Travel programs are the perfect way for high school students to increase their intellect, confidence, and exposure to the world. Students can learn about new languages, experience cultural immersion and develop leadership skills through experiential learning.
If you’re considering sending your child abroad, this list of fantastic travel programs for high school students can help you find one. Putting this experience on a resume or application can impress future college admission officers and also come in handy when your child applies for jobs.
Students can do volunteer work to meet the typical capstone project requirements or simply gain a new insight into the truth about the world around them by stepping out of their comfort zone.
#1 – Bold Earth
If you’re looking for some of the top high school programs, Bold Earth is right up there. Bold Earth offers a fantastic summer program where students travel to countries all across the world and partake in fun outdoor adventures. This includes places within the United States like California, Colorado, and Hawaii, and also outside it like Thailand, France, Spain, and Switzerland.
While the types of activities depend on the location, they can expect exciting pursuits like surfing, sightseeing, hiking, zip lining, whitewater rafting, and much more. Kids also participate in service learning, where they help out the local communities with specific projects.
It’s the perfect summer pre-college program for teenagers to get an experience they’ll never forget. Through hands-on learning and by making a positive impact on the places they visit, students gain new skills and make lifelong friends along the way.
#2 – Rustic Pathways
Founded in 1983, Rustic Pathways has been working to give students an academic, adventurous, and cultural experience. The programs are aimed to help students transform the way they think, act, and perceive things around them. Their intentionally designed so that students can learn the local language and enjoy the culture of the land they put their foot in.
The organization offers more than 100 programs so you can find the one that matches your child’s interest perfectly as they’re also categorized into different groups. The community service-focused programs are closely associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Thrill Seekers programs include exciting activities and exposure to new cultures all around the world in continents like Asia, Europe, Africa, and more.
Student programs have daily lessons to learn about language and other important topics. The cultural immersion focus allows students to indulge intensely in local cultures by staying with local host families, which helps reduce culture shock.
All of these options include a bit of community service projects and thrilling adventures. Students can have a wholesome and fun-filled academic travel experience.
#3 – Athena Spain
For an authentic Spanish language immersion program, Athena Spain will give any high school students in grades 9th through 12th one of the best experiences in Spain. Students integrate with the local culture and daily life as they spend four weeks in homestay housing.
Students will stay in Conil, a beautiful coastal town with a unique charming beauty. They will also take excursions throughout their stay to other places like Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid, and more. Spanish lessons are done five days a week at the local private schools.
Fun activities like kayaking, soccer, and surfing also play a role. Students will have plenty of time to visit one of the many local beaches and spend time with their friends at the local cafes.
The homestay aspect of the program is essential as it provides one of the best ways for students to integrate and truly connect with the local life as well as practice their Spanish skills every day to take their fluency to another level.
Every family is carefully chosen to match with your children, with many families and students staying in touch even after the program is over.
#4 – Global Works Travel
Global Works is the perfect place for your kids if you want them to have a transformational and unforgettable educational trip abroad. They have many school programs and summer community service trips for teenagers, giving teens a chance to learn about different communities, cultures, traditions, rich history, and languages.
Global Works Travel was created in 1989 to show middle schoolers and high schoolerse the value of cultural exchange and community service by doing projects abroad. Currently, it has 17 different adventurous program types for students. They include doing all sorts of things like wildlife conservation, language immersion, volunteer work and much more.
The programs are for teenagers that are in 9th to 12th grade. The sessions can last for as little as seven days or as long as a month, depending on the location, focus, and the required service hours. Some are also suitable for college students ages 18-22 years old.
#5 – Global Glimpse
Global Glimpse offers a top-notch travel program for kids to learn about different cultures and global competence. It’s a nonprofit organization that brings together like minded students from different countries and lets them engage with one another and discover new friendships and essential life skills.
While abroad, the students explore the history, politics, education, business, and local culture of the country they visit. The organization takes students to Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Panama. Each of these locations has a different number of programs that allow teens to learn more about the place. They do their best to expose your child to developing countries. They do this to enable them to discover their hidden talents and improve their perspective about the world.
The global glimpse pursuits are two years long. They start with numerous pre-trip workshops that help students understand the basic concepts of globalization, leadership, international relations, and development. In the 16-day summer immersion program, the students participate in several lectures, seminars, field trips, and community action projects.
#6 – Greenheart Travel
Greenheart Travel has the perfect summer travel programs for your child if you want them to gain self-confidence, learn to be independent, and gain a global perspective. Students who spend a semester or year abroad have a better chance of standing out while applying for colleges and careers.
The organization takes children to all types of countries like Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, England, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. The programs at each place are ideal for teenagers that are 15 to 18 years old. Most of the offerings have students live with a host family for an extended period. A few others might require pre-requisites like essential native language experience.
Greenheart Travel received the 2018 Global Youth Travel Award for Best Education Abroad Provider. The programs that Greenheart Travel offers are optimal to let your children become global citizens and learn new cultures, share their individuality with a group of diverse and competent students.
Where There Be Dragons is a traveling agency that allows students and adults to cultivate meaningful connections while traveling the world. The organization focuses not only on bus tours, photo ops, and zip lines but also on the history, culture, art, and language immersion.
They have constructed a global community that successfully represents more than 20 countries all around the world. The participants see different realities and communities without any restrictions to help them gain new perspectives of the world.
They offer several different options that take your child throughout the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The Summer Travel Abroad Programs admit students between the ages of 15-20 years. They dive into local culture and help build friendships with students and the local community. Students between the ages of 17 and 22 can participate in them.
The other independent experience programs are for people between the ages of 17-25. They give the participants a chance to engage outside the groups, travel independently, and get mentored by Dragons’ experts.
#8 – Abbey Road Programs
Abbey Road Programs was founded in 2000 by Stanford Alumni. Their goal is to provide students with the sophisticated international experience of a savvy traveler. The academic summer programs are ideal if you want your child to gain cross-cultural understanding, academic enrichment, and personal growth.
The team consists of esteemed professionals and outstanding educators. They belong to institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cambridge, and Duke, so you can rest assured your kids will be getting an insightful and educational experience.
Some of the programs offered are Canada, California Adventure, Latin Village, USA, College Experience, and Pre-College Enrichment and Leadership program as well as other offerings in Hawaii. These are perfect for teens in grades 9th through 12th.
The experience is intricately designed to let teens have an adventurous month in an exotic city abroad as well as gain cultural knowledge, pre-college enrichment, and educational growth. The students get enough time to explore every nook and corner of the community they are visiting.
#9 – Travel for Teens
Travel for Teens aims to provide participants with immersive, engaging, and educational travel experiences. The organization follows a hands-on approach with the students so they can help change the world for the better.
The group sizes are limited to 14-21 students to give instructors the chance to provide students with equal attention. The groups usually include travelers from all over the world, and your teenager will have an opportunity to enhance their self-confidence, self-esteem, and social skills.
The 26 high school travel programs are suitable for students in 11th and 12th grade, including homeschool students. Some of these offerings are in Australia & New Zealand for Older Teens, Australia for Older Teens, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam, and Spain, Portugal & Morocco.
Each program’s duration varies. While some travels last for only 11 days, others last for 25 days or more since it depends on where it’s located and how many countries/cities it will cover. All of the offerings focus on cultural exploration and thrilling experiences.