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University of Pennsylvania


Study Abroad at University of Pennsylvania


Facts and Highlights about University of Pennsylvania

>> Ranked #8 in the National University category in the US (2019 US News & World Report)
>> Ranked 12th in the World University Ranking (2019 Times Higher Education World University Ranking)
>> One of the eight Ivy League universities, centrally located in Philadelphia



Image provided by University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private, Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia. Penn was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the scientist and Statesman of the United States. The University is considered the forth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States as well as the first modern university in the United States with his education aim to train young people for leadership in business, government and public service. Penn was also home to many educational innovations. The first School of Medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881) and the first student union – these first organizations were all born at Penn. Penn offers a broad range of academic programs. It is particularly well known for its medical school and dental school which are best schools in the US. Among its professional and graduate schools, the schools of education, economics, history, law, and English are ranked in the top 10 nationally.

There are nearly 25,000 students at Penn. The concept of Elite education which is based on small-size class teaching is still reserved. The student-faculty ratio at University of Pennsylvania is 6:1, and the school has 67.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students (Source: US News & World Report). Up to 74% of the courses are made up of below 20 students. The variety of student organizations contributes to an inclusive and dynamic campus.  As one of the top universities in the world, Penn has very strong academic teams and research institutions, with over 140 research centers and more than 4,300 active faculty members. Penn also has many distinguished alumni in different areas, such as Eugene DuPont, the first President of DuPont; Jon Huntsman, the former US Ambassador to China; Economist Larry Lang, Architect Liang Sicheng.

Penn has four undergraduate schools: The College (College of Arts and Science), School of Engineering and Applied Science, The Wharton School and School of Nursing. The College of Arts and Science is the largest of the undergraduate schools, enrolling 6,000 of the University's 10,000 undergraduates. The College of Arts and Science offers include over 50 majors, signature interdisciplinary programs, and distinguished dual-degree programs. There are many distinctive buildings on this green campus. Campus facilities include distinctive restaurants, supermarkets, movie theatres and gyms. Penn is committed to creating a community of students, scholars and staff that reflects the diversity of the world we live in.

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia which is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States. Philadelphia had played an instrumental role in the America’s War of Independence as a meeting place for the founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia is also the center of economic activities of Pennsylvania and is home to some Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast Corporation, American worldwide health services organization CIGNA, Lincoln Financial Corporation, Sunoco Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, PepBoys etc.



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Features of Study Abroad Program offered by Penn

>> Ivy League, visiting international students have the same access to university and campus resources as Penn degree students.;

>> More than 250 clubs and organizations offer students the opportunity of fully experiencing the atmosphere of the Ivy League;

>> Studying at a top university and immersing in a world class education.  Preparing to apply for graduate study in the US.


Dates and Courses

Based on the study goal of students, level of English and different academic background, two tracks of study abroad programs can be selected: English Language Programs (ELP), and International Guest Student Program (IGSP). All courses are taught by Penn instructors.  Official transcript and attendance certificate will be provided by University of Pennsylvania upon successful completion of the program.

>> English Language Programs(ELP)
The English Language Programs (ELP) offer courses in English as second/foreign language and orientation to life in the United States. Students can improve their English level, understand American society and culture, strengthen the sense of innovation through study with students from all over the world. The University of Pennsylvania established the English Language Programs (ELP) in the early 1960s. Each year, more than 2,000 students from 35 countries study Academic English, Business English, and General English at Penn, among which the Chinese students only accounts for 7-10%. ELP provides small-class teaching that makes sure the teaching quality can be guaranteed, students will frequently interact with their classmates and professors.

Summer Session, 2019
1. The Institute for Academic Studies:June 27-August 16, 2019
The Institute for Academic Studies program offers core courses, elective courses, lectures of senior professors and cultural services. Elective courses introduce students to academic topics in English, such as Communication, Innovation and Technology, Leadership, Marketing, Resiliency, and Sustainability.

2. Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership Program:

July 8th - August 2nd, 2019
This 4-week Entrepreneurship Development Program will include instruction and other academic experiences designed to develop knowledge of leadership styles and techniques, identify entrepreneurial approaches to innovation, sharpen persuasive speaking and writing skills, build confidence for future business endeavors

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the two winter programs must provide TOEFL 57 or IELTS 5.5, or reach intermediate/advanced level of English in the placement test.

Fall Semester, 2019

Intensive Program:August 29-December 13, 2019

The Intensive Program (IP) is divided into Level 100 to 800 from beginner to advanced level. IP assists students in improving their English language proficiency to achieve academic, professional, and personal goals. Students will study for 2 sessions of the program: the first session is from August 29 - October 18, 2019.  Students will be evaluated at the end of the first session.  Students who successfully complete the course at the first session will continue to study and move up to the higher level of Intensive Program at the second session from October 24

Day - December 13, 2019 .  Students who have TOEFL of 70+, IELTS of 6.0+, or students who have  reached Level 700 or 800 at the evaluation will have the option of study Intensive Business Program (BIP) at the second session. The BIP helps students build their awareness, fluency, and accuracy with the language of business. Students improve in business communication skills and preparing for the future workforce.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the two winter programs must provide TOEFL 57 or IELTS 5.5, or reach intermediate/advanced level of English in the placement test.

Housing Options for ELP Students

Housing options during study at Penn include off-campus accommodation and homestay. Off-campus housing at either International House or The Axis provide a friendly living experience for international students. Both buildings are located in safe surroundings and close to campus within walking distance. By living wth US families, students will experience American culture while enjoy friendly environment to practice English communication skills. For details about housing options, please visit


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