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 17 to 18 credits that may include the Global Connections Reflection. 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. 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 Reflection course in which you will document and analyze your experiences.

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 England or Scotland 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 and New Student Orientation in August before departing for England or Scotland.

A course for all Fall FYSAE students, Crossing Cultures, Borders and Boundaries, will help to transition students to the FYSAE experience. This course runs Tuesday, September 1 to Saturday, September 5, on the Glenside campus. Spring FYSAE students attend FYSAE Orientation meetings throughout the fall while spending the first semester on the Glenside campus.

When you arrive in the United Kingdom, you take part in an “in-country” orientation that includes an introduction to your host city. Arcadia staff members based in England and Scotland lead the orientations and are in regular contact with all FYSAE students during the semester.

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

Life After FYSAE

As a Fall FYSAE student 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. 

As a Spring FYSAE student, 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 the class of 2019. 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. These students will have access to an online portal through The College of Global Studiesthe Arcadia Passport—through which they will submit all forms electronically. 

Fall and Spring FYSAE students will gain access to the Arcadia Passport in  June. Michelle Kasmauskis, Program Manager, will contact students with log-in information at that time. If you have any questions, please e-mail Michelle at