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High Impact Practices

SIT First Year is designed around high-impact practices proven to support a successful college career and optimum time to graduation, from research and team-based activities to seminar-style mentorship and use of electronic portfolios, all culminating in independent projects.

Our unique and well-supported programming:

  • Front-loads inquiry and real-world problem-solving using our experiential learning model
  • Develops transferable skills, as well as credits
  • Introduces strong social justice values
  • Offers immersive internships and local language courses
  • Enables the crucial first steps in a student’s independent pathway through college and beyond to career development

Academic Excellence

SIT First Year students build and strengthen the foundations of their undergraduate careers with immersive, experiential learning. In SIT’s signature approach, students learn from experts, practitioners, and other community members while gaining skills through collaboration, mentorship, and individual exploration.

These thematic programs combine the best of education abroad with one- or two-semester options including core and elective courses that support students as they critically engage the questions central to the program theme in an inclusive, intercultural environment that supports complex inquiry.

Holistic Approach

Ethical engagement, inclusivity, and social justice are the foundations of SIT’s educational work. SIT First Year programs draw on these perspectives through all aspects of programming—from critical perspectives in our academics to exploration of effective learning and socio-emotional growth. Program locations are chosen to support younger students and offer suitable co-curricular activities. Each site has local staff and faculty as well as a full-time youth leader to support students holistically in their first-year experience abroad.

SIT First Year is designed to support meaningful engagement with coursework, as well as downtime to process experiences with peers, explore local surroundings, practice the local languages, and develop relationships with local colleagues, peers, and hosts.

SIT First Year has its own academic leadership within our Office of the Dean of Faculty to ensure the distinctive quality of a first-year global academic experience and to provide an effective bridge to faculty and staff at a student’s home (or soon-to-be home) campus.