Study Abroad

Our society is linked by global economies, markets, cultures, political structures and religions, so employers value global competency. Regardless of your ultimate career, traveling and studying abroad can help you develop the global awareness that positions you for success.

Whether you choose PennWest California’s B.A. in International Studies program or another major, you’ll find that study abroad is a memorable – and valuable – experience unlike any other. You’ll gain confidence in your ability to identify and understand issues within cultures around the world. And you’ll see firsthand how a global perspective changes your understanding of business, economics, politics, science and many other fields.  Studying away is an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and find your identity in the world – all while earning credits towards graduation.

PennWest California can help you identify the study abroad program that fits your budget, academic discipline and personal interests. Options include short-term programs (a week or two), summer experiences (several weeks), or a traditional semester or academic year abroad.

The office of International Programming and Study Away can assist you in exploring these programs. Enhance your PennWest California education with an international learning experience! Whether you volunteer, accept an internship or study abroad, you are sure to come home with memories that will last a lifetime.

Why should you study abroad?

There are many benefits to international learning. Your study abroad experience will:

  • Expand your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Prepare you to work in an increasingly diverse and international workplace.
  • Broaden your academic horizons.
  • Globalize your world view.
  • Improve your foreign language skills.

Skills developed through an international learning experience have the potential to change your life -- and your career options. In today's increasingly interdependent world, both employers and graduate schools may look favorably on a candidate with significant cross-cultural experience.

There is much to be gained from understanding the history and traditions of cultures outside your own. Studying abroad is one very exciting way to meet new people, discover new approaches and build your professional skills.

 Student Experiences

Reiliy McGlumphy portrait.

Reilly McGlumphy '20 - Italy


Read more

Julia Darminio in Prague

Julia Darminio '19 - Czech Republic



Cynthia Obiekezie portrait.

Cynthia Obiekezie '20 - England and Paris



students in Germany.

Michael Pellegrini '19 - Germany and Switzerland



 International Learning Providers


International learning providers offer a wide variety of opportunities for students to study abroad. The Office of International Programming and Study Away can help you explore these opportunities and understand how to make an international learning experience part of your PennWest California education.

To explore programs, visit's searchable, Star Verified and ++Verified program listings and speak with the Office of International Programming and Study Away about how you can make your program choice work for you.'s listings do not include all available international learning programs. Refer to for further information, including legal information and terms of use.

Note that any provider listed by or any other study abroad listing resource is an independent, third-party organization with no direct affiliation with PennWest California. You must apply to the program you select, and there is no guarantee that your application will be successful.

Faculty-Led Programs

PennWest California and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faculty members regularly lead short-term trips abroad for one or more weeks, especially in the summer. These trips typically are affordable and provide an introductory-level experience to travel and study abroad. PennWest California’s faculty-led programs are generally geared to a specific academic major, although some trips are open to all students regardless of their field of study.

Madagascar Field School



  • Centre ValBio Research Station - Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar


  • PennWest California - California, PA
  • Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments - Stony Brook, NY and Antananarivo, Madagascar


During this five week trip, students will live alongside scientist and scholars in Ranomafana National Park as they explore the unique ecology and biodiversity of a tropical rainforest and gain hands-on experience in the research techniques used by professional field biologists and natural resource managers. Classes will take place in a combination of settings, from traditional classrooms to the heart of the rainforest and in traditional Malagasy villages. The program will include a cross-country trek to explore Madagascar's famed the spiny desert and coral reefs, and conclude with the completion if an original research project examining the impact of habitat disturbance on the rainforest. Students will also gain the experience of living within a new cultural environment and meet grass-roots conservation leaders working to preserve both the unique animals and plants of Madagascar and the culture of the people who call the Island home.

Learn more about the program.

Honors Summer Program


Since 1985, the State System has provided Honors students from the fourteen state universities with the opportunity to study abroad through the Summer Honors Program. Each student's scholarship covers the cost of 6 academic credits, travel and room and board at the host university and abroad. The application process is competitive; students must complete a written application and be in good standing within their respective Honors Program to be considered for the summer program. They are selected based on academic achievement, service to the Honors Program and the university and their interest in the program of study.

International Studies (B.A)

Today's world is connected in ways that were unimaginable just a generation ago. Global economies, markets, cultures, political structures and religions link all nations and all cultures. The B. A. in International Studies degree program prepares you to participate in, and contribute to, a fast-paced, ever-changing world.

For any career, a degree in international studies at PennWest California will help you develop global awareness and readiness for success and encourage your continued intellectual growth. PennWest California's bachelor's degree in international studies also strives to enhance your skills in critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, so you can move ahead as a fully skilled professional in the global community.

International Studies B.A

Scholarships for International Learning

A number of international learning providers offer the opportunity to apply for scholarships. In addition, a variety of organizations and institutions provide scholarships and grants for study abroad from the United States. Many provide assistance that is targeted to specific student populations (underrepresented student groups, students of limited financial means, students with disabilities, etc.). Students interested in international learning scholarship information should search for opportunities online. They also may discover information through these resources.

Scholarships for International Learning

NAFSA Searchable Databases
Provides a listing of web sites featuring searchable databases. 

 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Grant program that enables students of limited Financial means to study or intern abroad


Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan

The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan.

Diversity Abroad Scholarships

Aimed at increasing education opportunities for nontraditional student populations. The Diversity Abroad Network also has an opportunity for a summer scholarship

Fund for Education Abroad


FEA scholarships are intended to meet the financial needs of students who might not be eligible for government grants or existing funds limited to specific programs or groups of students. Scholarships

Provides an extensive list of scholarships available for specific requirements or university programs. Scholarships

Lists scholarships available for certain program types or locations. 

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Awards grants designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. 

BUTEX North American Scholarships

BUTEX awards sixteen scholarships to students studying abroad for either a semester or for a whole academic year.  Eight scholarships are available to North American students studying in the UK. 

Institute of International Education

IIE administers several scholarship programs, including the Freeman-Asia programFulbright,  David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships, and  Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship,

IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants Travel grants are available for U.S. students from a broad range of backgrounds to make it possible for them to participate in academic, internship or service-learning experiences abroad. 

Rotary International Global Grants

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus

Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarships

Scholarships are awarded twice a year to passionate students who want to explore the world.