High School Abroad Program: Fall Semester

Video and Photos

scuba diving on the great barrier reef
scuba diving on the great barrier reef
sunrise at siem reap temple
sunrise at siem reap temple
lectures on the great wall of china
lectures on the great wall of china
Beijing!
Beijing!
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes
Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

About

Why Take a High School Semester Abroad in Asia and Oceania?

Imagine studying Buddhism in the temples of Angkor Wat, exploring the Great Wall of China in Beijing and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. Picture yourself taking a cruise in Ha Long bay, studying the Ming Dynasty in the Forbidden City, or seeing the effects of the Western world on the development of Communist China.

The best learning lies in experiencing the world around us where there are no desks, there are no walls, the world is the classroom. The Fall Semester program includes eighty days of overseas travel and learning in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, and Fiji. Students are enrolled in four courses: World Issues, International Business, English, and Media Production.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 13 reviews
  • Growth 9.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
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Chloe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Big year

I am completing the big year, I traveled to Asia and Austrialia for my first semester of senior year and I will travel to Europe for the second semester of senior year. This experience and opportunity is truly once in a lifetime. I had the most incredible time on my first semester and I can’t wait for semester two to start. The people who do this program are so open-minded and mature so it makes getting along with people very easy. The places I traveled to were so amazing, destinations such as Angkor Wat and the Great Barrier Reef are dream trips on the top of most travelers lists so I feel very grateful that I was able to experience all of it. The school work is demanding and it challenges you, but in the best way possible. I feel the courses have prepared well for university because we do assignments that have purpose, rather than loads of busy work I use to do at my traditional school. If you have the opportunity to do this program I would not turn it down, it is an incredible experience that I will no doubt remember for the rest of my life.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Walking into the pre-departure meeting is the most nerve racking moment by far. The good part is that everyone is in the same boat- no one knows each other so everyone is nervous! Walking in to the room where your group and teachers are, and meeting them for the first time does feel like that first day of school moment. Although the nerves go away right after that moment. You instanley get a feeling of inclusion and welcomeness with the group as a whole.
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Zoe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life Changing Experience

I can hands down say that studying abroad with MEI was the best decision I have ever made. Coming from a traditional high school, my preconceptions of studying abroad were pretty standard. I expected to experience, fun, community, and knowledge. What I couldn't have planned for was how just three months would drastically expand my views on the world we live in and at the same time grow my confidence and internal reflection of what it means to be a cog in the greater machine of society. With MEI you are given all of the tools and guidance to challenge yourself as far as you wish. What makes this program so unique is the self-led investigation that is encouraged throughout. The teachers would cover the required curriculum while at the same time encouraging and supporting me and my peers when our curiosity sparked by something specifically. For example, when I expressed an interest in learning how to write a proper professional email, an English assignment was adapted so I could have time set aside to explore that writing format. Or when I expressed an extreme desire to trek across Beijing to the Summer Palace, the teachers celebrated my passion and gave me the time and resources to do it. The people I met and places I visited shaped the way I think of the world at present and my views toward the future. Studying with MEI has redefined what learning means and I am so grateful for my experience on the Term 1 and 2 programs.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could improve anything it would be to visit more off the beaten path locations. Some of my favourite memories and best learning experiences took place in the locations that one may have never even heard of, such as Mui Ne, Vietnam, or Yungaburra, Australia.
Default avatar
Payton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Soaring High to Seize (Seas) the Day

I was a shy kid growing up. I never did anything that would force me out of my comfort zone. I would surround myself with my best friends. So, when I saw the MEI Fall semester online I knew I needed to apply. I needed to do something for myself. I needed to do something that would change my life. The MEI Fall Semester was incredible. There are no words to describe how amazing this experience was but I’m going to try to explain it in a few paragraphs.

First you step into a room with a bunch of people you’ve never met before in your life. Immediately you feel comfortable around them, because these will be the people you spend your next three months with. You switch roommates every location so it’s impossible not to get close with everyone on the trip. As cliché as it sounds these people will become your family. I shared so many secrets that I have never admitted to anyone in my life.

From climbing the Great Wall of China to Hiking in the Blue Mountains every experience pairs with an amazing scenic view. We walked through night markets in Beijing and Hong Kong and explored the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City. There is not one memory that I can say was better than the rest because each day was a rollercoaster of events. In Australia we would wake up early in the morning to do an hour workout. It would drain us all of our energy, but we would rejuvenate in our beautiful three-bedroom apartments treating ourselves to homemade breakfast and showers. Next, we would have a lesson normally at a luscious green park and write in our morning notes about experiences, memories, and writing prompts provided. Afterwards we would have free time to explore the streets of the location we were in. Normally stopping in coffee shops to have our lunchtime latte while getting some work done. Later on, we would reconnect with everyone for a sport tournament or an activity. Everyday ran like this in Australia and Bali, and even though Asia was a bit more chaotic it ran the same way as well.

We developed such a common routine on the trip and got so used to the physical activity we had to partake in each day. Now that I’m back at home I miss the vigorous workouts. Even the academics were a challenge but so rewarding with every assignment we completed. We were required to present in front of the class to develop our public speaking skills, like our climate change debate in Mui Ne. Each of our presentations and book chats allowed everyone to have an equal voice. After every essay I wrote or short story I presented it felt gratifying. I knew all of my assignments broadcasted the best of my abilities and they helped me improve my communication skills.

If I can tell you anything that will convince you to come on the trip, is just know these people you meet: will be your friends for the rest of your life. As I am back to the real world, we are already planning reunions to see each other again. This trip is meant for you if you have a will and wanderlust. Everyone on this trip loved to travel, and we cherished each experience so much. The academics and physical activity may be challenging, but you can get through it and achieve your personal goals. Before I went on this trip I was lazy, I would watch TV when I woke up and watch it when I got back from school. After being on an incredible journey I don’t even think of wasting my time staring at a screen, I now am much more productive and have an even greater will to achieve everything I set my mind to.

What would you improve about this program?
If there is anything that you could improve it would be allowing the trip to be a few extra days at the end after ISU's and exams so that we can spend them relaxing and hanging out with our best friends.
Scorpion in thailand!
Matheson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An adventure of a lifetime

Never did I think I would look forward to going to class or go seeking out new opportunities to learn. MEI gave we a desire for knowledge and the techniques to obtain it, the idea that learning doesn’t necessarily have to happen within the confines of a classroom and within the borders of a curriculum. From sitting in Tiananmen Square to biking to Siem Reap, and to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, my Mei adventure was the experience of a lifetime. It allowed me to make many meaningful connections with both passionate teachers and like-minded students, it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and it shaped me as an individual. I would recommend Mei to anyone looking for the adventure of a lifetime, it is truly a life-changing experience

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Emili
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience Like No Other

I have previously been on two trips with MEI and I can’t emphasize enough on how amazing the experience was. I wish I could explain to others how life-changing, eye-opening, and adventurous the trip really is but one would just have to experience it for themselves to really understand how spectacular traveling with MEI really is. I’ve traveled many times before I went on MEI but its very different since you really get to learn about the country you are in and experience the culture as well. Not only was my two trips with MEI amazing but it also taught me that school does not have to be a drag because for once I was always excited to attend my next lecture. Unlike regular school, the teachers are passionate about what they teach making each lesson exciting and engaging. Confidence, leadership, happiness, and friendship are just some of the things you’ll find when traveling with MEI, its an experience like no other and I wouldn’t want to have my high school experience any other way. MEI has brought happiness into my life and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
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Caitlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

World's Best Classroom

MEI gave me the opportunity to study in some of the worlds coolest classrooms. From learning about communism while sitting on the Great Wall of China, to learning about the Great Barrier Reef while sitting on a boat right above the Great Barrier Reef! It is amazing being able to learn about things while being immersed in them. I will never forget the things I learned and saw while travelling throughout Asia, Australia and Fiji. It was the trip of a lifetime that I would highly recommend to everyone!

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Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure of a Lifetime

I've been on multiple trips with MEI and I haven't regretted one second of them. I've had the chance to learn about the world while travelling, to make lifelong friends and to push myself out of my comfort zone by trying new things. There is nothing quite like learning about the Vietnam War while crawling around the Chu Chi Tunnels, or reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Hyde Park, or learning about the gladiators at the Roman Colosseum. The teachers are amazing and supportive and MEI allows us to travel in a safe way and to meet new people we wouldn't normally hang out with. I avidly recommend MEI to anyone who will listen, it really is the adventure of a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
I can't think of any way this program could be improved. I've been on multiple trips that were absolutely amazing and I've had some of the best times of my life with MEI.
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Riley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

#MyMEIAdventure

A phenomenal experience that I am truly blessed to have been apart of. Everytime I am asked to speak of it, I have no words. The friends I've made, the places I've been, and the stories I can tell have shaped me into a person I never thought possible. Through attending, I have learned to look past the small bubble society has placed me in, and instead broaden my horizon to the big picture. I have been taught to challenge viewpoints and be the change. MEI was a life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
To take the trip up a level, I would suggest giving students more days to appreciate their surroundings and peers. Those are the memory's you never forget.
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Millie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most Beneficial Experience of My Life!

MEI Academy, Fall Semester was a truly life changing experience. Meeting so many other students who were so passionate about learning and travelling was incredible, and everyone became like a second family almost immediately. The planning of the trips is extremely well organized, and there is no time to be bored, because you're either having fun with your new family, or sight seeing, or working, all three of which are unbelievably fun on this trip! I would 100% recommend to anyone who is looking for a new way to experience high school, instead of sitting in a dull classroom. The classrooms on this adventure have no walls, and are filled with inspiring views, making this the most beneficial, and creative learning environment that I'll ever experience. MEI is truly an indescribable experience, that is priceless, given the memories that are made, the lessons learned, and the connections formed!

What would you improve about this program?
In no way do I feel that this program has improving to do. The course curriculum, and the activities that are provided throughout the trip are exceptional, and the teachers are truly passionate beyond words about their profession.
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Chanelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Opportunity of a lifetime!!

This trip will always be known as the one that changed my life and shaped me into who I am. Words cannot begin to describe my MEI experience; the only way for someone to understand how beneficial and life changing this trip can be is for them to experience it for themselves. MEI International Academy is much more than just studying abroad; it is an experience that has the ability to completely transform a student. I am so thankful to have been taught by such passionate teachers, and to have been surrounded by such like-minded and positive students.

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Elena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best highschool opportunity I know!

Choosing to go on my MEI trip was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The locations themselves were absolutely amazing, but I think the best part of the trip was the people I met. Even a year after my trip, I’m still in contact with my whole class and all of my teachers. I feel like on this trip I got to push myself outside of my comfort zone like I never had before, and try so many new things. Honestly this trip was a once in a lifetime experience.

What would you improve about this program?
The only suggestions I have for the program would to be add a couple days at the end of the trip. I felt like everything was a bit rushed after exams and would have liked some time to hang out with friends on our last couple days together.
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Semester of a Lifetime

I knew I wanted to travel and I knew I wanted it to make an impact on my life. I just didn’t know how to make that happen. MEI made just that happen. I learnt more than just World Issues and English, I learnt how to be independent, punctual, and most importantly, to be present in every moment. The education and teachers were so pure and intrigued me during every lesson. I loved how everything we were learning had to do with the location we were at, like our unit on the Vietnam War which we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh. One of my favourite locations was Cambodia for the history and the resilience of the country. I loved seeing Angkor Wat, spending hours taking photos and wandering through the mysterious temples. I did not have a bad day on this trip, of course I had bad moments, but I cannot say I had a bad day. The teachers got us moving by playing sports in the mornings (which was amazing in all of our locations) and games in the evenings. There was the perfect academic to fun ratio, by managing my time well with the assignments I never felt overwhelmed. Each new day was an experience, I learnt and saw new things that will stick with me for the rest of my life. This program is unique for it’s real world learning, like when we were inside the Forbidden City while we were learning about it. It’s like being inside the textbook witnessing what it’s describing for yourself. Now that I’m home I see how lucky we are here in Canada and try not to take things for granted. I made some lifelong friends on this trip, who will always be there for me even if they are in the US or on the other side of Canada. If someone where to ask me if I’d do the Fall Semester again, I’d be back on a plane tomorrow doing it again in a heartbeat.

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Kyara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a Lifetime

MEI taught me many things that I will hold with me forever. The program taught me techniques and skills to improve my education, educated me on the world from many different views and mostly taught me to step out of my comfort zone. While travelling abroad with MEI I learned a very important task Time Management, as there was so much I wanted to see and do while in all these countries there was also my share of work I had to complete for school. Overtime I learned how to create a balance and work concisely and efficiently so I was able to see everything I desired to see. On MEI I learned more in 80 days then I did in a six-month semester sitting in a desk. Lectures from my teachers were interesting and very enticing always making me want to know more. The teachers I had were very passionate about their teachings however were never biases, always allowing for the students input, point of view and suggestions. Finally on MEI I learned to step out of my confront zone, sometimes it was eating exotic foods, or working with different people other time it was completing a task I never thought I’d be able to do. Studying aboard with MEI Academy taught me things I would have never learned from a high school classroom.

The hardest moment of MEI for me was saying goodbye to my new family. Never have I ever been so close to 30 people in my entire life. After 80 days of an experience of a lifetime, living with the same people you become a family. They become your best friends, your brothers your sisters and I just never wanted it to end! The people surrounding me taught me so much, their constant support, the memories we made and the exciting fun times were so hard to see end. It was weird to believe I just travelled a portion of the world with these people and now I’m saying goodbye. 80 days before I was on a plane to Beijing, China with 30 strangers and 80 days later I was saying goodbye to my new family.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

About MEI International Academy

With MEI International Academy you'll need to bring your passport, because the world is our classroom. Rather than a typical exchange program, high school students and recent graduates from around the world travel from city to city and country to...