Global Initiatives

Welcoming diversity of thought, background, and experience has always guided Penn’s teaching and research, and that mission is more relevant than ever in today’s global society. Penn serves as a welcoming home to thousands of international students, while also supporting students’ academic, research, and professional pursuits abroad, and is always working to build strong connections within the global community.

students studying the galapagos and sitting waterfront

Bringing the World to Penn and Penn to the World

Penn Global is the University’s go-to for all things global. It is comprised of seven divisions.

Penn Global Reporting Divisions

Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives
Housed in the Provost’s Office in College Hall, the Office of Global Initiatives serves as a central point of contact for the Penn Global reporting offices, supporting and coordinating the work of Penn Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, Global Support Services, Perry World House, and the Penn Biden Center. 

Penn Global Finance and Administration
The Penn Global Business Office manages the center’s resources with a focus on fiscal responsibility and sustainability. The Business Office team is responsible for compliance and alignment with the overall goals of Penn Global, as well as providing HR and financial support for the Penn Global departments and affiliates. 

Perry World House
Perry World House is a global policy research center that aims to advance interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the world’s most urgent global affairs challenges. At a time of increasing ideological division and highly politicized of policymaking, PWH draws on the wide range of expertise found across Penn’s 12 Schools, connecting Penn with policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from around the world to develop and advance innovative policy proposals.

Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement
The Penn Biden Center is founded on the principle that a democratic, open, secure, tolerant, and interconnected world benefits all Americans. Based in Washington, D.C., the Penn Biden Center engages more of our fellow citizens in shaping this world, while ensuring the gains of global engagement are widely shared. 

Penn Abroad
Penn Abroad serves as the hub for student global opportunities at Penn. Each year Penn Abroad sends more than 1,000 Penn students to over 50 countries around the world on semester study abroad, summer internships, and embedded Global Seminars. Explore the Penn Abroad website to find information about the many global opportunities available to Penn students.

International Student and Scholar Services
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services aims to provide immigration assistance as well as a sense of community for the international population at Penn. In addition to answering technical questions about immigration, ISSS also offers programs and leadership opportunities for students, such as Forerunner and the Intercultural Leadership Program, to foster meaningful engagement.

Global Support Services
Global Support Services supports the administrative and business functions of the University’s international activities. GSS works closely with the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives to advise and support central organizations, schools, and centers on new and ongoing international activities. GSS also coordinates with other departments that support global operations, which include the Office of Risk Management & Insurance, Comptroller’s office, Human Resources, Office of General Counsel, Audit and Compliance, Public Safety, Treasurer, ISC, Business Services, and FRES.


Penn alumni located abroad


International students study at Penn


Penn students study abroad, on average, on credit-bearing programs annually


Penn faculty work abroad in more than 190 countries and on all seven continents
Featured Story

Passport drive opens up the world to undergrads

Penn Abroad provided fully funded passports to undergraduates who have never held a passport before, with priority given to students who receive financial aid.

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passport application with undergrads