UMD: A Globally Connected University

Freshmen Abroad

Freshmen Abroad


Welcome to the University of Maryland - Now study abroad!

Education Abroad is not running Freshmen Abroad programs in Summer and Fall 2023. We are relaunching the Freshmen Abroad portfolio in Summer and Fall 2024. 

If you are an incoming first year student in 2023, you can start planning for a future study abroad program now! 

Below you’ll find 5 easy steps to get your study abroad planning process started now:

  1. Review the Academics & Study Abroad page to learn strategies for working study abroad into your 4 year plan. 
  2. Tell your academic advisor, when you first meet with them, that you’re interested in study abroad.
  3. Attend a Study Abroad 101 session to learn about how study abroad works at UMD.
  4. Conduct a preliminary program search to learn what program options are available to you.
  5. Confirm you have a valid passport. If you don’t, now’s a great time to apply!

Freshmen Abroad Overview

Freshmen Abroad programs are a great way for Terps to make their UMD journey a global one, from the start! UMD offers two types of Freshmen Abroad programs, Terrapin Take Offs and Destination Abroad. Terrapin Take Off programs are short-term programs that are led by a UMD faculty member and occur the summer before your first full semester at UMD. Destination Abroad programs are full fall semester programs specifically for Spring-admitted students. Participating in a Destination Abroad program is a way for Spring-admitted students to earn credits toward their UMD degree during the fall semester prior to their start on UMD’s campus in the spring. 


Terrapin Take Off

Break out of the ordinary and start your college journey with an unforgettable experience, study abroad. Incoming fall admits, spring admits, and Freshmen Connection students are all welcome to apply to Terrapin Take Off programs. You have the opportunity to earn three UMD resident credits as you form lasting relationships with fellow students and UMD faculty. In a Terrapin Take Off program, you will travel with a small group of UMD freshmen and a UMD faculty member for about three weeks during the summer before you formally start at UMD. On the program, you'll complete intensive region-specific coursework and discover a new part of the world. Each program provides different credit opportunities that may apply to your major or general education requirements.

 Still need to be convinced? Check out these reasons to apply to a Terrapin Take Off Program:

  • Develop a close relationship with a faculty member - they might be a future professor and may even write you a great letter of recommendation some day!
  • Get a head start at college by earning three credits abroad
  • Connect with other UMD freshmen - you will bring those friendships with you to College Park in the fall
  • Explore topics that interest you - this can help you decide on your major or help you discover a new passion
  • Take advantage of time before courses start - this is an excellent opportunity for student-athletes, pre-med students, or others who may have competing commitments during the academic year!

Past Terrapin Take Off programs have included:

  • Dominican Republic: Going Glocal: Service Learning in the Dominican Republic & Reflections on U.S. Identity
  • Germany: Grand Challenges in Engineering the Tools of Discovery (ENGR) 
  • United Kingdom: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (HIST)


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Destination Programs

Start your college career in a unique way by enrolling in a Freshmen Abroad Destination Program during the fall semester. These programs, developed exclusively for spring admitted students, allow you to spend your first semester as a college student living and learning in one of the world’s most vibrant, exciting, and globally important cities. Explore the city as you form lasting relationships with fellow UMD freshmen and program faculty and staff. Destination Programs are designed to give you a head start both academically and professionally. During your semester abroad, you will earn 12-16 credits that will count towards your major or general education requirements. You will also gain marketable international experiences and cross cultural skills that are critical in our increasingly global society.

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Freshmen Abroad Programs