After many, many months at home, the world is opening up. And that means NYU’s global network is ready to welcome students to its locations across the globe once again. If you’re eager to study abroad and can’t wait for your junior year, NYU First Year Away (FYA) may be a perfect option. As an NYU Liberal Studies or Global Liberal Studies (GLS) student, you have the unique opportunity to spend your first year at NYU in Florence, London, Madrid, or Washington, DC. What’s more, while abroad, you’ll complete the Liberal Studies Core first-year curriculum. Read on for a taste of what awaits at NYU’s FYA sites.
A collage of NYU Florence (clockwise from top): an NYU Florence building, a statue in a garden, and a close-up of a fruit tree.


NYU Florence is located at La Pietra, a 550-year-old, 57-acre estate. The site includes five historic villas housing student residences, classrooms, computer labs, study spaces, and dining and exercise facilities. In between classes you can wander the olive groves or peruse the world-famous art collection. “The campus is a dream,” says Julia Huang, a GLS major. “I was pretty awestruck when I first arrived. We went to classes and lived in Renaissance villas. It was amazing.”



Students on a museum class trip.

All NYU FYA students studying in Florence take intensive Italian at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Additionally, some arts and culture classes take students into the city’s museums to study visual art directly. For Julia, studying in Florence definitely improved her Italian language skills. “Sì, certo!” (“Yes, of course!”) she exclaims. “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.

At NYU’s La Pietra estate, FYA students reside in Villa Natalia or Villa Colletta. Both residences have a rich history and offer an array of amenities. “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. A former GLS and Journalism double major, Justin grew up in New York and spent his first year at NYU London. “I’m glad I grew up there,” he says. “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.”

A group of students in class.

The NYU in London Liberal Studies program emphasizes academically rigorous courses. What’s more, they’re structured to take advantage of everything London has to offer. “My Writing I and II courses were my favorite courses in London,” Justin says. “I believe a professor can make or break a class. Here, 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. Each residence offers easy access to NYU London’s academic center as well as London’s vast public transit network. For example, Justin lived in Byron Court, which has apartment-style units. There, he made friends with members of the NYU community as well as local students. “It was not uncommon to walk over to your friend’s apartment and ask them to hang out,” he explains.

A collage of Madrid (clockwise from top): old architecture in Madrid, students hanging out outside, and a green vespa parked on the street.


Founded in 1958, NYU Madrid is NYU’s very first study away location. And now it’s the newest site for FYA students. NYU Madrid’s building is located in the city center, just minutes from the Museo del Prado and Retiro Park. “Madrid has a ton of museums and great food. Plus, it’s a very green city,” says first-year student Sebastián Peralta Hiraldo. “There’s always something to do here.”

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

All FYA students at NYU Madrid hone their language skills with beginner, intermediate, or advanced Spanish classes. In addition, they focus on the Liberal Studies Core curriculum classes, which are taught in English. These foundational classes expand your knowledge of everything from critical inquiry and writing to arts and culture from a global perspective. Additionally, trips designed to teach you about Spain’s history, culture, and society are built into your classes at NYU Madrid.

Students hanging out in a Madrid dorm room.

All FYA students live in one of two residence hall–style buildings with an NYU Madrid roommate. The hall also houses students from other local universities, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends and practice your Spanish language skills. For Sebastián, who’s from the Dominican Republic, “Being in a country where I speak Spanish every day and take advanced classes has been a great opportunity for me. When I went back home over break, my mom was surprised by how much my Spanish had improved!”

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


Washington, DC, the US capital, is a dynamic international city. What’s more, it’s the seat of the US government and the home of the nation’s most iconic historical sites. And for First Year Away students, it’s their classroom for two semesters. Bella Chia, a Liberal Studies student from Singapore, says, “After spending a year in DC, which is pretty diverse, I’m 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 an ideal base for studying politics, economics, and history. Furthermore, it’s a perfect place to complete the Liberal Studies Core first-year 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.”

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. Moreover, it’s 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.”


While Liberal Studies offers the most first-year away programs, NYU offers two additional options for those looking to begin their studies abroad.

MCC in Paris: If you’re majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt and are a spring admit, you can spend your first semester in the City of Light. There, you’ll live in the vibrant Latin Quarter, the oldest district in Paris, practice your French language skills, and study media and technology.

Stern First Year London: As a BS in Business student at NYU Stern, you can choose from 12 business concentrations and begin your NYU experience in London at the University’s largest study away site. This opportunity is ideal for students interested in pursuing international business or a future career in Europe.