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University of Pennsylvania ENG EXC
Philadelphia PA, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Semester 1,
Semester 2,
Year (Sem 1 & Sem 2),
Year (Sem 2 & Sem 1)
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Program Details: - unrelated header
Program Details:
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Minimum Mark:
65%; Credit
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Agreement Scope:
Engineering and Information Technologies
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Program Type:
Exchange Semester/Year
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Anticipated Places:
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2019 Ranking:
Program Description:
Program Description:


University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Year Established: 1740
Student population: 24,800 (4,600 international students)
University ranking: 16
A private, Ivy League comprehensive teaching and research university, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is renowned for its teaching, world-class faculty and quality students. It was established by Benjamin Franklin and boasts a number of world firsts, including the first collegiate business school, Wharton, and the first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer, ENIAC.

Penn’s history is closely bound with that of the United States and it boasts several historic landmarks, including the country’s first student union and first double decker college football stadium. It’s rich with tradition, including the famous Locust Walk, the statue of Franklin on a bench, and its Quakers team. Penn is a research powerhouse, with 165 research centres and institutes on campus, but it’s also known for its civic engagement.
Unique characteristics
Penn Engineering is a pioneer in interdisciplinary education and research. It has world a renowned faculty, state of the art facilities and technological innovation.

Just 145 km from New York City, Philadelphia boasts historic colonial buildings, wide streets and open public spaces as well as great food, music and arts scenes. It was once the second largest city in the British Empire, after London, and the country’s capital at the start of the Revolutionary War. Penn’s campus offers beautiful green recreational spaces and it’s unique among Ivy League universities for having all of its schools located on a single campus.

United States - University of Pennsylvania - building

Academic Information

Course Catalogue 
Information about units of study at the host university

Subject Area/s: Engineering

Exclusions apply

Teaching Periods: Semesters/Terms
Term 1: August - December
Term 2: January - May

Credit (Full-Time Load/Semester)

University of Sydney

Host University


4-5 credit units

The above full-time load is indicative only.
Applications for academic credit are assessed by the relevant University of Sydney faculty/department based on: study load, contact hours, assessment requirements and level of study.

Grading System
The university uses letter grades from A+ through F, based on a 4-point scale

Transcripts Issued by Partner
Transcripts will be available at the end of your exchange period


Language of Instruction
Classes at the host university are taught in English


What is the host city like?
Find out more information about the host city

Housing options are offered by the host university

Cost of Living
Use this guide to estimate living expenses associated with studying overseas

Students are required to obtain health insurance valid during their exchange

Useful Information

For Exchange/International Students
Specific information for exchange students provided by the host university

Semester/Term Dates
Access the University's calendar

A new student orientation is held before the start of semester

Support Services 
Penn Abroad can provide assistance to exchange students

Information from the host university
Information from the Embassy of The United States in Australia

Student Experiences

Fergus Dye
Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Project Management, Semester 1, 2014
Host City Highlights
Downtown Philadelphia seems like a bit of effort when you are enjoying American college campus life, but there is another whole side to the city that you don't see from a 10 block square in western Philly - so definitely visit downtown.
Uni Life
Students were heavily involved with on-campus co-curricular activities like clubs and societies, much more so than USYD. The social scene was again, heavily focused on or near campus, with little interaction with other people in the city. I got to know the local students honestly through meeting the few who ran the incoming exchange students workshops, and then meeting their friends. Otherwise I met locals at events near and on campus.
Similar contact hours and format to USYD, but much smaller classes, like the full lecture breaks down into only two tutorial classes. Weekly assessments and an exam at the end (usually worth around 40%) on average.
Philadelphia Cheesesteaks and food trucks are a must try.
UPenn will put you on campus if you want, but getting on craigslist and finding a cheap apartment to share is probably worth the effort. Otherwise, the accommodation they will organise for you is totally acceptable, especially if you are coming to UPenn by yourself and not with a friend from USYD.
Money Matters
I brought plenty, but the 4 months in semester cost around $12k. It is very difficult to work while studying because of visa restrictions, and at only $10/hr at best, not worth it. Save while in Australia.
Getting Around
Philadelphia has a subway which costs around $2/ride. It works well.
After semester had finished I and some other Australians bought a car outright and drove 18,000km across the continent and halfway back. If you want to travel for longer than 6 weeks, this is absolutely how to do it. Otherwise buses are ridiculously cheap, with operators like Megabus. For instance, I know one Australian who got (very) lucky and only paid $1 to get a bus from New Orleans to Houston!
Top Tips
People at UPenn are firstly very very driven, and secondly very smart. Try and keep up and you'll come back to USYD at the top of your game. The different regions of the US are like totally different countries, try and visit them all, not just the north-east.

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