Penn Abroad will offer seven programs recently approved for credit in fall 2023 as study abroad sessions for the semester continue.
These new partnerships — with the Ibero-American University of Mexico, CASA-Santiago, CIEE Cape Town, CET São Paulo, Paris School of Business, Stockholm School of Economics, and the University of Queensland — have been added over the past two years, some immediately before and several during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few students have had the opportunity to apply to these programs, and several of the programs will run for the first time this spring, according to Penn Abroad administrators.
The first step to study abroad is to go to the Penn Abroad office for a group advising session, which goes over the “nuts and bolts” of studying abroad, Deputy Director of Penn Abroad Kristyn Palmiotto said. These sessions will be held every Tuesday at 12 p.m. and Friday at 3 p.m., and students are required to register beforehand.
Applicants will then have the option to attend an additional region- or discipline-specific session, she said. Previously, students were required to attend a region-specific session first.
“Our Semester Abroad programs are not fully back to where they were pre-pandemic, but we did expect this. With each semester, we’re increasing our numbers, and we expect to be back to where we were within a few years,” Palmiotto said. “We’ve seen [COVID-19 restrictions] lessening, but we’re also aware that winter is on the horizon, and things may change,” she added.
The newest partnership with the Ibero-American University in Mexico City was approved this past February for Wharton and College credit.
“Students will live with host families, so this is a good program for students who want to practice their Spanish,” said Greta Kazenski, a senior global programs manager at Penn Abroad.
Students have yet to travel through this partnership, except for two students who petitioned to study independently at the university, according to Kazenski — who added that she hopes to get some applicants for the fall semester. She added that the CASA-Santiago program in Chile was introduced right before the pandemic for College credit, and the first student will be traveling this spring.
“Chile just lifted a ton of COVID restrictions. There are no negative tests or masks required anymore,” said Kazenski, who had the opportunity to visit the program this October.
Kazenski recommended the program for “outdoorsy, adventurous students.”
“The location is the best of both worlds, surrounded by white-capped mountains and only an hour away from the beach,” she said.
Four of the programs were approved exclusively for Wharton credit. The Paris School of Business and Stockholm School of Economics programs were added to Penn Abroad during the pandemic, but no students have attended yet.
“There was a demand to be more centrally located in Paris,” said Erin Feeney, who is a global programs manager at Penn Abroad. Feeney recommended both programs to students who are taking a language course or have an interest in the local culture.
The CET São Paulo program in Brazil was added in October 2019. Students can take direct-enroll in classes at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, which is one of the “best business schools in the world,” according to Kazenski.
“FGV is in a bustling part of the city, so you’re right there in the middle of everything,” she said.
The CIEE Cape Town program — which has been offered for over a decade — was approved in 2021 for Wharton credit, according to Michael Griego, a senior global programs manager.
“It’s the only program on the African continent approved for Wharton credit, so that provides a great global perspective,” Griego said.
According to Griego, the CIEE Cape Town program stands out because it is an English-speaking program at the No. 1 university in Africa, and it is in a metropolitan global city.
“The program used to be very popular among College students, and we haven’t had any students pursue Wharton credit yet,” he said.
The University of Queensland Nursing program, which was previously offered in the spring and only to juniors, has been moved to the fall and approved for both third- and fourth-year Nursing students.
“Students will do their community health placement, which is a clinical rotation they would normally do in Philadelphia, but with the lens of the Australian health care system,” said Kazenski.
Participants will take a class focused on Aboriginal people, which will allow them to apply their clinical practice to a native population, she said.
Kazenski recommended that students interested in studying abroad come in with an open mind and “go with the flow.”
“In general, for a semester abroad, students have to be independent and a little bit adventurous,” said Kazenski.
Feeney added that stepping away from Penn helps students gain soft skills and cultural experiences.
“If you want to spend a semester abroad, do it. You’re not going to regret it,” Griego said.