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Global Culture and Communication Academy

July 10 - July 30, 2022

Applications for 2022 summer programs are now open.

Apply now »


in-person options

Non-credit program

Non-credit program


Eligibility: Current 10th-11th grade students

International students

International students welcome

Financial Aid

Financial aid for select Philadelphia students

The Global Culture and Communication Summer Academy seeks to offer students a foundation for understanding the intricate and complex relationship between language, culture, communicative practices, and the role we play as individuals in the globalized world of today. The course will focus on key ideas to provide a basis for nuanced practices, reflections, and strategies that are associated with 21st-century skills and essential behaviors of a global citizen.

Based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Can-do statements, students will achieve various investigative and interactive objectives by the end of the course:

  • In my own and other cultures, I can explain how stereotypes influence a country’s products or marketing strategies
  • I can share my interpretations of a piece of art of music with someone else while respecting theirs
  • I can respond to a social media post in a culturally appropriate manner
  • In my own and other cultures, I can explain how globalized products impact society and individual lifestyles
  • I can collaborate on an online project to explain misconceptions underlying stereotypes

Through active learning, students will collaborate with their peers in activities that seek to promote nuanced reflection, keen observation, and transformative practices when engaging in intercultural communication.

If you attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school, you may be eligible to attend a Penn Summer Academy free of charge with a Penn Summer Scholarship.

Global Culture and Communication Academy


  • Guest lectures by Penn faculty and Philadelphia-area leaders in language, culture, and business
  • Experiential activities designed to encourage reflection and communication on course topics
  • Experienced language and culture instructor


Betsy Kells

Program Director: Betsy Jane Kells

Betsy’s background is in second language acquisition, and she has taught both Italian as a foreign language at area universities and English as a second language at the English Language Programs at Penn. Betsy is very interested in building community in face-to-face and online classrooms, especially when it allows students to engage in intercultural exchanges and learn from one another. Betsy earned an MA in Italian studies and second language acquisition from Middlebury College, a BA in Italian studies from Temple University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate in from Penn's Graduate School of Education. She is currently the Technology Director at the Penn Language Center where she engages language faculty in digital pedagogy workshops in addition to offering technical support and guidance in course design and delivery.