Colleges and SYA

SYA alumni depart for college with  the enormous advantage of the increased adaptability, self-knowledge, confidence and independence necessary to have a successful college experience. 85% of surveyed SYA alumni felt well-prepared for college or vocational school after graduating SYA. College counselors and college admissions officers at top universities can attest to the value of SYA. They know that successful SYA students are proven risk-takers who can thrive in a challenging academic environment and in a foreign culture. SYA is widely known to produce exceptional students who are mature, informed, disciplined and well-adjusted to functioning away from home. 

Students graduate from SYA as global citizens who are ready to tackle future academic and professional challenges at college and beyond. In the past five years, SYA alumni matriculated at approximately 185 colleges and universities.  Read the entire college profile here.

Where do SYA Students go to College?

Eleven or more SYA alumni enrolled in undergraduate programs at the following schools from 2017 - 2023:

American University

Brown University

Cornell University

George Washington University

Georgetown University

New York University

Northeastern University

Tufts University
Tulane University


University of California

University of Chicago

U. of Southern California

University of St. Andrew’s

Five or more SYA alumni enrolled in undergraduate programs at the following schools from 2017- 2023:

Barnard College

Boston University

Bowdoin College

Claremont McKenna College

College of William and Mary

Columbia University

Emory University
Fordham University

Harvard University

Macalester College

McGill University
Middlebury College

Princeton University

Rice University

Stanford University

University of Colorado

U. of North Carolina

University of Pennsylvania

University of Texas

Washington University in St. Louis

Wake Forest University

Wesleyan University

Yale University


How do SYA students prepare for college from abroad?

SYA high school juniors and seniors stay engaged in the college process while they are abroad. While at SYA, students receive all of the support that they need to prepare for and apply to college. In addition, SYA students master the important soft skills like critical and creative thinking, independence, and adaptability, that colleges and 21st-century employers are looking for.

During their year at SYA, students have the ability to:

  • Take standardized tests such as the PSATs, SATs and AP tests at each SYA campus. 
  • Take online SAT prep courses
  • Meet regularly with the SYA College Counseling Liaison to discuss post-graduation goals and expectations for college applications
  • Continue their relationship with their college counselor from their sending school to ensure that they will be on track with their peers
  • Complete and submit college applications

In addition, the majority of SYA students write their college essay on their SYA experience and request a letter of recommendation from an SYA faculty member.

Student Testimonials: 

"The SYA experience helped me stand out in the college admissions process. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without SYA!

-Jake ES'20, Carnegie Mellon University

“The SYA program really was essential to my college process. I probably would not be at NYU if it weren’t for the experience that I had abroad. Thanks to SYA, I applied to the top institutions that held an international/global philosophy program and was lucky enough to be accepted to nearly all of them.

-August IT'19 Semester, New York University

"Colleges are looking for students who will succeed in unfamiliar and academically challenging environments. SYA alumni check all of the boxes."

-Kimiye IT'18, Bryn Mawr College