Smart Learning at Rollins College

What if you could have the college adventure of a lifetime before even setting foot on campus? Imagine spending 10 days in Costa Rica engaged in environmental studies? Or, delving into the language, food, and culture of Shanghai through an immersion-based experience? 

Cr3 You can at Rollins College where a handful of pre-freshmen are given the opportunity to be part of the Rollins Explorations First-Year Field Study Experience, a program that promotes student bonding, creative learning tactics, and complete immersion in a new culture. Students must apply to the program and those who participate receive course credit.

To Rollins educators, this program is not only an excellent bonding opportunity for students, but is also an excellent opportunity to learn experientially instead of from the traditional text book and classroom model.

Professor Barry Allen, who headed up the Cost Rica trip, calls the trip "transformative." “I left with a dozen kids from around the country and came back with Rollins students."

For Rollins sophomore Hannah Lewis, the impact was unparalleled.  “My response to how the trip has affected me is always the same. I feel that deciding to go on this field study was the most important decision I have made thus far in my college career. Not only did it expose me to Rollins' academic structure, through the course work, before stepping foot on campus, but it also allowed me to meet and formulate friendships with eleven other incoming freshmen, as well as our professor,” states Lewis.  

Cr4 As far as Allen has discovered, an international abroad program for incoming freshman is something that’s highly progressive in the academic community. “I’ve heard that some colleges run a semester-long abroad experience in the fall. But I don’t know of any institution that is doing this on an international scale in the summer before the freshman year.”


Rollins College is located in WinterPark, Florida.

About: Founded in 1885, Rollins College is Florida's oldest recognized college, and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's best colleges." The College of Arts & Sciences offers full-time undergraduate programs in the liberal arts. Rollins Evening Program, the Hamilton Holt School serves the Central Florida community by offering exceptional undergraduate and graduate degree programs during evenings and weekends to students diverse in age, experience and professional development. The Crummer Graduate School of Business is ranked a top MBA program by: Forbes, Entrepreneur and the Financial Times. For more information about Rollins, visit our Web site at

Z. Kelly Queijo

Author: Z. Kelly Queijo

Kelly is founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting. When she's not creating content for the blog or clients, tweeting, or hosting #CampusChat, she's planning her next mobile move.

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