International Education Week

International Education Week is November 12-16.  According to the U.S. Department of State’s website, it’s “an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.”

Growing up, my mom told me stories about the time she spent studying in Switzerland while she was in college.  From that time on, I wanted to study abroad.  I was really excited when I finally got to Saint Petersburg, Russia during my junior year of college.  I’ve also taught in Belgium and France. My experiences overseas have shaped who I am today, and I’ve always been excited to work with students who are looking to experience a different educational system, both American students looking to go overseas and international students looking to come to the U.S.

For all students out there (including international), it’s never too early to start thinking about a study abroad experience.  The earlier you mention it to your academic adviser and start to plan, the easier it is to work a study abroad experience into your time here at Penn State.  We have all kinds of options, with programs on six of the seven continents (nothing on Antarctica yet!), so there’s something for everyone.  We have programs that range in length from short term (7-10 days) to a whole academic year.  There are programs in English and in other languages.  Traditional destinations like London, Paris and Rome are great, but we also have programs in more unusual destinations like Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai.  Check out the Office of Global Program’s website to see the steps to studying abroad through Penn State!  Where do you see yourself studying?

Some of you who are reading this blog post may be international students looking to come study at Penn State for a complete undergraduate degree.  As international students, why are YOU interested in coming to the U.S.?  What excites you most about studying in another country?

I bet that you have a lot of different reasons for considering Penn State.  No matter what your reason is though, we’re glad that Penn State is on your list.  We’re an institution that is internationally renowned for education, international and otherwise.  We have many programs ranked in the top 10 in their fields, including anthropology, astronomy and astrophysics, communication sciences and disorders, environmental engineering,  and supply chain management and logistics.  With millions of dollars in research money awarded each year to Penn State, research opportunities for undergraduate students abound.

While you’re here taking advantage of those research opportunities, you can connect to the Penn State community by participating in one or more of the university’s 1200+ clubs and organizations. THON (Penn State’s Dance Marathon) is one of the most popular. It’s the world’s largest student-run philanthropic organization and raised more than $10 million dollars for pediatric cancer research last year.

We hope that you’ll love Penn State as much as we do, but eventually, it will be time for you to graduate.  When it comes time to look for an internship or a job, we have a great Career Services center that will help you in your search. The staff there are great at working with our Alumni Association, the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world! With more than 8,800 alumni living outside the U.S., we have connections that span the globe.  Your Penn State education will set you up for success, regardless of where you live after graduation.

During this international education week, we hope that you’ll take the time to apply to Penn State and consider studying abroad. We look forward to having YOU as a part of our global alumni network in a few years!


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