First Generation Abroad
As a first generation student, you are in a unique position to be the first in your family to attend a university, here or abroad. Forging these paths for yourself can be challenging at times, as they may lead to processes and systems that are unfamiliar to you. We encourage you to consider the questions below and utilize the resources available to help you plan for your experience abroad.
- What are my reasons for studying abroad?
- How will this study abroad experience fit into my future (personally, academically, or professionally)?
- How will I explain this process to my family?
- Who can help me stay on track in the planning process?
- Are there special circumstances I need to consider that may affect when I can study abroad? (For instance, if you need to work over the summer and take care of family members during the year, a shorter term program may be better for you)
- Start planning as early as you can. The more time you have to explore your opportunities and the process, the less stressful it will be for you and your family.
- Write down your reasons and goals for studying abroad. This will help you prepare to answer questions from your family and friends who may be unfamiliar with travelling internationally or study abroad. Consider how this experience will benefit you, your academics, and future career.
- Reach out to the many on-campus resources that can help you during your preparation for study abroad. Talk to your study abroad advisor, your academic advisor, pre-professional programs, the career center, financial aid, and other students who have already gone abroad. The more perspectives and information you have, the more you will be prepared for your experience abroad.
- Finances can be especially daunting for first generation students, so it’s important to plan out your expenses. Create a budget sheet or utilize the unofficial study budget on the Education Abroad website. Compare the difference in the cost of living, keeping in mind the exchange rate.