Learning abroad offers a unique opportunity to be immersed in another culture, develop language competency and have an adventure of a lifetime. Penn students study abroad for a semester, an academic year, or a summer. The Penn community is far-reaching with many global connections. While pursuing intellectual and personal passions in a new setting, students grow and find new ways to contribute to the Penn community and beyond.
If you’re interested in learning abroad, you must be accepted into an application process. As we lead the Ivy League in the percentage of students who study abroad, we’re also careful not to over-extend our students. We want as many students to have an international experience as possible, but we also want students to demonstrate to Penn Abroad and to the university that they have the academic and emotional capacity to truly thrive in a foreign setting.
Penn provides one-of-a-kind opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to take two- to six-week courses from Penn faculty, for Penn credit, in a wide range of locations around the world. Imagine studying in Spain, China, Argentina, France, South Africa, England, South Korea, France, or Italy.
Penn's Global Network: Study Abroad Opportunities
Study abroad programs are available throughout all of Penn’s 12 schools and include specialized learning for specific areas of study.
South Asia Studies Abroad
Designed for busy Penn students who want to go to overseas but don't have time to spend a whole semester or summer, C.U. in India and Southeast Asia is a hybrid, domestic/overseas course series that provides the opportunity to have an applied learning and cultural experience abroad, while earning two credit units per course.
Each year-long, two credit unit course features weekly 1.5-hour class meetings at Penn in the fall term, a faculty-led, 12-day trip to India and/or Southeast Asia during the winter break to visit key sites and conduct original research, and weekly 1.5-hour class meetings at Penn in the spring term. A research paper is due at the end of the spring term. The program is sponsored by the South Asia Center and the South Asia Studies Department.
Wharton International Program
Beginning freshman year, Wharton students can apply for an 8 to 10-day Wharton International Program (WIP) half-credit course. The program offers Wharton undergraduate students an amazing global opportunity featuring business site visits, lectures, cultural excursions, and networking opportunities with undergraduate students and business contacts from the destination countries.
Three courses are offered each year: one during spring break and two in May after finals. Previous WIP trips have gone to Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, India, France, Costa Rica, Argentina, and China. In addition to programs close to campus, Wharton Leadership Ventures (WLV) offers 7 and 10-day expeditionary ventures in challenging environments like Iceland or Peru. Students engage in hands-on experiences for exploring and mastering the capabilities for effective individual and team leadership and also participate in social impact projects that deepen their knowledge about the region and the local community.
Penn Engineering offers several ways for students to learn overseas from traditional semester experiences to specialized technical-focused experiences. Its Service Learning program offers students an opportunity to serve a community while learning abroad. Penn Engineers Without Borders, for example, is a student-run non-profit organization that promotes human development through access to technology. The Global BioMedical Service Program sends students to China to learn techniques for building prosthetics and to work directly with amputees.
School of Nursing
Nursing students have the opportunity to spend a semester at partner nursing institutions in nations such as Australia, England, or Israel. The School of Nursing offers short-term, intensive, faculty-led courses including Comparative Health Systems, Community Health, and Maternal and Infant Care in the Americas. Students travel to places such as Botswana, the Central American highlands, Hong Kong, India, and Thailand.
Penn Global Seminar
The Penn Global Seminar is a full semester-long course combined with overseas travel that helps deepen and contextualize what you’ve learned. Most Global Seminars will have fewer than 20 students, so you feel fully engaged and invested in what you’re learning.
Individual faculty members or school administrators have designed and run these programs for decades, often taking students to regions of the world that may traditionally be considered for study abroad. Global Seminars students have travelled to China, South Africa, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, Italy, Uganda, and India, to name just a few destinations.
Global Internship Program
Penn’s Global Internship Program (GIP) provides opportunities for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to intern or conduct research abroad for eight to twelve weeks over the summer. Apply your academic knowledge, while enriching your overall Penn experience with diverse cultural and international exposure and valuable work experience.
Through GIP, you spend 8-12 weeks of your summer abroad interning or conducting research at one of the program’s pre-approved placements. Internships can be found in every continent (except Antarctica) and in every career industry.
Every student that’s placed in a GIP internship or research placements will receive a scholarship to help offset their internship-related expenses. These scholarships, funded by Penn, can be used to offset your flight, visa expenses, housing, food, and more. GIP has nearly 200 scholarships to help make the program possible for all students.