High School Abroad in Mexico

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Frida Kahlo, adventures to Aztec ruins, lively festivals, beautiful beaches, and delicious food have been inspiring people to come to Mexico for years.

Spend time abroad while in high school to attend classes alongside Mexican students while living with a host family to master your Spanish language skills. Volunteer for a summer in Oaxaca with development organizations. Study wildlife conservation while spending a few weeks working with sea turtle conservation efforts. There are all sorts of programs for students with all interests.

Mexico is great for students who want to practice their Spanish with a host family, enjoy the arts and music, and care about conversation and public health.

If you're interested in doing high school abroad in Mexico, you can choose from:

  • A semester or full year exchange
  • A summer study or volunteer program
High School Exchange

Spend a few months to a year living with a host family, while attending school alongside Mexican students. In Oaxaca, you'll be closer to the mountains as well as more indigenous traditions. Students who want a more metropolitan feel can spend their time in the capital, Mexico City.

While attending high school abroad in Mexico, students can take Spanish language courses and electives about Mexican history, art, marine biology, in additional to math and science classes. Students will get to experience Mexican life outside of the classroom too, at soccer games and festivals.

Summer Study Abroad

What better way to experience a new country, than to spend a summer abroad? Embark on a language immersion program and improve your Spanish. Spent 1-3 months volunteering with a development organization in Oaxaca or with sea turtles at the Campamento Tecoman biological station for a few weeks. Road trip through Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Mexico on an experiential learning expedition through indigenous America. Or get to learn about marine biology as you travel through different Mexican coastal cities along the Baja Peninsula.

The variety of summer programs for high schoolers in Mexico allow students form any background to find something that suits their goals.

Student Visa

US citizens may enter and stay in Mexico for up to 180 days without a visa. Full year exchange programs will require a visa, but program providers will help students with that process.

Upon arriving in Mexico, travelers will receive an entrance paper. Students should keep this with their passport, as officials will ask to see it when they depart Mexico after their program.


Students who study abroad in Mexico during a semester or full year exchange will be paired up with a host family. Contrarily, students who do summer study or volunteer abroad programs will stay in hotels, ranches, with a temporary host family, eco-lodges, or camping depending on the program.


Most program fees cover two meals a day, housing, visa fees and program activities, so students should plan to budget for any extra activities they plan to do in Mexico. Affordable airlines like Southwest and Frontier now offer flights from major cities to Mexico for around $300 each way.

An average lunch can range between 60-80 Mexican Pesos, which is equivalent to less than $5. Dinner ranges from 200-300 Mexican Pesos, which is equal to $10-15.

Program fees vary depending on city, program, and duration of your time abroad. Semester programs range from $5,650 - $14,000. Year long programs cost between $7,400 - $14,495. Summer programs between 1-3 months range between $1,030 - $4,700.

Packing Tips

Unlike the US, Mexico only has two seasons: dry and wet. Dry season lasts from October through April and the wet season lasts from May until September, and temperatures are usually in the 70s and 80s year round.

Here are some things to not leave at home:

  • Rain jacket
  • Sneakers you don't mind getting dirty
  • Plainer clothing that can be mixed and matched, and layered.
  • Sandals

Food is an essential part of Mexican culture and social life, as often times large groups of families and friends gather to enjoy a meal together. We're all familiar with some of the staples of Mexican cuisine, like tacos and quesadillas, but while you're in Mexico you should venture out and try some new dishes too! The BBC recommends these Top 10 Foods to Try in Mexico.


Traces of the Zika virus have been found in Mexico. To learn more about Zika and how to avoid getting infected, read the Washington Post's article on Zika precautions.

Prior to entering Mexico, it is recommended that travelers get vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Tuberculous, and Rabies. For more information, refer to The Travel Vaccination Companion.


As far as safety goes, students should be attentive to the possibility of being pick-pocketed. To avoid the chance of this happening to you, we recommend wearing a traveler's belt under your clothing, so that you can store important documents like a copy of your passport and cash, and being aware of your bags at all times.

Also be cautious of taking unmarked taxis -- especially in Mexico City.

Contributed by Danielle Ortiz

Showing 19 Programs

Global Vision International (GVI)
Catered towards current high school'ers or students under 18, the GVI programs across the globe contribute to a variety or pr...
Projects Abroad
Volunteer in Mexico during the summer as a high school student with Projects Abroad! Spend 2 weeks learning Spanish and helpi...
SPI Study Abroad
Awe-Inspiring Culture & History in Central Mexico… Querétaro is an enchanting colonial Mexican city where old world charm and...
New Zealand
Pacific Discovery
Experiencing a different culture and learning to adapt to alternative ways of living greatly contributes to personal developm...
New Zealand
Pacific Discovery
Experiencing a different culture and learning to adapt to alternative ways of living greatly contributes to personal developm...
Amigos de las Americas
In collaboration with organizations dedicated to promoting healthy food and nutrition for families in the area, we are excite...
Sol Abroad
Learn Spanish in the fascinating colonial city of Oaxaca, Mexico. Experience the colonial charms of this highland city surrou...
Sol Abroad
Sol Abroad is a leader in planning and leading school trips for high schools. Our Teacher-Led Custom Programs are a great way...
CIEE Global Navigator
More than a mile up in the mountains of central Mexico, CIEE will take your language skills to new heights. Against a beautif...
CIEE Global Navigator
Your journey will take you to the colorful mountain city of Guanajuato—considered by many to be the prettiest city in all of...
The Experiment in International Living
Land in Mexico City before traveling to La Paz, where you will work closely with a marine biologist. Snorkel among colorful s...
Semester: Though many of its rural towns still feel 19th-century; Mexico is also one of the world's fastest-growing industria...
Youth For Understanding (YFU)
Study in Mexico and live with a Mexican host family. Between your classes and homestay arrangement, you'll be exposed to nati...
Nacel International
Study abroad with Nacel International in Mexico. You'll take classes alongside Mexican students at a local high school and li...
Blyth Academy
Study abroad in Cozumel this summer with Blyth Academy International Summers! First settled by the Maya as a sacred place of...