Study Abroad

Undergraduate Programs

Study abroad provides the best means for an undergraduate to develop an international perspective. As the chart on study abroad enrollment trends shows, there has been a significant increase over the past twelve years in the number of Penn undergraduates who study abroad. The drop occurring in the 1990-91 academic year most likely was the result of the Persian Gulf war; the relatively modest recovery seen in 1991-92 probably reflects a combination of financial constraints in many American households and a continued poor exchange rate for the U.S. dollar.

In addition to thirteen summer programs abroad for academic credit (in Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Nigeria, Poland, Spain and Ukraine), Penn currently offers semester and academic year study abroad options in sixteen different countries. The vast majority of Penn students who study abroad choose programs located in Western Europe; in the 1991-92 academic year, almost 25 percent went to programs in the United Kingdom, followed by 20 percent in France, and 11 percent in Italy. Penn-sponsored study abroad programs include:

Belgium: Leuven
A new European Culture and Society program is now available at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The curriculum is particularly relevant to students seeking course credits in the humanities and social sciences. Program courses are taught in English and Penn students are fully integrated with students from Leuven and other European universities participating in the ERASMUS inter-university student exchange.

China (PRC): Nanjing; Beijing
Programs at Beijing University and Nanjing University, which are administered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), provide an opportunity for students with a background in Chinese to enhance their language skills and knowledge of the culture. Linguistically advanced students may attend regular classes in certain departments.

China (ROC): Taichung, Taiwan
This program, which is conducted through the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, admits students having at least two years of Mandarin Chinese to the Tunghai University Chinese Language Center, located on the outskirts of the city of Taichung. Qualified students may take one course from the regular university curriculum in several departments.

Czechoslovakia: Prague
This program, newly available through the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, features a range of both social science and humanities courses, as well as elementary and intermediate Czech language instruction.

France: Lyon
Penn's Romance Languages Department sponsors a program at the Centre International d'Etudes Francaises of the Universite Lumiere Lyon II to help students progress rapidly to a very high level of functional competence in spoken and written French. A special marketing course is offered at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Lyon for students in the Wharton School; and an independent study focusing on health care in France has been developed for Nursing School students under the auspices of the Institut de Formation aux Carrieres de Sante.

France: Compiegne
Penn offers an exchange program with the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne for students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Instruction is in French and participants usually combine courses in their individual fields with elective courses in French language and culture.

France: Paris
Penn students have the option of studying for a semester or year at Columbia University's Reid Hall in Paris. The program includes courses taught in French in Reid Hall as well as regular university courses taught at the Universite de Paris VII (Jussieu), the Universite de Paris X (Nanterre), and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. Special programs are available in art history and in film studies. Penn students can also participate in the yearlong Critical Studies Program at the Universite de Paris III. Coursework in this program focuses on the critical analysis of literature, painting, film, photography, theater, and video. Design of the Environment and Urban Studies majors are able to participate, with departmental approval, in The Shape of Two Cities: New York and Paris Program, administered by Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Germany: Munich
Penn students of German are able to spend their junior year in Munich, through an agreement with Wayne State University. Students initially attend special language and culture courses in preparation for the German academic year starting in November. Many students then enroll in regular courses at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat.

Greece: Chania, Crete
Starting in January 1993, Penn students may participate in the ITHAKA Collegiate Semester in Greece. This program engages a small community of fifteen students and nine faculty tutors in an interdisciplinary curriculum consisting of five courses designed to give a diachronic introduction to Greek culture: modern Greek language, ancient Greek history and culture, cultural anthropology, modern Greek politics and culture, and modern Greek poetry.

Italy: Bologna
In conjunction with six other U.S. universities, Penn offers a yearlong program at the Universita degli Studi di Bologna. Students attend a six-week intensive program in language and culture prior to registering for regular university courses, generally in the arts and humanities and in the social sciences.

Italy: Rome
Penn is a member of a consortium that sponsors the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome for undergraduate majors in classics, classical history or archaeology, or art history majors with strong classical interests and background.

Italy: Milan
The Wharton School Undergraduate Division has introduced on an experimental basis a small-scale exchange program with the Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan. Wharton undergraduates will typically take an intensive, pre-session Italian language course, plus four courses conducted in Italian on economics or business administration. The exchange program is also open to College of Arts and Sciences students.

Japan: Tokyo
Penn students may study abroad for a full academic year at the International Christian University in Mitaka, a suburb of Tokyo. Courses are available in a wide variety of fields in English as well as in Japanese. An affiliation with Sophia University, begun in the fall of 1992, allows Penn students to study Japanese language and culture, Asian and international affairs, and many subjects in the humanities and social sciences. All courses except for languages are conducted in English. A yearlong exchange program at Hitotsubashi University provides an additional opportunity for Penn students with advanced fluency in Japanese and who major in business or a social science. Instruction is entirely in Japanese.

Japan: Kanazawa
Undergraduate Japanese majors with exceptional background and ability may be nominated by a faculty advisor to spend the academic year at Kanazawa University. Instruction is entirely in Japanese.

Japan: Kyoto
Penn has just joined the consortium for Stanford University's Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies.

Korea: Seoul
A recently established exchange program gives Penn undergraduates the opportunity to take courses in English in the International Undergraduate Division of Yonsei University. Students with language proficiency may also take selected regular university courses in Korean.

Mexico: Oaxaca
A recently established program at the Instituto Cultural in Oaxaca offers options both for students who would like to study second year college-level Spanish intensively and for advanced or fluent Spanish speakers interested in pursuing in-depth study of topics related to Latin America. (see sidebar)

Nigeria: Ibadan
A comprehensive exchange agreement enables Penn students to spend either a semester or a year at the University of Ibadan. Instruction is in English. The program exists primarily to serve students who are interested in gaining a unique in situ perspective on traditional and contemporary West African culture and society.

Russia: Moscow and St. Petersburg
Penn maintains an affiliation with the American Council of Teachers of Russian that enables students who have completed at least three years of college-level Russian to spend a semester in Russia. The program places qualified students at a number of different sites in Moscow and St. Petersburg, all under the general supervision of an American resident director.

Spain: Madrid
Undergraduates in any major field who wish to perfect their Spanish language skills and immerse themselves in the culture of the Iberian peninsula may apply through Penn to the New York University in Madrid program. The program offers special courses in Spanish language, literature, history, politics, and art taught by Spanish university professors at the Instituto Internacional.

Sri Lanka: Kandy
Penn's recently inaugurated affiliation with the Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education consortium provides an opportunity for undergraduates interested in observing and experiencing firsthand issues of economic and social development in a former colonial country. A range of courses in subject areas including Sinhalese language and cultural history, religion, economics, literature, and women's studies are offered by faculty of the University of Peradeniya.

United Kingdom: London, England
Penn offers a variety of program options for students wishing to study at the University of London. English majors are urged to take advantage of a special arrangement with the Department of English Language and Literature of King's College; a number of other programs of study are available there to undergraduates in other fields. Other London options for majors in many fields are available at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, Queen Mary and Westfield College, Royal Holloway College and University College.

United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Scotland
An annual exchange of academically distinguished undergraduates between Penn and the University of Edinburgh is open to students in all majors in the College, as well as to students in Wharton, SEAS, and Nursing. Students enroll in regular Edinburgh courses and normally concentrate in their major fields.

In the 1991-92 academic year, 46 percent of Penn undergraduates who studied abroad participated in one of the Penn-sponsored programs; the remaining 54 percent attended some 70 different universities or program centers in 23 countries. In order to promote international educational opportunities while responding to concerns about educational value and academic quality, a number of efforts are ongoing to expand the range of Penn-sponsored study abroad options.

Faculty groups are also exploring additional undergraduate program possibilities in England, Germany, Israel, Italy and Senegal.

Graduate Programs

A range of informal opportunities are available to Penn graduate students to study abroad. In addition, several schools offer programs in which study abroad is a part of the curriculum. Among these formalized options are international rotations for students in Medicine and Dental Medicine. Students in the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies spend two summers abroad, attending language and culture programs in the first summer and working on internships during the second. Another international option is offered by the Graduate School of Fine Arts through an Energy Management and Policy Program that incorporates study at the Institut Francais du Petrole/Energie in Paris. Students in this program study eight months in Paris and eight months at Penn, and have the option to take summer courses in Puebla, Mexico.

Recently, a number of initiatives have been aimed at developing opportunities for more graduate and professional students to become involved in international educational and research activities:

To index for Penn's International Dimensions.


January 12, 1993
Volume 39 Number 17

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