Why Go Abroad?

As you consider how to make the most of your time at Penn, we encourage you to take the leap and go abroad. It is important to consider the possible benefits and ways in which the experience will shape your future career, academic potential, and personal development. The benefits below can be seen as a guide when you are setting your personal and academic goals and as you explore program options.

The Benefits of Going Abroad

Advance Your Career Potential
Aside from direct experience in the workforce through internships abroad, study abroad, and other kinds of global experiences have been shown to give students an edge in the job market. Employers understand the importance of global competence and cross-cultural skills, but also recognize how spending time abroad develops other qualities such as problem-solving and communication skills.

Further Reading: Career Impact Information from the Institute of International Education

Grow Academically
Within different program types, you have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, take unique courses, and/or improve language learning in an immersive environment. Using academic skills and learning within a different context also pushes you and allows for a deeper understanding of previously gained knowledge. Studies have shown that students who go abroad have a higher GPA than others who stayed on campus.

Further reading: Impact of Going Abroad Research Through NAFSA

Go abroad while you have the support, funding and network of Penn. Going abroad for a week, summer or semester, might seem intimidating, but you'll have the resources of Penn to support and help you.
Rebecca Composto, CAS'18

Challenge Yourself and Develop a Clearer Sense of Self
Students frequently report significant personal growth from their experience abroad. Challenging yourself to live, study, work, travel and/or adapt to a new environment can allow you to develop in ways you did not expect. Students who have a global experience tend to see growth in:

  • Independence

  • Flexibility

  • Adaptability

  • Persistence

  • Confidence

  • Resilience

  • Patience

  • Interpersonal Skills

Further Reading: Study on the Impact of Living Abroad and Personal Growth

Why Not?

Penn Abroad strives to ensure that every Penn student who wants an international experience can have one.

Some of the common reasons students think they cannot go abroad are:

  • Concerns about staying on track academically

  • Affordability and other financial concerns

If you consider any of these reasons to be an obstacle, meet with an advisor to discuss programs, policies, and finding the right opportunity for you.