How can I prepare my application before I meet with my Global Programs Manager?

While you will not have access to your online application until you have met with your Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager, there are still some things you can do to prepare your application.

  • If you have not already done so, watch the Penn Abroad 101
  • Do your research.
    • Read about your program on the Penn Abroad website and on the program website.
    • Talk to past participants and/or exchange students from your program.
    • After gathering all of your information, prepare the questions that you have for your Global Programs Manager.
  • Some program applications will require 1-2 faculty recommendations and/or a language recommendation. Identify 1-2 faculty members and have a conversation with them about your interests and motivations to study abroad, in the event your program will require a recommendation.  
  • You can also get started on your application essays.  Here are the instructions:

Compose three short essays in response to the prompts below, making sure to address the sub-questions within each one. As a guideline, responses should be 250 to 500 words per essay.

  • Studying abroad can be a particularly rewarding experience, challenging students to go outside of their comfort zones and develop independence and resilience. Please reflect on the two scenarios below and then select ONE question to answer.

    1) Despite having identified several courses that fulfill your requirements while abroad ahead of time, enrolling in courses is proving to be a challenge due to scheduling conflicts. You will need to select at least one, possibly two, alternatives by the end of the add/drop period which extends for one more week. How will you go about resolving this time-sensitive academic matter?

    2) You've been living with your homestay family for a few weeks now and have some concerns about your current living arrangement, namely: the internet hasn't worked for the last few days, your roommate insists on speaking with you in English despite having signed a language pledge, and your host mom has been serving you meals which contain chicken even though you indicated you're a vegetarian. In addition, you think you might be experiencing some homesickness since you've noticed you've been feeling a little down and frustrated with the many cultural differences you've been navigating these past few weeks. What steps would you take to address these concerns?
  • Study abroad requires background knowledge about a country. Identify a current issue in the country that you are applying to study in, and explain the debates surrounding it. Consider what you have learned in your Penn courses, media sources from that country, as well as perspectives from people you know who have lived or studied in that country.
  • As a study abroad student, you will be a temporary visitor in your host site. Discuss how this as well as other aspects of your identity (national, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, religious, political or other) might influence your study abroad experience. Be specific in reference to the country you are applying to study in. What other non-academic challenges might you confront and how will you address them?

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