Scholarship offers opportunity for first-generation students to study abroad

UIC has launched a new study abroad scholarship program for first-generation students, supported by Chancellor Michael Amiridis.

The Chancellor’s FirstGen Flames Abroad Scholarship will be awarded to first-year students who want to study abroad during their time at UIC.

“We are going to notify students during their first year at UIC if they received the scholarship, and then they have the remaining time at UIC to use the scholarship,” said Kyle Rausch, executive director of the UIC Study Abroad Office. “So no more is there this fear that they may not have available funding to help afford study abroad because they will know pretty early on in their academic careers that they have this award.”

Ten students will receive the scholarship, and the application will be available on SnAP with an April 15 deadline.

Students will be awarded based on the length of the study abroad experience:

  • Less than three weeks: $1,600
  • Three to six weeks: $2,100
  • Semester: $2,600

Those who wish to apply must:

  • Be a first-generation college student with a demonstrated financial need preferred
  • Be an undergraduate UIC student in their first or second semester
  • Complete 12 UIC credits by the end of the spring semester
  • Have a current FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid on file with UIC Financial Aid Office at the time of application and demonstrate financial need
  • Be in good academic standing and have no outstanding sanctions with the university
  • Use the scholarship for a UIC faculty-directed or exchange program. Students will not be able to use it for partnership and direct enroll programs

For further information about the application process and recipient responsibilities, click here.

“Since we serve a high percentage of first-generation college students at UIC, having resources that enable diverse students to partake in this is extremely important,” Rausch said. “The fact that the chancellor has helped fund this initiative has demonstrated UIC’s commitment to ensuring access to all sorts of incredible opportunities for our students.

“It’s more than just giving students money — we are also going to have the participants participate in a cohort program with mentors from the Study Abroad Office. You don’t have to worry about having all the answers. That’s what we’re here for so just come seek us out if you’re interested in learning more.”

These workshops can help students start the conversation about study abroad with their parents, and they can speak with students about writing a compelling essay for other scholarships they may need.

“It’s a really unique blend of providing financial support but also mentorship for a group of students,” Rausch said. “It’s important to UIC because we have a commitment to ensuring access to higher education opportunities for all of our diverse students and study abroad has been shown to be an important educational opportunity that employers, are looking for and see value in.”

Please visit the Study Abroad website for more information.

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