Engaging in undergraduate research abroad will help you to develop your analytical skills while building experience and a professional network to assist you with your long-term career planning goals. This is a great experience for any student, but especially for those with an interest in graduate school.
Here are a few suggestions for identifying international research experiences:
Connect with Penn State faculty
Some faculty may have international research programs that you could get involved with as an undergraduate. For example, the Center for Language Science offers students the opportunity to participate in research at Penn State and then travel to one of their international partner sites to work on a specific project through their PIRE (Partnership for International Research and Education) program.
If you’re serious about gaining international research experience, then consider applying to EuroScholars through Penn State’s Ed Abroad Office. EuroScholars is a consortium of 12 research institutions throughout Europe with faculty who are interested in incorporating American undergraduate students into their research projects on a full-time basis. Search the projects database for research related to your academic field of study, then apply to the specific project when submitting your materials. If accepted, you will be conducting research on a full-time basis for a full semester.
Target study abroad programs at research-intensive institutions
A number of study abroad programs, especially those that are exchanges with institutions abroad, give you the chance to be integrated into your host institution. While you’re deciding between study abroad programs, take the time to visit the host institution’s web site to see if there are faculty members whose research is of interest to you. Reach out to them to let them know you hope to study at their institution and inquire about research opportunities. Don’t wait until you get to the host institution — by then, all of the research assistant positions may be filled! Visit the Global Programs website to start your search.