High School Abroad

  • Be an exchange student in high school and gain confidence, independence, and a global perspective. Students who study abroad stand out in their college career and beyond.

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Ready to have a life changing academic adventure abroad?

Studying abroad in high school is a chance to stand out on your college applications while exploring a new country and culture, make international friends and learn about yourself and the world around you. Let us help you get started on choosing the right program for you!

The Greenheart Travel Team

Greenheart Travel Team

High School Programs

Why Greenheart Travel?

We’re your personal cheerleaders as you navigate the unpredictable joys, surprises, and challenges of life abroad. With unrivaled support and guidance, we give you the tools to make sure you’re more than a tourist, you’re a world citizen. You don’t just travel for the sights, you travel for a change!

Reviews From Our Travelers

Sure, we think our programs rock, but don't just take it from us. Read real reviews from our alumni and get insight into our programs and what might be the best fit for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We know there is a ton of research to do when thinking about a high school program. Read more about how we'll support you as a study abroad student with Greenheart Travel.

There are a so many factors to consider when committing to a high school abroad program. Below are a few ways Greenheart Travel can help make this planning process as stress-free as possible, and help make sure this is a successful and life-changing adventure! 

Cultural Immersion

Greenheart Travel high school students live with a local host family and receive a full cultural and language immersion experience. 

Unique Programs Around the World

Whether it’s studying abroad in Costa Rica, Spain, or the U.K., Greenheart Travel programs will give you an authentic glimpse into the many facets of life abroad. Where are dreaming to traveling? We can help you get there with a diverse list of program destinations.

Flexible and Affordable Programs

Traveling abroad doesn’t have to interfere with the school curriculum or your child’s graduation timeline. Greenheart Travel offers summer and winter break programs, as well as trimester, semester and academic yearlong study abroad opportunities around the world. 

Service Learning Opportunities While Abroad

Need to meet service learning requirements to graduate, we will help you find volunteer and service learning projects in your host community during your time overseas through our Greenheart Club.

Personal Program Manager for Every Student

Greenheart Travel has a personal program manager for each student traveling abroad, offering support from the time you or your child inquires to the time they return home, by someone you know by name.

Academic Development

Greenheart Travel alumni are provided with the guidance and tools they need to translate their impactful experiences abroad into tangible skills that can be highlighted on their college applications. Through our Alumni network, your child will have a chance to connect with like-minded students, and mentor future participants.

CSIET Accreditation

Greenheart Travel is annually audited by the Council on Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET), which acts to ensure that we offer quality programs for our participants. To learn more about their process and standards you can find information on their site.

Greenheart Travel’s Commitment to Helping You Prepare for Your Program

Our high school abroad program managers care about each student’s experience abroad. To help facilitate a successful and life-changing program we offer each student TWO in-depth pre-departure orientation, as well as in-country orientations upon arrival.

Pre-departure Preparation and Orientations

“Everything was well organized and I was prepared for my experience and received a great host family and area to live in.”  Kailey, Greenheart Travel high school alumna in Italy 

The most important part of a study abroad program is having realistic expectations about what the experience will entail. Most importantly, students need to have the tools to deal with the challenges and successes they’ll face while abroad. Whether through regular phone conversations, e-mails, or Skype meetings, students will have the necessary information to make sure they are getting all they can out of their international experience.

Unlike other organizations, Greenheart Travel conducts not one, but two pre-departure orientations. These sessions offer best practices to get the most out of the full immersion program and offers a full picture of what to expect as an exchange student.

General pre-departure orientation

This orientation covers essential logistical information about the student’s program. It is conducted by a local coordinator in your area when possible, or by a Greenheart Travel staff member.

Pre-departure orientation covers topics like:

  • Packing
  • Lines of Communication
  • Communication while abroad
  • Money (how much to bring, what to expect)
  • Insurance/Healthcare
  • Risk Factors and Tips
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Program Rules
  • Program Evaluations
  • Recommended Reading Material

Both students and parents attend this (online) orientation to prepare logistically for their high school abroad program. They also learn the practices and procedures for communicating questions and concerns while a student is abroad.

Cultural Pre-departure Orientation
Understanding the basics of culture shock is very important, and understanding the intricacies of a completely different and unique culture is essential. Our Greenheart Travel cultural pre-departure orientations go over the basics of the host country’s culture where a student will be studying, and gives insight into what will be the most exciting and challenging component of the program. This particular orientation has proved invaluable to both parents and students, making the ‘unknown’ known.

Cultural pre-departure topics include:

  • Recommended questions to ask the host family when the student first arrives
  • Conversation starters to ‘break the ice’ with new host family members and friends
  • Suggestions on how to show appreciation to a host family
  • Potential issues related to cultural differences and how to avoid them or how to handle them if they do occur
  • Basic phrases and lingo of the host country’s language
  • Information on the 5 stages of culture shock
  • Tips on how to handle culture shock and homesickness
  • Social Integration
  • Typical meals (cuisine, meal times, etc)
  • How to acclimate to the host country’s culture before departure (i.e. begin taking shorter showers (Ireland), begin using chopsticks (Japan, etc.
  • Little known aspects of host country’s culture (i.e, In most Spanish homes, people are expected to wear house shoes)
  • Group participation with fellow students studying in the same country about this upcoming adventure!

The cultural session is conducted via Skype by a Greenheart Travel staff person in the national office. All participants and their parents are asked to attend the session pertinent to their host country destination.

Continued Support During and After a High School Abroad Program

Once a student has started their study abroad program, Greenheart Travel program managers continue to support both the parents and the students during their time abroad.


Even after a student has returned home, their program manager will do a follow up call and check in on if they are experience reverse culture shock and introduce them to our Greenheart Travel alumni community and opportunities.

Does your high school require you to volunteer to meet graduation requirements? Are you applying to top colleges that are asking for your service learning experience? As a Greenheart Travel student, you will become eligible to join our Greenheart Club which can help you accomplish both of these goals!

The Greenheart Club challenges our participants to pursue a deeper level of immersion through volunteerism. It is also a great way to:

  • Receive resources to help you find projects in your host country
  • Track and present all your service-learning hours during your program
  • Earn rewards and project grants based on the number of service learning hours you record
  • Explore you host community, meet international friends and make a positive impact

Once you are accepted on your Greenheart Travel high school abroad program, we’ll help you get started! In the meantime, get inspired by our alumni stories on our blog. 

What do alumni say about the Greenheart Club?

“It is a great feeling to know that I am able to make a difference. I have also had students tell me that I’ve made them realize how important studying in school and learning English is. I’m glad I was able to help these students and show them how much potential they have if they apply themselves. They are amazing people and I will miss them all when I return to the U.S.” – Diana Freedman, Greenheart Travel alumna in Italy

Early Bird Application Discount:

Apply for a Trimester, Semester or Academic Year high school abroad program and receive $300 or $500 off depending on the length of your stay.

Deadline to apply for a:

  • Early Bird Fall 2022 Program Discount: December 15, 2021
  • Early Bird Spring 2023 Program Discount: May 28, 2022

Greenheart Exchange Host Family Discount:

Families who have hosted a student through Greenheart Exchange in the United States are eligible for the following program discounts. Programs must start within 12 months of the last date of hosting a student.

  • Hosted one semester or less: $300 discount on a High School Abroad Program
  • Hosted one full semester or longer: $500 discount on a High School Abroad Program

Why study abroad in the summer?

For students with commitments during the academic year, Greenheart Travel offers short-term (one or two-month programs) in Argentina, Costa Rica, and New Zealand for students who want to experience life as an exchange student abroad during their summer break! You’ll live with a host family and attend a local high school to learn language skills, gain intercultural skills and make lifelong friends – and impress college admissions counselors.

Greenheart Travel’s programs offer an immersive, cultural experience. From living with local families to attending classes in their host country’s native language, these experiences give students global awareness, provide translatable life skills, and build character. By offering cultural exchange programs to your students, you are making the world their classroom!

Please head here to read more about your role in helping a student study abroad. For High Schools.

The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! For us, it is important that parents be involved in the decision from day one.

We want to make the process of studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child, while also ensuring that it is a successful and life-changing adventure! You can learn more about our values and the services we provide to you and your child here.

Below are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider our study abroad program:

What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on an exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Debilitating anxiety
  • Eating disorders

If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

What are my chances of being accepted into the High School Study Abroad Program?

If you have two years of foreign language experience, at least a 2.75 GPA, and a true passion for discovering new cultures you will have an increased chance of being accepted. If you are not accepted or rejected from the program, we will refund your deposit.

What kind of assistance will my child receive while abroad?

There is a strong network of people working together to ensure your child’s time abroad is successful. This includes the Greenheart Travel program manager in the U.S., the natural parents, the local coordinator abroad in country, the host school, and the host family. Immediate assistance will be provided by the local coordinator and/or host family according to a robust chain of communication, explained prior to departure.

Do you offer any scholarships, financial aid, or special discounts?

Yes. Every year we offer various scholarships for select high school program destinations. There are two Early Bird Deadline discounts offered each year as well. See our Discounts and Deadlines section for more information. If you have hosted a student for Greenheart Exchange, you are also eligible for a Greenheart Host Family discount.

My child’s school requires service learning in order to graduate. How will they do that abroad?

Greenheart Travel is proud to offer the Greenheart Club for all of our students. The Greenheart Club challenges our participants to pursue a deeper level of immersion through volunteerism. As a member of the Greenheart Club, your child will receive guidance in strategizing creative ways to give back to their community, have access to tools for tracking their impact and receive incentives for their efforts as a global leader. This is a great chance for your child to get to know the local community outside of the classroom while they study abroad.

Can friends study abroad together?

Our programs are based on a full, cultural immersion experience so friends are not allowed to study abroad together in the same host town. Don’t worry though; making friends in the new host country will happen quickly!

Can my child come home to visit or can we visit them while abroad?

No. Visits are not allowed during the high school program. If your family wishes to visit, you should plan to meet your child after your program is completed. In this instance, Greenheart Travel’s National office and international partner office should be informed of your family’s plans.

Does my child need to be fluent in another language?

No. One of the main goals of studying abroad is to become fluent in another language while living overseas. The host family and school will not expect your child to be fluent when they first arrive and will help them improve their language skills. As long as your child tries their best, they’ll pick up the language sooner than you might think!

Can my child take the SATs while abroad?

You child will not be able to take the SAT’s while abroad.  We highly recommend taking the SAT’s prior to or after the program.

My child has already graduated, are they still eligible?

On a case by case basis, we can accept graduated students for Argentina, Austria, Belgium, England, France, Italy, Netherlands, and New Zealand. Check out our gap year information for all your options!

Can we speak to current high school students or alumni?

Yes! Check out our blog or your child can join our exclusive teen programs Facebook group to talk to current and past students.

If there is a class I must take in order to graduate, can you guarantee that I will be able to take it abroad?

There are no guarantees that you can take certain classes at your host school. Greenheart Travel will be able to provide information about the general curriculum for your age level in your host country; however, in most cases, you will not be able to sign up for specific courses until AFTER you have arrived in your host country.

Can I choose where I will be placed with my host family?

No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you are placed within that country. We make it a priority to place students with host families that closely match your interests and personality. For this reason, we work first to find a suitable family rather than a destination preference. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region, and we match based on compatibility with the host family. 

I know a family in my program country that would like to host me. Is this possible?

This is possible as long as we have a support network in the family’s host community and there is an available nearby host school.

Will I be placed in a city?

No. It is very unlikely you will be placed in a city. A majority of our families live in small to medium-sized towns outside of major cities, and it is important you be open-minded to small-town life.

Will I have a host sibling my age?

There is no guarantee that you will have a host sibling your age. Your host family may have young children, teenage children, or grown children who no longer live at home. Regardless of the age of your host siblings, they’ll be excited to welcome into the family!

What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. However, if issues arise once you are on the program, we will handle them on a case-by-case basis and may make changes if necessary.

Not sure where to start? We can help! Set up a phone call to go over our program options here:

Committing to studying abroad can feel daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible! Below are the various steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a high school abroad program.

2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

3. Submit your Application Fee: A $1,500 application fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee, it’s not additional. 

4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

5. Interview: After submitting your application fee, you will schedule. During this interview, we will ask you questions about living with a host family, adjusting to new situations and homesickness, among other things. You will also receive an overview of the next few months and what you can expect. This is done via Zoom, and at least one parent should also be in attendance.

6. You’re Accepted! Once you’ve completed all the steps, Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks about your acceptance. Then, you’ll get more information about preparation, visas, and placement.

7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $5,000 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. We cannot start the host family matching process until we have this deposit. Once you submit your commitment deposit you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

7. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure! 

Required Documents

In addition to completing an application, you will also be required to submit documents. You can be collecting the documents during the application process, but all documents will be due 14 days after you submit your deposit.

The following documents will be required for all destinations:

  • Letter of Recommendation (from a teacher, coach or guidance counselor) – does not need to be sealed, should be scanned and uploaded to the document portal
  • Transcripts from the last 3 years (unofficial transcripts accepted)
  • Student Dear Family Letter
  • Parent Questionnaire & Letter
  • Photo Album (5-7 photos of you on a Word document with captions)
  • Medical Form (including immunizations)
  • Copy of your passport
  • 60-90 second self-introduction video sent via YouTube link
  • Secondary rules & expectations document signed by both parents and students


For payments, a $1,500 non-refundable fee will be due with your submitted application. This is a deposit will be deducted from your overall program cost.

Once you are accepted onto the program, a $5,000 commitment payment will be due within 14 days of acceptance.  The remaining balance is due 16 weeks prior to  your start date, or at the same time as your commitment payment, whichever comes first.

You’ve Been Accepted, Now What?

Start getting ready for your adventure! Your program manager will be in regular communication with you to make sure that you are on track in your preparations to go abroad.

  • Upon acceptance, you will receive a student handbook (parents – you get one, too!) and access to the Greenheart Travel Atlas, as well as the Greenheart Club.
  • You will receive your host family and school placement roughly 2-3 months after acceptance.
  • After receiving your host family and school placement, you will receive further instructions on applying for your student visa (if applicable for your program length)
  • We will also schedule an online pre-orientation with other Greenheart students a few weeks before your departure!


For payments, a $1,500 non-refundable Application Fee will be due with your submitted application. This will be deducted from your overall program cost.

Once you are accepted onto the program, a $5,000 Commitment Payment will be due within 14 days of acceptance.  Remaining balance is due 16 weeks prior to your tentative start date. If you are accepted within 16 weeks of your start date your remaining balance will be due at the same time as your $5,000 Commitment Payment.

If your application is submitted after the deadline, you will be expected to pay the remaining balance of total program fee within two weeks of acceptance.

Not sure where to start?

Be put in touch with a program expert who can guide you through the process.