First Generation Students

First-Generation Students Abroad

For many first-generation students, arriving on Gettysburg’s campus can be a significant adjustment, and the idea of re-adjusting to a new culture during global study may seem daunting at first. However, first-generation students absolutely can and do study globally at Gettysburg College. In fact, you may find that many of the strategies and skills you developed while adjusting to life at Gettysburg College will have prepared you well for the global study experience! There are a lot of resources help you consider the right questions to ask, and CGE staff, as well as Gettysburg faculty, administrators, and returned global study students are here to support you before, during, and after your global study experience.

Ask As You Plan

As you begin the global study process, you may wonder what questions you ought to consider in order to select a global study program. It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to all of these questions yet—advisors at CGE are happy to meet with you and talk through any questions you may have, and help you consider global study programs that support your personal, academic, and professional goals.

Ask Before You Go

In addition, here are a few questions to consider as you prepare to depart for your global study semester:

  • Have I spoken with advisors in the Center for Global Education?
  • Have I connected with my on-site program advisors?
  • Have I connected with other students who’ve studied in my host country?
  • Do I need a visa for my host country (i.e. a document that allows you to enter/stay/study in a different country for a certain length of time)? Has my program reached out with more information about this?
  • What is the general cost of living in my host country? What costs are already included by my program?
  • Will I receive meals from a host family? From a dining hall? Will I be cooking for myself?
  • What modes of transportation are common in my host country? Do people normally walk/bike/use public transportation?
  • How will I keep in touch with friends/family during my global study semester?
  • How will I record, remember, and reflect on my semester? (Ex. Journaling? Photography?)


There are a lot of resources available to help students learn more about their host countries and host cultures. In addition, there are a lot of great blogs and other articles written by first-generation students about their experience.

Diversity Abroad: First-Generation Students (Resources)

IES Resources for First-Generation Students (Resources and Student Stories)

IFSA Unpacked: A Study Abroad Guide for Students Like Me (Student Stories)