Studying or completing an internship abroad provides you the opportunity to grow personally, academically, and professionally. We understand that being the first to attend college in your family can be a challenging and unique experience. As a first-generation student, you are required to learn, change, and adapt to your unfamiliar surroundings, which is why Education Abroad is the perfect opportunity for you! Your drive, responsibility, and dedication to succeed makes you an excellent candidate. Understandably this process might seem intimidating and overwhelming, but rest assured our office is here to guide and support you through this incredibly exciting endeavor. We have compiled information and resources to help you address any concerns or questions you have about the process.
Education Abroad 101 Information Sessions
This is the first step of your entire education abroad process. You must attend a full session before meeting with an Education Abroad adviser as it covers important information about the entire process, including benefits of studying or interning abroad, types of programs, financial aid and scholarships, living arrangements, etc. Parents and other loved ones may accompany you at these sessions. To view our upcoming sessions, please visit Getting Started.
Financial Aid Resources
The most common concern we receive from our first-gen students is their perceived inability to afford to study abroad. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities to help make your program of choice more affordable or possibly even free. You may qualify for financial aid to help pay for the costs of an approved education abroad program that counts towards their degree plan. Once you have a copy of your program’s cost estimates sheet, you should schedule a meeting with our Student Financial Aid office so they may begin creating an award package to help cover program costs. CIEE, CEA, CIS Abroad, IIE, and many of our other partner providers have scholarships, grants, and vouchers built into their programs as well. To learn more about scholarships and grants we offer, please visit our scholarships page. Veteran dependents can use their benefits to help fund their study abroad experience, for more information, please visit our Education Abroad page for veterans.
We will discuss this in-depth during our 101 Information Sessions, but we understand many of our first-gen students are tied to family and financial responsibilities and obligations. We believe it is important to highlight here that many of the programs we offer vary in length. Some can be as short as a week to as long as a year. We have programs that can tailor to your needs.
As a first-generation student, you are familiar with the importance of having a strong support system. The Office of Education Abroad and Scholarly Services and the Office of Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can help provide that collegiate support. Offices such as Career Services can assist you with resume assistance and mock interviews should you pursue an internship abroad. As the first person in your family to attend college, you may also be the first in your family to study abroad. Family support plays an essential role in a student’s success, which is why we have a Parents and Families page they can visit to learn more about the education abroad process and ways they can further support you.
Passports and Student Visas
If this is your first time traveling abroad, you will need to begin the application process as soon as possible because the wait time can be lengthy. For further information on how to start the passport application process, please visit the Department of State website. If you already have a passport, please make sure it is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of your program. If not, you will need to renew as soon as possible. Some programs will require you to have a student visa, to learn more about student visas and their application process, please speak with your program advisor.
Education Abroad Checklist
This checklist will be the most important document to refer to as it will help guide and prepare you throughout the entire process, please find it online. We also encourage you to prepare an Education Abroad folder for your record, including but not limited to: copies of your applications, passport and student visa copies, acceptance letters, copies of credit cards, contact information, flight information, etc.