Two of the major strengths of Penn--its long tradition of interdisciplinary teaching and research, and its growing internationalization--converge in four outstanding programs that have been designated National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education. For part of their support, they compete for funding under Title VI of the U.S. Higher Education Authorization Act. The Provost's Conference on International Education and Research (pages 4-6 of this issue) devoted a whole session to these programs and their future as Congress scrutinizes anew its support of higher education.

The Lauder Institute

A joint venture between Penn's School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School, the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies was founded in 1984 and has graduated over 500 students. Through in-depth language and culture study combined with managerial training, the Lauder Institute uniquely prepares American managers to function effectively in a global environment.

South Asia

Penn is host to the largest South Asia Regional Studies program in the nation. The program includes research studies in religion, politics, and violence in South Asia. Currently 30 faculty members and 100 graduate students are involved in the program, with approximately 500- 600 students taking courses taught by the South Asia faculty each year. The program's outreach component distributes materials to elementary and secondary schools statewide. The projects and research with which the program is affiliated include: exploring U.S. relations with India, researching mortality and health issues in Bangladesh, and estimating the purchasing power of various forms of currency.


In a consortial effort with Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, Penn's African Studies Program has compiled the largest source of Internet data bases on African studies in the U.S. The African Studies World Wide Web distributes information internationally to schools, libraries, businesses and to the U.S. government, and locally to the Philadelphia public school system, receiving over 100,000 requests each month for its multiple types of information. In addition, the Program teaches courses in the Swahili, Yoruba, Hausa, and Amharic languages. Penn is also one of only a few schools nationwide offering language instruction "on demand." While there is often insufficient interest to conduct classes in the lesser known languages, a student is able to request individual instruction at the Penn Language Center in any one of more than 15 African languages. The Program is working on a new initiative to send engineering undergraduates to African countries to study developing infrastructures.The African Studies Program currently enrolls 100 graduate and 700-800 undergraduate students.

The Middle East

Providing information to the public during the Gulf War is but one of the major roles played by the Middle East Center. Classified as one of only 13 National Resource Centers for the Middle East, the Center plays a key role in the production and dissemination of expert knowledge about the region. The Center provides crucial support for the teaching of Middle Eastern languages and the training of graduate students for future work in government, business, law and academia. On a day-to-day basis the Center is an important source of information to the media and the public, and offers rich and dependable resources and training to elementary and high school educators. The Center is a member of several overseas research institutes, including units in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, and Pakistan, and sends students to intensive language programs in Cairo, Amman, Fez, and Istanbul. Penn is unique in offering a joint Hebrew-Arabic program and a joint-degree in Middle East studies and law. Currently the Center is doing extensive studies of water use in the Middle East, research critical to the forging of peace agreements among nations in that region.

Study Abroad: The University administers some 150 study abroad programs for academic credit. The opportunites are worldwide, including programs based on affiliations with universities in other countries for the direct enrollment of qualified students; reciprocal exchange programs; membership in consortia or bilateral affiliations with other U.S. universities or non-profit educational organizations to give Penn students access to outstanding study abroad programs; access to programs of sound academic quality that are not affiliated with Penn; and Penn- designed and managed programs in Mexico, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

For further information about semester and academic year options, phone Penn Abroad at 898-9073; concerning summer opportunities, phone Penn Summer Abroad at 898-5738.