First Year & First Semester Programs

Start your college experience in another culture, learning from world-class faculty, earning FSU credit, and making new friends! FSU International Programs offers first year and first semester study abroad experiences in four unique locations across the globe: London, England; Florence, Italy; Panama City, Republic of Panama; Valencia, Spain.

First Year Abroad

The First Year Abroad (FYA) program allows students to spend their first two semesters (Fall & Spring) at one of FSU’s four incredible study abroad centers. Participants will benefit from small class sizes, experiential learning opportunities, and the chance to earn an out-of-state tuition waiver (non-FL residents) or a $1,000 scholarship (FL residents).

First Semester Abroad

For those offered the Seminole Pathway option or summer admission by FSU Admissions, or for those ready to jump into a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the beginning of their career at FSU, the First Semester Abroad (FSA) program is for you! You can enroll as an FSU student this fall through the FSA program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Growth

Encountering new cultures, cuisines, and situations while studying abroad builds confidence & resourcefulness and enhances self-discovery. The knowledge, friendships, and global awareness gained in your first year of college create a strong foundation for successful academic and professional careers.

Experiential Learning

Rather than large lecture halls, spend your most academically flexible year in college taking FSU courses from expert faculty who incorporate local historical and cultural resources into the fabric of student learning. Living among native speakers also immeasurably aids Spanish or Italian language skills in Valencia, Florence, and Panama City.

Tuition Waivers & Scholarship Benefits

Out-of-state FYA students will earn an out-of-state tuition waiver for the remainder of their first undergraduate degree at FSU upon successful completion of the FYA program. FYA Florida residents who take 15 credits each semester abroad and earn a cumulative FYA GPA of 3.0 will receive a $1,000 scholarship to use toward their spring FYA program fee!


All four FSU study abroad centers offer the FYA & FSA programs. During the fall, students in both programs take courses together, live with other FSU students in shared housing, and participate in the same cultural activities & excursions.


FSA students will study abroad for one semester before beginning courses on main campus, while FYA students will study abroad for two semesters before beginning courses in Tallahassee. Other differences are explained in the chart below.

Program Length Flexibility Study Abroad Scholarship
(FL residents)
or Out-of-State Tuition
FSAFallCannot extend program lengthNot eligibleUp to 17
FYAFall & SpringCan shorten program to fall only if neededEligibleUp to 34

If there is any chance you will want to remain abroad for a second semester, you should choose the FYA program. FYAs can shorten their program if needed, but FSA students cannot extend their program due to visa and immigration limitations. FYAs must complete fall & spring semesters abroad with a 3.0 FYA GPA or higher to be eligible for the FYA tuition waiver or Florida resident scholarship.

Our team of first-year program coordinators is also here to help answer any questions you may have! You can reach us at

FYA & FSA participants will study at one of the University's four study abroad centers in Florence, Italy; London, England; Valencia, Spain; and Panama City, Republic of Panama.

Watch this video for advice on how to choose a location based on your personal preferences, academic goals, and finances. Are you drawn to a particular location’s culture, language, or cuisine? Which location(s) offer the courses needed to stay on track for your intended major?

FYA students interested in majoring in science or engineering must choose Panama, London, or Valencia to meet major prerequisites. Pursuant to Italian legal requirements, students interested in studying at FSU Florence must be at least 18 years of age by the start of the program.

Contact our first-year programs team for help selecting the study abroad center that's right for you

FYA & FSA students take at least 15 credit hours per semester chosen from among a broad curriculum of FSU courses that satisfy University & statewide graduation requirements as well as prerequisites & core courses for most majors. Watch this video for an in-depth look at Academics while studying abroad.

For assistance choosing a location well suited to your major, email before applying.

FYA students interested in majoring in science or engineering must choose Panama, London, or Valencia to meet major prerequisites.

Passionate faculty members use the city as a classroom by integrating local cultural sites, museums, restaurants, and organizations into the curriculum. Classes are taught in English (except for foreign language classes) and are taken for FSU credit.

View a list of each location's anticipated courses under the garnet “Courses” tab of the FYA Program page or FSA Program page.

On main campus, students typically pay for their tuition, housing, meals, and activities separately. The estimated cost of attendance for FSU main campus can be found here.

FYA and FSA program fees include your: courses (up to 17 credits per semester); housing; cultural excursions & activities; international health insurance; on-site administrative and pastoral support; plus meals or vouchers (as described for each location).

Almost all sources of financial aid can be applied toward FYA & FSA program fees as described in the IP Financial Aid Handbook. If you have any questions about financial aid for studying abroad, email

Yes! Florida residents on the FYA program who take 15 credits per semester and earn a cumulative FYA GPA of 3.0 or better will receive a $1,000 scholarship toward their spring FYA program fees! Out-of-state residents who meet the same criteria will earn in-state tuition for the remainder of your undergraduate degree in Tallahassee!

Additional information about Scholarships and Financial Aid for studying abroad is included in the IP Financial Aid Handbook.

FSU International Programs has offered dedicated first-year study abroad programs since 2005. As the number of students applying to FSU has continued to rise in recent years, the FYA and FSA programs were identified as ideal pathways to the main campus.

Seminole Pathway students begin their FSU careers by enrolling in a 3-credit hour online summer course, Global Foundations. Upon successful completion of this course, students join us abroad for the fall semester to begin in-person FSU coursework. Watch this video to learn more about Seminole Pathways.

Seminole Spirit is alive and well at each study abroad center. Whether it's gathering to stream a Seminole sporting event, representing FSU in a local soccer tournament, or participating in a study center club or cultural experience, you'll always feel connected to the garnet and gold.

Plus, you’ll take interesting classes and explore new destinations alongside fellow first-year students & upperclassmen. The bonds you form while traveling, living, & learning together translate into lifelong friendships and support systems that follow you back to the main campus.

Don’t take our word for it- Watch this video to hear directly from recent students about their experience, or contact our Ambassador team who have been there, done that.

Eligibility: Incoming first-year students admitted to FSU for the summer or fall terms, including those admitted through the Seminole Pathways program, can apply for FYA or FSA. More details about the FSU application process can be found here.

Pursuant to Italian legal requirements, students interested in studying at FSU Florence must be at least 18 years of age by the start of the program. Contact for more information.

Application Process: After receiving your FSU acceptance or Seminole Pathways offer, students must apply for the FYA or FSA program on the FSU International Programs website. Watch this video for helpful information about the Study Abroad application process.

Early application is advisable as program enrollment is limited and acceptances are offered on a first-come, first-served rolling basis.

You should login to the IP Student Portal frequently to access program-related information notifications & reminders that will guide you through the pre-departure process by answering questions like:

  • Is there an Orientation specific to FYA/FSA students? How do I register?

  • Do I need to pay the FSU Admissions deposit or Main Campus Housing deposit?

  • How/when should I activate my FSUID/FSU email account?

  • What are FSU’s Health Insurance and Immunization requirements?

  • How/when do I register for study abroad courses?

  • Do I need a passport or visa?

  • What should I do if I have travel planned for the summer before I study abroad?

  • How/when should I book my flights?

  • Am I eligible for main campus housing when I return from study abroad?

  • And More!