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First Generation College Students

First Generation College Students & Education Abroad

Studying abroad allowed me to travel to places I never thought I’d be able to go, meet people I never could have met otherwise, and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences – all for just barely more than what I would pay for a regular semester here at CU! — Alicante, Fall 2011

As a first generation student, you have the incredible opportunity to be the first in your family to ever go abroad while in college or at all!  As the first person in your family to be presented with such a unique experience, you likely have many questions; CU Boulder Education Abroad staff is here to help you get the process started.


Did you know?

  • There are programs for different lengths of time, and there are programs that are comparable in price to what it costs to attend CU Boulder.
  • There are programs that will help fulfill academic requirements – including major coursework or Core –so you can still graduate at your scheduled time.
  • Financial aid can be used on approved CU Boulder programs.  Scholarships are also available.


  • Many employers view education abroad as an admirable attribute; it can display an applicant’s flexibility, cultural adaptability, and experience with diverse populations.  Having an education abroad experience on your resume can help set you apart in a competitive job market.
  • The experience that you will gain on an education abroad program is invaluable. You will gain confidence and the assurance that you can succeed in most any situation.  It is an accomplishment that will continue to give back even after returning to Boulder.
  • Gaining knowledge of another community abroad can help widen your scope and help you to see things in your own community from a new perspective.  Many education abroad alumni become more active citizens in their own home communities, and many have made connections that have taken them abroad again after graduation.

You are ready!

  • You made it to CU Boulder and used your navigational and other skills to adjust to life on a new campus. These are huge accomplishment on their own. Now is the time to start thinking about your next step!  Where else will life take you?  Researching and becoming familiar with our office early in your educational career is incredibly worthwhile!  It may feel overwhelming, but our advisors are excited to help you find a fit that is right for you.

Useful Resources to Begin Your Exploration:

  • All Abroad: A great resource for funding advice, outreach materials, and education abroad advice specifically written with first-generation students in mind.
  • The Center for Multicultural Affairs at CU Boulder: Comprehensive services and innovative programs that support and advance the intellectual, personal, cultural, and social development of diverse students, with a focus on first generation students.
  • CU-LEAD Alliance and Scholarship Program: A CU program comprised of diverse academic learning communities which offers a range of services and financial benefits for highly motivated students of color and first generation college students.
  • Diversity Abroad: This website provides tips for first generations students on how to best prepare for studying abroad; includes advice, scholarship information, student testimonials, and more.
  • First in the Family: Videos, hard facts, tips, planning checklists, and words of inspiration from first generation students who have already completed high school and college, as well as resources for current first-gen students.
  • Scholarships Available for Continuing CU Students: A list of many scholarships available to continuing CU students.