Life at University Park What makes Penn State global?
Each year, Penn State welcomes thousands of international students from around the globe. With over
10,000 students, scholars, and faculty joining the Penn State family from over 140 countries, each person shares
a new perspective, culture, and unique contributions which helps make life at Penn State one-of-a-kind. Wheth-
er we are cheering on the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium, watching performers at the Malaysian Cultural Night,
or dancing our hearts out at THON, we are all Penn Staters and our diversity makes us stronger.
Throughout the year, Global Programs offers programming to allow international and domestic students the
opportunity to get to know one another outside of the classroom setting.
Foundations in Global Engagement (FiGE) is the first phase of programming for first-year
undergraduate, first-year graduate, and new exchange or transfer students who wish to enrich their Penn State
experience by developing multinational relationships. A cohort of international and domestic students participate in a series of events and activities that will become the catalyst for cross-cultural communication and facilitate the process of learning to appreciate similarities and differences in a multinational group. FiGE activities
are purposeful, engaging, and educational. It is the first phase of programming for students who are interested
in building a network of relationships and developing and honoring globally diverse perspectives. FiGE provides
training on ways to communicate effectively, diplomatically, and sensitively with peers from other cultures.
Global Programs also offers a unique weekend experience called Global Engagement and Leadership Experi-
ence (GELE), a two-and-a-half day conference that brings together international and U.S. students to discuss and
learn about aspects of global leadership. It is the perfect mix of serious conversations, engaging activities, and
The two main purposes for GELE are to provide a space for diverse populations of international and domestic
students to talk about cultures and think through leadership with a variety of global perspectives. Secondly, for
GELE participants to positively impact the global climate at Penn State, inspiring fellow Penn Staters–future lead-
ers–to transform themselves into globally-engaged and responsible citizens.
“I sought Penn State. It is a university with a well-developed international
academic program which is supportive of international students. It was my experience while first visiting Penn State that made a big impression on me. As our small
group ventured on, our tour guides shouted “WE ARE!” And students on the street
enthusiastically responded “PENN STATE!” I chose Penn State because the students’ display of unity and pride made me comfortable.
When considering schools, I looked for a globally diverse community. I wanted
to have an opportunity to meet people from all over the world, learn of their cul-
tures and share my culture. Penn State is a globally diverse university. I commonly
interact with students from Taiwan, China, South Korea, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,
Yemen, India, Mexico, Japan, and of course American students.
I have discovered that getting involved in extracurricular activities has truly added to my education and
helped me to integrate. I pride myself as being an ambassador for Japan on campus and one of the leaders in
this globally diverse community. I want to help students discover that Penn State is a “home away home” for all
I am thankful for all the people that I have met and for the opportunities that Penn State has offered. Need-
less to say, Penn State has become my home.
I am prepared for the future. And, I look forward to connecting with Penn Staters all over the world.
We are …!!”
Meet Haruka from Japan