Which NYU First Year Away Site Is Right for You?

Liberal Studies offers students the incredible opportunity to begin NYU with a year in Florence, London, Paris, or Washington, DC

NYU First Year Away (FYA) allows you to take full advantage of NYU’s global network and gain distinctive academic and personal experience abroad. Additionally, each FYA program fits seamlessly with the Liberal Studies Core and Global Liberal Studies programs. Read on for specifics about each location to help you determine which First Year Away site is right for you.
A college of NYU Florence (clockwise from top): an NYU Florence building, a statue in a garden, and a close-up of fruit on a tree.


NYU Florence is located at La Pietra, a 57-acre estate with five villas that house student residences, classrooms, computer labs, study lounges, and dining and exercise facilities. “The campus is a dream,” says Julia Huang, a Global Liberal Studies major. “I was pretty awestruck when I first arrived. We went to classes and lived in Renaissance villas—it was amazing.”



Students on a class trip to a museum.


NYU First Year Away students take intensive Italian at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level in both semesters of study. Plus, some classes take students into the city’s museums to study art firsthand. Julia, when asked if studying in Florence improved her Italian language skills, says, “Sì, certo! I took the Intensive Intermediate class because I’m somewhat conversational in Italian. And I tried to speak Italian as much as possible when I went into the city.”

A student reading in his dorm room.


All FYA students reside at NYU’s La Pietra estate. “I lived on campus at Villa Natalia,” Julia says. “I was in a quad with one other roommate, and I’m pretty sure we had the best room on campus.”
A collage of London (clockwise from top): two students walking along the Thames with Big Ben in the background, the London Eye, and the Baker Street metro sign.


At NYU London, students begin their liberal arts education exploring the city’s centuries-old landmarks and contemporary wonders. “I know my hometown like the back of my hand,” says Justin Pilgreen, who spent his first year at NYU London. “And I am glad I grew up there. However, I really had the desire to expand my worldview. Little did I know that it would expand a lot more than I could have ever imagined thanks to NYU.”

Group of students in class.


The NYU in London Liberal Studies program emphasizes academically rigorous courses and is structured to take advantage of the city’s resources to enhance teaching and learning. “My favorite courses in London were my Writing I and II courses,” Justin says. “I believe that a professor can make or break a class, and my professors excelled in making those courses amazing.”

Students hanging out in a dorm room.


All undergraduate students live within housing managed by NYU London. Justin lived in Byron Court, which has apartment-style units, where he made local friends. “It was not uncommon to walk over to your friend’s apartment and ask them to hang out.”

A collage of three images (clockwise): 1) Old architecture in Madrid. 2) Students hanging out on streets in Madrid. 3) A green vespa parked on the street.


Madrid is the site of NYU’s very first study away location, and is now the newest location for FYA students. NYU Madrid’s newly-renovated building is located in the city center, just a short walk to the Museo del Prado and Retiro Park. It will be your home base for your classes, and also has a computer lab and reading room for studying, as well as lounges and socializing with your classmates.

A student on their laptop in class. Their laptop is covered in stickers


FYA students at NYU Madrid take Spanish at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. You’ll also focus on the Liberal Arts core, which are taught in English. They will expand your knowledge of everything from critical inquiry and writing to the arts and culture from a global perspective. Additionally, trips designed to teach you about the history, culture, and society of Spain are built into your time at NYU Madrid.



Students hanging on in dorm room in Madrid


All FYA students live in a residence-hall style building with an NYU Madrid roommate. The hall also houses students from other local universities, which means you will have plenty of opportunities to make friends and practice your Spanish language skills.

A collage of Paris (clockwise from top): the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and a man reading on a bench.


Paris is one of NYU’s most well-established sites. That is one reason why it offers students a one-of-a-kind chance to get to know the city and its environs. Yujing Zhang, a Global Liberal Studies major, says, “NYU Paris is a small site with a tight-knit community. Therefore, I got to know all the first-year students there well, and they were always very approachable and helpful.”

Three students speaking in a classroom.


NYU courses in the City of Light integrate French language, history, and culture for a truly immersive academic experience. “I really liked Cultural Foundations because we not only got to read classical literature, but we also saw a few performances and went on some walking tours,” Yujing says.

Students talking in a dorm room.


NYU housing options for First Year students include a dedicated student residence, Montsouris, and home stays. “I lived in Montsouris,” says Yujing. “It’s in a quiet neighborhood close to cafes and markets.”

A collage of DC (clockwise from top): the White house, two people riding bikes down the street, and the Lincoln Memorial.


Washington, DC, is a dynamic international city. It is not only the seat of the U.S. Government but also home to the nation’s most iconic historical sites and records. Bella Chia, a Liberal Studies major from Singapore, says, “After spending a year in DC, which is pretty diverse, I am now better able to look past cultural differences to really get to know people.”

A group of students listening intently in class.


The NYU Washington, DC, academic center provides a base for the study of an array of subjects, including the Liberal Studies Core curriculum. “Academically, I improved tremendously when I was in DC,” says Kaylie Barreda, who was a Politics major at the time. “I think it had to do with how small our classes were. It put me in a position where I had to be prepared at all times,” she says.

A student studying at desk in the residence hall.


First Year students at NYU Washington, DC, live and attend class at the Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center. The center features seminar rooms, an auditorium, a reading room, and student lounges. What’s more, it is located just blocks from the White House, the World Bank, and the Smithsonian museums. “My residence hall was also my school,” says Kaylie. “Because it’s a small community, we were all very close and friendly. Plus, it was pretty great to be able to wake up 30 minutes before class started.”