Studying Abroad in HS–Things to Consider

If you would like to study aborad during high school, there are several factors to consider:

Excellent exchange programs are AFS, NSLY or any state department affiliated programs.

Studying abroad means you will not have reliable junior year grades, so freshman, sophomore and Senior grades must accurately reflect those required by your target colleges.

Be sure to take US History and English prior to your departure to fulfill your high school requirements. Taking English classes abroad typically only works if the class is literature-based, and naturally most foreign high schools do not offer US History!  🙂

You can wait to take PE or health until Senior year as you might get credit while you are abroad.

You can always ask the international high school for help in continuing to pursue a special talent you have, such as sports or arts.

Testing while you are abroad usually is limited to only a spring SAT available in a capitol city, and this does not include the PSAT.  Prepare to travel for this and register far in advance.  You also DO need to prep for this.  A difficulty for international students is the limited number of SAT test dates offered, and the near lack of ACT test dates abroad at all.  Plan ahead so that you can retest to boost your score.

Bring home paper transcripts with you when you return to the US, in the original language, so that you can  send them to your colleges yourself.  Make sure these are NOT translated documents.

You will want to stay in contact with your high school counselor while you are abroad, to be in the loop at your school about letters of rec, essay workshops, etc.

Studying abroad during high school can be a wonderful experience and is certainly worth managing a few extra details!  You can also always study abroad during college, which MANY students do and they typically adore this experience.  Yay, college!


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