Skip to content

First-Generation Student Status


First-generation college students whose parents have not earned a four-year degree are likely to encounter many first-time experiences, including studying abroad. This situation can lead to special concerns for the family and friends supporting the student. To help alleviate some of this stress, first-generation students should talk to a Study Abroad Advisor, connect with first-generation campus resources,* and do their own personal research. They can also check out study abroad blogs written by fellow students to get first-hand advice.

Here are some things to consider and questions to answer when selecting a program:
  • Since no one in my family has ever studied abroad, who can help me answer their questions as I plan my experience?
  • Is it important to me to look for some cultural similarities in the destination or to have a completely different experience?
  • How important is the physical distance from my friends and family? Example: Do I feel more comfortable going somewhere closer to the United States, like Mexico or the Caribbean, or somewhere very far away like India or Australia?
  • How will I involve my family in my decision to study abroad?
  • How can I explain to my family that a study abroad experience can contribute to the achievement of my academic and career goals?
Here are some other questions to consider in preparation to go abroad:
  • How will I keep in touch with family and friends while abroad?
  • How do I plan to finance my time abroad? What first-generation scholarships or additional aid specifically can help finance my trip abroad?
  • What resources are available to support me in my study abroad process academically?
  • How will I incorporate my experiences abroad back into life at home upon my return?

*This page was prepared in collaboration with the Student Support Services office. The Study Abroad Team wishes to express its gratitude for the collaboration, input, and support.