Are you thinking about spending a school year abroad while still a high school student? You may have heard from friends or classmates who have been doing an exchange program, for example in the USA. It's true that the USA still welcomes the highest number of high school exchange students in the world. Canada is also a very popular destination, especially for those coming from South America and Europe. American students are often interested in doing a High School Study Abroad in Europe. Discover why. 

What are the most popular destinations for a High School Exchange in Europe?

Europe is a great destination for High School students who have been learning a European language such as French, Spanish, Italian, German, or even Dutch!  If you only speak English, Europe is open to you in England, Ireland, and at English-speaking schools in mainland Europe

The most popular destinations for a High School Abroad in Europe program remain the United Kingdom and France.

England is well known for its private boarding schools that welcome international students for a complete English education from GCSE up to A-Level. Those schools have high fees and thus require a very high budget. The good news is there are cheaper high school exchange programs in England run through state-funded colleges where tuition fees are much lower. Instead of living at a boarding school, a student is welcomed by a British host family who provide room and board. These arrangements are considerably more affordable and available to anyone! Living with a host family while getting an English education allows a student to discover the whole English culture from the inside and not as a tourist! 

France has also always been a very attractive option especially for American students who have studied French as a foreign language. There is a long tradition of France receiving American High School students for a semester or year abroad. A French host family welcomes students who attend classes with their local classmates.

American students may also have an opportunity to study in an American program located close to Paris at the Notre Dame International High School. At this school, they study the US High School curriculum, including AP classes taught in English, while they continue to learn French as a foreign language.

There are other exciting destinations to explore if you are thinking of doing a High School Exchange program in Europe.

Looking for a different experience for your High School Exchange in Europe?

You may wish to consider visiting a country where you do not know much about the language. For example, you could do a high school study abroad in Portugal. There you could learn Portuguese while discovering their culture through your host family and new local friends.

You may also be interested in traveling to the Netherlands for a Dutch High School Exchange. Like German, Dutch is a challenging language but you will surely enjoy the cultural experience while there!

If you do speak some Spanish, German or Italian, enlarge your horizons!

If your High School exchange program is in the United Kingdom or France, you may also want to travel to Europe and experience other countries

If you have been learning English at school or if you are a native English speaker, you should have a look at a high school exchange program in Ireland. The Irish culture is obviously very different from yours and the country has much to offer international students, from an excellent education and a rich musical culture to incredible nature, among others! You can receive an excellent English-speaking education at a local Irish College while discovering this wonderful country. Last but not least, it is cheaper to do a high school exchange in Ireland than at a boarding school in England!

If you have been taking Spanish as a foreign language, you should be eligible to do a school year abroad in Spain. For example, you could live the Spanish culture from the inside as you would be welcomed by a Spanish host family eager to share their language and culture with you. You would go to a local Colegio and attend all your classes in Spanish!

While you may not have been able to study Italian at your high school, you may have started to learn the Italian language thanks to language apps or because you have some Italian roots in your family. If this is the case, you may consider flying over to Rome to start your exchange program in Italy! You will no doubt enjoy the Italian way of life!

Every year we also organize a high school exchange in Germany for those who have been taking German at school. Some exchange students have German relatives and they are often eager to discover the culture of their ancestors. German is a challenging language for some students who may face a language barrier at the beginning, but after a few weeks, they feel more comfortable with German and can better express themselves!

Will I need a visa to do a High School exchange program in Europe?

Not necessarily. It actually depends on the specific country. There may be a bilateral agreement on student visa requirements between your country and your destination country. 

For example, if you are American or Canadian you may usually fly to Ireland, The Netherlands, or Germany without having to apply for a student visa from their embassies. In fact, you are allowed to study there for up to a year without a visa. As soon as you arrive in the country, you need to apply for a residence permit at the local police station. Your host family would help with this process. 

The need for a student visa also depends on the length of your program. Most European countries do not require a student visa for programs up to 3 months with you staying as a tourist.  Most countries require visas for a stay over 3 months. For example, in France and Spain, a student can study for 3 months without a visa, This saves you time, money, and effort! 

There is so much to explore during your High School Study Abroad program in Europe. Contact us now so that we can help you make the best choice!

Looking for an Advice?
Need Support?
Share with us your details and we will contact you shortly.
Inquire Here