host families selected by YFU, and are provided local and Mexico-based support, pre-departure orientation in Mexico, and airfare. Language proficiency requirements differ according to the country, so check their website.

Summer Programs Abroad

There are thousands of summer programs out there, so no list will be exhaustive. However, the following search engines and lists offer a compilation of many great options: Short-term Study Abroad for High School Students

The following highlights some programs that TAE students have participated in in the past, as well as programs that have come to the attention of the College Counseling office:


Global Young Leaders Conference:

The GYLC brings together talented students from around the world for a week of learning and discussion on concepts such as communications, diplomacy, law, human rights, peace, security, economics and the role of the United Nations. Students can choose between programs in New York and Washington D.C., Europe, or China. Selection by nomination- come see Miss Rachel Josephs if you are interested!

National Hispanic Institute:

NHI hosts a week-long programs for 4th and 5th graders focusing on leadership, communication skills, debate and negotiation. Programs take place at several universities in the U.S. as well as at the Ciudad del Saber in Panama City, Panama.

National Student Leadership Conference:

Several TAE students have participated in these 6-10 day programs which take place on different U.S. university campuses. All programs have a leadership development component, while you also focus on different study paths such as international relations, public policy, culinary arts, business, engineering, medicine, and more. Financial aid available. Selection by nomination- come see Miss Rachel Josephs if you are interested!

General Academic:

Oxbridge Academic Programs:

Summer programs in a wide range of disciplines, with locations in England, France, and Spain. These programs are for geared toward highly engaged, high achieving students interested in academic enrichment over the summer. Limited, competitive financial aid available.

Cultural Immersion & Language

Campus France:

Campus France maintains a catalog of approved French as a Foreign Language and au pair programs in France.

Concordia Language Villages:

A unique immersion experience, where you learn languages in a traditional summer camp atmosphere.


The German Academic Exchange Service, maintains information on German language courses for international students.

EF study centers:

A network of private language centers all over the world. Sales offices in Mexico City.

Experiment in International Living:

The Experiment has been offering immersive cross-cultural exchanges, fun and thought-provoking adventures, and experiential learning programs since 1932.

Career Exploration


The American Institute of Architects maintains a list of universities that host summer programs for high school students. Among those that appear on the list, TAE students have attended University of Oregon and Cornell in previous years.

The Arts:

Berklee College of Music:

Study at one of the most renowned schools for contemporary and jazz music in the U.S.

Columbus College of Art & Design:

Offers students in 3ro to 5to a three week college experience in art and design.

Eastman School of Music:

Intensive, residential programs for talented high school students, in jazz, orchestral instruments, music composition, piano, organ, and classical guitar

Marist College in Italy:

Offers two week portfolio and career exploration programs at the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, in fashion design, interior design, and studio art.

Savannah College of Art and Design:

1 week and 5 week pre-college programs. Competitive financial aid available. Several TAE students have participated in recent years.


The Summer Academy at St. John´s College:

Like-minded students gather for a week or more of reading and discussing some of Western civilization’s foundational works and ideas. Locations in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland.

Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM):

The American Mathematical Society has a listing of different summer math programs throughout the U.S.

Jacobs University International Summer School:

Located in Bremen, Germany, Jacobs University hosts top high school math students from around the world for a 10 day program led by world-renowned mathematicians. English is the language of instruction. A TAE student participated in 2013.

MIT summer programs and recommended programs:

MIT runs a couple of competitive STEM related summer programs at low cost, and suggests several programs at other schools that do the same. Applications are competitive and places offered to top students.