In the summer of 1948, 17 Beaver College undergraduate women, along with their economics instructor and his wife, set sail for post-war Europe to study rebuilding efforts.
Arcadia University's excellence in study abroad started on the saddle of a bicycle, at $2 a day. Students had a summer's worth of adventure as they cycled through England, Belgium, and France in all weathers as they sought to understand the cooperative nature of rebuilding efforts.
The success of the 1948 summer study initiative spawned several more programs in other disciplines, so for the next several summers both Beaver College students and those invited from neighboring institutions took part in Beaver's European study tours.
Then in 1965, the Center for Education Abroad was established to enable American undergraduates to study for credit in fully-integrated programs in Great Britain, Austria and elsewhere. Soon thereafter, the Beaver College London Center was founded.
Over the years, Arcadia has expanded both its curricular offerings and the locations of its programming. This includes the development of Arcadia Centers around the world, including London, Athens, Rome, and Cape Town.
In 2009, the then Center for Education Abroad was elevated to College status, thereby creating The College of Global Studies. It is the first College of its kind dedicated to the delivery and development of education abroad.
In addition to the long-term study abroad programs that are a semester- or year-long opportunity, the University has established unique programs that take students around the world for shorter periods of time. Preview, a two-credit course and weeklong international experience, began in 1994 as a way to encourage students to study abroad. Today, the program sends students to up to 17 locations each year, including countries such as South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Guatemala, South Korea, China, Australia, Romania, and Oman. In March 2018, the University sent the 7,500th student participant on Preview.
The First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) was established in 2003 to further study abroad efforts. Since its inception, this program has enabled over 1,000 invited first-year students to study in London, England or Stirling, Scotland during the fall or spring semesters.
Beyond the first-year short-term study abroad options, the University has also established Global Field Study (GFS) courses, which began in 2010. GFS courses connect coursework with an experiential component in the field. Students have studied the politics and economics of Dominica; medieval art in Paris; ecosystems in Machu Picchu; and ceramic traditions in Denmark. Over 1,000 sophmore, junior, senior, and graduate students have participated in a GFS course.