Steps to Going Abroad

In the College of the Liberal Arts, we believe that global experiences can play an integral role in your personal and career development. The Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network is available to support you in your pursuit of a global experience—including providing guidance related to program options, applications, and funding opportunities. Be sure to review the steps below and then schedule an appointment with the Career Enrichment Network through your Nittany Lion Careers account to discuss education abroad opportunities.

Participating in global experiences can help you:

  • Expand your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare you to work in an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Broaden your academic horizons and globalize your world view

Follow these steps to prepare for your education abroad experience

Before you begin considering the hundreds of education abroad opportunities available to you, it is important to first consider your goals and preferences for your experience. Reflecting on your preferences for program length, location, and academic focus can help you narrow down your choices so you can research programs in more detail.

Learn about the programs, locations, and unique opportunities available to you.

Penn State Global offers an online Education Abroad 101 module for students planning to participate in a global experience. The module covers:

  • General overview of education abroad opportunities at Penn State
  • How to search for programs
  • How to evaluate cost and financial aid opportunities
  • Next steps in the process

There are many people who can provide guidance as you plan your education abroad experience.

Review the education abroad application deadlines to be sure you submit your application on time. Before applying, consider who you will ask to provide your recommendation for the program, and make sure you meet the specific program requirements.

Education abroad can be expensive, but there are many programs available to help you afford the experience.

  • Costs and Funding: Review the Penn State Education Abroad: Costs and Funding website to learn about education abroad costs as well as opportunities to apply for need- and merit-based grants and scholarships to help fund your experience. 
  • Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds: Thanks to Liberal Arts alumni, enrichment funding is available to help you afford your education abroad experience. Ninety-seven percent of Liberal Arts students who apply for enrichment funding receive it.
  • Schreyer Travel Ambassador Grant: Schreyer students should submit applications for the Schreyer Travel Ambassador Grant
  • Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring (URFM): URFM is a great resource for students who are interested in learning about fellowship opportunities that support international experiences or graduate study.
  • Student Aid: Finally, if you receive financial aid during the regular academic year, then your aid should apply to the costs of your Penn State-approved education abroad program. Check in with the Office of Student Aid for questions about how your financial aid may apply to education abroad.
  • The Student Engagement Network offers grants to students interested in participating in engagement experiences, such as education abroad.
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