Parents: Encourage Your Teen to See the World

Parents: encourage your teen to see the world and gain worthwhile experiences this summer!

For many teenagers, it can be tempting to spend summers off from school doing a whole lot of, well, nothing – going to the beach with friends here or there, sleeping in late, playing a few games of pick-up basketball, and basically just hanging out. And while it’s true that sufficient sleep is important for your growing kids, and some amount of downtime can also be a great idea — two and a half months of doing nothing but lounging around watching TV is maybe not the healthiest option.

Encouraging your teens to get out and have some worthy, productive summer experiences is super important – for you, and for them. This is especially true if your teen is hoping to go to college, and possibly even win a scholarship or two. After all, what’s going to look better to a college admissions board – months of sitting around at home, or a worthwhile volunteer program?

There are many different summer activities out there for high school students, but one of the best, and most beneficial, is the option of studying or volunteering abroad. High school study abroad has been on the rise for a few years now, and there are many reasons why:

1) Becoming proficient in a foreign language is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. And because younger students learn faster than college-aged students, your teen is more than likely going to be able to soak up another language pretty fast – giving him or her one awesome, marketable skill for the future.

2) Study abroad looks wonderful on college applications and resumes. Because it’s possible to earn college credit or community service hours while abroad, your child’s study abroad experience will signal to college admissions counselors that he or she takes academics seriously. In addition, study abroad really helps imbue students with vital global leadership skills and a more balanced, worldly perspective.

3) While abroad, your teen will receive a much richer education than a normal classroom would provide. Study abroad programs offer a chance to learn about a country’s language, history, and culture – while living in that country! This kind of in-depth, culturally-enriching education will be invaluable to your teen.

4) Gain good contacts and networking prospects for the future. You never know who you’ll meet when you seize an opportunity like the chance to study abroad. Other than gaining good skills for a future job (it’s not that far off!), it’s entirely probable that your child could make some worthy connections for the future – and possibly even score a potential summer internship or employment opportunity.

5) Studying abroad is an amazing experience. Your child will undoubtedly achieve new levels of maturity, focus, and tolerance while studying abroad – and, of course, it’ll be a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience!

And the best news? High school study abroad doesn’t have to be expensive! Many programs offer scholarships, financial aid, or fundraising guides. So, start encouraging your teen to get out in the world and have a life-changing study abroad experience!

Guest author-
Justine Harrington
Program Advisor | SPI Study Abroad