What is a first generation student?
A First-Generation student is a student whose parents or care-givers did not complete a four-year, post-secondary degree. This includes students whose parents did not complete a four-year degree in Canada or the United States and students who are or were youth in care.
First-Gen students may face specific challenges that other university students (who have access to intergenerational knowledge) do not. This can include: difficulty navigating the university environment, feelings of imposter syndrome or not belonging, and financial struggles.
Why does it matter to have programs specifically for first-generation students?
First-generation students are often not aware of the possibilities and services that are available to them because they are the first ones in their close families to have an university experience. It is consequently necessary to have academic and extra-curricular programs specifically aimed to first-gen students so that they can be guided during their university experience.
Is there a peer support group for first-generation students that I can join?
Yes! 1st Up is the Peer Support Group for First-Generation Students at McGill. 1st Up organizes several events during the academic year directed towards students’ needs.
How can I stay up to date with 1st Up events?
You can be part of the 1st Up community on Facebook. There is a 1st Up Facebook group for first generation students. Campus Life & Engagement also shares events for the 1st Up community on our Facebook page.
Can I attend 1st Up events even if I am not a First-Generation student?
Yes! The main topics of the events organized by 1st Up are relevant to both First-Generation students and non-First-Generation Students.
Where can I find wellness related resources?
Your main stop for finding wellness related resources at McGill is the Student Wellness Hub. The Student Wellness Hub offers a variety of wellness resources ranging from physical to mental health. If you ever have any questions or concerns you can call the Hub and they will direct you towards the resource that best suits you. They also offer incredible student led programming for students to get involved with and learn more about different aspects of personal health and health resources on campus.
Where can I find career related resources?
Through McGill’s Career Planning site you can find a variety of different career related resources, both for your time at McGill and once you graduate. There is a career website directory and a career database that can help you find summer jobs, part-time jobs during the school year, and other career opportunities. Additionally, the Career Planning Services (CaPS) at McGill have a variety of amazing workshops to help you learn more about writing CV, interviews, and how to find a job that best suits you.
Where can I find resources on funding, financial aid, and on-campus work opportunities?
McGill offers various different funding and financial aid resources based on student need and academic standing. You can visit the Scholarships and Student Aid McGill page to learn more about how to apply and the steps you have to take after your application is submitted. Additionally, McGill has a Work Study program that allows you to find student jobs on campus. This includes research opportunities, service positions, and involvement-based jobs. On their work study website, you can learn more about eligibility for the program and how to apply. You can also keep checking McGill’s Career Planning site to learn more about other jobs and opportunities on campus that are not posted through the Scholarships and Student Aid office.
How can I get more involved with the McGill community?
There are a variety of ways to get more involved with the McGill community. Joining the 1st Up: First-Generation Student Support Group is a great way to meet other First-Generation students on campus and learn more about some of the resources and involvement opportunities that McGill has to offer. You can also visit the SSMU Clubs and Services site to learn more about the different student led extracurriculars available on campus. If you are interested in finding ways to become more academically involved, talk to your department or faculty councils to explore different leadership opportunities and find out about the programming that they offer.