Students in the College have the opportunity to enrich their academic experience with a number of global opportunities. This can include participating in a semester or year-long study abroad program, enrolling in a Penn Global Seminar, or interning with a company or organization in another country. We encourage students to think about the ways in which these global experiences can have a powerful and lasting impact on their time at Penn and beyond. For example, many students take coursework that integrates into their major, provides them with an opportunity to continue their study of a language, or allows them to learn more about other cultures both in and outside of the classroom.
Depending on their academic interests and goals, some students may need to take language courses or other relevant coursework to prepare for a study abroad experience. A College advisor can review these course requirements and help students determine how courses taken abroad will fit into their academic career.
For information about other global opportunities on campus, please visit Penn Global.
Learning about languages and cultures through an immersive experience abroad can be a valuable component in your Liberal Arts education.
Penn Abroad provides information to undergraduates about semester and year-long study abroad options and administers those study abroad programs. Consult the Penn Abroad webpage for College students for comprehensive information regarding study abroad, including details on the various program offerings, the application process, financial information, and contact information for Penn Abroad Global Program Managers.
Students who have questions about how their courses abroad will fit into their College curriculum or who have other academic-related questions about study abroad can meet with the College advisor that is assigned to their region of interest.
Students who wish to study abroad on a Penn summer program should contact the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Students may choose to study abroad in the summer through a four-year, degree-granting, accredited institution other than Penn. If a student wishes to transfer the credits to their Penn transcript, they must seek course approval from the relevant Penn departments before classes begin. These courses are considered credit away, so each course must be approved through the External Course Approval Tool (XCAT) and the course grades are not calculated into the Penn g.p.a. Students who have questions about this process should contact Rebecca Poyourow in the College Office.
Study Abroad: Step by Step
Following these steps and watching the recommended tutorials will help in selecting a program, planning courses and enjoying your experience abroad.
- Review program brochures on the Penn Abroad website to learn more about program options, course and language prerequisites, and other important information about your region of interest.
- Consult with advisors and faculty in departments relevant to your major, minor, and/or language interests.
- Confer with Penn Abroad Ambassadors, past participants, and exchange students from your region of interest.
- Check for informational sessions on Penn Abroad’s event page.
- Consult with the College study abroad advisor responsible for the program you're investigating.
- Think about who might write your letters of reference, and ask professors early.
- In the semester preceding that of the application deadline, make an appointment with the appropriate Penn Abroad Global Program Manager.
- Arrive to your appointment on time and be prepared to discuss what you have learned about your program options.
- Prepare a list of questions about your program of interest.
- Confirm which study abroad program you plan to apply to so that an application can be opened for you.
- Read all application instructions thoroughly.
- Learn about how to request credit approvals for study abroad courses.
- Research course options offered through your intended study abroad program and submit course approval requests through the External Course Approval Tool (XCAT) for courses you have an interest in taking while abroad.
- Obtain letters of reference. Be sure to give your references at least two- to three-weeks notice.
- Meet with the College study abroad advisor who oversees the study abroad program to which you have applied.
- Request academic approval. The advisor will work with you to determine if the program is a good academic fit. The advisor may recommend that you apply to a more appropriate program.
- Discuss how your course choices fit with your overall academic plan at Penn.
- Make this appointment well in advance of the deadline by emailing the College study abroad advisor who oversees the study abroad program to which you have applied.