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First Generation Students Abroad

At Binghamton University, we are aware that many of our students are the first generation in their family to have the opportunity to attend a higher education institution. That is a wonderful accomplishment!

For students who are among the first in their family to attend college, we recognize that it can be challenging to figure out the ins and outs of navigating the university systems. We also know that going to college is a big step in itself, and the idea of studying abroad on top of that can be overwhelming...but we are here to support you on your way to study abroad.  

The Binghamton University Student Support Services website provides helpful information about being a first generation student who is aspiring to study abroad. They also feature the profiles of first generation Binghamton University students who have accomplished their dream of studying abroad and provide advice for the next students wishing to pursue this experience.  

Other resources that may be helpful for you include the International Education FAQs page which explains the logistics of how education abroad works, our financial aid and scholarships page which explains funding opportunities. Did you know that the Binghamton University Myers Family Scholarship and the national Gilman scholarship are programs that aim to assist specific student groups including first generation students with funding for education abroad?  

Perhaps you are worried about talking with your parents or other people who support your academic journey about education abroad. The idea of you studying away might be scary for them or seem unrealistic in their opinion. The best advice that we can give you is is to thoroughly prepare the necessary information first - present them with information on:

  1. The campus resources that will support you through the study abroad process (IEGI, Academic Advising, Financial Aid,and SSS or EOP if applicable to you)
  2. The specifics of how you can use financial aid and scholarships for education abroad, and most importantly
  3. Why education abroad will be beneficial to you - explain to your parent(s) that study abroad has been proven to develop students skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and enhances maturity and flexibility. No matter what career you are interested in, these are all skills that employers are looking for. Successfully participating in education abroad shows potential employers that you have the ability to adjust to new environments and communicate with diverse groups of people. And when you return from your back from study abroad experience, staff in the Office of International Education office and the Fleishman Center are happy to help you articulate this experience your resume, and identify how you can highlight the benefits in future job interviews. Not to mention if you are interested in a job that is international or global in nature, studying abroad will be critical for your future success. 

Links to other resources for first-generation students:

Diversity Abroad advice for first-generation students

Tips for telling your parents you want to study abroad

Figuring out study abroad as a first-generation student

Have other questions or concerns as a first-generation student hoping to study abroad? Just contact us at and ask for an appointment.