LS Expands First-Year Away Program to Madrid, Steinhardt Adds FYA Program in Paris

In an interview with WSN, LS Dean Julie Mostov discussed the college’s plans to add another first-year away site in Madrid and how Steinhardt plans to start the program, as well.


LS is announcing a First Year Away Program site in Madrid. (via NYU)

Liberal Studies will be expanding its first-year away program to Madrid by 2020, and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development will begin its own first-year away program in the fall, according to LS Dean Julie Mostov. Steinhardt Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Ted Magder also confirmed the addition in an email to WSN.

Madrid was chosen partly because of how many students study Spanish.

“For people who want to build their language capabilities, [going abroad their first year] is crucial,” Mostov said in an interview with WSN. “That’s why I’m eager for students to go to Spain.”

Mostov said that despite offering an additional site, LS will seek to retain the total number of students in the program and simply reallocate those in DC, Paris, London and Florence. She said that Paris and London would be the main sites that may see a decrease in students.

This year, Steinhardt also sent some transfer students to spend their first year in Paris for the first time, according to Mostov. The school plans to expand the program to some first-years and spring admits and will have one study away site in Paris. The site will be open for Steinhardt students that plan to major in Media, Culture and Communication. LS plans to decrease the number of first-year students in Paris to make room for Steinhardt students.

Magder said in an email to WSN that Steinhardt decided to start a FYA program for only the MCC major because it sends the most students abroad, but there are no plans to make the program available to other Steinhardt majors.

“MCC is one of the largest majors at NYU with nearly 1,000 students and it sends more students to study away sites than any other program,” Magder said. “Paris has been one the programs pathways [sic] for years. The faculty supported the idea of creating a first-semester away program and they have assigned [Steinhardt Clinical Associate Professor Aurora Wallace] to be [an] on-site program director. As of now, we have no plans to include other programs of study.”

The FYA program was first started as a way of utilizing NYU’s global campuses. To make it work, LS first sent faculty to teach its core curriculum at the FYA sites and those faculty members then taught local professors to teach it.

“It began really, as sort of an experiment to see if, given the fact that we were really highlighting the global network, is there a way to have students go away their first year?” Mostov said. “And so the pilot was Liberal Studies, probably with the idea that they may involve other schools and colleges later.”

Mostov said that Steinhardt decided to join LS in the first-year away program after seeing the success the program had with LS students.

“They saw that it worked well,” Mostov said. “So they decided that they would join in.”

This article was updated on April 26 to include a comment from Steinhardt Vice Dean Ted Magder.

Additional reporting by Natalie Chinn. Email Meghna Maharishi and Victor Porcelli at [email protected]