First-Generation Students Abroad

Studying abroad is possible!

Participating in an international experience at UNT is a chance to seek new opportunities, broaden your perspective, and build global competence. UNT offers both short and long-term study abroad programs, ranging from two weeks to as long as one year. In many cases, an overseas experience can help you fulfill your degree requirements faster than if you were to stay on campus. International experiences can also play an important role in your job search after graduation. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with the ability to communicate across cultures and effectively work with diverse teams—both skills that can be developed abroad.

Preparation is Key 

With careful planning, preparation, and support, you can engage in experiences abroad while maintaining your on-campus and at-home responsibilities. Use the following strategies to plan for your overseas experience:

  • Meet with a study abroad advisor. The Study Abroad Office can direct you toward resources to make your time abroad affordable and accessible.
  • Take ownership of the process. Once you have chosen a program, set yourself up for success by planning as much as you can before you depart. Be sure to keep track of application deadlines, funding opportunities, and program requirements.
  • Make a plan. Research your host country, connect with on-campus resources, and plan how you will stay in touch with your support system while away from home.

Choosing a Program

As you consider and prepare for an international experience, use the following questions to guide you. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and you may relate to multiple identities. You are encouraged to discuss these topics in-person with a study abroad advisor. The Office of Disability Access, Counseling and Testing Services, the Multicultural Center or staff from scholarship programs that serve first generation students can also provide guidance and resources as you prepare for your experience.

  • Would you like to retain some cultural similarities? Or would you like a completely different cultural experience?
  • Would you feel more comfortable going somewhere closer to the U.S.? Or are you ready to travel as far as Australia and New Zealand?
  • How will you involve your family in your decision to study abroad?
  • Would you like to choose a study abroad destination where having a job is permitted in order to help finance your semester abroad?

Preparing to Go Abroad

Consider the following to help ease the transition into the culture of your destination.

  • When can I fit a study abroad experience into my academic schedule? What type of experience might fit best with my goals?
  • How might identity influence where I choose to travel?
  • How will I balance being abroad with other opportunities I may have on campus, such as a job, scholarship requirements, and my academic career?
  • How can I communicate the value of study abroad to my family?
  • What worries might my family have about my international experience, and what information might help them feel more comfortable?
  • What is my citizenship status? What effect will this have on my ability to travel?
  • How will I incorporate my experiences abroad back into my life at UNT upon my return?

Speak with an Advisor

Do you or your family have any concerns related to study abroad? A Study Abroad Advisor can assist you with questions, such as:
  • What opportunities and challenges have other first generation students faced as they prepare to travel abroad?
  • How can I be connected with students and alumni with similar identities who have been abroad?
  • What on-campus support and resources can I access overseas?
  • How will study abroad help me reach my academic and professional goals?
  • Will my FAFSA or other UNT funding sources transfer over to my study abroad experience?
  • What advice do you have for first-generation students who are thinking about going abroad?
  • What impact can going abroad have on my academics and career path?

Schedule an appointment with a study abroad advisor.

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