First-Semester Study Abroad

Set the tone for your college career with an inaugural semester in Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; or Strasbourg, France.

Strasbourg, France

Designed for select first-semester students with an interest in the arts, humanities, languages, international studies, or social sciences, Syracuse University’s Discovery Programs provide an international foundation that expands your academic and professional options, foreign language proficiency, and comprehension of global politics and issues.

Admitted to a Discovery Program for fall 2017? Visit the Admitted Discovery Program Students page.

Program Features

As a Discovery student, you’ll spend your first semester in Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; or Strasbourg, France before enrolling in classes on Syracuse University’s home campus the following January.

  • You’ll enjoy small class sizes and specialized curriculum as you form strong bonds with fellow students.
  • Your intellectual development and personal well-being will be nurtured by experienced faculty and international staff.
  • Carefully-chosen home-stay living arrangements mean you’ll enjoy home-cooked meals and a deeper cultural immersion experience.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to travel, volunteer, and participate in extra-curricular activities.
  • Full-time staff members will assist with your transition to college life abroad.

The Discovery Program covers all first-year requirements needed by students on Syracuse University’s home campus. This means that when you transition to Syracuse in the spring semester, you will be on equal academic footing with your main campus peers.

Is Discovery Right for You?

You may be a good candidate for the Discovery Program if you… 

  • Wish to study abroad immediately, rather than waiting
  • Are interested in the liberal arts
  • Are a leader in your school and community
  • Possess intellectual curiosity and are ready for a transformative experience
  • Love to learn through doing and seeing
  • Have international travel experience or a keen interest in it
  • Will feel comfortable immersing yourself in a different culture
  • Have the maturity to balance academics, travel, and living abroad

Already Living in Europe?

Discovery Programs enable international students to transition into an American-style university experience while remaining closer to home for the first semester.


Lisa Raney
Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Matthew S Maloney
SU Abroad Discovery Programs Recruiter