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Studying abroad for a semester in college is popular among students, but many high school kids do not realize that they have many of the same opportunities offered to them right now. Spending a few weeks to a year in England will give pre-college pupils an experience overseas and a fantastic resume-builder. Studying abroad before applying to college is a great way for you to stand out to admissions offices and for future employers to commend your bold and adventurous nature.
The English capitol, London, is a bustling city known for its mix of modern culture and rich history. Outside of London and other major cities in England, there is a charming countryside that is much more relaxed than city life. This country boats some of the world's best universities and high schools, at which many high school study abroad programs are taught. England offers students a variety of different settings in which they can learn, ensuring that students will never be bored and will enjoy studying in this eclectic country.
There are many different types of study abroad programs for high school students and those considering this opportunity must research which would be best for them personally. Programs can range from as little as a few weeks to as long as a full year abroad. A student can choose to go to a regular British school and take a full course load there or pick a specific subject. When considering studying abroad, check with local high schools and see if relations have previously been formed with a specific school abroad or program. This could make planning much easier if someone has already paved the way. Do plenty of research with your parents or guardians to decide on a program that is right for you.
Many programs require students to be of a certain age and most expect a certain grade point average in order to ensure that students will do well academically while abroad. There are usually tutoring and support services offered while overseas, but students must be in good academic standing to qualify for most programs. An application process is normal and may require a teacher recommendation or transcripts from their high school.
Lengthier programs will have students staying with a host family who has been deemed suitable by the program. Students interested in home stays while abroad can find them both in cities as well in country settings. The cost is built into the program but the family provides a bedroom and meals for the student. For shorter programs, students typically reside at a university for their stay and meals are provided by the program or at low additional costs. Most of these details vary by program and length of stay abroad, but this information is easy to come by when researching.
Before studying abroad, each person must have a passport that will not expire while the student is overseas. They will also have to apply for a student visa since they will be taking classes abroad. As long as the student is not working or interning abroad, most people can get their visa by providing a few documents at customs upon arrival in the foreign country, but it is best to check with the program and the foreign country before confirming with a program.
There is a lot to do before a student studies abroad, but most study abroad companies will prepare the students and families sufficiently to make the preparation and the study abroad experience easy and enjoyable.
Flights to England will most likely be over $1000 and booking well in advance is the best way to get the cheapest airfare, but it is important to factor in this cost when budgeting. Some programs provide assistance when booking flights and most will have a staff member at the arrival gate when the student touches down in London, England to assist with transportation to the student's residence. Renewing or getting a visa and passport are other expenses that must be taken into consideration. Depending on the length of the program and what is included, academic costs can vary drastically. There are scholarships and grants through state and national government offices, as well as through study abroad programs, that vary in award money but will assist in paying tuition. Personal items, such as souvenirs, extra meals or excursions not included in the program cost, will have to be factored into the student's budget before leaving for England.
Studying abroad in high school makes you stand out to admissions counselors, employers, professors and classmates. Studying abroad in high school puts you a step ahead of the students who usually wait until college to go overseas. Living in a foreign culture gives a person a much wider perspective and a greater appreciation for the world around them. It also makes a student more culturally aware at a younger age.
Studying in England offers students the opportunities to do extensive traveling to other countries. Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Germany are all quick train or plane rides away. Making connections can help a student obtain a job or a placement into schools later in life. Making international connections looks even more impressive and opens the door to more global opportunities. England offers city or country life at some of the best schools in the world.
The education and experiences you will receive here will be top-notch extremely memorable. Students can take classes that they're interested in studying later in life and possibly get college credit for them.
There are a wide array of program types and lengths for students looking to study abroad in high school. The possibilities are numerous and the benefits endless. A student studying abroad in high school, as opposed to college, will have a great topic to discuss in college entrance papers or interviews and when applying for jobs. Any student who is interested in becoming more globally aware would benefit from studying abroad.
Interested students have to think about which type of program would give them the best opportunities and which appeals most to them. As this is a big decision, research has to be done before making the choice as to what is best for you. No matter what, a semester in England will provide a student with an incredible resume-builder, fantastic memories and something to talk about for the rest of their life.Photo credit: London reflected in the Thames River at Sunset, London and Thames, Stonehenge, King's College Chapel of Cambridge
Elizabeth is a rising junior studying English and psychology at her college in New York. While she has daydreamed of going abroad her whole life, her semester in London in Fall 2013 will be her first time out of the United States. Liz enjoys hiking, writing, reading and rowing for her collegiate team back in the U.S.
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