Develop or Renew a Faculty-Led Embedded Program

A faculty-led embedded program is a short-term education abroad experience that is offered as a component or supplement to an academic course taught in residence on a Penn State campus or online.  The international component is typically scheduled during a semester break or early summer, and it generally lasts 7-14 days.

A faculty-led embedded program can enhance the international offerings within a particular academic department, can support internationalization strategic goals of a college, and can allow for a student to gain valuable education abroad experience within the academic structure of a Penn State course.  The faculty leader assumes a great deal of responsibility for the development, proposal, implementation, and execution of the course - including the academic content, travel logistics, international site visits and activities, budgeting and payments, and health and safety of program participants.  This may seem like an overwhelming list of responsibilities, but there are a number of support resources to help the faculty leader throughout the entire process.  Please visit the embedded program development and resources page for additional information.

In order to minimize institutional risk and to ensure compliance with University Policy FN20, Global Programs requires faculty and departments (graduate and undergraduate) organizing and/or sponsoring embedded programs to submit course information and essential documentation to Education Abroad via the online embedded course development and proposal process, which is outlined for review.

Commonwealth Campuses Group Travel Grant Information

The Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Penn State Global have established a fund to support Commonwealth Campus student group international travel that is part of a faculty-led embedded course and preferably part of a campus-wide internationalization initiative. 

Eligibility & Application Evaluation Criteria

This is a competitive grant process with limited funding for each application cycle through the generous support of the Office of the Vice Provost for Commonwealth Campuses and Penn State Global.  Eligibility to submit an application is as follows:

  • The international travel must be credit-bearing as a part of a faculty-led embedded course(s); i.e. residential course(s) with an international travel component.
  • The course must be proposed through the regular process for embedded program development.
  • The course and travel component should be open to a wide group of students.

Grant applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The proposed travel promotes global citizenship and has the potential to transform the participating students' educational experience and the campus at large
  • The travel is open to a broad spectrum of students (i.e., various majors, minors)
  • The extent to which the host location is utilized to complement and enhance the academic coursework and student learning objectives of the course(s)
  • The budget for students is feasible, responsible, and cost-efficient
  • Priority consideration for funding may be given to courses or funding proposals that have not received this funding in the previous two academic years
  • The campus shows commitment to a full or partial match of the grant amount or other notable financial support
  • Preference may be given for courses related to a campus-wide thematic initiative or strategic priority of the campus

Award Amount

  • Grants will range from $2,000-$4,000.
  • There will be approximately four to eight awards available each academic year.
  • The campus must match the grant to the highest extent possible; a dollar-for-dollar match is preferred, but not necessary.
  • The grant and matching funds should be utilized to reduce the cost to students participating in the travel component of the embedded course.

Application Requirements and Submission Link

  • Complete and submit the online grant application, which includes uploading the following:
    • Course syllabus
    • Detailed travel schedule and itinerary
    • Per-student budget
    • Letter of support written and signed by the Chancellor or Designee confirming the campus' commitment to a full or partial financial match


In order to allow for effective budgeting and accurate marketing of program cost to students, faculty and staff should adhere to the following application deadlines.

Note that the dates listed represent the final deadline; based on date of travel, faculty can apply up to one application cycle earlier than is dictated by the stated deadlines.  Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on the following dates:

  • February 15 by 5:00 p.m. (EST) for travel during the summer, fall semester, or winter break (December-January) of the same calendar year.
  • September 15 by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) for travel during the spring semester (January-May). Winter break courses (with travel December-January) can also apply for the September deadline, but note that the deadline of February 15 is considered the priority deadline for winter break programs.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted through the following business day at 5:00 p.m. 

Award Notification

Whenever possible, applicants will be notified of the application outcome within one month of grant application submission.  In some circumstances, a decision may need to be deferred to a later date due to budget limitations, academic considerations, or other recommendations by the review committee.

Information for Recipients

  • A standing committee appointed by the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and the Vice Provost for Global will review applications and make recommendations for the award winners. The final decision will be made by the Vice Provost for Global or their designee.
  • Funds will be transferred to the campus finance officer approximately two weeks after award notification. Receiving campuses should contact their finance officers to access funds.
  • Travel to countries with United States State Department Travel Warnings must be in compliance with Penn State's travel policies. The award of a travel grant does not replace any requirements pursuant to those travel policies.
  • Contact Penn State Global (Education Abroad customized programs staff) if the travel component must be postponed or canceled.

Review Committee

For questions about the grant application, deadlines, or processes, please contact our Education Abroad customized programs staff.

Members of the review committee include:

  • Todd Migliaccio, Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean, Penn State Berks
  • JR Ryoo, Chancellor, Penn State DuBois
  • Kate Manni, Director of Education Abroad, Penn State Global; Chair
  • Sarah Spiegel, Education Abroad Customized Programs Manager, Penn State Global