UKIC / Education Abroad & Exchanges / First-Generation Career Readiness Education Abroad Program

First-Generation Career Readiness Education Abroad Program

Explore First: Careers, Cultures, and Connections - Summer 2023

The University of Kentucky (UK) is developing an integrated global learning experience with curricular and co-curricular elements, focused on career readiness with meaningful connections between academic attainment and post-graduation success. The proposed program is designed and implemented intentionally to equip and empower First-Generation students, designated as such by neither parent or guardian having completed a 4-year degree. It is aimed at significantly impacting the academic success (retention, graduation, and beyond) of UK’s First-Generation students. 27% of undergraduate students at UK are First-Generation or “First-Gen” students.   

For the first year, in June and July 2023 selected First-Gen students in four cohorts of 15 will participate in a 3-week education abroad program while earning 3 credit hours of UK coursework (EXP 396) in either London, UK or Dublin, Ireland.

    Get Involved

    Are you an employer interested in making an impact on UK's First-Gen students?

    "Career readiness is a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that broadly prepare the college educated for success in the workplace and lifelong career management."

    National Association of Colleges and Employers


    The curricular components and learning outcomes are based on National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Competencies, and the overall program will be formulated and managed by staff experts in UK’s Education Abroad & Exchanges (EA) in collaboration with colleagues in Student Success, including the Stuckert Career Center and the office of First-Generation Student Services.  

    This new program introduces career readiness within a global context to put students and their educational experience at the forefront. Students will develop transferable skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, independence, and self-efficacy. Students will also enhance their cross-cultural competence, personal growth, and social responsibility. Students will also be exposed to work culture and career settings in these locations.  

    NACE Career Readiness Competencies

    • Career and Self-Development
    • Communication
    • Critical Thinking
    • Equity and Inclusion
    • Leadership
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Technology


    Working with key corporate partners, the program connects students with organizations that have a global presence and employ UK graduates.  The type of activities and opportunities that we are seeking from employer partners will vary based on availability and capacity, most likely in half-day or day-long visits. Sample activities include: 

    For more information please contact Niamh Minion (, Associate Director of Education Abroad and Exchanges.