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Skidmore College
First Year Experience in London

London FYE Frequently Asked Questions
for Parents

If my student goes to London, can he/she study abroad again?
Yes, many London FYE students will choose to study abroad again during their Skidmore career. Most students choose to study abroad again during their junior year, but there are also semester and short-term travel seminars available to students sophomore, junior, or senior year.

If my student chooses not to go to London for the first semester, what other study abroad options are available?
Skidmore offers a wide range of programs in more than 45 countries. Most students will choose to study abroad for a semester during their junior year, but it is also possible to study abroad for a semester (or a full year) during sophomore or senior year. Skidmore also offers three to four short-term travel seminars led by a Skidmore faculty member each year which are usually tied to a fall or spring semester on-campus course. Please contact the office of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges for more information.

Can financial aid be used toward the costs of the London program?
Yes, students can apply their Skidmore financial aid package to the cost of the London FYE program.

Why would a student choose to study abroad for the first semester?
Each student will have different motivations for choosing to study in London for the first semester. Many students are looking to start their college careers with a unique experience and want to do something different from most of their peers. Some students may have extensive travel experience or have been to London before and would like to begin their college experience by studying abroad in London. Also, studying in London will allow students to form close relationships with the other students on the program and the faculty directors, creating a very close-knit community. In addition, students may decide to go to London because of the course topics available and the options for experiential learning due to the vast resources in London.

What types of classes are available in London?
Compared to campus, the course options in London are much more limited. However, each course offered in London is designed to make special use of the unique resources in London! All students will enroll in a Scribner Seminar, an interdisciplinary first-year seminar course, taught by one of the Skidmore faculty directors in London. In addition, students can choose from a small selection of courses in the humanities and social sciences. Calculus I is also available. Check out the course listings here.

Will the credit from London count toward a Skidmore degree?
Yes! The credit earned in London will count as direct credit toward the Skidmore degree, and most of the courses in London will count toward the general breadth requirements of the Skidmore degree. Some courses may also count as introductory courses for certain majors.

Will my student miss out on the "college" experience if he/she goes to London for the first semester?
A student who chooses to go to London for the first semester will have a different start to the college experience compared to students who come to campus for the first semester. However, the London students do not “miss out” on the typical college experience. Instead, we think that a semester in London will give the students a unique start to college and form the foundation of their four years at Skidmore. In addition, students can still have the campus experience when they return in the spring semester after London and fall of sophomore year.

Where do students take classes in London?
Students take classes at the IES Abroad London Center, located in central London in Bloomsbury near the British Museum.

What is IES Abroad?
IES Abroad is Skidmore’s partner organization in London. Skidmore works closely with IES Abroad staff for all of the on-site arrangements in London and student support. Founded in 1950, IES Abroad is a global, nonprofit, study-abroad organization with more than 130 academic programs in 35 locations. As a consortium of more than 225 selective U.S. universities and colleges, IES annually enrolls more than 5,700 students in its study-abroad programs. IES is a leader in the field due to its dedication to academic rigor, health and safety, and the range of opportunities it provides students. Skidmore administrators and faculty have worked closely with IES since 1981. Skidmore has partnered with IES since 2005 on the London FYE program.

Where do students live in London?
Students will live in the King’s Cross Residence Hall, located on the edge of the academic district of Bloomsbury in central London. Situated within central London (Zone 1), the residence hall is a 20- to 30-minute walk or a short 5- to 10-minute Tube or bus ride to the IES Abroad Center for classes.

What type of support structure is available in London?
Between the IES Abroad London Center staff and the residence hall security, students will have the support of student services personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a Residence Management team and Resident Life staff who are on call 24/7 to assist in any way possible and to help organize social events to get to know others in the building. There is also a Skidmore program assistant dedicated to the Skidmore students. In addition, the two Skidmore faculty members will serve as the students’ advisors. The IES staff, program assistant, and faculty directors plan numerous activities—some linked to coursework, others primarily social gatherings—for the students.

What is the transition from London to campus like when students return to campus in the spring semester?
The transition to campus can be challenging for some students. However, the best way for a student to become part of the Skidmore community upon his or her return is to get involved! Students are encouraged to join student organizations and clubs, audition for plays, try out for sports teams, and apply for leadership positions. Students will also have access to all campus resources and support structures. In addition, the FYE has designated two peer mentors to work with the returning London students and help them with the transition to campus. Previous participants tell us that being part of a returning group from London helped too, as they had many "ready-made" friendships before reaching campus.

When can I visit my student in London?
Some parents are able to visit their student during the semester in London. While it is not recommended for parents to visit while classes are in session, families may wish to visit their sons and daughters during the mid-semester break or at the end of the program. On the other hand, the break is, for many students, a great time to engage in their own independent travel. We do expect that students will meet their academic and programmatic responsibilities regardless of when family and friends visit. Visitors to London, including family, are not permitted to participate in field trips or activities related to the program.

Can I talk to the parent of a student who has already studied in London?
Yes, the Admissions office at Skidmore can connect you to parents of current Skidmore students through the Parent-to-Parent network. Please contact the Admissions office and request to be connected to the parent of a former London FYE student.