Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs
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Welcome to Penn Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs

With over 25,000 alumni living outside the United States, the University of Pennsylvania truly has a global presence in just about any community in the world.  Moreover, Penn Alumni can be found leading organizations of every type all over the globe ranging from large corporations, to government offices, and small local associations.  Penn alumni are using their education and experience to make a difference in their home country and beyond.  Penn’s alumni pride also can be found around the world as exhibited by the many volunteer leaders who work diligently to serve Penn as alumni interviewers, club leaders, and local ambassadors.

In Penn’s diverse community of engaged citizens, Penn’s Regional Clubs include over 120 clubs around the world offering alumni the chance to reconnect, to attend lively events and to get involved in collaborative initiatives that impact people and communities.  Club activities range in size and topics, from discussions featuring Penn Integrates Knowledge faculty members at Engaging Minds programs to intimate salon-style conversations, from celebratory happy hours to Penn sports viewing parties and from community and neighborhood service projects to group trips in the great outdoors. Penn Alumni Regional Clubs are charged with providing alumni with a variety of ways to connect to Penn from their own backyard.  Events are sponsored and organized in large part by Penn Alumni volunteers and leaders.

For a listing of current Penn Clubs and School specific clubs around the world, please visit the Alumni and Alumni Club section of the Global Activity Map

Alumni Making a Global Impact

  • Name:  Brian Gelzhiser

    Country:  Norway

    Current Global Engagement: I graduated from of Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) in 2005, where I studied a mix of philosophy, urban studies, and art theory. Following this I completed a Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, UK, and have since worked in IT. I am now living and working in Oslo, Norway with a defense company. My interactions with our customer have reshaped my understanding of national defense issues to include a broader and more nuanced perspective.

    Being in Norway, I have tried to take advantage of Norway’s natural beauty, including conquering northern Europe’s tallest mountain Galdhøpiggen and doing a snow mobile trek across central Svalbard.

    Since 2010, I have also served in the Penn Alumni Interview Program, and am currently the Chairman of the Norway committee. This year we saw a huge spike in the level of applications from Norway, as a result of our commitment to spreading the word about Penn throughout Scandinavia.  I can’t think of a better way to spend some of my free time then to share my experiences with perspective students, and being the eyes and ears of Penn Admissions abroad!

Q & A

  1. What book would you recommend to others?
    • “The Conquest of Everest: Original Photographs from the Legendary First Ascent”, by George Lowe , and Huw Lewis-Jones.

  2. What is your fondest memory of Penn?
    • Being a native Philadelphian, I can remember going to Penn Relays from the time I was a high school student. There is nothing better than seeing thousands people from all over country compete together in America’s oldest and largest track and field competition! 

  3. What is the one thing that all visitors in your city must do, or see?
    • All visitors must see Oslo’s natural beauty. The best way to appreciate this is by sea or high up on top of the Holmenkollen ski jump.

  4. Looking back, what advice would you now want to give to yourself while you were at Penn?
    • I would tell myself: “The harder you work at making and maintaining relationships, the more you will get out of life.”

  5. What have you done or are doing now that you believe have the most impact?
    • I have been extremely fortunate to have had numerous opportunities to study, travel, and work throughout the world, and have met many people with inspiring stories. Through this I have learned that to have impact on others, you must first let others impact you. Encourage others to share their stories with you, digest what they have told you, and then reciprocate to them how these stories have impacted you! 

  6. Who inspires you?

    • I am inspired by people who see possibilities where others do not.  I regularly look through the Ted Talks website, and have been recently inspired by Diana Nyad’s talk “Never, ever give up”. 

  • Global Activity Map
  • Global Activity Map
  • An interactive map that showcases global opportunities for students, global activities of faculty, and the global reach of our alumni.

Penn Alumni Travel

Penn Alumni Travel offers a wide variety of tours to destinations around the world. Trips provide a rich travel experience thanks to their educational character, unique access to special lectures with Penn faculty, and the camaraderie of like-minded intellectually curious travelers. To find out more, please visit the Penn Alumni Travel site.