College Deferral + Credits

Some colleges are amenable to deferring admission for students. A number of highly selective colleges actually recommend that students consider a year off before starting on-campus as a means to mature emotionally and intellectually. Please check with your college of choice for their policies regarding deferment of admission.

 Yes! First-Year Abroad is a college study abroad program. All students will enroll in 12-13 U.S semester credits through Dean College and receive an official academic transcript outlining courses taken, semester credits earned, and final grades.

If you are interested in continuing your academic studies at a school other than Dean College, it is up to that college or university to decide whether or not they will issue transfer credit for the courses through Dean College. 

You can request your official academic transcript from Dean College at the end of the program.  You can order your Dean College transcript online in an electronic or hardcopy format. 

On Program

Yes, students are allowed to travel while on some programs, but there are restrictions and every program country has different rules. Under no circumstances are students excused from classes and program activities to travel. Students are also expected to communicate their travel plans to their host family.

Participants are responsible for purchasing their flights to and from the city where they will be participating in first-year abroad. Students will have a chance to connect with other participants via their online pre-departure orientation. This is a great opportunity to exchange contact information and discuss the possibility of traveling together.

We want you to be fully immersed and focused on your program and new friends!  

If your family is interested in traveling with you before or after the program, that’s great! Just make sure you make personal travel plans outside of your CIEE program dates. 

No. All courses are instructed in English, with the exception of upper-level foreign language courses. It helps if you’re able to speak some of the local language, but you’ll be surprised how much of the language you’ll learn in a short period of time!

Our pre-departure courses will help you get ready for your program and cover most frequently asked questions about your destination. We typically cover key topics that help you get in the right frame of mind and make the best choices when considering packing (e.g., cultural norms for clothing) and making travel arrangements (e.g., visa requirements). The course is designed to help you connect with CIEE and your fellow participants, learn how to transition into everyday life in your host culture, prepare for the academic parts of your program, and learn all the logistical information you need to be ready to go. We also encourage all our participants to be curious about their future host countries and start researching them online as soon as they’re confirmed!

CIEE recommends that participants travel with a debit card to access cash, and a credit card to use in case of an emergency. Please note that not all US credit cards are widely accepted abroad. All participants should check with their bank to see what the bank’s policy is in regard to withdrawing funds and using bank-issued debit/credit cards abroad. In many countries, the preferred means of payment is still cash, so having access to cash is very important. We discourage participants from using either traveler’s checks or personal checks while abroad.  CIEE will provide more specific, detailed information on accessing money for the country in which you will be studying, during the pre-departure orientation.

Safety & Risk Management

All students are covered by iNext international travel protection in addition to any coverage provided by their primary insurance provider. The iNext policy covers any unforeseen or unexpected accidents or illnesses while abroad. If students require medical attention, they will often have to pay up-front for any costs and then submit a claim online following the instructions on the iNext website.

CIEE is dedicated to providing all participants and parents with comprehensive support throughout the duration of the program. CIEE’s on-site program staff is the first source of assistance locally. The center staff is trained and experienced in managing conflict, assisting with cultural adjustment issues, and providing support for emergency situations. Our staff is knowledgeable, experienced, and more than happy to answer questions, provide assistance, or discuss student concerns. The CIEE on-site staff is available 24/7 via phone and is also available by email or MS Teams.

Costs & Fees

You must have a valid passport to join First-Year Abroad. If you already have a passport, make sure that it will be valid for six months after your program ends. If you need a new passport or need to renew your existing one, please visit the U.S. Department of State website. Do not wait until the last minute to apply for a passport! That process can take months and participants will not be refunded for their program if their passport does not arrive in time for their departure to the host country. 

Due to the length of the First-Year Abroad program, you do not need a visa for the First-Year Abroad program. However, if you've traveled to Europe in the last 6 months or hold a non-US passport, please contact us to discuss whether you may need a visa to participate.

Participants must be a minimum of 18 years old at the time of departure. View your program webpage for your specific program dates.

There are two components to the overall First-Year Abroad program cost:

  • Academic home tuition and enrollment fee
  • Study abroad program fees

All program fees will be billed and paid directly to Dean College with the exception of the application fee, which is paid to CIEE. 

First-Year Abroad participants are full-time degree-seeking students at Dean College and are eligible to access financial aid accordingly.

The FAFSA, a free application, is required for citizens and permanent residents of the United States who wish to apply for federal student aid, including federal grants, and loans. The FAFSA is also used to apply for state funds. Use Dean’s federal school code—002144—when you complete the online application at the Federal Student Aid website.