First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE)

Begin Your Arcadia Education Abroad

Through the First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE), you could begin an education with a global perspective in your first or second semester of freshman year. FYSAE includes a full semester of study in either Stirling, Scotland, or London, England, while also offering: 

  • Extensive support provided by Arcadia faculty and staff to prepare you before departure
  • Arcadia staff and resources for continued support while overseas.
  • Student mentors to engage you throughout the experience and stay connected with when you return.
  • Individualized advising to help you make the most of your study abroad experience.

Make the World Your Classroom

Taking Classes Abroad

As a FYSAE student, you earn a full semester of credit toward your Arcadia University degree. During the semester, you will enroll in 16 (London) or 17 (Stirling) credits that also include the Global Connections Reflection requirement at Arcadia. As a FYSAE Student, you get a rigorous educational experience in a different academic structure and are introduced to many aspects and nuances of the culture in which you live. This is a unique preparation for your life and professional career. FYSAE also develops a level of independence and perspective that will help guide the rest of your academic experience, and often, your career choices. After this introductory experience abroad, many FYSAE students study abroad again during their time at Arcadia.

The Global Connections Experience

The Global Connections Experience and Reflection provide you with opportunities to explore new places and cultures. In a sustained cross-cultural experience, you will meet people and learn about a society different from that in which you have lived. During the Global Connections Experience, you will participate in a reflective course in which you will document and analyze your experiences, and fulfill two Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum (AUC) requirements - GE and GRE.

Take Your Scholarships With You

While participating in FYSAE, your tuition and housing costs will be the same as a semester on the Glenside campus. You will also be able to use your merit scholarships and financial aid, with the exception of work study, to cover your FYSAE costs.   

In addition, Arcadia University covers the cost of round-trip air transportation between Glenside and the UK for FYSAE participants.


Academically talented students are invited to apply to FYSAE usually within two to three weeks after being admitted to the University overall. Selection for FYSAE is based on your application for admission and additional credentials. Students who are invited to apply to FYSAE will have to complete an additional admission form and have a phone interview with a counselor from the Office of Enrollment Management.


Fall FYSAE students get to know Arcadia’s Glenside campus by attending a one-day summer orientation in June and New Student Orientation in August before departing for the UK.

When you arrive in the UK, you will take part in a wide array of activities and events designed to help orient you to your locale and maximize your semester abroad from the moment you arrive. Arcadia staff members based in England and Scotland will lead the orientations and will be in regular contact with all FYSAE students throughout the semester.

Arcadia staff help FYSAE students to monitor academic progress, facilitate cultural adjustment, and ensure an ongoing personal connection.

Life After FYSAE

For fall FYSAE students returning to the Glenside campus in January, you will reconnect with your peer mentor for a seminar program and Winter Welcome. In most cases, fall students enroll in a First-Year Seminar when they return to campus in the spring. 

For spring FYSAE, you will be able to stay in touch with your peer mentor throughout your semester abroad. When you return to Arcadia for the start of your sophomore year you will be able to reconnect with your peer mentor and classmates on the Glenside campus.

Choose from dozens of courses designed to spark intellectual curiosity and build relationships.

First-Year Seminars

Read about Jordan Cameron ’17 and her return to campus after spending her first semester in London.

Jordan's Blog Post

Admitted Students: Next Steps

Students who have been admitted to the First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) must submit the $595 FYSAE fee in addition to the $400 admission deposit to reserve a place in your graduating class. The fee and deposit should be submitted online at or by a check payable to Arcadia University.

Deposited students who have reserved their spot in FYSAE will be required to submit a number of forms to The College of Global Studies, who organizes the overseas element of the program. The FYSAE Program Manager will reach out to deposited students at the appropriate time with instructions on how to submit the additional documents.

For questions about how to apply for FYSAE, please contact the Office of Enrollment Management at