First Year Forward is FIE's signature brand for first-year programs in London and Dublin. For 10 years, FIE has been a leader in study abroad programming for freshmen with multiple university partners in London, including N.U.in (Northeastern University), Drexel University, and iCharleston (College of Charleston).
FYF in Dublin has developed into a strong first-year experience destination with three of our long-standing partners: iCharleston (College of Charleston), Elon University, and Marist College (Freshman Dublin Experience or FDE).
We are thrilled to offer our expertise in program delivery to help you build your first-year study abroad program. For more information, please contact our dedicated First Year Program Manager.
WHAT IS FIRST YEAR FORWARD?
This multidisciplinary program serves to anchor and contextualize a student’s holistic first-year study abroad experience. It will enable students to place what they are learning throughout their other courses in context and to build on this knowledge to create a formative, experiential, and singular opportunity for growth and development.
WHAT OUR PARTNERS SAY
"FIE and Marist have a shared belief: a freshman education experience should provide a strong springboard to the sophomore year – through a challenging environment where essential life skills are learned. Thank you FIE for working with us to build a very successful program which helps Marist stand apart."
- John Peters, Dean of International Programs, Marist College
WHEN AND WHERE DO YOU OFFER FIRST YEAR FORWARD PROGRAMS?
FYR (First Year Forward) programs can be developed in partnership with FIE in both our locations in London and in Dublin:
- Fall Semester (first-semester freshmen)
- Spring Semester (second-semester freshmen)
- Academic Year
WHAT DOES AN FIE FYF PROGRAM LOOK LIKE?
At the core of an FYF program is the program syllabus; a comprehensive plan of action for students academic and personal growth throughout the course of the semester or year. The syllabus includes but is not limited to:
- Common read
- Group volunteering
- Professional development workshops
- Cultural exchange
The beginning and end of the program are also marked by special events such as Convocation and Devocation.
WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OUTCOMES OF FIRST YEAR FORWARD?
Students are encouraged to approach and reflect upon their range of experiences and opportunities in Dublin in keeping with FIE’s key values: knowledge and inclusivity, ethics and human rights, social and cultural reflection and action, and commitment to the environment.
At the end of the FYF program, students will have:
- A greater understanding of and empathy with Ireland’s culture and people
- Engaged with the community via volunteering with established charities
- Built a creative portfolio of reflections, images and/or prose journals
- Developed confidence and self-reflective skills to articulate and utilize their experiences for personal, academic, and professional growth.
WHAT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO FYF STUDENTS RECEIVE?
First Year Forward students receive support in many ways, both before and during their program, as well as from FIE and their home institution. FIE has extensive experience with the first-year demographic of students, and the syllabus outlining the FYF students reflects that. We recognize the need to engage more frequently with this young population than with our more independent upperclassmen, and as such, first-year students are involved in a rigorous and nurturing schedule in and out of the classroom.
FIE also welcomes staff from the home institution if they wish to live on-site to support the program. Some universities hire their own Resident Directors to work in concert with FIE’s team. Others appoint one or two upperclassmen to accompany the group as Resident Advisors/ Site Advisors, etc.
FIE has also created a library of First Year Forward videos covering topics most asked by first-year students, giving them the information they want in a format they understand.