Studying abroad opens up a new world of cultural, social and educational experiences for high school students. Study abroad programs allow a student to live with a foreign family and participate in all that families’ daily activities including school, work, leisure time and recreation. Although studying abroad can offer a wealth of opportunities, it also can be an expensive. To help cover the costs of studying abroad, high school students can find several scholarships and grants.

Council on International Educational Exchange Scholarships

The Council of International Educational Exchange runs a number of study abroad and summer programs for high school and college students. Along with study abroad programs, CIEE provides scholarships to high school students traveling to one of 11 specified countries. Scholarships award partial tuition assistance to cover the program costs and are offered twice a year, for fall and spring departures. Recipients are chosen based on merit as shown through two essay questions that the student must answer, along with a letter from the parents and a teacher recommendation.

AYUSA Scholarships

AYUSA, a nonprofit study abroad program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, also offers scholarships for high school students. The Youth Writing Contest awards $500 to students with exceptional writing abilities. In exchange for the financial assistance, each student is asked to blog about their study abroad experiences for the AYUSA website. The Global Citizen Scholarship from AYUSA gives $2,000 to seven students involved in a semester or trimester program.

American Institute for Foreign Study Scholarships

Offering a program for high school students to study abroad in China, the American Institute for Foreign Study sponsors two scholarships. The AIFS Returning Student Scholarship gives $500 to students who have previously participated in the Summer Advantage Program. The RFK Scholars Abroad Program awards $5,000 in scholarship money to two students with an interest in social justice to use at any high school or private study abroad program. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average and attend a public high school to qualify.

Nacel Open Door Scholarships

Another study abroad program, Nacel Open Door, offers the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange Program for high school seniors. Funded by the U.S. Congress and Germany’s Bundestag, the program allows a graduating high school senior to spend a year in Germany participating in educational programs and an internship with a German company. The scholarship covers the entire cost of the program. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average and be highly recommended by their high schools to be eligible.

The Traveling School Scholarships

Scholarships from The Traveling School provide up to 50 percent of the costs of a study abroad program for high school students. Funds from the scholarships come from private donations and grants. Once a student has been accepted into a Traveling School program, the school will send that student a packet of scholarship application forms. Because the scholarships are awarded based on financial need, when applying for a scholarship, students will need to submit bank statements and tax documents.

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About the Author

Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb,, and Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.