Academic Credit "To Earn or Not to Earn That is the Question!"

Having cultural, social and mind opening experiences rank as the top reasons why high school students study abroad... but did you know that you may also be able to earn academic credit?


  • Many schools around the world grant credit but credit is of limited value to you unless your home institution accepts the credit(s). Check with your high school in advance to determine if they will accept work transferred.


  • Generally speaking, one year of language study at the high school level is considered equivilant to one semester of language study at the university level... which is often considered equivilant to one month of language immersion abroad. While everyone learns at a different pace, in broad terms that means a student can potentially learn as much of a language in a high quality 4 to 8 week immersion program abroad as they do in a semester or year of high school study.
  • Most U.S. Universities require 15 class hours for 1 semester credit (10 class hours for 1 credit using the quarter system) and usually no more than 25 class hours/week are transferable (often no more than 1 credit per week).


  • Many high school students take a foreign language proficiency exam when they take their ACT or SAT exams. Students who have taken foreign language immersion programs abroad statistically score higher on these exams than students who have not studied language abroad. Depending on the score you get on these exams, you may be able to earn 'retroactive credit' or 'retro credit' for language study in the form of foreign language credits at the college or university you attend.


  • If your home school will not accept credit transfer from a foreign school, they may structure an accredited independent study, reading course or internship which you may take abroad... or grant credit based upon performance testing.
  • Volunteerism is becoming a graduation requirement at a greater number of high schools why not learn about a new culture and fulfill this requirement at the same time? Teens age 17 and older may be eligible to join adult language and volunteer programs in Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru or Bolivia. Volunteer programs for teenagers are available in our Quito, Ecuador Teen Program for students age 15 and older.