Study abroad during high school will improve your language ability and provide an enriching experience that will prepare you for the future.
Studying abroad during high school will not only improve your language skills, but also give you a unique life experience that you likely wouldn’t have had on U.S. soil. You’ll return home more globally aware, independent and prepared for life in college and beyond.
Language & Culture Immersion
Learning vocabulary, grammar and conversational skills in the classroom setting is one thing, but thinking on your feet while conversing with a native speaker is another. Studying abroad will accelerate your language learning, improve your accent and listening skills and give you confidence holding fast-paced conversations. While abroad, you’ll get to try new foods, learn about different customs, see famous art and architecture first-hand and visit historical buildings you may have read about in books.
Most importantly, you’ll get to interact with the local people, and be absorbed into the daily life of another country and language—while still benefiting from the Academy's network of support. Seeing how the locals live can give you a broader perspective and better understanding of the world around you.
When you study abroad in high school, you learn to become self-sufficient and take responsibility for yourself. It might be your first time traveling without your family. It might be your first time traveling at all. You’ll have to learn to live within your budget, while dealing in foreign currencies. You’ll learn to navigate campus and get around a new city—all while in another language. Learning to become independent and make decisions for yourself will result in increased confidence and maturity.
Friendships & Memories
Whether you make friends through the Academy or with locals you happen to meet along the way, you’ll likely form friendships with people you might not have befriended at home. You’ll bond with other students over your shared language immersion experiences and challenges. And you’ll meet locals going about your daily life. (Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! They will be excited to hear you conversing in their native tongue and will applaud your efforts.) A summer abroad is not likely something you’ll forget anytime soon. You’ll make lasting memories and connections that will stay with you the rest of your life.
A Lifetime of Opportunities
As the college admissions process becomes more competitive, study abroad can help you stand out. Not only will you accelerate your language skills (potentially skipping a language level when you return to school), but you’ll experience personal growth during your time abroad that may change your perspective of the world. That experience can translate into a lifetime of opportunities—to differentiate yourself during the college admissions process, to discover a passion you never knew you had and even to land an amazing job once you graduate.