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January Meeting: Council Coverage
February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20

At the University Council meeting last Wednesday, GAPSA Chair Andrew Rennekamp noted that the Assembly had passed a resolution urging the University to consider the needs of graduate and professional students who are parents, such as on-campus housing for students’ families, access to resources and facilities as well as affordable childcare. See www.gapsa.upenn.edu/meetings/resolutions.

Dr. Anne Waters, executive director of the Office of International Programs (OIP) (Almanac December 9, 2008) then gave an analysis of International Issue concerning international students and scholars here at Penn as well as services to safeguard the Penn community studying or working abroad. She described how the OIP processes US visa applications for international students and scholars; provides support for the international community at Penn and advises Penn students on study abroad options and will be managing summer internship programs.  There will be an online application for these opportunities with international NPOs.

Penn attracts students, faculty and research scholars from across the globe, with the most from China, India, South Korea, Canada and Japan; more than 6,000 came to the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Penn ranks fifth nationally in the percent of international students with 19 percent and 11th in total number of international students with 4,610. The Penn school with the highest percentage of international students is engineering, with 17 percent in its undergraduate program and 46 percent in the graduate program.

OIP and other offices on campus provide a variety of services to Penn’s international community to facilitate safety and legal compliance issues, academic and university support and community life.

Penn Study Abroad supports nearly 600 students in 93 programs in 41 countries, with 60 percent of them in western Europe, primarily the UK, especially in London. The next most popular destination is Australia and east and southeast Asia. Of the 23 percent of Penn juniors who study abroad for a semester or a year, most are enrolled in the College (409), with 105 Wharton students participating, 26 from SEAS and six from Nursing.

In addition to the traditional Study Abroad, Penn now sponsors a range of school-specific international programs.  A new Faculty Advisory Committee on Study Abroad will be launched this spring to determine if the Study Abroad options have kept pace with Penn’s curricular innovations. The Provost’s Office and OIP have started two groups to facilitate planning for international activities and programs: the International Support Coordinating Group and the Penn International Educational Administrators Group.

The Penn community can call upon I-SOS, for assistance while traveling abroad. International SOS is a contractor that can provide emergency evacuation services.

Dr. Sherri Adams, chair of Steering, reminded the Penn community about the upcoming Open Forum, the last of the academic year (click here).

Almanac - February 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 20