Penn encourages language study and living arrangements that maximize your contact with the local culture.  What does this mean for you when you study abroad on a Penn Abroad program?

  • Live like a local!  You should pursue living arrangements that deepen your engagement with the culture. This may mean living with a host family, in a university residence hall, or a flat shared with local university students. When given a choice, we encourage students to avoid living together with other Penn students or in groups with other US students.
  • Develop language competency! Studying another language abroad enables you to become competent in that language, to enhance your experience of daily life, to develop social relationships, and to follow formal coursework in that language.  Many students find that a language immersive experience abroad is what they need to take their skills to the next level.
  • Challenge yourself!  Why study abroad to duplicate your on-campus experience?  Immersion challenges students in ways that are hard to imagine in advance. Although you will still have access to many Penn support services and resources, you will generally work with the local university/program representatives for day-to-day issues and adhere to the host institution’s policies, procedures, and attitudes. You’ll also get to take advantage of opportunities available to your fellow students such as student clubs, sports, and community engagement.   In short, you will experience life, as much as possible, as local students do.