Students who study abroad often discover that experiencing the unknown can be stressful.
The Study Abroad team encourages all students to consider building study abroad into their degree plan at Texas Tech University. We welcome all first generation college students who meet TTU Study Abroad eligibility requirements to participate in our programs. Being the first in your family to attend a four-year university, you may feel you've already taken a big enough step toward success or that studying abroad is an unreachable goal; however, first generation college students have a proven track record of forging new paths and are often uniquely positioned to succeed abroad.
Studying abroad can make you more successful both during school and afterward. Studies have suggested that participating in an international learning experience makes you more likely to graduate and do so in four years. Study abroad alumni also report higher starting salaries and greater ease in finding jobs in fields related to their majors following graduation. This increase in employability may be explained by the confidence, cultural awareness, and job skills that students can gain from their study abroad experience.
To assist with what may be a challenging transition from your life in the U.S., our staff are committed to do the following:
- Partner closely with the TTU offices of First Generation & Mentoring Programs and TRIO Student Support Services.
- Helping students explore study abroad options that fit a wide variety of schedules, degree plans, and budgets.
- Coach students on how to successfully apply for study abroad scholarships that are both general and specific to first generation college students.
- Accompany students to the TTU Passport Office, located across the hall from our offices.
- Share resources, materials, and advice about first generation college student experiences abroad such as Diversity Abroad's Guide for First Generation Students and All Abroad.
- Connect students to the stories of other first generation college students who recount their studying abroad and international travel experiences through blogs like the IFSA-Butler First Generation Scholars blog and the I'm First! blog.
- Include discussion in pre-departure orientation about staying healthy and safe while abroad as well as communicating with loved ones back at home.
- Prepare students for engaging with their host culture by showing them resources such as the Culture Crossing Guide.
- Speak with students during advising appointments about how they can include family in the planning process by sharing information about the academic, professional, and personal advantages that a study abroad experience can hold for a first generation college student.
- Suggest free financial planning services like TTU's Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching.
- Assist students in understanding program costs and fees, currency and foreign exchange rates, and cost of living differences between the host country and the U.S.
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