Application Guide – High School Semester Abroad Program
If you are reading this page, chances are you have opened a CIEE High School Semester or Academic Year Abroad application…. Bravo! You are one step closer to experiencing high school in a new country, and we’re excited to guide you through the application process.
Before you dive into the detail of each application task, don’t forget:
- Apply by the Priority Deadline to get a $400 discount:
- Fall: February 15
- Spring: July 15
- Speak to your high school guidance counselor/academic advisor about studying abroad in a foreign country. Ask about classes you will miss and the steps to earn semester credits abroad.
All application tasks are explained below!
Starting an Application
Review High School Semester Abroad Programs: Take some time to learn more about the available CIEE high school abroad programs.
Choose Your Term: Once you finalize your program country selection, review the academic term choices available (Academic Year, Fall, Spring) and make your choice. Please only apply to one term and one program.
Click Apply Now: On the program page, click the orange Apply Now button.
Complete the Apply for CIEE Program page: A pop-out screen will appear with the following questions. Review the notes below for additional information.
1. Type of Program: Be sure to select High School Semester Abroad. You cannot change this selection. If you want to apply for a different type of program, you will need to visit the program profile page.
2. Enter your High School: Type the full name of your high school and check to ensure the selection has the correct city of where the school is located.
- If you have a common high school name (such as Central High School), you may need to review the options with a focus on the city name following.
- Try searching using one of the keywords in your school’s name.
- If your school is not listed: Select, “My High School is not listed” from the drop-down option. Be sure to enter the full name of your high school.
3. Enter your graduation year and where you want to go.
You will be redirected to your newly created application!
Standard Application Tasks
These tasks will be found on all CIEE applications. Click below for more information related to each task:
Please provide CIEE with your personal background such as date of birth, race/ethnicity, county of citizenship, t-shirt size, your full legal name, home/permanent address, phone number, etc.
CIEE respects your gender identity. We will use your gender identity preferences whenever we are legally able to. In some instances, such as immigration documentation, CIEE may be required to use your sex as listed on your passport. If you have any questions, our staff are eager to discuss how we can support you!
- Privacy: To protect applicants’ privacy, the gender identity information is not visible to Primary Emergency Contacts through the Parent Portal. It is only visible through the student's account and to CIEE.
You will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your high school semester abroad program.
- Traveling with a U.S. passport vs. passport issued by another country: U.S. citizenship and a U.S. passport is not required to participate in a CIEE program. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you will be responsible for researching your country’s requirements and obtaining a visa if necessary.
Complete this task as soon as you open your application! This lets us know who your legal guardians are and allows them to complete key tasks like signing the Terms & Conditions or paying the application fee.
Keep in mind the following in your selection:
- Primary Emergency Contact: Your primary emergency contact needs to be a parent or legal guardian.
- CIEE Portal Access: The primary emergency contact will have access to the CIEE legal guardian portal (this access cannot be provided to the second emergency contacts).
- Account Access: Having the CIEE portal in connection to your account allows them to enter the account or view information. To respect your privacy, please note that Primary Emergency Contacts CANNOT see information related to gender identity.
- Secondary Emergency Contact: Having a second emergency contact is required. This can be another parent/legal guardian or someone over the age of 18 that CIEE may contact throughout the application process or as an emergency contact while you are abroad.
- Unique Email / Phone Number: Your second emergency contact must have a different phone number and email listed from the first emergency contact.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Keep this information updated with the most current information throughout the application and acceptance process.
Please provide your cumulative GPA and school history.
Please upload your most recent official transcript. Accepted file types include .pdf, .jpg, or .doc.
All CIEE High School Abroad participants must meet with their high school’s counselor/academic advisor to discuss their plans to study abroad, and how this will affect their grades, credits, and graduation date.
- Your high school counselor/academic advisor must sign a school counselor form and it must be uploaded to your CIEE account to submit your application.
Please select a teacher who has known you for more than six months and is not related to you. If you are in your first-year or new to your high school, please select a high school teacher that currently has you in class between three and five times per week.
If you are applying to Japan, Spain, Germany, or France, you will be asked to have your language teacher write your recommendation.
- Please enter their email address. If possible, ask your teacher if you can list their Gmail or Yahoo address instead of their school email so that the email is not blocked by the school firewall protection.
Be sure to confirm with your high school teacher that they have received the recommendation request. It is your responsibility to make sure the recommendation is submitted. Your application will not be reviewed without the completed teacher recommendation.
Please tell us a little about your health background, such as any medical conditions, medication you are currently taking, any allergies, or dietary restrictions.
Please make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. Print the health form and ask your doctor to complete it. Return the forms to CIEE by uploading them in your application.
You and your parent/guardian must complete and sign this health form. Please return the completed form to CIEE by uploading it in your application.
Please let us know about your mental health history.
- If you have a current or prior history of a mental health disorder, you will be asked to complete mental health history questions AND have the person treating you (counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) complete a mental health form.
Please let us know if you have any type of Physical (mobility, visual, hearing, etc.) or learning impairment or disability that CIEE needs to know about to best support you on program.
Please let us know your vaccination status. This is to assist CIEE in determining how best to minimize risk for all program participants and staff. Please note that it is extremely unlikely that any participant will be able to secure vaccination while on program.
- If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be asked to complete a COVID-19 risk waiver.
Please take a photo of your vaccination card and upload it here.
We want to learn more about your motivation to do a high school semester or academic year abroad, why you chose your specific country, your goals, and what you hope to gain from your high school semester abroad experience.
Students have the option to be placed in a public or private school depending on program location. Please contact CIEE at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the differences between public and private school placements.
- If you are placed in a private school, there will be an additional cost. This additional cost is added to CIEE’s regular program tuition and will be paid to the private school you are placed in. Please select how much you are willing to spend on additional private school tuition. Select “$0” if you cannot afford to pay an additional amount (on top of the program tuition) for a private school placement.
Please tell us how you heard about CIEE!
This is a very important task. Your parent or legal guardian will need to review and electronically sign the CIEE Terms & Conditions. Your application cannot be submitted without their signature. This is a requirement for every student, regardless of age.
- Add the preferred email of your parent/legal guardian.
- Helpful Hint: If you complete the emergency contact information before completing this task and enter the email of the same parent/legal guardian that is serving as the primary emergency contact, the information will autofill.
- If the information is correct, select Add Legal Guardian.
- You will be notified that an email was sent to your parent/legal guardian letting them know to sign the CIEE Terms & Conditions.
If the email was not received by parent/legal guardian, they must:
- Check the spam folder and other email filters (promotions, social, etc.)
- Search the full email inbox for emails from CIEE.
- Access the form in their CIEE Parent Portal under signatures.
- Once a parent/legal guardian has been added as a primary emergency contact, they will receive information to set up this portal.
If this doesn't resolve the issue, email email@example.com.
Carefully review the Terms & Conditions (linked in the CIEE Terms & Conditions) with family and other people in your support network.
- Complete this task by typing your full legal name.
Please pay the non-refundable Application Fee. We recommend making payment via credit card. The benefit is that these payments are processed immediately—as opposed to check or money order payments—which require additional mailing and processing time. Cash payments are not accepted.