Student Identities Abroad: First-Generation College Students

Being the first to go to college in your family is such a unique experience, and we are excited that you are considering adding study abroad to that! The CGE understands that you probably have a lot of questions and maybe some concerns, but know we are here to help. We know you are ready for this time abroad and want to assist in helping you maximize your ability to grow and learn. We have compiled some information to help you successfully navigate the process for planning your study abroad experience so that you are able to make the most of this opportunity.

Questions to consider with an Advisor/by yourself:


  • How can I let them know it is safe to travel abroad?
  • How can I stay in touch with my family and friends while abroad?
  • How can I discuss the contribution study abroad will have towards my academic and career goals?
  • How will my family be involved in my study abroad process?

Program Fit

  • How long do I want to study abroad?
  • When would I like to go abroad?
  • How far from family and friends am I willing to be?
  • What kind of city would I like to be in?
  • What is my budget for my time abroad?
  • What aspects of a program would I like to have included in my experience? (i.e. excursions, activities, housing…)


  • How can I make study abroad affordable?
  • How can I know I am making the right choice since no one in my family has studied abroad before?
  • How can I find courses that will work for my academic plan?
  • How can I know I am on track in the process?
  • Are there funding sources that I can investigate to support my time abroad?


  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad.
  • Diversity Abroad: Free database of scholarships for students of various identities.
  • Fund for Education Abroad: FEA invests in students with financial need from underrepresented backgrounds who wish to study abroad.


  • Diversity Abroad: Diversity Abroad provides resources and tools for diverse students to participate in a study abroad program, with information specific to first-generation students.
  • GoAbroad: An in-depth guide for first-generation travelers including benefits gained from study abroad. This guide also includes some program recommendations that are pre-approved at UofSC.
  • I’m first!: A great resource with information, videos, and blogs from other first-generation students that have studied abroad.
  • IES Abroad: Blogs and stories from first-generation students.