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First-Generation Students Abroad

Even though you might be the first person in your family to go to college, that shouldn't stop you from studying abroad.

Family members will likely have lots of questions about what studying abroad is, why you’re interested in doing it, how much it might cost, and more. We’re here to help you get the answers you need so that you can explain to your family and friends who have questions. Doing additional research on the kinds of experiences you’ll have, skills you might gain, and reading stories from other first-generation students who have studied abroad will be beneficial to you. We can help with international travel tips, getting a passport, and will work alongside you throughout the entire process.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What people support me here at Drake? How can I find people who can support my success while abroad?
  • What access will I have to services like tutoring, student organizations, etc. while I’m abroad?
  • What am I most nervous about? What can I do to make it easier when I’m faced with those fears?


Tips for Discussing Study Abroad with your Family

  • Learn about your destination. Your family may have questions about what life is like in the country where you will be living and studying, including whether you will be safe. Take some time to read and research your host city and country, especially if you don't know much about its history, geography, language, or culture.
  • Explain why you want to study abroad and how it will positively impact your academic experience and career goals.
  • Talk about the different skills you will gain, such as: independence, responsibility, accountability, self-confidence, self-awareness, appreciation of differences, tolerance of ambiguity, and possibly learning or improving another language.
  • Listen to their concerns and questions about studying abroad.
  • Be familiar with how much your study abroad program will cost. Also share that you can apply for Drake Global Learning Scholarships, and may have access to Drake financial aid.
  • Assure your family that you will stay in contact with them while abroad. 
  • Get your family involved in the process. Encourage them to learn more about the program you've selected so they can share in your excitement!