Pre-Departure Orientation Process

Now that you have committed to your study abroad program it is time to begin preparing for your experience overseas. All students studying abroad through Penn State are required to complete an orientation process that covers a variety of topics intended to prepare you for your time abroad. The orientation process begins with completing a mandatory online orientation course. Students will also be invited to participate in several orientation workshops the semester prior to study.

Mandatory Online Pre-Departure Course

All Penn State students must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation course. This course will become available to you in Canvas prior to your program departure. You will have approximately a month to complete the course and pass the quiz with at least an 80%.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Pre-departure preparation and logistics
  • Academics Abroad
  • Billing and Money Matters
  • Health and Safety
  • Region Specific Information
  • Return From Abroad

Failure to complete the course will result in withdrawal from your program. 

Optional Workshops

The Penn State Education Abroad office invites students to a conference-style set of workshops offered in person on the University Park campus.  Some aspects of this conference may be streamed for students not at University Park.

The "WE ARE…Going Abroad Conference" for spring 2020 students will be held on:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
4:00 – 8:00 pm
Kunkle Lounge, Sackett Building

The conference will offer attendees an opportunity to:

  • Meet others on your program
  • Network with study abroad alumni
  • Information for success abroad
  • Dinner will be provided

Register by October 14.


Additional Orientations

Some programs may have additional orientation session specific to their programs depending on program type, location, and duration. Students should keep an eye out for emails from their adviser, or faculty leaders about additional sessions.

Most students will also receive an orientation upon arrival in their host country. Attendance at the on-site orientation is often mandatory.