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Colleges / Explore Lists / Colleges Where First-Years Can Study Abroad

Colleges Where First-Years Can Study Abroad

List by College Confidential
Photo: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

If you're bursting to get out and see the world after graduation, a college with a study abroad program for incoming students might be a good choice for you. While many schools offer a robust array of study-abroad opportunities for older students, a handful of schools also offer unique study-abroad opportunities specifically designed for first-year students. As college admissions changes in unprecedented ways, many schools are finding it more difficult to estimate yield, or how many admitted students will actually enroll. First-year study abroad programs are one win-win solution for handling the challenge of over enrollment. Know of a study abroad program for first-year students that you'd like to see on this list? Email your suggestions to editorial@collegeconfidential.com or message @CCEditorJoy on the Community forums.

Florida State University

FSU’s First Year Abroad (FYA) program offers students the unique opportunity to spend their first three semesters of college abroad at one of the University's four study centers in Florence, London, Panama or Valencia. Students spend the Fall, Spring, and Summer abroad, with the option to change locations for the summer term. Spending three semesters gives students a uniquely immersive experience living internationally. experiential learning credits which allow them not only immerse themselves into another country's culture but also learn about other countries' history or customs. The curriculum includes a mix of language, liberal arts, and experiential learning. Non-Florida residents who complete the FYA program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for the FYA in-state tuition waiver for the duration of time it takes to earn the first undergraduate degree at FSU. In-state Florida residents who maintain a cumulative FYA GPA of 3.0 or better and earn at least 14 credits a semester can receive a $1,500 scholarship toward the program’s next semester, for a total possible savings of up to $3,000 for both the Spring and Summer semesters!.

  • Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL
  • Colby College

    Colby offers two Global entry programs for incoming first-year students - one in Salamanca, Spain and one in Dijon, France. The core curriculum for the Spanish program focuses on Spanish language, culture and literature, while the Dijon program focuses on the French language and history. Both programs feature a homestay, planned excursions around the country, and a chance for Colby students from both programs to meet each other.

  • Colby College
    Waterville, ME
  • Kenyon College

    When Kenyon faced an over-enrollment crisis for Fall 2021, the liberal arts school in sleepy Gambier, Ohio responded by launching the new Kenyon in Copenhagen program, which is not expected to be a yearly offering. Students travel to Denmark accompanied by Kenyon professors, and spend their first semester immersed in Danish life but surrounded by their Kenyon peers. Students take a mix of classes from the Kenyon faculty, as well as professors at DIS Copenhagen. In the program's first term, the Kenyon professors taught introductory courses in Psychology and Environmentalism, and an English course called "Making a Life In the World" that uses literature and cinema as tools for gaining a more complex understanding of what it means to craft a life. Though the program is new, it is modeled after the Kenyon in Exeter program for juniors, which the college has been operating for over forty years.

  • Kenyon College
    Gambier, OH
  • Northeastern University

    Northeastern's NU.in program provides opportunities for first-year students to spend a semester studying in England, Greece, Ireland, or Italy. Students do not need to speak a foreign language to participate. With the exception of language courses, all classes are taught in English. Unlike study abroad programs at the other schools on this list, which are open to all admitted students, the NU.in programs are offered to qualified students that the University was not able to admit for Fall. Successful students can then begin as fully-enrolled Northeastern students for the Spring term.

  • Skidmore College

    Each Fall, thirty-six adventurous Skidmore students sign up to spend their first semester of college in London. Two Faculty Coordinators from the College travel with the students and teach classes designed to take advantage of London's vast array of learning opportunities. Students take additional classes at the IES Abroad London Center.

  • Skidmore College
    Saratoga Springs, NY
  • New York University

    NYU's First Year Away programs offer freshman several options for spending their first year outside of New York City. Liberal Studies majors can study at one of NYU's international satellite locations in Florence, London, or Madrid, or stay closer to home and study in Washington, D.C. Students who are admitted in the Spring to the University's Media, Culture and Communication program can begin their studies at NYU Paris, and then take a summer term to be on track to graduate with their peers who started in the Fall term. NYU students pursuing a B.S. in Business at Stern and are interested in a career in international business can spend their first semester at NYU's London location. NYU London is the university's largest international site, and in includes several full-time staff members who are available to support students.

  • New York University
    New York, NY
  • Syracuse University

    Syracuse's Discovery program allows students to spend their first semester in Florence, Madrid, or Strasbourg. Students stay in the homes of residents from their host city, but there are several Syracuse staff present to support students. The programs are best for students interested in liberal arts, engineering, or computer science.

  • Syracuse University
    Syracuse, NY
  • Wake Forest University

    First-year students participating in Wake Forest's Global AWAKEnings program in Copenhagen have the opportunity to engage with challenging coursework taught by both Danish and Wake Forest faculty members. The full-year program includes hands-on learning opportunities, expert guest lectures, and opportunities to travel through out Europe. Students return to Wake Forest with new knowledge, skills, and cultural awareness to bring to their next three years of college.

  • Wake Forest University
    Winston-Salem, NC
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