Packing Your First-Gen Suitcase

What You Should Know About Studying Abroad as a First-Generation Student

Choosing to study abroad as an underrepresented student may bring up concerns about what your experience will be like. As a first-generation college student, you may be experiencing a lack of resources, such as financial or interpersonal support, that other students have access to. The same is likely true for study abroad. But that’s okay! USAC is here to help you navigate the world of international education and support you as you learn more about studying abroad.

The Resident Director for USAC England, Dr. Jeremy Doughty, was a first-generation college graduate and study abroad-goer like yourself. In a recent Info Session, Jeremy shared his experiences moving away to college, choosing to study abroad and expanding his career in international education abroad after graduation. Jeremy also shared his best tips for taking the leap to study abroad as a first-gen student.

The first tip he gives you? Understand that you will have to pack your study abroad suitcase a bit differently than other students. Your metaphorical suitcase, of course.

What does this mean?

Here are Jeremy’s steps for planning your study abroad:

  1. Start learning about the programs and process early.
  2. Communicate regularly with trusted advisors.
  3. Learn more about your study abroad destination.
  4. Inform others about your study abroad experience (especially your family).
  5. Explore what type of support you’ll have.

If you’re interested in chatting with a USAC team member about studying abroad as a first-generation student, join us for one of our drop-in advising sessions.