Want to get a head start on exploring the world? Many students wait until college (if at all!) to travel and study abroad. However, there's no reason you should wait.

Europe offers students an opportunity to be surrounded by many different languages and cultures. You can hop on a train and be in a different country in an hour! Europe is also very safe, so parents and students alike will feel comfortable and reassured while you're out there discovering the globe.

Europe is best for students who: are taking high level or AP language classes, want to learn a European language, or who haven’t traveled overseas yet and want to start off somewhere easier.

Considering how popular and how large Europe is, there are many program types available for high school students. Before deciding, take in to account how long you want to be overseas, what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to become conversational in Spanish? Learn to cook Italian food? Make new friends at a volunteer organization? See as many places in a short amount of time? Your goals will determine what type of program you look for.

Exchange programs are great for students who want to be fully immersed in a new culture for a semester or a full year. The UK is a popular option for full semester or year long exchanges, as students are able to do their coursework in English.

While this may not be possible for everyone, options to go over the summer or over school breaks are also wonderful opportunities. Summer programs and teen travel programs are the best option for students who feel like they don’t want to or can’t miss anything at home. They are great for student-athletes or high-schoolers who hold jobs, such as babysitting or working a local internship, during the academic year. Choose one of these if you want to get some academic credit for college by enrolling in a summer course, or to see and learn as much about Europe as possible on a travel program.

Volunteering/service learning programs are alternatives to just studying overseas. These are more likely to be offered over summers and to be more immersive. Though not quite as common in Europe as other parts of the globe, there are still projects -- like English conversation or restoring an old castle -- for volunteers here.

Along the same vein, language immersion programs are wonderful opportunities to really hone your language skills in a short amount of time, and probably one of the most common reasons students head to Europe. Learn Spanish in Spain, French in France, Italian in Italy! Learning from native speakers and being immersed in the local culture is the best way to become fluent (or close to it!)

Popular Countries

Some of the most popular countries in Europe are France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. This is because it is easy to learn a new language in those places (or delve further if you’ve already started learning). Others popular, English-speaking destinations are England and Ireland.

Student visa requirements

Anything longer than that, and you'll have to apply for a student visa before leaving your home country. Start the application process at least a couple of months in advance to allow yourself plenty of time for any delays. The exact process may vary from country to country, but if you're going through a program provider they'll help point you in the right direction.

Housing

Again, due to the large number of program options in Europe, there is a high variety of housing options. These can include, but are not limited to, homestays, hotels, hostels, and dormitories. Homestays are more popular for students who want to learn another language or will be overseas for longer periods of time. They are great options for parents, too, who want their kids to be looked after by another adult!

If you're on a teen travel program, you're more likely to stay in a hotel with the other students. For summer courses at a local university, you'll likely live in one of the college dorms on campus.

Costs

While Europe is on the more expensive side for continents to study abroad in, it is not impossible. Scholarships and financial aid help make it more affordable, and summer programs or teen travel programs tend to be on the cheaper side since they are shorter in length.

As for the amount of money you'll need while you're there, typically your costs for housing, in-country travel, and excursions are usually covered in the program fee. That takes away a huge chunk of what most travelers need to budget for their trip, so you'll likely just need a little spending money (for the gelato and postcards, obviously) while there.

Again, some countries, like England and Ireland, are more expensive than others, like Spain and the Czech Republic, but estimate to have about $20 - 30 per day. You may not spend it all, but it's always better to be on the safe side.

Packing tips

Keep in mind where in Europe you are traveling to, and when. If you will be there for a semester or for a year, be prepared for seasons to change, even if you're in the Southern areas of some countries. If you'll be gone just a short time, make sure you pack lightly so its easier to travel. Also, we recommend using a backpack or duffle bag, not a suitcase, since they're easier to drag around old cobblestone streets and up stairs in elevator-less hotels (which are common in Europe).

Some necessities to not forget:

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  • Passport and extra photocopies (save one digitally!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Your camera
  • A light sweater (if you're visiting churches at all)
  • Converters
  • If you are staying with a host family, don't forget to bring a gift for them from home!
Health

Vaccinations are usually not necessary when traveling to Europe. However you should still make sure to visit your doctor at home before you leave to get a check up, as well as any other information he/she might suggest before leaving.

Safety

Overall, Europe is a safe place to travel, even as a teen. As a rule, you should always use your best judgment while at home and when overseas.

The most common annoyance is pickpocketing. It's fairly common throughout Europe, so make sure to keep your valuables in a safe place when you leave them and while they are on you (i.e.: zip purses, front pockets, travelers pouches), and try to avoid hanging your purse / backpack on the back of your chair while you're in a cafe. Keep it in your lap instead.

High School Abroad Programs in Europe

Displaying 16 - 30 of 374 programs
Sol Abroad
Sol Abroad High School Program in Spain
Spain
21 reviews5 interviews

Study abroad with Sol Abroad in the fascinating and ancient city of...

Travel For Teens
Travel For Teens: Germany
Germany
9 reviews

Join TFT this summer in Germany and see why the country is loved by...

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Travel For Teens: Iceland
Iceland
7 reviews

Get ready to take your travels to the next level as you explore this...

Oxford Scholastica Academy
Oxford Scholastica Academy: Academic Summer School for 12-18 year olds
England
8 reviews2 interviews

We offer students the the chance to master their subjects, gain...

SPI Study Abroad
SPI High School Italian Language Immersion & Cultural Leadership in Italy
Italy
6 reviews1 interview

Located in the heart of scenic Tuscany, SPI Study Abroad's Italian...

LITA
LITA: A Unique Approach to Language Immersion in Spain
Spain
31 reviews3 interviews

LITA is a unique, rural focused language immersion program in Spain...

API
API High School: Spanish Language & Culture (for credit) in Salamanca
Spain
9 reviews

API High School's Spanish Language and Culture program immerses high...

Cow House Studios
Art on the Farm High School Program in Ireland
Ireland
15 reviews2 interviews

Students have a unique opportunity to focus on drawing, painting...

Abbey Road Programs
Abbey Road High School French Immersion Homestay Program in the South of France
France
10 reviews

Explore the beautiful French Riviera with Abbey Road in our Summer...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE High School Summer Abroad in Seville, Spain – Spanish Language & Culture
Spain
46 reviews

What’s a typical day like in Seville? Because of the heat, mornings...

Cambridge International Academy
Pre-University Program at Cambridge International Academy in the UK
England
9 reviews1 interview

Based in Cambridge, UK, Cambridge International Academy offers...

Travel For Teens
Travel For Teens: Switzerland
Switzerland
6 reviews

Get ready for the perfect combination of beauty and adventure...

Abbey Road Programs
Abbey Road High School Western Civilization Travel Program
Multiple Countries
4 reviews1 interview

Western Civilization is a unique summer educational journey in time...

The Experiment in International Living
Spain: Spanish Language & Culture
Spain
18 reviews1 interview

Begin your journey in Madrid, exploring famous sites, museums, and...

The Experiment in International Living
Netherlands: LGBTQ+ Rights & Advocacy
Netherlands
13 reviews1 interview

Begin your journey with a stay in a castle, then travel like locals...

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