As a study abroad destination, England is one of the classics. From the English countryside to major cities like London, Liverpool, and Manchester, England has no shortage of ways for students to learn and explore.
England appeals to students with many different academic interests. If you’re planning to study literature in college, get a jump start with a summer program at Oxford. If you're learning English, spend a semester living with an English family. Only have a short time? Then travel and learn about English culture while visiting Shakespeare’s home or one its many museums.
Oh, and parents will love this one: the low culture barrier and overall safety of the country make it both an easy and safe country to send your high school student. There's no end to why you should choose to spend part of high school abroad in England.
High school in England is best for students who like literature, history, global economics, architecture, pub food, Harry Potter, and castles.
If you're interested in studying abroad in England, you can choose from:
- A semester or full year exchange
- A summer study abroad program
- A study / travel program over spring, winter, or summer break
High School Exchange
A full semester or year abroad in England generally entails living at a boarding school or with a homestay family and attending a local high school. This is a great option for students who what to discover what it’s like to live among British and really immerse themselves in English life. How long you stay depends on your high school requirements and policies, but there are options for a direct exchange which will enable your credits to transfer. Get the full details on how high school in England is different.
Teen Travel Tour
Most students, however, will choose to study in England for a shorter period of time. Popular among high schoolers are short-term study / travel tours that take you around England with other students while integrating an educational component.
Summer Study Program
A nice medium is spending a few weeks in England over a summer and enrolling in a more intensive course or program. Often -- especially if your program is partnered with a university like Oxford, Cambridge, or any other of England's top institutions -- you can get college credit for these as well.
Planning Your Trip
High school students of most nationalities (American, Canadian, EU, Australian, etc.) who will be in England for less than 90 days can enter on a tourist visa. This visa will be given to you on arrival.
If you're planning to spend more than 90 days in England, then you will need to apply for a student visa. Plan to start applying about three months before the start of your program and to hear if your visa is approved / not approved within three weeks. Full details on student visas, along with an application, can be found on the UK's official student visa page.
Note: If you are studying in England via a program provider, they should provide you with visa assistance.
The housing typically depends on what type of program you're doing while studying high school abroad in England. If you're doing a summer course at a university, students will likely stay in a dorm room with other students. Teen travel program? Then expect to share a hotel room with your travel-mates. For a semester or year exchange, you'll likely live with a host family (or dorm in the case of a boarding school).
For North Americans, flights to London will likely be in the $700 - $1,500 range, depending on where you’re flying from.
Food, shopping, and daily expenses can be costly (but you knew that already). Plan to budget around $80 per day (that's on the high end) for the duration of your stay -- less if your housing and food is included in the cost of your program.
The price of the program you choose can vary according to length of stay, type of housing and what’s included. It can range from $800 for a two week trip to $8,000 for a full summer program, to $22,000 for a semester program.
England is known for its rain and fog so knowing what to wear while studying there is key. Be sure to pack:
- A good raincoat, umbrella, and boots (it's worth splurging on a sturdy umbrella!)
- One nicer set of clothes (Londoners tend to dress more formally)
- A converter (the UK uses a type G)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A light jacket -- even in the summer
Health & Safety
Staying Healthy in England
There are no vaccinations required for going to England, and staying healthy while there won't be very different than (if at all) back home.
England is generally safe, but always be aware of pickpockets, especially in touristy areas. Keep your bag in your lap, rather than slinging it on the back of a chair, and avoid walking alone at night.
All in all, England is an incredibly safe country and you should have little to worry about there.