Steps to Study Abroad

We are so glad that you are interested in studying or interning abroad! This page outlines the steps you should follow to choose and apply to an education abroad program.

Meet with a Peer Adviser

Peer advisers are education abroad returnees who have enjoyed their experiences so much that they now work to advise other students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each peer adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad.

Choosing a Program/Study Experience

There are many ways to gain international experience while in college including for-credit academic study abroad, internships abroad, and service-learning opportunities. Learn about the different study abroad program options available to you as a Penn State student. 

Program Search

Connect With an Education Abroad Adviser

Education abroad advisers are your guide through the process of applying to and participating in an education abroad program. Each adviser manages a portfolio of programs and can help you through the whole experience, from program selection to returning from abroad and re-integrating back into life on campus. Our advisers are available to meet with all students, regardless of campus location. We offer in-person and Zoom advising appointments.


Academic quality is an important component of any Education Abroad program, and students should select a program that will enrich their collegiate studies. The Education Abroad office encourages students to work closely with both their academic adviser and Education Abroad adviser before, during, and after studying abroad to ensure all academic matters are handled properly.

Costs and Funding

With proper planning and a commitment to exploring funding resources, studying abroad can be affordable for any budget. There are many factors that influence choice in location and program; one important factor is cost.

Application Process

Students who have completed the Steps to Study Abroad and are ready to open a Penn State application for their selected education abroad program, must follow the instructions and process outlined on this page. All students are required to submit an online application through the online Penn State application portal by the appropriate deadline for the term they are applying to (see "Application Timeline" on this page). To assist students with the process, we have detailed application instructions and an explanation of how to request an electronic academic recommendation.

Education Abroad Policies

Penn State Education Abroad strives for excellence in academic and cultural programming and transparency of processes and policies. In keeping with our commitment to The Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, we publish policies and guidelines so that students, their families, and their program leaders can review expectations and policies at any stage of their education abroad path.

I'm Approved...What's Next?

Congratulations on your approval for your study abroad program! Your time abroad will be a challenging and rewarding experience academically and personally. However, before you step on the plane and travel to your host country, there are several tasks that will require your attention.

Travel Logistics

There are many considerations students must contemplate before traveling abroad for a study abroad program. Understanding passports, visas, and international travel tips, will help you make the most out of your experience abroad. 

Life Abroad

A key step in preparing to study abroad is to consider how your background, identity, physical traits, and beliefs might be received in another cultural context. Every country, including the United States, may have people that are biased or judgmental. Ensure a smooth transition and adjustment to life in your host country by learning about your host culture(s) in advance, what to expect, and consider how to navigate unfamiliar and potentially uncomfortable interactions. 

Incoming Exchange Students

Welcome, prospective exchange students, to Penn State University! Penn State is a public institution with national ranking in scholarship, research, and athletics. We are excited you are considering us for an international exchange! 

Health and Safety for EA Students