Study abroad and study away programs are any academic experience that involves extensive student travel, including both domestic and international. As educators, we recognize that our society is increasingly national and global in nature, and that our students will increasingly be working and living in diverse communities. We feel strongly that part of a university education should provide avenues for students to become more engaged global citizens, and they will increasingly need to be working with others from very different backgrounds.
Study abroad/study away programs provide opportunities for students to be challenged by learning in social and cultural environments very different from those in which they grew up and traditionally study. These programs help students become more reflective of others different from themselves by exposing them to people from different socioeconomic, religious, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds. They also encourage students to learn how to adapt to different environments, work with different types of people, and thereby become more self-aware and self-reflective about their own place in society. Students who take part in study abroad/study away programs consistently report that these programs provide them with powerful, positive life-changing experiences.
Penn State Altoona offers a broad range of study abroad/study away programs to its students. Students have an opportunity to take part in full-year programs, semester programs, summer programs, and short-term programs. Penn State offers programs tailored to a variety of majors as well as more general programs open to the majority of students. The programs are structured in a variety of ways: from exchange programs with sister institutions where a student travels and studies alone, to programs led by Penn State faculty with all of the participants being Penn State students.
Find out what opportunities are available to you on the Education Abroad web site.