First Year Semester Abroad Experience
Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with CEA Study Abroad, now offers an innovative First Year Semester Abroad Experience (FYSAE) in Antibes, France. The first FYSAE student cohort will depart for their semester-long program in Spring 2021
- takes place on the SKEMA campus in Sophia Antipolis, Antibes, France
- is led by Colorado School of Mines faculty, who will teach the core course(s)
- allows students to stay on track with their graduation plan, through approved courses that count towards their Mines degree
- includes housing, cultural activities, excursions, guest lectures, and health and safety support
- builds a cohort of globally-minded engineers that obtain valuable skills through immersive experiences
More Information about the First Year Semester Abroad Experience
- Student FAQs
- The Value of Study Abroad
- Mines and CEA
- Health, ADA & Accessibility
- Family Matters, Title IX & Adjustment
- The Application Process
- Emergency Protocol & Contact Information
Why study abroad as a first year instead of an upperclassman?
A First Year Semester Abroad Experience offers students some unique advantages. The program is tailored specifically to the first year students and accepts only first year students, creating the same kind of cohort bonding that typically happens on Mines’ campus. FYSAE students also get the chance to take courses taught by Mines faculty abroad, which typically doesn’t happen in more traditional study abroad programs available to upperclassmen. This ensures FYSAE students receive a truly Mines education in France, while also enjoying the benefits of life abroad. Beginning your college career with international education will give you an advantage over your peers who put off study abroad until junior or senior year (or who don’t study abroad at all). The lessons on cultural sensitivity and a global perspective will influence the rest of your education.
Will studying abroad as a First Year affect my projected graduation date?
Not at all! The Colorado School of Mines FYSAE program is an officially approved study abroad experience at Mines, and all credits earned in the program will count toward your degree as if you took the program’s courses on Mines’ campus.
Won’t I miss out on student life at my home campus if I spend a semester abroad?
An FYSAE student’s transition into campus life will undoubtedly differ from students who take the traditional path of spending their first year on campus. However, the FYSAE program is exclusively for Mines first years and led by Mines faculty, so any student who completes the program will return to Mines’ campus as a sophomore with strong connections to fellow FYSAE students and to the faculty members who taught them abroad. Think of this study abroad program as an extension of the School of Mines’ campus, rather than a totally separate academic experience.
What is the value of Study Abroad?
Studying Abroad at any point in your college career enhances your world view, develops your professionals skills, and makes you stand out to future employers. Studying abroad as a first-year student can shape the entire trajectory of your college experience, and help you develop skills that will last you a lifetime. Don’t believe us? Consider the following:
- Several studies have shown that study abroad improves retention rates, grade point averages, and language learning, even when controlling for other factors (view the summary on the NAFSA website).
- Only 8.1% of all study abroad students were Engineering, Math, or Computer Science majors in 2017-2018 academic year (view Open Doors Report).
- In 2017-2018, only 4.2% of study abroad students were first-year students (view Open Doors Report).
- More than half of study abroad alumni who participated in a Study Abroad Program between 1999 and 2017 believe that their experience abroad helped them land a job. 78% of alumni said they discussed their study abroad experience during a job interview (view article from Inside Higher Ed).
- A majority of study abroad alumni say that studying abroad significantly increased their development of professional skills, including intercultural skills, flexibility, confidence, interpersonal skills, and communication skills (view full report from IIE).
Who is CEA Study Abroad and why has Mines partnered with them?
CEA is an international education organization that has been providing study and internship abroad programs to U.S. university students for over twenty years. CEA’s connections and resources allow Colorado School of Mines to run this faculty-led study abroad program in cooperation with SKEMA Business School. CEA takes care of student and faculty housing, cultural activities, excursions, and guest lectures, and also helps with important details like visa advising, medical insurance, and student health and safety support overseas.
What support does CEA provide?
In preparation for their study abroad program, students receive pre-departure information and attend a mandatory Onsite Arrival Orientation. CEA shares Health and Safety information via email collects documents needed, and provides visa support. CEA works to transition students to onsite staff prior to departure through a series of communications tailored to the program. While the CEA team is always available, the final steps of pre-departure are designed to ensure a smooth transition of information as well as developing direct connections between the students and their on-site team in the French Riviera.
CEA’s international staff and faculty come from a range of backgrounds; all have extensive academic experience and expertise in international education. They all also receive thorough training in student affairs CEA’s international staff uses their first-hand local knowledge and contacts to facilitate academically engaging experiences and are equipped to address a myriad of topics, from health and wellness to academic policies and procedures.
- Pre-Departure Advising and additional document collection
- Visa Support
- Airport Pickup
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Cultural Activities
- Onsite Orientation which includes:
- Sessions on CEA policies, health and safety information, emergency contact
- information, and student housing, as well as practical information on living in the host city
- Guided walking tour of the city
- Welcome group meal with CEA staff
WHEN A STUDENT IS EMOTIONALLY or MENTALLY UNWELL
Do students have access to counseling services? Can they access Colorado-based services through Zoom?
Local, English-language resources are available onsite. Students always have the option to contact their preferred providers online if they do not wish to use local resources.
In situations wherein self-harm is evident or pending, what is the protocol?
Local medical/counseling care would be obtained by Onsite Staff. Once stabilized, the student would be recommended for withdrawal from the program.
Who is the family’s first point of contact when their student may or has self-harmed?
The Director of Student Affairs, Health & Safety would navigate communications with the university and family. Onsite Staff are responsible for attending to and focusing on the student. They will share information with the Student Affairs Director as necessary. Family would be put in touch with medical care staff and encouraged to speak with their student. CISI coverage provides trip interruption benefits to reimburse travel when a student is leaving due to illness/injury.
WHEN A STUDENT NEEDS IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE, ESPECIALLY AFTER HOURS
What can be expected of onsite staff? What happens when onsite staff is unavailable?
Onsite Staff maintain a 24/7 emergency number and are available to respond in person when students require immediate emergency assistance. CEA will arrange trained back-up coverage for Onsite Staff as needed. Phoenix HQ also has a 1 (800) emergency number for families and university partners to reach CEA that’s available 24/7.
ADA AND ACCESSIBILITY
What learning support/accessibility features are available at SKEMA?
- Special Accommodations requests can be submitted to CEA prior to the program start. The form can be provided to students as needed.
- CEA works closely with SKEMA to analyze each special needs request and responds accordingly.
- A dedicated SKEMA advisor for International students is available for academic-related questions.
- SKEMA International Student Office staff offer support with visa issues, country specific questions, student card issues, adaptation, and immersion questions.
- Students access class information, schedules, and academic resources via their personal Educational Portal (YEP) for which they receive a personal login and password at SKEMA orientation.
- HELP POINT CENTER in Nice: HPC offers counseling and psychological services to all registered SKEMA students by appointment. Students receive detailed information at SKEMA orientation.
ACCESS TO MEDICATION
How will students be able to secure/guarantee medication access while abroad?
CEA advises students to bring the full amount of any and all prescribed medication they may need while abroad. CEA can provide proof of enrollment letters indicating length of program for insurances who limit prescription quantities. Due to differences in drug laws and drug approvals, there is no guarantee a student can obtain the same formulation or strength of a prescribed medication abroad. In the case a medication is lost, Onsite Staff will work with the student to replace their medication as closely as possible. CEA/CISI student health insurance will reimburse out-of-pocket medical care/medication costs with a completed claim form and itemized receipts.
FOR RELATIVES ATTENDING TO STUDENT MATTERS ONSITE
Where does visiting family stay? Who welcomes/addresses/receives the family?
Onsite Staff can meet and greet student families, and make arrangements for their hotel accommodations and transportation from the airport. Visiting family is financially responsible for their own trip expenses. CISI, the student’s international insurance, does feature a benefit to reimburse costs for family accompanying students due to extended hospitalization lasting 7 days or more.
INTERPERSONAL AND/OR TITLE IX CONFLICT/VIOLENCE WITH A FELLOW STUDENT
Who handles student support? How do we handle no contacts?
Onsite Staff have training and will support students with police reporting, medical attention, and counseling. CEA has thorough sexual assault protocol we follow that corresponds with U.S. university best practices. Students are responsible for contacting who they wish in the aftermath of any interpersonal incident. CEA acts in alignment with Title IX mandatory reporting to support our students’ success and operate in sync with university partners. However, CEA does not receive Title IV government funds, nor are we a recognized federal educational institution, so are not required to perform Clery Reporting (of crime statistics in our programs).
ADJUSTMENT TO LIFE ABROAD ISSUES
What resources are available to students?
Onsite Staff and counseling referrals as desired. Students will need to approach their Onsite Staff for referrals.
The first-ever cohort of FYSAE students will depart in Spring 2021. Students accepted to, and planning to enroll at, Mines starting in Fall 2021 will be eligible to apply for the next cohort group. Check back here in 2021 for more details!
Emergency Contact Protocol
In the case of a student emergency, the Director of Student Affairs, Health & Safety will notify all parties concerned. The Program Director will follow Emergency Protocol while onsite with the support of Headquarters (HQ). CISI student health insurance will get involved through a case opened with AXA Assistance if the student is hospitalized for any illness or injury. In the event of legal issues or arrest, the U.S. Consulate will get involved and give recommendations for legal representation.
Where do families go to find out more information about emergencies in France?
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and France’s country-specific information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate your student in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Paris or Marseille. See details below.
- Follow French government recommendations, updates, travel warnings, and news about natural catastrophes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gouvernement.fr/?fref=ts
- Follow French government recommendations in case of terrorist attacks: http://www.gouvernement.fr/reagir-attaque-terroriste
U.S. citizens may monitor English-language French media at the following websites:
For local Assistance:
- U.S. Embassy Paris, France
- +33 (1) 43 12 22 22
U.S. Consulate General Marseille, France
- +33 (1) 43 12 22 22
State Department – Consular Affairs (888) 407-4747 or (202) 501-4444
- France Country Specific Information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow State Department on Twitter and Facebook.
Do families have direct contact information for onsite staff or the school in France?
Generally, CEA HQ & Onsite Staff are both available and involved as time zone differences allow. Families should be able to easily find contact information for CEA staff members on CEA’s website. CEA staff are the point of contact for student families in any and all situations affecting student life; partner universities in France are not responsible for student health and safety matters.
Are students required to have international cell phones?
CEA Students are required to have a working cell phone onsite and share that number with Onsite Staff within 5 days of arrival. International calling plans are not required, but most students use international calling plans. Onsite Staff also communicate with students on free international calling apps like WhatsApp.
Can the student “withdraw” from the program? If so, how?
Students are able to withdraw from the program by informing their Mines’ faculty and CEA’s Onsite Staff. However, our Onsite Staff prefer to work with students wishing to leave early. We can often help students work through their issues without having to return to the U.S.