What Is First Year Abroad?

CIEE First Year Abroad

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What Is First Year Abroad?

It’s more than an academic program; it’s a transformative experience that sets the stage for a global education journey.

As the newest program in CIEE’s robust portfolio of global experiential learning options, CIEE First Year Abroad (FYA) allows high school graduates to start college in 1 of 14 amazing global locations.

Instead of spending your first semester, or first year, taking courses on a U.S. college campus, you’ll get to:

  • Experience your first year of college in a different country.
  • Take in a new environment, teaching you valuable lessons beyond the classroom.
  • Earn 12-13 college-level credits toward your degree, just as you would if you'd studied in the U.S.

CIEE First Year Abroad Programs are perfect for students who are:

  • Looking for something different and valuable after high school.
  • Passionate about international experience and education.
  • Students who don't want to wait until later in their college career for their chance to study abroad.

What to Expect

You can choose a 12-week semester in one location or 6-week blocks in two locations. You can also choose either a fall semester, spring semester, or even combine both to make up a full year.

While on program, you’ll be enrolled as a student at our academic partner and school of record, Dean College, a respected liberal arts college in Massachusetts.

Once you complete your program, you have options when you return from your travels.

You can:


Go on to earn your degree at Dean College.


Apply to a CIEE partner college or university to ease the transfer credit process.


Use your international experience to impress the admission team at your dream school of choice!

First Year Abroad

Get Your Questions Answered

Register for one of our upcoming webinars to learn more about First Year Abroad. The CIEE team will answer your questions and help you get started on the next steps towards making your study abroad dreams a reality.

Get ready to redefine your college experience with CIEE’s First Year Abroad!

Here’s what to expect on your transformative journey:

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Cultural Immersion

From language immersion to local traditions, every day is an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and gain intercultural experiences

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First Year Abroad programs seamlessly integrate with college curriculums, allowing you to earn credits and stay on track for graduation

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Global Connections

Form friendships with students from diverse backgrounds and build a network that spans around the world

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Housing & Support

Feel at home in your new surroundings with carefully selected host families or student residences. Our on-site support team will also be there to guide you every step of the way!

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Adventures Beyond the Classroom

Your education extends beyond textbooks. You’ll have many opportunities to explore iconic landmarks, hidden gems, and try local cuisine.

Have questions about our programs or application process? Your answer may be just one click away in our FAQs!

Feel free to contact us directly too. We're happy to assist you. Call us at (866) 583 0332 or email us at

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contact options

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Have Questions?

Check out our FAQ page for more information on the application, pre-departure process, costs, and more.

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Want to Schedule a Call?

If you want to schedule a call, find a time with a CIEE Enrollment Coordinator in your area on our bookings page.