Traveling while being a high school student can be the optimal time to begin your globe-trotting adventures. However, financial commitments and lack of cash flow may deter some eager learners to become wanderlusts. Have no fear though. There are ways and means to capitalize on your student status and #geektrek.
Get a Student Advantage Card. Go immediately to www.studentadvantage.com and sign up for a card. It provides you not only discounts on school supplies, but train, bus fare, and a long list of retailers and online. For example, Amtrak will give you 15% off a ticket if you use your card!
Study Abroad. There are indeed opportunities for high school students to study abroad! Check out http://www.internationalfellowship.org.
Gap Year Programs. A gap year is a year spent taking time off between life stages. Typically, students take a gap year after graduating from high school and before attending college. An increasingly popular option, it provides time for traveling, volunteering, learning a new language, or experiencing any number of other activities for personal growth. While there are many compelling reasons to take a gap year, one of the most common is the opportunity for students to explore their interests and develop a purpose for their future. According to many researchers, taking a gap year “could actually help students succeed in college since participants may be more focused, mature, and motivated for their undergraduate experience. There are many organizations that specialize in helping students organize their adventures. For example, some companies assist with everything from finding a host family, to setting up the volunteer project, to taking care of meals and travel insurance. Here is a comprehensive list of companies that offer these special opportunities.
- Adventures Cross-Country – http://www.arccgap.com
- Africa & Asia Venture, Ltd. – http://www.aventure.co.uk
- Amigos de las Américas – http://www.amigoslink.org/
- Art History Abroad – http://www.arthistoryabroad.com/
- Dynamy Internship Year – http://www.internshipyear.org
- The Experiment in International Living – http://www.experimentinternational.org/
- Gap Year South Africa – http://www.GapYearSouthAfrica.com
- Global Citizen Year – http://www.globalcitizenyear.org
- International Studies Abroad ISA & ISA High School – http://www.studiesabroad.com/gap year
- LEAPNOW: Transforming Education – http://www.leapnow.org
- Outward Bound – http://www.outwardbound.org/gap-year-semester-courses/
- Rustic Pathways – http://www.rusticpathways.com/gap
- Sansori – http://www.sansori.org
- Sea | mester – http://www.seamester.com
- Summit Adventure – http://www.summitadventure.com/college-semester
- Take Australia – http://www.takeaustralia.com
- The Leap – http://www.theleap.co.uk
- Thinking Beyond Borders – http://www.thinkingbeyondborders.org
- Where There Be Dragons – http://www.wheretherebedragons.com/whydragons.who.html
- Youth For Understanding (YFU) – http://yfuusa.org/study-abroad/countries/program-options/gap-year.php
Summer Programs. When the summer comes, most students are thrilled for the break to kick back and do nothing but this is the perfect time to find an opportunity to get away. There are also many NGO’s (non-governmental orgs) that provide summer travel opportunities for high school students. AlliancesAbroad and BUNAC are also great student program resources! You can also become a camp counselor in another state or foreign country!
Join an organization at your school. There are many organizations on high school campuses that provide (semi or fully sponsored) college tour and other travel opportunities. These organizations can provide very meaningful experiences in other states through attending conferences or engaging in project-based and volunteer activities.