Application Process

Students interested in participating in a semester or summer education abroad program must submit an online application through Penn State Education Abroad by the appropriate deadline. Students already accepted into a program wishing to extend for an extra semester are required to submit another application for the new term by the appropriate deadline. For most programs, the entire application process is online, though some programs may require submission of hardcopy documents. To assist students with the process, we have detailed application instructions and an explanation of how to request an electronic recommendation.

Please note: If you are interested in an embedded program, deadlines and instructions listed on this page do not apply to you. Please contact the faculty leader of your program for more information.

Requesting a Recommendation

Most Penn State Education Abroad programs require an electronic recommendation, which you will request electronically through your Penn State Education Abroad application. Recommendations are an important part of the selection process because a recommendation reflects how a member of the academic community perceives your preparedness to study abroad. It is not necessary to request a formal letter. We will not accept hard-copy recommendations.

Recommendation Guidelines

  • Recommendations must be from a Penn State faculty member, instructor, teaching assistant or academic adviser.  If it is a faculty member, instructor or TA completing the recommendation for you, that person must have taught you in a Penn State course.
  • If you are applying to a faculty-led program, you should not request the recommendation from and Penn State faculty member, staff member, or teaching assistant who will be leading the program.
  • Your recommender should know your academic capabilities and your interest in studying abroad.
  • Recommendations cannot be copied across semesters or reused for another application.

Recommendation Instructions

Application procedures can vary by program.  Students should consult the application instructions available within each application.

  • Meet with your recommender to discuss your study abroad plans and to confirm that they will be able to complete your electronic recommendation.
  • Plan ahead! Allow up to four weeks for a recommender to complete the online form.
  • Within your application, select the “Request Electronic Recommendation” link.
  • Enter your recommender's PSU ID (i.e. abc123) and click "search."
  • Select the correct recommender and click “next.”
  • List coursework taken with your recommender, if applicable. If you selected an academic adviser, please indicate that in the text field provided.
  • Once you click “save,” your recommendation request will be sent.
  • Before the application deadline, verify that the recommendation was received by Education Abroad. If it has not been received, send a brief, polite reminder email to your recommender. If you do not receive a response, contact your education abroad adviser.
  • Once the recommendation is complete, send a thank you note to the professor, instructor, or academic adviser who completed the recommendation. Also, if you are ultimately accepted to the program, don’t forget to share the good news!