Everything you need to know about the International Student Guest Program.
The International Guest Student Handbook (PDF) includes information on:
- Immigration matters
- Preparing for Philadelphia and Penn
- Arrival in Philadelphia
- Academic life
- Healthcare and medical insurance
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 students may work on campus for up to 20 hours per week, in libraries, department offices, the housing office, recreation facilities and more. Learn more at the Penn Global Student Employment Options website.
Health and safety
Penn offers 24-hour campus security and escort services, as well as trained residential counselors. Read more about Penn’s outstanding health care facilities:
International Guest students have a wide variety of housing options. On-campus “dormitory” style housing is possible, but it is common for students to choose nearby apartments or homestay (living with a U.S. family).
- 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 House is organized into suites that consist of 10 single rooms and a common lounge, provides 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.
- The Stratum amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, game room theatre with large screen TV and video game consoles, tanning salon, business center, housekeeping service and bistro-style dining.
- Off-Campus Living Office 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 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, undergraduate and graduate students 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.