Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College

London First Year Experience

apply to London

Each fall semester, a select group of first year Skidmore students will spend their first semester of college in London, one of the world’s greatest cities. In addition to exposing students to the historical and cultural riches of England’s capital, the First-Year Experience in London (LFYE) serves as a foundation for students’ four years at Skidmore. This program enables students to earn credit towards their degree(s), introduces them into Skidmore’s academic rigor; and builds a strong connection among the participants and two faculty directors.

Choosing to spend a semester abroad is a big decision at any point in one’s college career. Choosing to study abroad in the first semester takes a special kind of student, one who thrives in moments of uncertainty and is excited by the prospect of the unfamiliar.

Does this sound like you? If so, your road to Skidmore may start in London…

What makes a good candidate?

When reviewing the applicant pool for the London First Year Experience, we look for:

Students showing intellectual curiosity and readiness for a transformative experience
We are looking for students who take their learning into new settings; who take part in activities that foster growth, both academically and personally; who embrace the chance to try something new.

Students who demonstrate their leadership, independent thinking, and decision-making skills
Whether it is traveling on your own, working your way up within a job or internship, or taking risks within academic or extracurricular arenas, we are looking for students who challenge themselves and are self-reliant.

Students with the maturity to maintain academic rigor while exploring a new environment
Successful candidates should be able to show that they have maintained a strong academic record even as they have immersed themselves in challenging new settings, taken on exceptional responsibilities, or engaged in wholly new experiences.    

Is London Calling YOU?

Students who succeed in London are adaptable, adventurous, and self-sufficient. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Will you feel comfortable immersing yourself in a different culture?
While you will be taking classes and living with other Skidmore students, the professors and onsite staff for your semester in London will be British. You’ll share a residence hall with students from all over the world and engage with a wide variety of new cultural realities every day. Exposure to cultural differences will be a daily occurrence, which will add to the excitement and challenge of your semester in London. Are you ready for that challenge?

Can you succeed without extensive academic support?
Skidmore offers many academic support options on campus through the office of Student Academic Services, the Office of Academic Advising, and the Writing Center—especially during students’ first year. This is not something we can replicate off campus for the London First Year Experience. Students in London will not have the same resources. Are you prepared to engage in academic work without substantial supplementary assistance?

Could ongoing medical or mental health concerns compromise your London experience?
The London FYE program has well-developed support structures for students who become sick or require health interventions. Of course, the city of London itself has numerous resources to assist students with acute or ongoing health needs as well. But, our London students—unlike our campus students--do not have access to nearby health or counseling services. While we can help students identify local resources, we do not have health professionals on staff that are dedicated to serving our students’ needs. Remember that the stress of living abroad can often exacerbate current conditions; will you be able to thrive without dedicated medical or mental health staff?

Are you willing to put yourself out there—not once, but TWICE?
You don’t need to be an extrovert to succeed in the London FYE! However, both your semester in London and the transition back to campus will require a willingness to immerse yourself in a new environment. In particular, London students who are ready for the challenges abroad sometimes don’t realize that the return to Skidmore in January may also be disorienting; it can be easy to withdraw unless you take the initiative to meet new people and try new things. Skidmore will help you by planning activities and offering support, but it will be up to you to build your life on campus. Will you be able to handle a second immersion (never mind the snow…) in order to meet new people and become involved?