Study Abroad

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As a liberal arts student, we know you’re interested in the world around you. We also know that global experience will be important for you as you transition from student to professional and enter a global marketplace. 

Studying abroad can help you:

  • Expand your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare you to work in an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Broaden your academic horizons  and globalize your world view

How to get started

In the College of the Liberal Arts, we believe that global experiences can play an integral role in your personal and career development. The Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network is available to support you in your pursuit of a global experience- including providing guidance related to program options, applications, and funding opportunities. Be sure to review Education Abroad's Steps to Study Abroad and then set up an appointment with a staff member from the Career Enrichment Network. 

Schedule an appointment with the Career Enrichment Network through your Nittany Lion Careers account to discuss study abroad opportunities. 

Step 1: Think about your education abroad objective

Before you begin considering the hundreds of study abroad opportunities available to you, it is important to first consider your goals & preferences for your experience. Reflecting on your preferences for program length, location, and academic focus can help you narrow down your choices so you can research programs in more detail.

Step 2: Research education abroad program options

Learn about all of the programs, locations and unique opportunities available to you.

  • Semester Programs: Learn about the hundreds of opportunities to pursue a semester-long program through a study center or direct exchange on the Penn State Education Abroad: Program Search website.
  • Summer Faculty-Led Programs: Liberal Arts faculty members offer a variety of study abroad programs during the summer semester; search for the on the Penn State Education Abroad: Program Search website by clicking on “Faculty Led Programs” in the top right corner. 
  • Short-Term Embedded Courses: Embedded courses are Penn State courses taken on campus or online that include a short-term international travel component, typically during Spring Break or Maymester. Learn about embedded courses offered through the College of the Liberal Arts by visiting the LA Embedded Courses website or setting up an appointment with the Career Enrichment Network.  

Step 3: Meet with the appropriate resources

One of the great things about education abroad through Penn State is that there are many people available to help you with the planning. Learn about the different staff members who can provide you with support and the different roles they play in this process.

  • Career Enrichment Network: The Career Enrichment Network staff can serve as a valuable initial resource to discuss your interest in study abroad and to learn about program options available through the College, the application process, and funding opportunities. 
  • Academic Advisers: Make sure to speak with your academic adviser about your plans for education abroad and the courses you would like to take abroad. It is especially important to understand how those courses may apply towards your degree requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Education Abroad Course Planning Tool prior to meeting with their academic adviser in order to prepare effectively for the discussion.
  • Education Abroad Advisers/Peer Advisers: Students are encouraged to meet with Education Abroad Peer Advisers early on to learn about program options and the education abroad process from other Penn State students who have studied abroad. If you have questions about a specific program, or if you are trying to make a decision between two programs, the Education Abroad Adviser responsible for those programs will be a great resource.

Step 4: Apply to your selected program

Applications for academic year, fall, and spring programs are due quite far in advance, so be sure to review the Education Abroad Application Deadlines. Also consider who you will ask to provide your recommendation for the program and make sure you meet the specific program requirements.

Step 5: Think about how to finance your Education abroad experience

Education abroad comes with its own set of costs, but there are many options available to help you pay for them:

  • Costs and Funding: Review the Penn State Education Abroad: Costs and Funding website about the costs of education abroad and opportunities to apply for need and merit-based grants and scholarships to help fund your experience. 
  • Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds:  Liberal Arts students are fortunate to have opportunities to apply for financial support due to the generosity of Liberal Arts alumni. Once accepted to an education abroad program, you can apply for Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds. Your application will be forwarded to your academic department, in the event they can provide any additional support.
  • Schreyer Travel Ambassador Grant: Schreyer students should submit applications for the Schreyer Travel Ambassador Grant
  • University Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring (URFM) Office: URFM is a great resource for students who are interested in learning about fellowship opportunities that support international experiences or graduate study.
  • Student Aid: Finally, if you receive financial aid during the regular academic year, then your aid should apply to the costs of your Penn State-approved study abroad program. Check in with the Penn State Office of Student Aid for questions about how your financial aid may apply to education abroad.


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