Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman


Vermont-based SIT Study Abroad is a service provider in over 40 countries offering study abroad programs to undergraduate students. New trends in the study abroad field have driven some of the focus of study abroad participation from the junior year abroad to first-year undergraduate students. While higher education institutions push for more students to study abroad, limited resources and the desire for a wider variety of program types lead them to third-party providers such as SIT Study Abroad. This capstone paper examines the new focus on first-year undergraduates and the necessity for SIT Study Abroad to offer customized programs to meet partner needs.

The designed program offers first-year undergraduate students an international structure on which to construct their intercultural, linguistic, and academic skills. The program aims to build a bridge between the high school experience and entrance into the undergraduate classroom. SIT Study Abroad and Brandeis University are partnering to offer a program in David, Panama to increase student recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of academics and problem solving in today’s world.

The collaboration with Brandeis University allows SIT Study Abroad to expand its current portfolio of programming and increase services available to partner institutions. In order to meet the needs of partner institutions and continue to increase new program development, SIT Study Abroad is focusing on customized program development. New resources and attention have been given to processes and systems that are necessary in order to successfully implement customized programs. The development of the first-year undergraduate program and the customized program model positions SIT Study Abroad to meet the needs of the current study abroad environment.


International and Comparative Education