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Delve deep into global topics at the University of California, San Diego and make friends with students from around the world. You and your group of international high schoolers will explore themes related to the environment, social issues, and intercultural communication. Together you’ll take part in fun trips, activities, and volunteer projects in a uniquely global, eye-opening environment. This is your chance to discover the world—and your place in it—from a college campus that’s just a short walk from the beach!

Eligibility Requirements

Most Global Prep programs accept participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. However, 13 and 14 year old’s aren’t eligible to enroll for certain Global Prep destinations. If you wish to participate and will be 13 or 14 years old at the date of departure for the program, please contact AFS for more information about specific program eligibility. Please also keep in mind that due to regulations mandated by the airlines, 13 and 14 year old participants will be considered Unaccompanied Minors and additional charges will apply.

Sample Program Itinerary to San Diego

The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.


Your journey to California

You’ll be welcomed at the airport by AFS Staff, and then head to an arrival orientation at the University of California, San Diego. Afterward, you’ll have time to settle in to your dorm and get to know your roommates. As you soak it all in, be sure to take advantage of the hot sun and cool ocean breeze!


Your Classes

Your morning classes will have weekly themes that relate to your local excursions. For example, one day’s discussion of contemporary issues may be followed by a visit to the US-Mexico border to learn about immigration. AFS-USA is also partnering with Ashoka Youth Ventures to help you develop new ideas that could have a positive social impact. As you learn to create change on a global scale, you could take part in projects like beach cleanup/restoration to gain insight into current environmental priorities. Each of your discussions will bring together students’ perspectives from around the world, creating an opportunity to learn in a whole new way. In the final week of the program, you’ll have the opportunity to identify a personal passion, and think about a project you can implement to make a difference in your own community.


Campus Life

You’ll be living at the University of California, San Diego, located in La Jolla, just north of San Diego. A dorm at Revelle College is reserved for all Global Prep participants, who will live in same-gender suites with 10-14 other students. There will also be a staff Program Counselor in each suite to help ensure your safety.


Exploring the Area

In the afternoons where there isn’t a scheduled trip, you might go shopping, surfing, or hang out at the beach with your friends. You’ll also go on local excursions to places like Balboa Park and Zoo, La Jolla Shores, Embarcadero, and Torrey Pines State Reserve. On weekends, you’ll have the chance to take longer trips to popular California destinations like Los Angeles, where you can spend the day touring Hollywood, Grumman’s Chinese Theater, Santa Monica Pier, and more. You can even visit Disneyland and see Sleeping Beauty’s castle! In the evenings, you’ll have time to relax with your friends or take advantage of events like talent shows, games, and culture nights.

Group Leaders

This Global Prep experience counts on a team of AFSers to live with participants, facilitate workshops and activities, and chaperone excursions. This team of Program Counselors (PCs) and Managers is comprised of AFS Returnees with firsthand experience of the challenges, joys, and successes of living with people from other countries.

Available Scholarships

What's Included

  • Accommodations, meals, and transportation
  • Entrance fees to all program activities
  • Access to a 24/7 Emergency Duty Officer
  • Please review the Terms and Conditions for complete guidelines.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in San Diego.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits

Apply for Global Prep in San Diego!