Parents – Why Your Teen Should Study Abroad

High School Study Abroad

Do you have a teenager that wants to see the world?

By Guest Blogger Justine Harrington, SPI Study Abroad

Study abroad is on the rise these days. In fact, some universities even require it! There’s definitely good reason for this – in an ever-globalizing world, it’s becoming more and more important that our kids possess an in-depth knowledge of foreign languages and cultures. And the earlier you get started on this, the better – which is why high school study abroad can be such an amazing and beneficial experience for your teen. With that in mind, here are the top 5 reasons why you should encourage your teen to study abroad:

  1. High school study abroad looks great on a resume and college applications. Studying abroad before college indicates a depth and maturity in your kid’s academic studies – especially if they complete coursework for college credit while abroad (a common component of many high school study abroad programs). Depending on how your teen chooses to include study abroad in his or her college apps, admissions boards could really see this experience as a big plus.
  2. By studying abroad in high school as opposed to college, your child will get a jumpstart on really mastering a foreign language. Ever tried to pick up a new skill as an adult? Then you’ll know – the learning process can be a bit, well, slower than it was when you were younger. The fact is that it’s definitely a lot easier to learn new things when you’re a kid, and your brain still resembles a sponge (as opposed to something closer to a rock). This is why learning a foreign language in high school is much easier than learning one later on in life. And of course, there’s no better way to pick up this extremely marketable skill than by studying abroad!
  3. Your teen will receive a rich, all-encompassing education that really doesn’t even compare to typical high school classrooms. Learning about history where it actually happened just doesn’t really compare to flipping through textbooks. Through studying abroad, your high schooler will be exposed to the kind of interactive, in-depth learning that really sticks with you later on in life.
  4. Studying abroad will imbue your child with some seriously beneficial global leadership skills. Many high school study abroad programs come with the opportunity to become a global leader or student ambassador. This kind of leadership role will help equip your child with awesome leadership skills, such as mentoring, communicating, and strategizing on a global level.
  5. Traveling abroad will help your teen to become a more mature and confident individual. At an age where fostering independence and personal growth is key, traveling and studying abroad can be a real benefit for most teens. Whether it’s learning how to navigate public transit or figuring out how to converse in another language, study abroad is the kind of experience that you just can’t help but grow from. Your teen will undoubtedly return home from study abroad a more confident and fulfilled young person – and there isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t want this!

Did you study abroad as a high schooler? If so, Sparky wants to hear about it!  Tweet us, write on our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below!

Justine Harrington Guest blogger Justine Harrington is an Admissions Advisor for SPI Study Abroad, a provider of language immersion and global leadership programs for high school students.  She is also the main contributor to the SPI blog.  To read more about Justine, check out her spotlight!

Justine Harrington

Justine attended the University of Arkansas and studied abroad in Cannes, France through AIFS, and also volunteered in Ecuador with International Volunteer Headquarters. Justine i[...]

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