8 Things You Can Do as an Exchange Student in England

8 Things You Can Do as an Exchange Student in England

Greenheart Travel’s High School Abroad England program gives U.S. and Canadian students the chance to join their British peers in intensive academic courses called “A Levels” (Advanced Levels). Students are placed in the final two years of non-compulsory high school (Years 12 and 13, the equivalent of 11th and 12th grade in the U.S.) at semi-private Sixth Form Colleges.

We often emphasize the rigorous academic aspects of this program with good reason – but as an U.S. teen on an exchange in England, there’s a lot you might know you can do!

Win a scholarship for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

All students who apply for the 2021-2022 academic year in England will be eligible for a $1,200 scholarship. While all students will be considered for the scholarship, we’ll give special preference to any student who identifies as a first-time traveler and is particularly interested in music or the arts. The deadline to apply is April 15! Hurry!

Participate in Activities Through School

The Sixth Form Colleges we place students at offer a range of “enrichment” activities, most commonly things like basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics. There are spas, sports facilities, performing arts centers, and even a rock climbing gym at one school! While the academics are a big aspect of being an exchange student in England, there are so many other incredible opportunities to get involved outside of class.

Graduate From High School

Well, sort of. Remember, it’s actually called Sixth Form College! If you’d like to earn graduate from a British Sixth Form College and be able to apply to universities in England, you can study for two consecutive years on the High School Abroad England program. You’d have to enter in your 11th grade year and study in England for both 11th and 12th grade years and succesfully pass your “A-Level” exams at the end of the two year.

Earn an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

There are two schools within our network that allow U.S. or Canadian students to study in an International Baccalaureate (IB) program. This is highly competitive and only available for high achieving students. In order to participate in this program students have to commit to studying their final two years (11th and 12th grade equivalents) in England. We accept students on a case-by-case basis and this program has additionally fees — so get in touch before starting your application.

Specialize in a Skill or Trade

While our traditional High School in England program places students in Sixth Form College to get a window into the life of a student preparing for their “A-Level” exams, we also work with schools offering vocational tracks, known as BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) courses.

If you’re interested in getting real-world, hands-on experience in things like hair and make-up, massage therapy, hospitality and food science and nutrition, TV and film production, sports therapy or personal training, fashion design and textiles, photography, sound, lights, and stage, and many other skills, there are options for you! Get in touch to inquire about special pricing and options.

Take a Gap Year

Already graduated from high school in the U.S. or Canada? No problem. You’re still welcome to study abroad in England! In fact, with the specialization and high academic rigor of A-Levels or the practical knowledge gained from a V-Tech track, it’s a perfect prep for U.S. university or well-rounded career. Read more about why England is a great gap year location here.

Travel on your own

As a general rule across all Greenheart Travel high school programs, students are only permitted to travel through school or with their host families, but not on their own. England (and The Netherlands) are our only exception to this rule. In England, you’ll be treated more like an adult and so long as you get approval, have good academic standing and don’t miss any class, you and your new friends can travel on weekends and breaks. One alum Adelaide did several trips, including this weekend excursion with her friends to London. Another alum Josh traveled on his own from his host community Worthing to Bath and Stonehenge.

Join a Football Academy

And you know what we mean by football, right? Nope, not what they play at the Super Bowl! In the U.S. it’s called soccer, in the U.K. (and rest of the world!) it’s referred to as football. Any U.S. or Canadian teens with particular skill at soccer are eligible to play the sport while studying abroad in England. Throughout the world soccer is one of the most common sports, and England is no exception. Many of the Sixth Form Colleges where Greenheart Travel students study (for example, Bexhill College or Itchen College) have men’s and women’s soccer teams, where highly skilled players get top-notch training and coaching and the opportunity to play on teams. The Ladies Football team at Itchen College won the National Cup finals four years in a row and many former players of these leagues have gone on to play professionally!

Not quite a pro yet? No sweat. If you love soccer but haven’t yet reached the skill level required to compete, you’d definitely still be able play soccer as an afterschool activity.

Ready to do something different?

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