There are a number of reasons students decide to do this:
For students eager to start their major, freshman year may be a good time to earn general education credits or to complete core curriculum courses abroad. These programs abroad are a great opportunity to get foundational math and chemistry over with while exploring a new country.
Studying abroad can also hone your foreign language skills and satisfy foreign language requirements. Talking to real people is much more fun than language lab.
Students who study abroad also often form a strong community. Overseas in a foreign country, students depend on one another for support. Coming back to campus, they have a built-in network of close friends to launch their stateside experience.
Schools like Florida State University offer some students admission for Spring and not for Fall. Students who are ready to begin FSU earlier can become a ‘Nole sooner by studying abroad during the Fall semester. Alternatively, if you are a Spring admit to a school or a program like University of Florida’s Innovation Academy, studying abroad is a great way to gain credits for college while you’re not enrolled on the school’s main campus. Take your core requirements in an exotic environment and complete courses for your major on campus.
It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think of study abroad as a “gap year” of sorts, a good break between high school and full immersion in college. Australia, Greece, France, Italy and England are only some of the countries where schools offer programs. However, freshmen need to know it can be hard to resist seeing time overseas as a vacation. Study abroad is about attending school and doing well. Grades count whether you’re in France, Spain, Michigan, Indiana or Miami.
Schools which offer study abroad programs designed for first-year students include, but are not limited to: Colby College, Florida State University, Hamilton College, Marist College, Michigan State University, New York University, Northeastern University, Skidmore College, Syracuse University, University of Maryland, University of New Haven, and University of Virginia.