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Study Abroad

Participation in study abroad experiences presents diverse educational and cultural opportunities. Your student can study abroad and still graduate on time.

Experiencing a new culture through study abroad can help high school students better understand themselves and the world around them. Programs promote mutual understanding, leadership development, educational transformation, and democratic ideals. CPS recognizes official report cards from host countries and grants credits toward high school graduation.

Students can pursue study abroad programs in one of two ways: either through outside agencies working with CPS schools or by seeking study abroad opportunities on their own. In order to study abroad, students must present a letter of acceptance from the foreign school to their counselor. Students are transferred out to the school abroad, and after one semester or one year, they are accepted back to CPS schools. Contact your local school counselor for more information about studying abroad.

We strongly encourage students interested in studying abroad to be part of a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State or organized by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Be aware that successful participation requires proper planning regarding travel, currency, local conditions, host families, and academic programs. 

To help ensure study abroad doesn't disrupt your student's high school experience, we suggest:

  • The school year in the hosting country match the U.S. school calendar.
  • The student attend an officially recognized school.
  • The student participation dates allow him/her to complete a full semester or school year in the hosting country.
  • The student be placed in the appropriate grade level.
  • The student be programmed with the full course of study necessary to complete a full semester and receive final grades.
  • The student's program aligns as much as possible with CPS graduation requirements.
  • The student be linguistically ready to fully participate and perform in all assigned classes in the hosting country.

Getting High School Credit for Study Abroad Experiences

Students returning to CPS with official report cards from their study abroad program should contact CPS Foreign Student Services for an evaluation of their foreign secondary school transcripts. Upon review of their transcripts, students will usually be accepted back into the same CPS high school they left.

Language and Cultural Education


773-553-1931 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Foreign Student Services Beata E. Arceo


Chicago Public Schools
42 W Madison St., Garden Level
Chicago, IL 60602