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A Guide to the Research: Education Abroad

Presents research literature and other sources of information about first generation college students, focusing on four-year undergraduate and graduate school experiences.

UK Information

Education/Study Abroad Programs

Education Abroad at Other Institutions

Many institutions offer financial aid and other assistiance geared toward FG students. Here are a few examples:

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* Brown, Ron, "Engagement Practices and Study Abroad Participation of First-Generation American College Students," in Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students, Terence Hicks, Abul Pitre and Gregory J. Vincent, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2012. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Hulstrand, Janet, "Education Abroad on the Fast Track," International Educator, vol. 15, issue 3 (May/June 2006), pp. 46-55.
Education abroad is fast becoming a desirable part of the college experience for US students. With initiatives like the "Year of Study Abroad" as declared by Congress for the year 2006, education abroad is bound to become even more popular in coming years. One of the most significant developments in education abroad today is the rise in the number of short-term education abroad programs being offered by US colleges and universities.
Pertinent Excerpt:
Most study abroad professionals have also encountered the phenomenon of the student who is interested in study abroad, but not ready-emotionally, linguistically, financially, or for other reasons-to take the plunge and participate in long-term programs. "A lot of times students who aren't ready for a complete immersion program...can start with a short one, get their feet wet, discover what an amazing experience it can be, and then want to do something longer. I've seen that happen in case after case," Citron says. Melavalin concurs, saying, "I see it as an appetizer." Especially for students coming from families where they may be the first generation to go to college, and may have traveled very little, if at all, short-term programs can offer a first, successful step out into the world, with the benefit of extra support provided by faculty and students from their home campuses.

* Martinez, Maria D., Bidya Ranjeet, and Helen A. Marx, "Creating Study Abroad Opportunities for First-Generation College Students," in The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship, Ross Lewin, New York: Routledge: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2009, pp. 527-542. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Ogden, Anthony C. Education Abroad and the Making of Global Citizens: Assessing Learning Outcomes of Course-Embedded, Faculty-Led International Programming. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, 2010.
This study builds on education abroad, global citizenship and academic development literatures by assessing the extent to which embedding brief international travel experiences into residentially-taught courses enhances academic development and promotes global citizenship. In particular, the study focused on the extent to which financial need, first-generation status, and heritage impact education abroad choice and in what ways these and others populations participate in education abroad programming.

* Parsons, Susan W. First to College! First Abroad?: Factors Influencing a First-Generation College Student's Decision Whether to Study Abroad. M.A. Thesis. International Education, School for International Training, 2006. Capstone Collection, Paper 625. Requires Interlibary Loan.
At  The University of California, Riverside, 41% of the students are first-generation college students. UCR has one of the lowest study abroad participation rates of all the UC campuses. This research identifies the factors that influence a first-generation college student's decision whether to study abroad. This research is intended assist study abroad offices nationwide in boosting the recruitment of first-generation college students to programs abroad, and to help identify and eliminate obstacles deterring these students from exploring this unique opportunity.

* Thompson-Jones, Mary. Not for Kids Like Me: How the Gilman Program Is Chainging Study Abroad. Dissertation, Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania, 2012.
The Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program, founded in 2000 as a means to fund study abroad for low-income students, has become the largest federally funded scholarship program for study abroad at theundergraduate level. Interviews with 43 students who traveled on the program provided insight into how the program made travel, often to non-Western destinations, possible for low-income students, students of color, first-generation immigrant students, and community college students. The findings demonstrate that the program has fulfilled its mandate. The quality of students' experiences while overseas show that the program has opened the doors for intensive, meaningful study abroad for large numbers of students who otherwise would not have traveled. The demographics of the population served by the Gilman Program, when contrasted with the larger study-abroad population, suggests that, little by little, the program is changing the face of study abroad.

Education/Study Abroad

* Advocates Push to Diversify Study Abroad, International Educator, vol. 16, issue 5 (Sep/Oct 2007), p. 13.
According to CDEA, whose founding members include the Phelps Stokes Fund, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), and Bardoli Global, Inc., education abroad programs fail to attract students of color, first-generation college attendees, and students from lower-income families.

* Andriano, Bryan R. Study Abroad Participation and Engagement Practices of First-Generation Undergraduate Students. Dissertation. Education and Human Development Department, The George Washington University, 2010.
The purpose of this dissertation was to establish if a predictive relationship existed between four student engagement variables and participation in study abroad for first-generation students. Relevant empirical studies and literature of practice on study abroad participation and student engagement were explored through and supported by two models of college impact; Astin's Input-Environment-Outcome model (1970a, 1970b, & 1993) and Pascarella's General Model for Assessing Change (1985). Using secondary data from the 2003 and 2006 administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement College Student Report, a binary multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to create the final best-fit model for first-generation student participation in study abroad. Although no relationship was found for a student's perception of institutional support, quality of institutional relationships, or involvement with faculty and participation in study abroad, this research found that a student's exposure to diversity was impactful on their decision to seek and complete international study. In addition to the core composite variables examined in this study, three specific background or demographic variables were found to be statistically significant, predictive, and practically important variables for this population of students: living in campus-affiliated housing, enrolling in foreign language coursework, and attending a private institution. 

* Brown, Ron, "Engagement Practices and Study Abroad Participation of First-Generation American College Students," in Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students, Terence Hicks, Abul Pitre and Gregory J. Vincent, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2012. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Brux, Jacqueline Murray and Blake Fry, Multicultural Students in Study Abroad: Their Interests, Their Issues, and Their Constraints, Journal of Studies in International Education, vol. 14, issue 5 (Nov. 2010), pp. 508-527.

* Greenbaum, Jessica, A Diversity Initiative in Global Education for First-Generation Students. Capstone Collection, SIT Graduate Institute, 2012.
The Diversity Initiative in Global Education for First-Generation Students is an institution-wide program designed to increase awareness and ultimately participation by first-generation college students in education abroad at CU Denver. 

* Heinz Housel, Teresa, Helping First-Generation Students Straddle 2 CulturesThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 29, 2012.

* Hulstrand, Janet, "Education Abroad on the Fast Track," International Educator, vol. 15, issue 3 (May/June 2006), pp. 46-55.
Education abroad is fast becoming a desirable part of the college experience for US students. With initiatives like the "Year of Study Abroad" as declared by Congress for the year 2006, education abroad is bound to become even more popular in coming years. One of the most significant developments in education abroad today is the rise in the number of short-term education abroad programs being offered by US colleges and universities.
Pertinent Excerpt:
Most study abroad professionals have also encountered the phenomenon of the student who is interested in study abroad, but not ready-emotionally, linguistically, financially, or for other reasons-to take the plunge and participate in long-term programs. "A lot of times students who aren't ready for a complete immersion program...can start with a short one, get their feet wet, discover what an amazing experience it can be, and then want to do something longer. I've seen that happen in case after case," Citron says. Melavalin concurs, saying, "I see it as an appetizer." Especially for students coming from families where they may be the first generation to go to college, and may have traveled very little, if at all, short-term programs can offer a first, successful step out into the world, with the benefit of extra support provided by faculty and students from their home campuses.

* Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University. Selected Readings on Engaging First Generation College Students in Study Abroad. 2013. 
This resource is a bibliography which explores some of the scholarship pertaining to engagement with first generation college students in study abroad.

* Lenz, William and Joseph Wister, Short-Term Abroad with Long-Term Benefits, International Educator, Vol. 17, issue 3 (May/Jun 2008, pp. 84-87.
Students at institutions like Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are often first-generation college students whose families do not expect them to study abroad (and who harbor no such expectations for themselves), students who are likely to hold down an off-campus job as well as an on-campus work-study position to meet college expenses, and who literally cannot imagine putting aside enough cash to bankroll an entire semester abroad.

* Martinez, M. D., B. Ranjeet and H. A. Marx, "Creating Study Abroad Opportunities for First-Generation College Students," in The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship, R. Lewin, ed. New York: Routledge, 2009, pp. 527-542. Requires Interlibrary Loan.

* Mazyck, Jamal E., Experts Address the Lack of Minority Participation in Study Abroad Programs, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, vol. 31, issue 9 (Jun 5, 2014), p. 7.
According to the Institute of International Education, as of 2012, of all U.S. students that participate in study abroad programs, 76.4 percent are White compared to 7.7 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 7.6 percent Hispanic/Latino and 5.3 percent African-American. Diversity recruiting and advising director for study abroad provider International Education Abroad (IES) says that financial access and lack of exposure are a few reasons why minority student participation rates in study abroad programs are low.

* Miranda, Lauren, Identifying Student Perspectives: Addressing the Financial Barriers Facing Low-Income Students in Study Abroad. Thesis, Education Dept., Loyola University Chicago, 2013.

* NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Support and Success for First-Generation Students in Education Abroad, Collegial Conversation, Sept. 10, 2013.
Second in a series of collegial conversations focusing on underrepresented students. Participants engaged in a discussion about existing programs and support strategies for first-generation college students. Panel included campus- and provider-based study abroad professionals who have developed specific outreach efforts and programs to support this student population.

* Ogden, Anthony C. Education Abroad and the Making of Global Citizens: Assessing Learning Outcomes of Course-Embedded, Faculty-Led International Programming. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, 2010.
This study builds on education abroad, global citizenship and academic development literatures by assessing the extent to which embedding brief international travel experiences into residentially-taught courses enhances academic development and promotes global citizenship. In particular, the study focused on the extent to which financial need, first-generation status, and heritage impact education abroad choice and in what ways these and others populations participate in education abroad programming.

* Parsons, Susan W. First to College! First Abroad?: Factors Influencing a First-Generation College Student's Decision Whether to Study Abroad. M.A. Thesis. International Education, School for International Training, 2006. Capstone Collection, Paper 625. Requires Interlibary Loan.
At  The University of California, Riverside, 41% of the students are first-generation college students. UCR has one of the lowest study abroad participation rates of all the UC campuses. This research identifies the factors that influence a first-generation college student's decision whether to study abroad. This research is intended assist study abroad offices nationwide in boosting the recruitment of first-generation college students to programs abroad, and to help identify and eliminate obstacles deterring these students from exploring this unique opportunity.

* Sanchez, George J. Intensive Study Abroad for First-Generation College Students. Peer Review (Summer 2012), Vol. 14, Issue 3, pp.14-17. 
The Topping Scholars were perfect partners to create a new cohort of global leaders, since the scholarship program consisted almost exclusively of first-generation college students, many of whom were already campus leaders committed to community involvement. One student decided to concentrate his academic major in industrial engineering after meeting working engineers at Disney, Toyota, and Google; while another plans to participate in a summer overseas program for engineers before she graduates.

* School for International Training [SIT] Joins Institute of International Education Coalition to Double Number of Students Who Study Abroad by End of Decade.
SIT has established a new SIT Graduate Institute scholarship of $5,000 for a first generation college student studying to become a study abroad advisor through its masters’ degree in international education.

* Smith, D. E., M. O. Smith, K. R. Robbins, N. S. Eash, and F. R. Walker, Traditionally Under-Represented Students' Perceptions of a Study Abroad Experience, NACTA Journal, Vol. 57, issue 3a (Sept. 2013), pp. 15-20.
An assessment of participants' perceptions of an international experience for students from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) at the University of Tennessee. This program included a semester long for-credit academic coursework, culminating in a two-week study abroad experience.

* Stuart, Rachel, Programs could boost grad rates, University Wire [Carlsbad], July 20, 2014.
According to University of Central Florida data, the average UCF student graduates in 4 1/2 to 5 years. However, the addition of two new programs could change that. Several institutions have strong study abroad program that emphasizes first-generation involvement. The University Wire publication contains many references to FGs and study abroad.  See, for example, Weiner, Josh, TCU Senate Trustee Reps present venture projects, University Wire [Carlsbad], Feb. 4, 2014.

* Syed, Mona and Michelle Tolan. Engaging First-Generation College Students in Study Abroad, Session 2, Creating Access to Global Education Symposium, University of Texan at Austin, 2013.

* Taylor, David, Kline Harrison and Michelle Tolan, Supporting Diversity through First-Generation College Students in Education Abroad: A Comprehensive Approach, Forum on Education Abroad Conference, Chicago, April 2013.

* Thompson-Jones, Mary. Not for Kids Like Me: How the Gilman Program Is Chainging Study Abroad. Dissertation, Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania, 2012.
The Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program, founded in 2000 as a means to fund study abroad for low-income students, has become the largest federally funded scholarship program for study abroad at theundergraduate level. Interviews with 43 students who traveled on the program provided insight into how the program made travel, often to non-Western destinations, possible for low-income students, students of color, first-generation immigrant students, and community college students. The findings demonstrate that the program has fulfilled its mandate. The quality of students' experiences while overseas show that the program has opened the doors for intensive, meaningful study abroad for large numbers of students who otherwise would not have traveled. The demographics of the population served by the Gilman Program, when contrasted with the larger study-abroad population, suggests that, little by little, the program is changing the face of study abroad.

* White, Alexandria. A Study Abroad Course for First-Generation Students. Thesis, Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education, Ball State University, 2012.

* Why YOU Should Study Abroad. DiversityAbroad.com and IES Abroad.
Geared toward first generation and ethnic minority students, this booklet takes students through the basics of study abroad. Topics covered include Steps to Study Abroad, Benefits of Study Abroad, Paying the Cost, and Perceptions Abroad.

* Yob, Iris M, Keeping Students in by Sending Them out: Retention and Service-Learning, Higher Learning Research Communications, vol. 4, issue 2 (June 2014), pp. 38-57.
This review of recent literature examines the research on the impact of service-learning on student retention. The literature suggests that academic and social integration, active participation and engagement in learning, and application and relevancy of the subject-matter under study are key factors in student success. Several studies pertain specifically to first-generation students.