Is there a term for someone who moved to the US and started going to college there? I was born and raised elsewhere and moved to the US in my teens. My parents went to college, but not in the US. Is there a term for this? I know that first generation means someone who's parents didn't go to college. I figured maybe there might be a term for this as well?

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    No, there is not term for it. Why should there be?? "First generation" refers to immigrants who move to the US from another country. It has nothing to do with going to college or not. Many first generation immigrants are university graduates, in their country of origin.
    – Lambie
    Jan 22, 2019 at 23:33
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    In the context of US immigration, "first generation" means someone who immigrated to the U.S. "Second generation" means someone who was born in the US to a parent who immigrated to the US. In the context of education, it may be that the term "first generation" refers to those who are the first in their immediate families to matriculate or graduate at some level of formal education. If so, you have a term with two different meanings in different contexts. There is no term that encompasses both meanings. But it would not apply to you in any case. Jan 23, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of a term that just means "someone who moved to the [country name] and is now in college".

If they came to the US specifically to go to school here, they're a foreign student. If they started college in a different country, and then came to the US to do a semester or two at a school that had an exchange program with the college they were going to, and they traveled to the US utilizing that program, they're a foreign exchange student.

But neither of those applies to your described case. Welcome to the US, I hope you like it here.

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