High school can prove to be a transformative time for many students worldwide given the amount of challenges one faces and exposure one goes through.
Most people look back at their high school experience and think fondly about the best of times. Some however don’t share the same sentiment.
As Charles Dickens said; ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” However some people’s experience may have been it is essentially the time when your entire personality is consecrated into something substantial and makes you stand out amongst your peers.
This is all from students who have attended local high school. Now imagine students who aim for studying high school abroad. Exciting! Right?
Studying high school in another country is a dream come true for international students given the gentrification of the entire high school experience in mainstream pop culture.
This however is not baseless and has some truth behind it, therefore most international students jump at the mere sign of best thigh school opportunities for international students.
Whether you are a fan of metropolitan cities, raging skyscrapers or you prefer rural expanse or even the beach, we have got options for you.
If you are in looking forward to pursuing high school education abroad and want some insight into the high school life for international students then you have some of the greatest and minutely tailored options as many study abroad programs are designed for this solely.
You not only have the chance to explore an entirely new country, immerse in their culture and meet all kinds of people from all corners of the world but you also get high class education while doing all this.
This however comes with its own challenges and queries and here we have compiled exactly that.
Tips For High School Education Abroad
First of all we must address the issue of who and what kind of international students are allowed to attend high school abroad.
The age must be in the range of 14 to 18 years old. These students are then not only required to maintain a grade point average that puts them over passing but they are also tested on their ability to have the sense of maturity, adaptability as well as motivation required to go abroad on their own and attempt a high school education.
These values are important because a high school experience itself can be very displacing and unnerving and when you add to that the factor of being an unknown person in an unknown place and system it gets more grueling.
Hence these qualities help you not only survive but also circumnavigate the whole thing smoothly. Along with these, you are also required to attempt an IELTS exam and 45 is the minimum score you are required to maintain.
There are several school districts however that have their own special requirements to go along with all these and you must find them out through the appropriate personnel and help centers.
The next and foremost thing any international student needs is to familiarize themselves with are U.S visas. You are required to hold an F1 visa if you are an international student studying abroad in high school.
This visa not only allows international students to gain a holistic higher education abroad but also gives them the chance to undertake a diploma course in either public or private sector schools in the US.
It also allows international students some leeway with the location of their choosing as well as any goals they might have regarding the kind of academic program they are looking for plus they can enjoy a lot of freedom with extracurricular activities as well.
International students looking for higher education abroad can apply to a particular school district directly and get the placement of their choice easily with this visa.
This however is not the case for exchange students who are visiting for 12 months only. Those are required to hold a J1 visa and are evaluated by Council on Standards for International Educational Travel in Alexandria, Virginia or CSIET. There is another option for visa for international students looking for training in non-academic sectors such as vocational training or study and this is called an M Students Visa.
As an international student looking for high school education abroad you must keep in mind the dates for applications and regularly update your knowledge regarding these.
Usually, the deadline for fall programs is in July while for the spring ones is around November.
There is a chance however that some of these schools might reach their maximum potential for placements before these last dates of submissions so it’s always better and recommended that students hurry where the application process is concerned.
Also Read: Best Cities For Studying Abroad In The UK
This not only ensures your placement but also helps you give a much bigger margin of choice for the school district you would like to attend.
It is highly suggested that international students interested in higher education abroad research all kinds of schools and institutions available for said education.
This can either be done via a correspondent that helps acclimatize the students with these schools and their respective rankings or students can research and vet these schools independently.
If your first language is any other than English and you’re looking ahead to pursuing high school education abroad then you can research regarding schools that provide learning and immersive opportunities for English learning.
Along with the researching the type of school you will be attending while studying high school abroad you must also look into the options you have for accommodation. Sometimes high schools provide accommodation to international students and other times you might have to independently approach this issue.
If you are looking at the best high school opportunities for international students in order to pursue academic studies instead of exchange programs then you will have to apply to these schools just like a local student would except that along with the application essay and interview you will also have to undertake an exam that evaluate your proficiency in the English language.
Another practical step to take when you are looking at best high school opportunities for international students abroad is that you must go through every single option you have while working with the agencies that aim to bridge the gap between you are your prospective choices.
This can not only help you overcome the language barrier if there is any but also help with any issues that may arise while filling out the application form.
Not only this but once you have achieved placement in the school of your choice, some of these agencies go ahead and help you with settling down in your new family, your new school and your new environment.
It must be noted however that not all of these agencies are as good as their respective advertisements claim and hence we suggest strictly vetting them beforehand.
Another addition to our arsenal of tips for high school education abroad is the information that international students looking for higher education abroad are allowed to attend schools that will obtain a particular amount of fee in order for them to get placements.
The amount depends on the type of district that these international students choose however an overview of this fee structure would include tuition for the high school you have matched at plus the placement fee, fees for the host family, fee for guardianship as well as supervision by organizations aiding international students abroad, fees for the visa application as well as the documents and support that goes along with it and last but not the least, sometimes they also charge you money for the airport meet and greet if you are going through some kind of organizational body that deal with international students studying high school in another country.
This fees is what gives international students the high school life that they dream of. You enjoy similar advantages as to the local high school students such as the freedom of choice for subjects be it STEMs or arts as well as activities that add to the eventual buildup of a good, captivating resume.
Along with the prospect of pursuing high school education abroad, these students also get the choice to graduate along with their fellow students. You can have either home cooked lunches or buy it from the cafeteria; you are allowed all kinds of choices for this as well.
To address the one issue mentioned before, that of school districts, students must keep in mind that on F-1 visa they are allowed to choose a particular district and not a specific school. The visa allows the students this choice of district and then their application is processed.
Once accepted the school district will itself be responsible to decide which school they deem best for a particular student and then provide placement.
One more amazing piece of news students aiming for studying high school abroad can hear is that they are placed with host families belonging to the community where their school is situated. These families receive a small amount of compensation for hosting international students.
This is screened by proper organizational bodies that go through the entire process until the student is properly placed and the host families have assimilated with the student.
This supervision continues before as well as during the entire span of the academic session. These host families specially dedicate themselves to give students the high school experience of a life time while also helping them get the firsthand experience of the local culture and customs.
This is what we call an immersive experience and it’s a crucial part of making your high school life for international students all-the-more exciting and meaningful.
Top High School Education Abroad Options to Choose From
- Educatis Group (helps with placements for international students looking for High School Education abroad in many countries including the USA)
- Cambridge Network
- The Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) Global Young Leaders Academy – Finance
- CIEE High School Summer Abroad in Portland, Maine – Global Entrepreneurship
- Public, Private or Boarding School programs in the USA
- CATS Academy Boston
- American International School of Utah (AISU)
- Georgetown University Summer Programs for High School Students
- Squaw Valley Academy
- GEOS North American Language Schools: USA
- Fashion Camp NYC
- Summer Teen English and Dance Program in New York City at the Rennert School