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Program Overview

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The mission of The Program is to be a unique and innovative first-year international program that reflects the Northeastern University mission while encouraging students to grow as individuals, develop an affinity for Northeastern, and actively engage in a supportive community that emphasizes global citizenship and a holistic academic experience.


  • To provide students with an early opportunity to have an enriching first-year international experience
  • To provide a supportive environment that encourages students to develop self-awareness, enhanced cultural sensitivity, respect for diverse beliefs and opinions, ability to interact and collaborate with individuals and communities of diverse backgrounds
  • To provide participants with a holistic academic experience while earning credit toward their Northeastern undergraduate degree
  • To provide structure and support to help transition from high school into college
  • To provide guidance to families and students as they navigate this important transition
  • To foster a community-building environment
  • To build Northeastern affinity and orient students to the Northeastern culture


The Program, administered by the College of Professional Studies, began in Fall 2007 with a group of 23 students studying at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. The creation of this program allowed Northeastern to admit additional, qualified students for the Spring semester while affording them the opportunity to grow as individuals, develop an affinity for Northeastern, and actively engage in a supportive community which emphasizes global citizenship and academic exploration, core values which continues to hold paramount today. 

Over the past seven years, The Program has continuously fluctuated and developed to accommodate the changing needs of the Northeastern student body. In 2008, students studied in Australia, England, and Greece, following an academic model similar to what is currently in place. This model allows students to take courses which fulfill Northeastern core and/or major requirements in addition to one course of cultural relevance to their specific site. The following two years, students studied in England and Greece, providing an opportunity for to foster relationships with partner institutions while further developing and refining the program in those locations. 

As the program became more firmly established, so did its reputation in the Northeastern community. University leadership observed the strong academic success of the students once they began course work on campus as well as the strong sense of community students brought with them upon their arrival in the spring. alumni also demonstrated higher retention rates than their other Spring-admitted counterparts. With overall student development and long-term success in mind, university leadership took a bold step and pushed the innovative nature of The Program even further by establishing it as the only official pathway for students to spring admission. Significant change arose in 2011 for The Program with the addition of two new sites, Costa Rica and Ireland, and the revival of the Australia program, as enrollment increased from 123 students in 2010 to 450 students. 

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