Academic Tip of the Month – Studying Abroad in High School

                            Photo Credit: TeenLife

These days, study abroad is pretty common place in college. Most college students spend at least a few weeks, or a semester, abroad before they graduate. However, did you know, you don’t have to wait until college? There are many study abroad options available to students in high school, too. We recently learned about an amazing opportunity for rugby student athletes to study abroad in high school – completing their high school course requirements all the while training and playing at some of the best high schools in the UK and Ireland. We got some details from our friends at PSA Academies about their program which places ambitious US 14-17 year old players into the top UK & Irish rugby schools.

With their sister company Xplore, who has more than 30 years of experience in placing overseas students in some of the top UK private schools, PSA Academies have launched a high-end sports placement programme. With 4 of the top UK rugby schools plus 3 of the Irish ones committed to working exclusively with PSA Academies/Xplore on US placements, they are confident that a placement for 6 months – 2 years in our partner schools can deliver a sizeable uplift in the Rugby IQ of the best young US rugby players. This can significantly increase your chances of returning to the US to play at the highest level in US College Rugby and even open the door to secure a pro rugby contract either in the US or Europe in the future.

At which schools would my child be placed?

                         Photo Credit: St. Joseph’s College

We work with some of the best rugby playing schools in the UK and Ireland. Schools that are well-rounded and traditional, but not stuffy in their outlook and ethos.

St. Joseph’s College (Ipswich) is a top performing rugby school in England, which comfortably competes with heavyweight schools whilst maintaining its family and welcoming spirit. The school has direct links to clubs of all levels and in the last 2 years has produced 5 international players at youth level and 6 players that have gone on to receive professional rugby contracts. St. Joseph’s is also partnered with a number of top performing sports universities, providing students with excellent pathways to higher education, whilst continuing to develop in their chosen sport.

Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR) is a private boarding school in Ireland, southwest of Dublin. The school’s 1st XV rugby team has experienced recent success in the prestigious Leinster Cup, with an ethos built on a foundation of hard work and getting the best out of each individual.

We know studying abroad in high school may be nerve-wracking for some, so here are just a few reasons why you should consider studying abroad in high school:

#1. You’ll Find Out if You Enjoy Being Far From Home

                  Photo Credit: Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR)

It’s a reality of life that you’ll (probably) leave home one day and move away from your parents. While some students opt to attend college near their hometown, others prefer to go much further afield, perhaps to another state or the opposite side of the country.

Studying abroad in high school can be a way to figure out whether you thrive in an unfamiliar environment. If you choose a shorter program (such as summer vacation) rather than a long-term one (like the whole year!) you have the safety of knowing that you’ll get to go home soon if you are homesick.

#2. You’ll Learn That You’re Capable of Looking After Yourself

For most people, going away to college is the first test of whether you have what it takes to look after yourself. Sure, the majority of people end up swimming eventually, but there might be a bit of sinking first.

Do you want to be that kid in the college dorm who doesn’t know how to fry an egg or change his bed sheets? Probably not. To help you figure out how capable you are of taking care of yourself, studying abroad in high school is a good option. You’ll figure out what you’re capable of, and learn valuable self-care skills, all while having fun. Studying abroad is also a well-structured way to learn these life lessons — as opposed to traveling, where you might be out on your own without the support of program organizers, teachers, and classmates to help you succeed.

#3. You’ll Narrow Down Your College Major

There are so many exciting things you could major in at college, and it can be hard to narrow down your options. One way of doing so is to study abroad and see what you enjoy.

Perhaps you excel at Spanish, or are really fascinated by different styles of architecture; maybe you love how math and science break through language barriers, or learn about new environmental conservation practices abroad. Your future major — and career path — may reveal itself in unexpected ways while studying abroad during high school.

#4. You’ll Make New Friends & Teammates Around the World

Who doesn’t want to make cool new friends? And there’s perhaps nothing cooler than having friends in foreign places. Friendships that you form in your younger years have the tendency to be deep and strong. If you study abroad in high school, chances are you’ll make friends for life.

#5. You’ll Experience a Different Culture & New Ways of Life

You’ve no doubt heard that travel broadens your mind. But studying abroad while you’re still young, in high school, exposes you to much more than just surface differences. You’ll see how young people in other countries live and study, you’ll learn about their interests and priorities, and you’ll realize that, while life throughout the world certainly is different, there are also many similarities that unite people.

There’s nothing like experiencing this for yourself. You’ll learn that while the world is really big, it’s also surprisingly small.

#6. You’ll Add Impressive Experience to Your Resume

                             Photo Credit:

Maybe you haven’t given your resume much thought yet, but you’ll increasingly be asked about it as you grow up and go to college, and then move into the workforce. Rather than be impressed by which school you went to or your individual subject grades, many colleges and would-be employers are impressed by experiences that set you apart and show that you have initiative.

It doesn’t matter whether you study abroad in Japan or Ireland, being able to demonstrate that you are flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and creative is a major plus. Studying abroad in high school shows that you have these desirable qualities.

Traveling abroad has the potential to open your mind and present new opportunities. There’s no good reason why you have to wait until adulthood to reap these rewards! Studying abroad in high school might just change your life, so what are you waiting for? For more info about Studying & Playing Rugby through PSA Academies:

Ian Lewis Managing Director / CEO  Xplore – The World!

E: | DD: +44 (0)1449 742700 | W:

*Portions of this article edited from:

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