Immersive Learning

  • barcelona
  • Copenhagen girl with coffee by river
  • paris view of eiffel tower surrounded by buildings at sunset

Enhance Your Education with First Year Abroad

Forget the ordinary Freshman year – on a CIEE First Year Abroad (FYA) program you'll be learning by doing, exploring, and connecting with people from all over the world. Imagine showing up to campus with stories of volunteering at an environmental organization in Costa Rica or shadowing professionals in the fashion industry in Paris. Your time abroad will make a lasting impact on your future, while you learn about different cultures and build your resume with some seriously cool experiences.

First Year Workshops

CIEE First Year Abroad will assist students in developing self-management, interpersonal communication, and personal development skills. In our interactive First Year workshops, students learn valuable life skills while getting to know themselves and learning how to manage their emotions.  Students will get to know others, appreciate differences, and learn how to manage interpersonal conflicts. Student will also build resilience by acquiring skills that turn challenges and adversity into opportunities for personal growth. 



Give back and create a deeper connection to your location. Students will be able to volunteer at local organizations, youth centers, schools, or other local places. Examples of past volunteer opportunities have included locations such as:

Career Exploration

When you go abroad on a CIEE First Year Abroad program, you won’t only advance in your studies, you’ll also gain valuable experience for your future, too. On FYA, you’ll have the opportunity to shadow professionals, volunteer in interesting industries, and discover the reality of different careers. You'll learn work practices, expectations, and maybe even picture your future role.

You will also forge lasting connections with professionals and peers worldwide. This international network can offer career support, advice, and global insights, fueling your professional growth. And an international experience on your resume speaks volumes – it's a testament to your passion, curiosity, resourcefulness, and courage. Qualities that make you not just a skilled employee, but a well-rounded human being too.

Guided Cultural Excursions

On an FYA program, you’ll get to participate in guided cultural excursions, doing some amazing things like:

  • Go on an overnight excursion to the White Heron Castle in Himeji during your Kyoto, Japan program
  • In Paris, France, visit the Normandy region and learn more about WWII history
  • Visit Kutná Hora, a UNESCO-protected medieval town that features a 14th-century Gothic cathedral and more during your program in Prague, Czech Republic

During your first year abroad, you’re likely to run into other CIEE students participating in different programs, like college study abroad, since there will be a crossover between CIEE cultural excursions. You’ll soon grow a pretty extensive CIEE network that’ll go global!