Penn Summer COVID-19 Update
Penn Summer staff are not onsite, but we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.
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Penn Summer Abroad Admitted Student Resources

Because of COVID-19, the expanded travel restrictions aimed at containing the virus, and the general uncertainty regarding timelines for the lifting of travel restrictions, the School of Arts and Sciences suspended all Penn Summer Abroad programs during the summer of 2020. A decision regarding 2021 abroad programs should be available in January 2021.
PSA Admitted Student Resources

If you have been admitted to a Penn Summer Abroad program, this section provides you with information about the forms and processes you need to complete and submit.

Committing to your program

If you are accepted into a Penn Summer Abroad program, you have two weeks from the date of your decision letter to commit to your program. To do so, please log into your application and click the “commit” button. Once you have committed to the program, you are required to submit a $500 non-refundable deposit to Penn Summer Abroad, and you will be subject to all withdrawal policies, which can be found in the Penn Summer Abroad Student Handbook below. Your commitment is not complete until your deposit is received. Deposit checks should be made out to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”

  • If you are unable to commit within the two-week timeline, your acceptance remains active, but your spot in the program is not held. Should you decide that you wish to participate in the program after the two-week window, please contact the Penn Summer Abroad office ( to inquire if there is still program capacity. If there is availability in the program, you may then log in to your application and click the “commit” button. Upon committal to the program, you are required to submit a $500 non-refundable deposit and are subject to all deadlines and withdrawal policies and fees.

  • If you are awaiting a decision regarding the William A. Levi Travel Fellowship before committing, please contact us via email at We will hold your spot until the fellowship recipients are announced. If you receive and accept a fellowship, that will be considered your deposit and program commitment. If you do not receive a fellowship, you may maintain your committed status by submitting your $500 deposit. You also have the option of having your status returned to accepted or withdrawing completely.

  • If you are placed on a waitlist due to a program's reaching capacity, Penn Summer Abroad will notify you of any changes to your status if space becomes available.

  • If you do not intend to commit to your program, please log back into your application and click the “decline” button. Doing so will officially withdraw your application.

For more on withdrawal policies and fees, pre-departure information, academic policies, and health and safety while living abroad, download and review the Penn Summer Abroad Student Handbook (PDF).

Travel preparations checklist (PDF): This is a general list of things to consider and the tasks you need to complete before the start of your program. For any country-specific questions, please contact your program director or refer to the Penn Summer Abroad Student Handbook above.

Post-decision forms

After you have committed to your program, you will be asked to submit several post-decision forms. All general Penn Summer Abroad documents will be submitted through Passport. Upon committal to a program, you will also receive an invitation to your program’s Canvas page. There you will find required program-specific pre-departure forms, requirements, and communications.

All students participating in Penn Summer Abroad are required to submit/complete the following before course registration:

  • Penn Summer Abroad Health Disclosure Form
  • Program Agreement and Limits of Liability Waiver
  • Penn Summer Abroad Signature Documents: Review and sign off on any signature documents found in Passport.
  • Copy of your passport: Upload a clear copy of the first two pages (with your picture, personal information, and signature) as a .PDF or .JPG file to Passport. Please ensure that all numbers and text are visible in your scan.
  • Program-specific forms: Some programs may require additional forms. These may include but are not limited to vendor-specific forms for homestay/housing preferences, additional health information, and additional contracts/waivers. These forms can be found on your program-specific Canvas site.

Refer to your acceptance letter for the deadline of when the forms must be submitted to Penn Summer Abroad.

Complete after course registration, confirming air ticket—no later than two weeks prior to departure.

  • MyTrips: After completing the above requirements, Penn Summer Abroad will register you for courses and add you to Penn’s International Travel Registry MyTrips. You will receive an email notification to create your profile. Penn uses MyTrips to facilitate assistance in case of emergency. Please create your profile in MyTrips to ensure the University is aware of your location abroad should an emergency arise. 

Registration in MyTrips will activate your International SOS insurance.

Visiting students

During the period of the program, visiting students are considered Penn students. You are advised to become familiar with Penn policies as they do apply to you during this period.

After submitting your statement of committal, you receive a letter from the Office of the University Registrar with instructions and a setup code to create your username or PennKey. A PennKey is required to participate fully in the Summer Abroad program. Your PennKey also provides you with access to your Penn email account, protected electronic resources—including your student account and grades—and Penn's library resources. Once you have a PennKey, enter your contact information, specifically an email address, into the Penn Directory to receive all necessary communications. For more information about setting up your account, visit the New Students page on the College of Liberal and Professional Studies website.

Travel information

The following information will help you as you're planning your travels abroad:

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program. If you do not already have a passport or need to renew it, we strongly recommend that you begin the process immediately. Passport application forms and instructions can be obtained at the US Post Office or the US Department of State website.

Unless noted, Penn Summer Abroad does not organize international travel to your program's location. Some programs may advise arrival at a certain airport within a certain time window (see the individual program calendar).

We suggest that you contact fellow students through your program’s Canvas page who are likely to travel from the same airport, as you may be able to travel together. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance that provides coverage for lost baggage or unforeseen events that may require rescheduling your ticket.

Penn Summer Abroad does not cover airfare costs for any program changes or cancellations.

  • Domestic students: The majority of the Penn Summer Abroad locations do not require US citizens to have visas for their short-term stay. If your program does require a visa or other entry documents, the Penn Summer Abroad office provides you with instructions on what you need to complete to obtain the necessary paperwork via your program’s Canvas site.
  • Penn students who are non-US citizens: You must notify the Office of International Students and Scholars of your plans to study abroad. Paperwork from this office must be completed for re-entry into the US following your Penn Summer Abroad program.
  • International students: Non-US citizens may have different visa requirements. If you are not a US citizen, you should check on your visa requirements with the consulate of the country where you declare your citizenship. Additionally, you should check the necessary entry documents with the consulate(s) of the country where you plan to study.
    • If you are a non-US citizen and a visiting student from another US university or college, you need to notify your school's equivalent of International Student and Scholar Services to inform them of your travels.
    • If you are considering traveling to other countries on the way to or from your Penn Summer Abroad location, you must check on the visa requirements for each country in which you plan to visit. 
  • US permanent residents: You must bring your green card with you when you travel abroad. It is required to re-enter the US. Additionally, you should check with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services concerning any additional regulations for your re-entry into the US.
  • All students: For assistance determining if you will need a visa or other entry documents, you may access Penn’s dedicated Center for International Business and Travel (CIBT) website. Choose the “students” option, and follow the prompts to determine if you require a visa for your travel. Students are responsible for all costs associated with obtaining visa and entry documents.

The following sites are helpful resources for information on required or recommended vaccines and immunizations for travel abroad.


Each Penn Summer Abroad program holds mandatory pre-departure orientations on Penn's campus in the spring. There is also a mandatory on-site orientation upon your arrival in the host country.

The on-campus orientation provides essential information about the course and the program in general. Visiting and international students unable to attend the pre-departure session are issued printed materials from the workshops. If you have difficulty understanding these materials, you are expected to contact the program director for clarification.