First-generation college students represent a growing segment of the U.S. higher education population and a group consistently underrepresented in study abroad programming (Cataldi et al., 2018; Rausch, 2017). According to the Consortium for Analysis of Student Success through International Education (CASSIE), only eight percent of first-generation students study abroad, yet those who do are more likely to graduate within six years and have higher GPAs at graduation (Bell et al., 2020).
As U.S. higher education institutions return to offering study abroad programming, there is an opportunity for education abroad leaders to focus on educational equity by examining pathways for underrepresented students to access study abroad. Dr. Leah Mason, research lead at IIE, and Ms. Kelly Holland, vice president of institutional partnerships at AIFS Abroad, will share findings from the AIFS/IIE Global Education research report, Supporting Pathways for First-Generation Students to Study Abroad, including promising practices for all phases of a first-generation students’ study abroad experience, highlighting unique program models being implemented at U.S. higher education institutions.
- understand the benefits of study abroad for first-generation students;
- identify funding sources that support first-generation students to study abroad; and
- implement strategies for demystifying the study abroad application process for first-generation students.
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