Educational Travel for First-Generation Students

Teaching Sociology / October 2020

Marisel Herrera Studying Abroad

Research on educational travel has shown significant student outcomes for personal, academic, and professional growth. However, there are financial and cultural barriers that make it harder for some groups of students to participate in programs such as study abroad and shorter-term educational travel. This article examines the unique challenges and opportunities for first-generation and low-income students in these programs. It analyzes a short-term (10-day) educational travel group of exclusively first-generation participants, including three students, a faculty member, and an administrator, studying social mobility in Denmark. Coauthored by a faculty member and student from the trip, the article qualitatively reflects on student gains in personal growth, social connectedness, professional skills, and sociological knowledge. The article concludes by advocating for more targeted programming in recruiting and supporting first-generation students in educational travel.