Did you see the recent UKnow article and video of the students talking about how the 1st Gen Initiatives partners got them ready to go to London for a Summer I term Communications course and what they learned from their study abroad? The course was COM 390: “First Adventures in a Global Marketplace.” N’Deyah Belle (a junior and Communications major), Brandon King (a senior and Chemistry major) and Abel Rodriguez (a junior and Political Science major) are featured in the video, and their reflections on their experiences are very powerful:
- “It allows you to branch out … to want more in life… there’s so much more in the world out there and I’m not afraid of it…”
- “It really widened my view of how big the world is and there’s so much more that I haven’t seen…”
- “I was part of this huge network of people in the world – I wasn’t just an American and I wasn’t just a student at UK, I was a citizen of the world…”
I think the part that makes this program unique is that we conducted four pre-departure orientations and one that included the parents. Our partnership with the International Studies Abroad (ISA) was crucial because they provided $5,000 in scholarships funds. The Office of First Gen Initiatives then matches above and beyond the ISA scholarship dollars for first gen students. Plus, ISA’s onsite logistics team ensures the program runs smoothly and students have an easy transition.
Traci Letcher is teaching the 2015 version of the program in Dublin, Ireland. Here’s the part of the Education Abroad website that describes the upcoming course. I hope everyone will encourage their first-gen students to enroll!