Welcome to the FYSA Student Blog

Hi everyone! Welcome to the FYSA Student Blog. We’ll be sharing posts from current students with some advice, and general things to expect from the program. FYSA, originally FYFA, was started in 2021 with the goal of giving new incoming students the opportunity to study abroad their very first semester of college.

The program offers two tracks, one for Oxford University and one for Georgia Tech Lorraine (GTL) in Metz, France.

At each respective location, students will take courses taught in English by Georgia Tech professors. Students have the opportunity to travel across Europe. Students in the Oxford track take 6 week courses in residence before beginning a second 6 week portion. This section of the program is the travel portion where students will visit many of the major European capitols while still doing some light coursework.

GTL students do not have classes on Fridays, so for the first half of their time abroad, they go on faculty led excursions. During the second half of the semester, they are able to travel freely on the weekends to destinations of their choice. They must plan all of their own accommodations for this independent travel period.

August 31 | Oxford, England 

Hey! I’m Katie, one of the 40 students studying abroad at Oxford right now. We’re halfway through our time here at Mansfield college, before the 6 weeks of travel around Europe. It’s gone by incredibly fast, but at the same time I feel so comfortable with Oxford I feel like I’ve been here for longer. 

When we got here, it was basically hitting the ground running. We started classes the day after we moved in, and even saw a play for our English class on the first Tuesday (King Lear: it was incredible!). It’s been a blur since then, filled with work & travel & exploration.

  Oxford is just as beautiful as the pictures- my friends & I have taken to turning down every alley or road we cross, because it’s always another postcard picture. I’m trying not to take being surrounded by these buildings for granted- my camera roll is filled with assorted pictures of streets and buildings. It’s also filled with museums: The Ashmolean & the History of Science museum are both incredible.

On top of that- Oxford has an abundance of food. Because we aren’t served lunch in the dining hall, my friends and I go out for lunch every day after our morning class. We’ve been to a new place almost every day- even if it’s in the same area! Our favorite discovery has been the Gloucester Green Market, and even though we went almost every day last week, we each got something from a new vendor each time. 

Even through the condensed class work, we’ve still managed to find time to travel, explore, and just have fun. One of my favorite spots is a table in the middle of Mansfield college: perfect for watching Love Island, working, playing cards, petting the cats (Ziggy is everyone’s favorite), or just being outside. I’ve found that if you’re in a shared space, it’s much easier to be swept into something or talk to people you haven’t in a while! 

We’re still in the early part of our program, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say it’s been an incredible experience so far. Traveling to London and Reading has gotten me excited for our travel portion- but I’m enjoying the beautiful Oxford campus and everything around us!