Stand out from the crowd – start your college career with a bold and unusual first step:

Study Abroad in the French Riviera!

Courses transfer back to Mines so you can stay on track with your degree

Study on the SKEMA campus in Sophia Antipolis, Antibes, France

Start your college career with a bold and unusual first step:

Study Abroad in the French Riviera.

Housing, cultural activites, excursions, guest lectures and health and safety support included

Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with CEA CAPA Study Abroad, offers an innovative First Year Semester Abroad Experience (FYSAE) in Antibes, France. You can be a part of a unique cohort of students who, during their first semester of college, step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves by learning and living in a new country and culture.

This Program: 

  • takes place on the SKEMA campus in Sophia Antipolis, Antibes, France
  • allows students to study abroad while staying on track with their graduation plan by taking pre-approved courses that count toward their Mines degree
  • provides an in-depth experience of living in a different culture with full time guidance and support from local Resident Directors
  • 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


Luke Contreras
Assistant Director of Admissions
Contact for: Prospective Students

Mary Cook
Director of Education Abroad
Phone: (303) 384 – 2121
Contact for: Students Accepted to FSYAE

More Information

Who is CEA CAPA Study Abroad and why has Mines partnered with them?

CEA CAPA is an international education organization that has been providing study and internship abroad programs to U.S. university students for over twenty years. CEA CAPA’s connections and resources allow Colorado School of Mines to run this study abroad program in cooperation with SKEMA Business School. CEA CAPA 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 CAPA provide?

In preparation for their study abroad program, students receive pre-departure information and attend a mandatory Onsite Arrival Orientation. CEA CAPA shares Health and Safety information via email collects documents needed and provides visa support. CEA CAPA works to transition students to onsite staff prior to departure through a series of communications tailored to the program. While the CEA CAPA 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 CAPA’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 CAPA’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.

The CEA French Riviera website can be accessed here.

Pre-Departure Support

  • Pre-Departure Advising
  • Visa Support
  • Housing Placement

While Abroad

  • Airport Pickup
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Cultural Activities
  • Excursions
  • Welcoming study space that is centrally located near student apartments
  • Onsite Orientation which includes:
    • Sessions on CEA CAPA policies, health and safety information, and practical information on living in the host city
    • Guided walking tour of the city
    • Welcome group meal with CEA CAPA staff

Your time in France is an approved Mines program, so your semester schedule will be similar, but not identical, to that of a first semester at Mines. The courses offered will be taught at SKEMA. Your approved courses and grades from SKEMA will count towards degree completion and will appear on your Mines transcript but will not count towards your Mines GPA. The only exception would be Mines course(s) taught by Mines faculty.

Classes offered are the required core classes for first semester Mines students planning to pursue any major.

After they are accepted to the program, a CASA advisor will help students determine their course plan. If a student plans to transfer in more than 12 credits of AP/IB/Community College credits, or intends to graduate from Mines in less than four years, it is suggested they meet with an advisor well in advance to discuss their academic plans, as this program is designed for students to graduate in four years/eight semesters.

Add/Drop Period: Students will receive their class schedule during on-site orientation. Changes may be made during the first two weeks. All changes must be approved by your Mines First-Year Advisor.

Language: All courses offered through this program will be taught in English. Fluency in French is not required.

Tutoring Support:  Tutoring support is provided by the SKEMA faculty and will be available on-site for three months to help the students plan for academic success. Tutoring support will also be given directly by the professors of each course. Professors can provide extra materials, exercises, training and support. Students will be able to make appointments with professors in their on-campus offices to discuss class and review the materials, as needed. The average class size at SKEMA is between 5 and 35 students.

Thorson First Year Honors Program: Students are able to participate in the Thorson First-Year Honors Program at Mines while abroad. They will be able to engage with the program through a fully supported online version of the fall semester class and then integrate with the rest of the Thorson cohort in the spring. Please visit the Mines First-Year Honors webpage for more information and the application process.

Study Groups: There are a variety of study rooms and study spaces available to students for group work at SKEMA.  Students are also invited to study and spend time at the CEA CAPA location near their housing in Antibes.

Students will be assigned housing in apartments vetted and secured through CEA CAPA. Apartments are fully furnished and house 2-5 students each. A housing information questionnaire will be sent to each student by CEA CAPA; students can request roommates. This information will be used to match students for housing. The apartments will be within a 5-10 minute walk from one another and close to the CEA CAPA office. It is a 20-40 minute bus ride to the campus. Students will receive a bus pass as part of the program.

Students are responsible for their meals in France. The apartments have kitchens and students have easy access to an amazing farmers market, delicious cafes, a variety of restaurants, and fabulous meat, cheese, bread, and pastry shops. Meals can also be purchased on campus.

Students are guaranteed on-campus housing at Mines for the Spring Semester. Housing selection is limited, students will not be able to choose a Resident Hall, they will be assigned a room based on availability.

For questions related to health, safety, and ADA/Accessability matters, we encourage you to review our FYSAE Health and Safety Information. Mines Education Abroad and CEA CAPA are always willing to take specific questions related to these issues as well.

We encourage parents to visit our For Parents study abroad page, which addresses many of the questions that arise before, during, and after a family decides to support their student on a study abroad program.

A semester abroad does not need to be more expensive than a domestic semester. Here are the costs for 2024/2025:



Included in Antibes Semester Fee:

  • Tuition
  • Housing – fully furnished apartment
  • Airport transportation – arrival and departure
  • In-country orientation (includes welcome meal)
  • Tutoring
  • Excursions (day and weekend trips)
  • Cultural Activities
  • SKEMA Express Bus pass
  • Comprehensive International Health Insurance
  • 24/7 support from Resident Director
  • Assistance from Mines Graduate Advisor

Not included:

  • Tech Fee and Study Abroad Fee: $166
  • Meals – Estimated cost $2,000
  • Book and materials – $50
  • Airfare – Estimated cost $1,600
  • Visa – Estimated cost $200 (does not include travel to the French consulate in the US)
  • Personal travel (varies based on spending habits of the student) – Estimated cost $1,120

Financial Aid and Scholarships:

  • All Mines-awarded financial aid and scholarships are applied to the cost of tuition. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about your Financial Aid amount or terms.
  • Outside scholarships are applied unless the sponsor has specifically stipulated the funds cannot be used for study abroad. Please check with the sponsor.
  • This program does not qualify for the use of VA benefits. Students may use VA benefits on other Study Abroad Programs.


  • After a student is accepted into the program, a non-refundable confirmation deposit of $1000 is due. The student will be provided with directions in their acceptance letter on how to make this deposit. The deposit will be applied to the program costs after Mines Census Day.
  • Full payment for the program is non-refundable after June 15. Any cancelation after this date is subject to paying the full tuition for FYSAE AND Mines tuition if the student chooses to study on the Golden campus.
  • If Mines cancels FYSAE, the deposit is applied to the traditional fall term or refunded upon request.


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).

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 year students so any student who completes the program will return to Mines’ campus with strong connections to fellow FYSAE students and to their campus in Golden. Think of this study abroad program as an extension of the Mines campus, rather than a totally separate academic experience. Additionally, all FYSAE students come to the Golden campus for Fall Kick Off and Oredigger Camp prior to departure for France. The FYSAE cohort participates in the traditional Kick Off activities including the M-Climb.

Any student interested in this program is advised to apply for or renew their passport as soon as possible. Passports should be valid at least six months AFTER the end of their program. Students will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa for the duration of their stay. This may include out-of-state travel to the appropriate consulate for their state of residency. CEA CAPA will provide assistance with visa applications and information.

To obtain the necessary study visa and participate in this program students must be 18 years of age by August 31st, 2024.

First-year Students accepted to, and planning to enroll at, Mines starting in Fall 2024 will be eligible are eligible to apply for the Fall 2024 cohort. Students must be 18 years of age by August 31, 2024, to participate in this program.

General Timeline for Applications

Informational Webinars: December 6 (5:00PM MST), February 1 (5:00PM MST), and February 10 (Noon MST) – registration is available through our Mines Scholarships and First Year Experiences Portal.

Application Opens: February 17

Application Closes: March 15

Applicants informed of decision: April 15

Commitment Date: May 1

Mines Study Abroad Registration and Deposit deadline: May 14*

*Must commit to Mines and accept/reject placement in FYSAE on this date. A nonrefundable confirmation deposit will be due shortly after acceptance. A more exact timeline for summer preparation will be communicated upon acceptance, but is roughly: 

  • May/June: CEA CAPA processes, students schedule visa appointments (supported by CEA CAPA)
  • July: Visa appointment and flight booking
  • August: Required Orientation (Mines Helluva Welcome Week) in Golden. This includes the M-Climb and other signature Mines first-semester experiences
  • First two weeks of September: Depart for France, move-in, on-site orientations
  • Middle of December: Move-out date (after final exams)

Last year’s Pre-Departure Guide can be accessed below. The latest Pre-Departure Guide will be uploaded here when it is released.

CEA CAPA Colorado School of Mines Antibes Fall 2023 Pre-Departure Guide


FYSAE Photo Gallery

A glimpse into some of the adventures of our past two cohorts. We look forward to adding to our photo gallery in Fall 2024! 


Global Education
Green Center, Suite 219
924 16th Street
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401 

International Student and Scholar Services:
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