High School Study Abroad Programs
Ready to Be a CIEE Global Navigator?
Our Global Navigator high school study abroad programs take you around the world to gain independence, flexibility, a broader worldview, and new friends, too. Go abroad during high school or after graduation for as little as 3 weeks to a full semester or academic year. Explore our full range of student travel programs below.
High School Summer Abroad
Experience a summer of language immersion, art courses, STEM courses, service-learning abroad, and other topics in one of 30+ destinations.
High School Semester Abroad
Live the life of a local teen and attend high school for a semester or an academic year in Spain, Japan, France, Germany and more!
Gap Year Abroad
Experience the World Before College
For recent high school grads who want to travel, explore, and experience a new culture before attending college.
First Year Abroad
Complete Your First Year of College Abroad
For recent high school grads who want to complete their first year of college abroad while pursuing their passions as a global citizen and staying on track to graduate in four years.
Can You Study Abroad in High School?
Yes, studying abroad in high school is possible and that's what CIEE Global Navigator programs are all about!
Our full range of study abroad programs give high schoolers the opportunity to spend anywhere between 3 weeks and a full academic year abroad. Our scholarships make summer abroad accessible to more students as we give away close to $6 million in scholarship funds to U.S. high school students each year. Students who may otherwise not have had a chance to travel as teenagers get to make lifelong friendships with students from across the U.S. and the world, helping them see themselves and other cultures in a new light.
Studying abroad in high school is not only transformative; it helps students stand out in college applications and job interviews. Unlike other countries where studying abroad is common during high school, only about 2% of U.S. students get that opportunity every year!
Questions About High School Study Abroad
Studying abroad while still in high school offers many benefits for teens, such as:
- World language proficiency
- Credentials for college applications and job interviews
- Life skills, like independence, intercultural awareness, and a global perspective, that can’t be learned in the classroom
- New friendships to last a lifetime
After participating in CIEE high school study abroad programs, Global Navigator alumni are on the path to becoming global citizens with the cultural competencies that prepare them for the future.
High school study abroad is all about experiential learning.
Discussions, group work, hands-on workshops, excursions and time for reflection are types of experiential learning offered on Global Navigator programs.
Students who learn through direct action, experience, and reflection can gain greater knowledge of a topic, develop more skills, and make better connections with the subject-matter in and out of class.
While everyone is different and there is no specific age when it is best to study abroad, high school is a special time of life when studying abroad can make a real difference. It helps students grow into more independent adults and shapes college and career choices!
CIEE high school study abroad programs are designed for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Most students on CIEE Global Navigator programs are in their junior and senior year.
Parents and teachers are sometimes concerned about their freshmen high school students studying abroad. However, approximately 20% of our students are rising sophomores. A study abroad experience with three full years of high school remaining provides the foundation for greater growth in language and independence over time.
Since 1947, CIEE has been opening doors for U.S. students to study abroad.
We’re the longest-running, non-profit study abroad organization and operate our own study centers around the world. Every year, we support more than 3,500 U.S. high school students traveling abroad. We also administer the largest study abroad scholarship fund for high school students in the U.S. and award $6 million every year, making our programs accessible to everyone!
What People Are Saying
"My Paris experience was life-changing in several ways [...] My CIEE experience has made me more independent, has given me a more open mind and more global perspective, has significantly improved my French and has made me more enthusiastic about incorporating French into my daily life."
Dahlia S. | Global Navigator Alum | French Language & Culture in Paris, France
"This trip has had a great impact on how I see the world, myself, and the USA. It is absolutely a trip I will never forget and will take with me through my life."
Julia H. | Global Navigator Alum | Leadership & Service Through Mandela's Example in Cape Town, South Africa
"Not only have I made lifelong friendships with lots of new, amazing people, but I have learned about a topic I am passionate about in one of the most beautiful places in the world... I learned to speak basic Setswana and about human-wildlife conflict and conservation. I also got to learn about water and soil erosion/conservation. This meant the world to me!"
Kayla W. | Global Navigator Alum | Botswanan Wildlife Conservation in Gaborone, Botswana
"I can't express to you how grateful my family is for the amazing opportunity [...] This experience has changed my daughter in profound ways, and it is such an unexpected surprise for us all. This year in high school, she attributes her ability to make friends more easily and open herself up directly to her CIEE experience! We talk about this often, and just wanted to let you know that this program changes lives."
Kimberly K. | Parent of Global Navigator Alum | Spanish Language & Culture in Madrid, Spain
High School Blogs
Your teen might be the first in the family to study abroad, to travel outside the U.S., and to take a solo flight among their circle of friends. This is... keep reading
In the latest podcast episode, we catch up with our alumni on the challenges they experienced during high school summer abroad and the growth they've seen in themselves since!
Your Donation Holds the Keys to Global Change
High school students are open-minded and ready to learn about themselves and the world. With your help, a small seed of change, planted at this point in their development, can influence the trajectory of their lives in a positive, lasting way.