Opportunities for High School Students

Below is a list of opportunities geared towards high school students! There is information on exchange programs, study abroad opportunities, summer enrichment courses, and more.

Don’t forget to check out AFSA’s National High School Essay Contest and the High School Foreign Service Association to learn more about how you can get involved!

National Security Language Institute for Youth

Who: U.S. citizen high school students, age 15-18, with 2.5 GPA or above.
What: Opportunities to study less commonly taught languages in immersion programs abroad. Languages include Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.
When/Where: Summer or Academic Year/Selected countries worldwide.
How: Apply via https://www.nsliforyouth.org/.
Funding: Travel, lodging with host families and language studies are funded.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for High School Students, Germany

Who: U.S. citizen, national and Legal Permanent Resident high school students (age 15-18), with GPA 3.0 or above; and U.S. citizens, nationals and Legal Permanent Residents (age 18-24) with some relevant experience in their career field (work, internship or volunteer).
What: Cultural exchange to study abroad in Germany. Meet with government officials while learning German language and culture. Live with a host family and make connections with State Department program alumni.
When: Academic Year/Germany.
How: Apply via https://usagermanyscholarship.org/apply/
Funding: Travel, lodging and academic studies are funded.

Youth Leadership Programs

Who: U.S. citizen high school students, age 15-17, with at least one semester remaining upon return. Specific programs may be open only to students from a particular city, state or geographic region.
What: Leadership training exchange program to gain firsthand knowledge of foreign cultures and examine globally significant issues.
When/Where: Three to four weeks in summer/Worldwide.
How: Apply to individual programs via https://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/youth-leadership-programs.
Funding: Travel, lodging and program fees are funded.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program

Who: U.S. citizen high school students at time of application, age 15-18.
What: Cultural exchange opportunities to enroll in local high schools and live with host families in selected countries.
When/Where: Academic year/Selected countries worldwide.
How: Apply via https://www.yes-abroad.org/.

National Student Leadership Conference

Who: High school students at time of application, grades 9-12.
What: Summer program in International Diplomacy. Students are. Given opportunity to live the life of a diplomat in the United Nations Security Council.
When/Where: Four summer sessions in June and July/ Washington DC and New York City
How: Apply via https://www.nslcleaders.org/youth-leadership-programs/international-diplomacy/#section-2.
Funding: Students must pay a tuition fee to cover housing, all on-campus meals, course materials, academic expenses, and activities.

Georgetown University

Who: High school students at time of application, grades 9-12, with 2.0 GPA or above
What: Georgetown hosts a number of summer programs for high school students, including an International Relations Academy as well as Politics and Foreign Policy Academies.
When/Where: Summer sessions in June and July / Washington DC
How: Apply via https://summer.georgetown.edu/apply.
Funding: Students must pay a tuition fee to cover housing and all on-campus meals.

The Fund for American Studies

Who: High school students at time of application, grades 9-12
What: TFAS’ Foundation for Teaching Economics Program sponsors two different programs for high school students each summer: Economics for Leaders (EFL) and Economic History for Leaders (EHFL).
When/Where: Summer / Various locations across the U.S.
How: Apply via https://www.fte.org/students/2023-program-sites-and-dates/.

Smithsonian Student Travel

Who: Students completing grades 8-12 at time of application, at least 13 years old.
What: Smithsonian offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and cultural awareness of the world through immersive summer travel programs in the U.S. and abroad.
When/Where: Summer / Worldwide
How: Apply via https://smithsonianstudenttravel.org/.