What is a Penn Abroad Exchange?
The University of Pennsylvania partners with many international institutions to offer undergraduate semester or year exchange opportunities to students. Exchange students spend one semester (September-December or January-May) or one year (September-May) enrolled in one of the four undergraduate schools:
A list of institutions that have undergraduate exchange partnerships with Penn can be found below.
Don’t see your institution on this list?
- Contact your institution’s study abroad office to determine your options.
- You may be able to study at Penn through the International Guest Student Program.
- Founded by Benjamin Franklin in the 1740s, the University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Ivy League, and internationally renowned for undergraduate-level teaching, research programs, as well as its graduate and professional schools.
- Penn is one of the most competitive universities in the United States.
- Penn has a diverse student body of approximately 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
- Penn is a cosmopolitan university set in the urban setting of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Exchanges are linked to one or more of the four Penn undergraduate schools. Students are expected to take the majority of their courses in the school of their exchange. If you are unsure, ask your study abroad coordinator.
- College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
- The Wharton School
- School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
- School of Nursing
Exchange students must enroll in a minimum of four credit units (four courses) per semester in order to maintain full-time status at Penn. Course descriptions can be reviewed in the Penn Course Register. Some courses will have prerequisites.
Exchange students at Penn receive support for their well-being and academics for the duration of their stay.
- An Academic Advisor from your undergraduate school will assist with course selection, registration, and other academic matters.
- A Penn Abroad Program Manager will assist with cultural and adjustment issues, serve as a liaison to your home institution, and provide support throughout the term.
Exchange Student Programming
- Each semester begins with an orientation program to acquaint students to Penn and Philadelphia.
- Throughout the semester, events are planned to introduce students to the culture of the United States.
- Opportunities, such as exchange student and Penn student mixers, are available for exchange students to meet and mingle with their Penn peers and hopefully, make lasting connections.
- There are also opportunities for students to introduce their own culture to domestic students by volunteering at the Study Abroad Fair, serving as International Speakers at Penn Museum, and engaging with the local community.
Life at Penn
The University of Pennsylvania offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities for students and exchange students are encouraged to get involved in one or two on-campus activities to complement their studies in the US. In addition to the general activities offered on-campus to all students, Penn Abroad and International Student & Scholar Services provides special activities for international and exchange students throughout the year.
Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States, is a major cultural center and the heart of a metropolitan area with a population of more than five million people. In its older sections, visitors will find monuments and streets from the era of colonial America. Many of its neighborhoods, including its walkable, easily explored downtown, are just minutes from the University of Pennsylvania by bus, subway or bicycle. There are more than 100 significant museums and historical sites in Philadelphia. Students have access to the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra as well as opera, ballet, jazz, contemporary and classical music, and theater. The city hosts teams for major professional sports, and it is famous for its restaurants, which range from some of the top-ranked in the nation to an endless variety of ethnic and neighborhood establishments. The city has attracted immigrants from around the world and has a wide variety of ethnic communities. The region also has one of the highest concentrations of colleges and universities in the country, making it a vibrant place to spend a semester or year as an exchange student.
Academic Year and Fall – March 1
Spring – September 20
All exchange students who are not US citizens are required to have a student visa for their studies in the United States. Information and assistance in applying for the visa will be provided to all accepted exchange students.