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Am I a first-generation American or second-generation American?

FellowCCViewerFellowCCViewer Posts: 3,777Registered User Senior Member
edited April 2011 in Parents Forum
I thought I'd ask this here, because ya'll are probably more informed about this kind of stuff :).

My parents immigrated to that States after finishing their undergrad education. Within a few years, I came out of my momma (in a hospital in CA).

Am I first or second-generation?
Thanks in advance.
Post edited by FellowCCViewer on
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Replies to: Am I a first-generation American or second-generation American?

  • dmd77dmd77 Posts: 7,749Registered User Senior Member
    You are the first generation born in the US. Your parents are immigrants.
  • CluelessClueless Posts: 164Registered User Junior Member
    Wouldn't he be second generation? His parents being the first to settle in the U.S.? Not absolutely sure...
  • FellowCCViewerFellowCCViewer Posts: 3,777Registered User Senior Member
    Haha, that's why I'm so confused. This is actually just for the restricted scholarship considerations (I think that's what it's called) for the UCs. I chose the option that I'm a "first-generation American" but now I'm not so sure anymore. I tried looking online, but results were like the above 3 posts :rolleyes:. I guess I'll stick with it, if I can't find another option that applies to me.
  • FellowCCViewerFellowCCViewer Posts: 3,777Registered User Senior Member
    From the URL treetopleaf gave:
    The term First generation immigrant may be used to describe either of two classes of people:

    1. An immigrant to a country, possibly with the caveat that they must be naturalized to receive this title.
    2. The children of immigrant parents, first in a family line to be born in the new country.

    My parents are #1 and I'm #2 haha.
  • dmd77dmd77 Posts: 7,749Registered User Senior Member
    FWIW: the definition I gave was that used by my PhD-sociologist mother when she did her PhD thesis on Italian immigration to the US. If it's for a scholarship app or other organization, I would check with the organization for their definition.
  • MombotMombot Posts: 940Registered User Member
    My understanding is that dmd77 is correct: Your parents are immigrants; you are first generation.

    The usage makes more sense when you look at it from the perspective of the native country. From Wikipedia:

    "Nisei are people, or a person, of Japanese ancestry and the first generation to be born abroad. Their parents who emigrated are known as Issei, or first generation; subsequent generations are known as sansei and yonsei. These terms are in common use in countries such as Brazil, the United States, and Canada, where there are significant communities of Japanese immigrants and their descendants."

    You are the first generation in your parent's family to be born abroad from their native country, so you are first generation.
  • CluelessClueless Posts: 164Registered User Junior Member
    "Nisei are people, or a person, of Japanese ancestry and the first generation to be born abroad. Their parents who emigrated are known as Issei, or first generation"

    If this is correct, then you are second generation. Your parents would be Issei (first generation) and you, Nisei (second generation)
  • MombotMombot Posts: 940Registered User Member
    No, the quote says first generation TO BE BORN ABROAD. Nowhere does it say Nisei = second generation.
  • mimk6mimk6 Posts: 4,118Registered User Senior Member
    Well, my entire life, I've called myself first generation. My parents came here as young adults. I was the first generation born here. Now maybe if they had come as babies it would feel different, but they were definitely immigrants. No one has ever corrected me when I have stated I was first generation. I've never heard someone who immigrated here referred to as first generation.
  • snoopyiscoolsnoopyiscool Posts: 18,082Registered User Senior Member
    You are first generation.
  • 99cents99cents Posts: 1,088Registered User Member
    Not according to AdOfficer. If your parents graduated from college in another country, you are NOT considered first generation as far as college admission process is concerned.
  • dg5052dg5052 Posts: 777Registered User Member
    You are a first generation American, since you were the first generation of your family born in this country.
  • dmd77dmd77 Posts: 7,749Registered User Senior Member
    Ah, first-generation college-educated is NOT the same thing as first-generation American.

    First-generation college-educated has two possible meanings: first generation to get a college diploma OR first generation to attend college at all. FGCE (I'm lazy) is often used as a demographic marker.

    In my case, for example, I am fifth-generation college-educated (both sides), 2nd-generation American on my mother's side (my college-educated grandfather and college-educated grandmother married and came to America), and 8-generation American on my father's side.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,652Registered User Senior Member
    I always considered first generation American as the first children born to parents who immigrated (who were born citizens of a different country). Now as far as college educated, I never considered nationality, i.e., my grandparents were educated in the universities in Europe, my parents (both first generation having both been born on US soil) were educated in American universities, therefore I'm third generation college graduate but second generation American.
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