Travel Programs For High School Students: The 5 Benefits of Traveling Abroad

Most teenager’s travel experience has come from family trips. Traveling with family is a great way for kids to gain new experiences… get out of their daily routines and begin to explore all that the world has to offer. As kids make the difficult transition from childhood to young adulthood… they often want to spread their wings and explore their world with a little extra freedom and responsibility. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should pack your 14-year-old’s backpack, hand them a plane ticket and send them to Europe by themselves! This is actually the perfect time for a teen summer travel program. Below you’ll find the 5 benefits of traveling abroad in your teenage years.

1. Build Confidence and Maturity

When kids travel with their parents there’s always a sense that their parents are in charge and will take care of any problems that arise. 

But when on a travel program for high school students they’re given much more responsibility. They learn to budget their money… deal with challenging situations, meet new people and make decisions without oversight from their parents. This all takes place in a structured program under the supervision of trained trip leaders. This helps teens build confidence in their own decision making and develop a new sense of maturity.

Teen Summer Travel Program Raising Awareness for Reefs

2. Get Introduced To Possible Career Paths lists over 12,000 different careers. In reality that just begins to scratch the surface. How many careers is your teenager exposed to during high school and college? Students take the same basic subjects with a couple of electives in high school. In college, they’re forced to pick a major by sophomore year. By the time they graduate they’ve only experienced a tiny percentage of career options available to them. 

When teenagers go on a summer teen travel program they’re exposed to a whole new world of opportunity. From working with farmers in South America to seeing first-hand how microfinance affects small villages in Africa… or participating in real-life marine conservation projects… they get actual hands-on experience in numerous career fields. Who knows? Maybe their teen travel program will plant the spark that burns within them for the rest of their lives.

Teen Summer Travel Program ARCC students with school children

3. Develop an Appreciation For Other Cultures

The world is becoming a global community. Whether for economic… environmental or humanitarian purposes… international lines are becoming more of a gray area each year. Teenagers today will need to develop empathy for other cultures to help them solve the environmental and humanitarian challenges of tomorrow.

Students on a teen travel program don’t merely witness other cultures. They live, work, and become immersed in the communities that they visit. These students become global citizens with an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. 

Teen Summer Travel Program ARCC student with school boy

4. Travel Is Good For Your Health

There are several scientific studies showing that travel is just plain good for us. Travel is known to lower the stress felt from everyday life. And let’s be honest, what teenager couldn’t use a little stress detox?

Besides the “chill out factor” of traveling, there are biological health benefits. For starters, travel exposes teenagers to different environments, different foods, different water, and different levels of cleanliness. While also culturally interesting, these new exposures create new and stronger antibodies, boosting immune systems. So by traveling to different countries, the body adapts to new bacteria making it stronger. 

Travel also improves brain health. By meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and adapting to new situations your son or daughter will be flexing their cognitive abilities. Last but not least, travel contributes to people living longer. Help your teen ignite a lifelong passion for travel that leads to a long happy and healthy life.

ARCC students learning about textiles

5. Make Lifelong Friends

Teen summer travel programs or summer volunteer programs encourage teenagers to break out of their shells and meet new people. In the process, they can make lifelong friends. 

Most teenagers haven’t had the opportunity to make friends with people outside of their neighborhoods, schools or usual social circles. A travel program gives students the tools and the experience to make real connections with people from different backgrounds, whether from within their group or through meeting people along the way. From college to future careers… the ability to create meaningful relationships with individuals from all walks of life will have a positive impact on your son or daughter’s future success. 

A summer teen travel program brings together teenagers from all over the country and the world. They develop lifelong relationships through shared interests and shared experiences. By the end of their travel program, they’ll form a special bond that only comes from beginning the program as strangers and ending it as lifelong friends.

Teen Summer Travel Program ARCC Students become friends


For 38 years, ARCC has created extraordinary summer and gap year programs for teens. Your son or daughter will travel to locations rarely visited by outsiders and become fully immersed in a new culture and experience… all while breaking out of their comfort zone and discovering a new version of themselves. 

For more information about our summer travel programs for teens click here.

To learn more about our gap year programs for recent grads click here.