First Year Abroad

The WorldStrides Difference

Our First Year Abroad (FYA) programs offer your students a specialized academic experience at one of our top international destinations with 24/7 on-site support.

Our portfolio of study abroad programs is customizable to meet your university’s strategic recruitment and retention goals, while providing first year students with the opportunity to connect with their cohort and the world around them.

Meet Your Institutional Goals

Leverage WorldStrides' resources and expertise to help your institution grow in a non-traditional way by providing First Year Abroad programs for incoming or deferred first-year students. The FYA program not only provides your students with a tailored first-year program, but it also prepares them to return to campus as an experienced student with clear academic goals. 


First Year international programs are a great way to boost your diversity initiatives by bringing in new cohorts of students who are interested in understanding the world around them.


Boost your overall enrollment numbers and meet your first-year enrollment goals. By utilizing facilities and resources abroad, FYA programs allow you to enroll more students. 


Reduce enrollment melt. Student cohorts who develop a strong connection to their peers and develop a diverse worldview are more likely to thrive when they return home. 

Academic Focus

Our study abroad programs can be tailored to align with specific colleges or majors, ensuring that your first year students return to campus ready to progress with their chosen degree plans. The courses associated with each subject area are a sample of what's available.

  • Business

    We offer a range of introductory business courses available to first-year students. See below for a sample of the courses offered:

    • Introduction to Marketing
    • Introduction to Accounting
    • International Business
    • Principles of Microeconomics
    • Principles of Microeconomics
    • Business Math
  • Engineering & Computing

    If your students are looking to begin their higher education in engineering or computing, they will need introductory science or math courses with labs. See below for a sample of the courses offered:

    • Chemistry for Engineering + Lab
    • Physics for Engineering + Lab
    • Calculus I
    • Calculus II
    • Statistics
  • Humanities & Social Sciences

    We offer several different opportunities for first-year students interested in communications, humanities, and social sciences. These are also great options to fulfill general education requirements. See below for a sample of courses offered:

    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Introduction to Communication Studies
    • World History
    • Culture and Society in Spain
    • Media & Society
  • Natural Sciences & Environmental Studies

    Students can get started right away with their introductory courses in sciences and environmental studies. See below for a sample of courses offered:

    • General Biology
    • Foundations of Chemistry
    • Introduction to Earth Systems
    • Introduction to Nutrition
    • Introduction to Sustainability
    • Survey of Human Geography

Program Spotlight: Universidad de Málaga

This is just one of our programs that can be customized to meet your university's needs when it comes to building your first year study abroad program. 

malaga spain university ISA study abroad

Location: Málaga, Spain

University highlights: 

  • Guaranteed placement in select courses available only to our students
  • Courses available for all levels of Spanish language
  • First-year courses available in English

Why we love it:

  • Walkable city with great public transportation, perfect for first-time travelers
  • More than 40 museums to explore, including Museo Picasso and the only Museo Pompidou outside of Paris, France
  • Located in El Palo neighborhood, just five minutes from the beach

Want to learn more?
Connect with our Campus Partnerships team!

Program Design Elements

These first-year study abroad programs are designed to provide the same benefits as an on-campus student experience, including co-curricular activities, mentoring, and cohort development. Plus, they are completely customizable. Universities can pick and choose the program design elements that best fit their needs. Here are just a few options available on all of our FYA programs to choose from:


Bridging Cultures Orientation

Upon arrival, all students will receive practical tips, culture-related content, and country-specific information to prepare them to make the most of their time abroad. 

Weekly Cultural Activities

Cultural activities usually include tours of the city, cooking classes, dance classes, weekend or overnight excursions to another part of the country, and more.

Academic Support

Students have access to academic support at their host institution, as well as guidance and personalized support from our on-site staff. 

Academic and Career Development

Students have access to the Professional Development Toolbox resource and can opt into the Global Professional micro-credential.

Student Support 

On-site staff provide 24/7 support to students while abroad. Staff will assist in scheduling appointments, accompanying the student on a doctor’s visit if needed, and aid them in any other way

Peer Mentor Program

Students will discover more about their host country and life as a college student by pairing up with a local student over the course of the semester.

What’s Included

Our holistic approach means first year students will have access to the same support all our students enjoy, including one-of-a-kind support before departure, on the ground while they are abroad, and when they return home. Below is a list of what is included:  

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Bridging Cultures Orientation

Full-Time Resident Staff

On-Site ISA Offices

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities


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