Everything you need to know about the International Student Guest Program.
Watch recent international students talk about their experiences with Penn classes and the city of Philadelphia.
Trouble viewing the video? You can watch it on YouTube.
The International Guest Student Handbook (PDF) includes information on:
- Immigration matters
- Academic life
- Healthcare and medical insurance
- Preparing for Philadelphia and Penn
- Resources at Penn
Penn International Student and Scholar Services
Penn’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office provides core services to international students, visiting scholars, faculty and academic departments at the University of Pennsylvania. The ISSS staff provides advice, information and referrals on matters such as immigration, employment and overseas travel. They can also assist with problems related to social and personal adjustments to a new culture, as well as practical matters related to living in Philadelphia.
Penn offers ample academic support to its students, both for everyday academics and English language learners. Read more about the academic support available at:
International Guest students have a wide variety of housing options. On-campus dormitory-style housing is most popular, but students can also choose to live off-campus in private apartments or homestays (living with a US family).
- On-campus housing at Penn provides a living-learning environment designed to enhance students’ academic and social lives at Penn. A variety of room types and locations are available, and rent includes furnishings, utilities, internet, 24-hour security and coinless laundry.
- Off-Campus Services provides detailed information on area hotels, hostels, regular and corporate apartments and other off-campus housing options. The website also explains legal requirements and advice on negotiating rentals and leases.
- International House is considered off-campus housing and is organized into suites that consist of 10 single rooms and a common lounge, providing a friendly living experience for more than 350 American and international students. All utilities are included and rooms are furnished. Lower rates are available for long-term leases. Residents must be full-time students, scholars, interns or professional trainees.
- Homestay allows students to experience American culture in the warmth, variety and spontaneity of an American home while having frequent, relaxed opportunities to practice English conversation.
International student leadership activities
International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) is composed of undergraduate and graduate international students, who meet with Penn administrators to discuss their experiences on campus and ideas for enhancing ongoing efforts to create a climate on campus conducive to international educational exchange.
Intercultural Leadership Program (ILP) is composed of new international and domestic students in undergraduate and graduate programs working to foster an intercultural community of leaders who are ready to take on issues they are passionate about, learn more about communities different than their own and make a lasting impact at Penn and beyond.