5 Reputable Language Programs for High School Students

If you’re a high school student looking for rapid language improvement and a life-changing adventure, there’s nothing quite like a language program.

High school language programs offer focused education that aims to improve your language skills rapidly.

You may even be able to test out of some college language courses and earn credit for them!

So if you’re looking to improve your language skills quickly before you graduate high school, you might consider these five amazing language programs.


How to Choose the Right Language Program for High School Students

Consider time commitment.

Each language program can vary in length, so it’s important to select a program that fits your schedule. There are a lot of summer language courses, but you’ll also find some longer options, some of which may take you out of your normal high school for a while.

Because of this, it’s also important to consider whether or not you’re willing to miss some of your more traditional schooling.

Consider location.

Some programs for high school students are located domestically, while others are located abroad. Domestic programs are often less expensive and less intimidating. However, international programs can be exciting and expose you to a culture where your target language is widely spoken.

Consider level.

Different programs offer different levels. Some are designed to accommodate any level of learner, while others target more specific levels. Selecting the right level for you will ensure you’re challenged… but not overwhelmed.

Pay attention to what the program offers.

Programs offer different courses, focuses and levels of intensity. Total immersion is usually most effective. In fact, one study indicates that students who study in domestic intensive programs may actually learn more than students who study abroad in non-intensive courses!

That being said, some students may not be comfortable using their target language 24/7, so it’s important to consider how committed you’re prepared to be.

Get with the Program: 5 Amazing Language Programs for High School Students

Throwing yourself into an immersive program is intimidating, to say the least! Before you embark on your language-learning journey, try a little immersion at home first. 

Beyond taking these courses, you can introduce the language to your home naturally, by watching movies or YouTube videos in your target language, or listening to music in it.

There are even programs dedicated to helping people learn with authentic videos. For instance, you might try FluentU for an immersive experience with learner-oriented features.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Watching authentic videos (on FluentU or elsewhere) will prepare you for your language program in two main ways: First, they’ll teach you about the local culture. Second, you’ll become used to hearing people speak in native accents at natural speeds.

This is usually difficult for people to adjust to, so if you can familiarize yourself with authentic accents before your program, you’ll be able to start with your best foot forward.

All that being said, let’s dive right into the best language programs for high school students!

Concordia Language Villages


Based in the woods of Minnesota, Concordia Language Villages offers a variety of immersive language programs for high school students.

One such program is a four-week course for high school credit, which is available for 14 languages, including popular options such as Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. This option is designed for all levels of language students and is highly immersive. You’ll average around eight and half hours of language instruction each day, and you’re encouraged to use your target language outside of class.

Like the appeal of a domestic program but still looking for a little international flair? Concordia Language Villages also offers a unique option that combines domestic and international study. The first two weeks of your study will be spent in Minnesota, while the next two weeks will be spent in Austria, Costa Rica or France.

Wish you could get your whole family in on the language learning? Concordia Language Villages also holds family programs that usually last for one weekend or one week.

Travel for Teens


Travel for Teens has summer language immersion programs intended for all levels of language students, even if you’re just starting out.

As the name would suggest, Travel for Teens is a travel-based program. You can study French in France, Spanish in Costa Rica or Spanish in Spain. Programs range from 11 to 28 days.

Travel for Teens offers a combination of structured lessons and real-world experiences, giving students a nice mixture of formal education and practical use.

Greenheart Travel


If you want to go abroad but need a more flexible timeline, Greenheart Travel is a great choice. It offers programs that last between one to six weeks, giving you the option of short-term or longer-term study.

The programs aim at immersion, offering language instruction by native speakers along with cultural experiences. Excursions and homestays can offer an even more immersive experience.

With Greenheart Travel, you can study French in Canada or France, Italian in Italy, Japanese in Japan and Spanish in Costa Rica or Spain.

Programs can accommodate beginning through advanced students.

SPI Study Abroad


SPI Study Abroad offers study abroad language immersion programs for high school students.

You can study Chinese in China, French in France, Italian in Italy and/or Spanish in Costa Rica, Mexico or Spain. The language education focuses on practical skills in real-world context. While all the programs focus on language immersion, some also focus on global leadership and/or volunteering to help broaden additional skill sets. Language classes last between three and four hours each day and are appropriate for beginning through advanced students.

SPI’s programs are held during the summer and last between two and six weeks. Plus, SPI works with foreign universities to provide students with transcripts once they complete a course. Depending on which university you end up attending, you may be able to earn college credit for the experience.



AFS (American Field Service) is an international exchange program that sets high school students up with study abroad opportunities.

AFS offers programs in a huge array of countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and many more. Some programs are billed specifically as language-related; however, most programs simply provide instruction in the local language.

Programs range in length from a couple weeks to one year, so you can probably find a program to meet the time frame you have allotted.


While high school may be full of difficult questions, whether or not you want to improve your language skills shouldn’t be one of them.

With these five language programs for high school students, you can have the time of your life while working toward fluency.

And One More Thing...

If you dig the idea of learning on your own time from the comfort of your smart device with real-life authentic language content, you'll love using FluentU.

With FluentU, you'll learn real languages—as they're spoken by native speakers. FluentU has a wide variety of videos as you can see here:

FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.

Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.

You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU's "learn mode." Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You get a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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