Getting Involved: Penn State Dance Marathon

Studying in a foreign country, away from home, definitely has its challenges. And that’s why the best advice we give to our international students is to get involved on campus to help ease their transition.  With over 1,200 clubs and organizations across 20 campuses, big opportunities await you at Penn State.

And it doesn’t get much bigger than joining fellow Penn Staters in the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, Penn State Dance Marathon!  Affectionately known as THON, the excitement builds all year long, until it arrives, this very weekend!

In just a matter of days, the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park will transform in an explosion of color, dancing, and childhood laughter as Penn State students begin a no-sleeping, no-sitting, 46-hour dance marathon in support of families affected by pediatric cancer.  THON raised more than $10 million last year, and our current international students played a big part, with more than 15 international and multicultural student organizations participating as dancers and fund-raisers.  That doesn’t even include our students from around the world who participated through other organizations, or independently.  That is certainly what I would call a global, united effort in the fight against pediatric cancer!

Here are just a few of the many international and multicultural student organizations that are involved in THON this year:

  • African Student Association
  • Caribbean Student Association
  • Chinese Student Scholars Association
  • Dominican Student Association
  • Italian Student Association
  • Korean Undergraduate Student Association
  • Penn State Filipino Association
  • Saudi Arabian Student Association
  • South Asian Student Association

While THON culminates in one big event each year, the fundraising goes year-round, giving students the opportunity to work together throughout the school year raising money, planning events, and working directly with the children and families their hard work helps support. Organizations involved in THON sponsor affected families, hit the streets of Pennsylvania and neighboring states to raise money, and even tour the medical facilities which benefit from the efforts of our students.  It’s one of Penn State’s most popular ways to get involved, with over 15,000 students making a difference every year.

As I mentioned earlier, THON 2013 takes place this coming weekend, February 15-17.  For those of you around the world who want to see the festivities for yourself, look no further!  Go to anytime from this Friday, February 15 at 6:00 PM EST to Sunday, February 17 at 4:00 PM EST to view the live feed.  You can even dance with us anywhere in the world!  Check out, for more details on how you can join us in making history for a great cause this weekend.

If you are in need of inspiration for your own Dance With Us video, check out the contribution from the Undergraduate Admissions Office – we had a great time dancing to support THON! (And, we are quite happy to not have to dance for 46 hours!)

It’s weekends like these that make any Penn Stater proud to say, WE ARE…PENN STATE!

For the Kids,



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