Helping first-generation students succeed abroad
Resources for NAU students
First generation students have unique qualities and experiences that make them ideal candidates for studying abroad. While it’s never easy to be the first do anything, you’ve already proven your ability to forge a new path and navigate a new environment by being the first in your family to attend college. NAU Education Abroad wants to help you continue to be a pioneer in your education by helping you take full advantage of the many study abroad opportunities available to you!
Why should you study abroad?
Studying abroad is a transformative experience that enhances your life in many ways. Here are just a few:
- Gain a new perspective on your own country, culture, and identity.
- Increase your employability with the gained international experience, cross-cultural skills and cultural adaptability.
- Deepen your understanding of social, economic and political issues throughout the world.
- Bring new perspectives to your loved ones back home and inspire them to continue to be curious about the world.
- Contribute to your community by sharing the skills, experiences, and connections gained abroad.
What are your goals? Accordion Closed
Think about how a study abroad experience will help you accomplish your goals. Whether these are personal, academic, or professional, identifying how an experience abroad will help you reach your goals can help you find the right location, program, and experience for you. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier to articulate and communicate your study abroad plans with family members.
How will this fit into your academic plan? Accordion Closed
Just as there are several paths to a college degree, there are several paths you can take to complete a study abroad experience. You may be in your freshman year, or you may have recently transferred to NAU from another institution. Wherever you find yourself in your academic career, we offer hundreds of programs to accommodate different life situations.
If you have the flexibility for a longer program, you can go abroad for a semester or academic year for an immersive experience. If the semester or yearlong programs don’t work with your schedule, you can opt to participate in one of the many short-term faculty-led study abroad opportunities available in winter and summer.
An Education Abroad advisor, with the help of your academic advisor, can help you pick a program that will enhance your undergraduate academic experience and ensure you graduate on your desired date.
How can studying abroad be affordable? Accordion Closed
Finances for study abroad are a consideration for nearly all students regardless of background. NAU and other organizations offer special scholarships for study abroad. Financial Aid (grants, loans) can be applied to almost all programs, and merit-based NAU scholarships (Lumberjack, Blue, Gold, Transfer) can be applied to exchange programs. Some rules/restrictions apply based on the type of scholarship and program, and your Education Abroad advisor can help explain what scholarships are best for you to apply for.
Opportunity fund available for first generation students Accordion Closed
The office of First-Generation Programs provides up to $500 in funding to support currently enrolled mountain campus first-generation college students in professional development opportunities. In order to fund as many students as possible, students are limited to one funding opportunity per academic year while funding is available.
View our scholarships page for more details. Additionally, many scholarships focus on diversity and sending first generation students abroad, such as the Fund for Education Abroad, the Gilman Scholarship, and Mobility Abroad Scholarship.
Talk to an Education Abroad advisor Accordion Closed
Make an appointment with an Education Abroad advisor to find a program and location that works for you. Advisors will also work with you through every step of the study abroad process.
Do your research Accordion Closed
Research a few destinations you’re interested to learn about what it will be like living, studying, and possibly interning there.
Talk to people who have studied abroad before. NAU Education Abroad can connect you with our Global Ambassadors. These are current NAU students who have recently studied abroad and can share their experiences with you and answer any questions you may have.
Make a plan Accordion Closed
Once you’ve found the right program for you, keep track of application deadlines and requirements specific to your location.
Decide how you will stay in contact with your support systems back home.
Ready to begin your adventure? Make an appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor by your regional interest or join a general information session.
Resources Accordion Closed
I’m First: Videos, blogs, and general resources for first generation students.
GoAbroad: An in-depth guide for first-generation students looking to study abroad.
USAC Blog: A resource to help you talk to your parents about studying abroad.
The Daily Texan: One student’s experience about being a first-generation student abroad.
NAU Education Abroad Advisors: Make an appointment with an advisor to start planning your study abroad experience.
Learn more about the additional resources and support for students in NAU’s First-Generation programs.