First Generation Students

Just like being the first in your family to study at a higher education institution, being the first in your family to study abroad can be an exhilarating, daunting, but incredibly rewarding experience! 

While traveling to a new culture and learning in a new setting may be similar to your first year at college, there may be additional challenges that come alongside amazing new opportunities. Speak with your family, friends, advisors, and professors about the benefits of studying abroad. Seek out resources and support prior to, during, and after your study abroad to maximize your time in another country and when you return home.

As the number of first-generation study abroad students increases every year, we hope that Seattle U first-generation students find the opportunities and know that the Education Abroad Office is excited to work with you to assist in your success abroad and in the future!

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 retain some cultural similarities or 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 Central America, 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 achievement of my academic and career goals?
  • How will an education abroad impact my graduation date? What type of program options is the best fit? Would a long-term or short-term program be a better fit?
  • Do I want a program that maximize my experience abroad by finding a program that offers practical experience (internship, research) in addition to regular courses?
  • What scholarships are out there that can support funding my education abroad?

Here are some things to consider as you prepare to go abroad:

  • How will I keep in touch with my family and friends while I'm abroad?
  • How do I plan to finance my time abroad?
  • How will housing look like on this education abroad experience? 
  • How will I incorporate my experiences abroad back into my life in Seattle upon my return?
  • What goals do I want to accomplish while abroad?

How can Seattle University Education Abroad Office  (EAO) help you?

  • Your Education Abroad Advisor and cooperation with your academic support network will provide holistic support and accompany you through out the planning process.
  • Your Education Abroad Advisor can connect you with any additional resources. If they don't know, we can research it together!
  • In Education Abroad Advising, we support you in your discernment of finding a program that fits your academic, financial, and personal goals.
    • This includes detailed estimated cost comparison budget worksheets for SU Sponsored and SU Exchange programs and other financial planning tips.
  • EAO can connect you with other first-generation students or the students who have participated in the program in the past.

Additional Resources:

Adapted from materials from Identity Resources - Study Abroad, University of Wisconsin-Madison.