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Process and Resources

The study abroad process includes setting goals, researching available education abroad programs, academic issues, and consulting with resource offices to assist you with their individual expertise. Then the application process and planning courses abroad are addressed.

Study Abroad Process

Processes and ResourcesSet Goals

Consider what you want to accomplish during your study abroad.  Common goals include following an avocation like music or art, exploring your heritage, improving language fluency or setting yourself apart from your peers while having an incredible adventure in an exotic locale.

The purpose of study abroad is to ensure students expand their understanding of other people by experiencing a new culture. Therefore, you must choose a country that is not your own country/culture.


Attend Study Abroad 101 to learn about available programs, their eligibility requirements, course choices, program structure, and financial information.  Peer Advisors in 313 Boucke Building will discuss and compare programs abroad.

Consult Resources

An appointment with the Smeal Office of International Programs is recommended during the program selection process to ensure your goals fit well with the chosen program.  As you narrow your choices find out more about program specifics.

Academic Issues

Meet with academic, international, and minor advisers to plan how available courses will fulfill degree requirements. Some departments will give special permission in advance to use one or more classes from abroad for a minor. The Education Abroad Planning Document form can be helpful during these meetings. Smeal major courses must be taken at University Park.  Classes abroad may fulfill:

  • Arts (GA)
  • Humanities (GH)
  • Social and Behavioral Science (GS)
  • Natural Science (GN)
  • Language
  • Electives

You may NOT fulfill your GHA (Health & Physical Activity) general education requirement abroad.

International Internships

Please see the International Internships page for a complete discussion of your options.

International Business Minor

Smeal OIP staff will discuss how I B Minor requirements may be met at PSU and abroad. The education abroad program you attend must be on the list of approved study abroad programs to qualify for the IB Minor. The study abroad portion of the International Business Minor is to ensure students expand their understanding of other people by experiencing a new culture.. For instance, students that attended high school in mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong will need to study abroad in a location other than these places to earn the International Business Minor. Similar considerations may apply to international students from other countries.

Apply to One Program

The online application must be complete before the deadline for your first choice program. This is a competitive process and some programs have more applicants than can be accepted, so carefully consider the second and third choices you include on your application.

Non-PSU Programs

Before deciding to study abroad at a non-PSU program and giving up the International Business Minor, use the Non-PSU Program Checklist page to understand the implications of this choice.


Smeal Office of International Programs

355 Business Building
Schedule an Appointment Online or by calling 814-865-4264

Contact Us

To discuss how your goals fit with available programs, please call to make an appointment to meet with us, either in person or a telephone appointment. We also administer the International Business Minor and can help plan how to fulfill its requirements at PSU and abroad.

University Office of Education Abroad

410 Boucke Building

College/Campus Representatives List

This office manages Penn State's education abroad programs, online application process, eligibility requirements, course choice, program structure and financial information. This is the appropriate place to get information about program specifics and logistics: application details, accommodations, location, campus characteristics, size, program structure, and costs.

Peer advisers are available in 313 Boucke to talk about their education abroad experience M-F 10-4:00, answer questions, share literature and give more detailed information about the program in which they participated. Staff Advisers, assigned by region, are also available to discuss programs and offer advice to narrow or focus your choice. Appointments can be made online.

Smeal Undergraduate Advising Center

202 Business Building

See "Adviser Scheduling"

Smeal students may consult their Adviser about academic and degree requirements relating to study abroad courses, recommendations, course exceptions, financial aid, and course transfer procedures. All students should consult with their Adviser to plan ahead each semester.