The Big Pond Start Abroad Program

an international first year start will be a game changer for your admissions model

Partner with Big Pond to build a stimulating first semester program in Dublin, Ireland.

Attract new student audiences to your institution, or offer an alternative start point to a select group from your own applicant pool - ideal for managing your semester 2 capacity challenges.

1 in 4

first years won’t return to college for their second year.

1 in 10

first years will transfer to another college.

Offer an exciting First Year Abroad program in Ireland. Create a cohort of committed students ready to transfer into your college.

Enhance your admissions model

'Start Abroad' programming as a pathway

Increase in annual applications to the higher education sector through March 2022.

Revamp your enrollment management strategy. Offer a semester 2 enrollment point to a select group of your applicants, on condition they complete your alternative start in Ireland program.

Even for colleges & universities with a better than average first-year retention rate, there are too many empty seats beyond the first semester.

Meanwhile, the total number of applications across Higher Ed. grows.

Many applicants choose elsewhere because they have either been rejected or don't have a compelling reason to commit to your college.

Partnering with Big Pond allows you to:

  • Make the most of your applicant pool. Offer an alternative start in Dublin for a select group, who become your college's committed transfer students.
  • Reduce the financial impact of others dropping out or moving elsewhere during their first year.

'Start Abroad' programming as a differentiator

The enrollment drop across Higher Ed. 2017-2022

Setting your institution's offering apart is more vital now than ever.

The 2020s are being shaped by the demands of demographic change, technological progress and an increasingly values-driven student.

Consider offering an alternative start option in Dublin for your incoming, matriculating students to provide you with an additional differentiator in your Admission and Recruitment teams' toolkit.

Partnering with Big Pond allows you to:

  • Build a 'start abroad' program that allows students to use financial aid, as they would on your home campus.
  • Make Dublin an option to your Admitted student pool.
  • Broaden your appeal to prospective applicants.

Key features

An established model

The courses available through the Big Pond Start Abroad Program come from a variety of subject areas, and provide a fascinating entry point for your students’ first experience in a university environment. They have been selected to provide the highest chance of mapping against your own first semester/year.

Our core courses include a number of community-based learning opportunities specifically designed for the first year international learner. Our optional offerings are drawn from a comprehensive portfolio of accredited courses, around which we build your unique program. These span disciplines such as business, humanities, liberal arts and computing.

We recognize you may want to send faculty to teach at least one of your own courses. Our model is designed to accommodate that, and we work closely with your visiting staff to support the pastoral needs of your students, as well as the staff themselves.

Your college's program, your college's identity.

Customize your Start Abroad Program so it truly reflects your institution’s ethos, academic and non-academic goals.  We have experience of working with schools who have incorporated the following in their program:

Academic completion requirements, which maintain GPA consistency with the home campus.

An online component, supported by our IT infrastructure.

Site staff with a pastoral role.

Academic site staff teaching their university’s course in lieu of a Big Pond course.

Specific excursions to sites in Ireland and beyond reflecting their university’s identity.

Personal, pastoral and residence life

Our Start Abroad Program has been built with the personal and academic growth of your students in mind.

In partnering with Big Pond, your students will benefit from a number of inclusive, unique enhancements.  They have all been inspired by our vision of what a sustainable, resilience-building education abroad program should be.

Read more about Residence Life