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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: (Various), (Multiple Countries)
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Credit Available For: College Other Eligibility Requirements: See Program Description
Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad Housing Options: Homestay, Program Provided Housing
Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: September 20
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BIO LogoSIT International Honors Program (IHP) – Cities in the 21st Century

Explore social justice in urban environments. Examine how four cities around the world work, how they operate within the global economy, and how their citizens live and organize to create more just cities.  Learn through an innovative urban studies curriculum with fieldwork involving key actors and stakeholders—urban citizens, thought leaders and academics, public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots organizations.
For additional information, visit the SIT IHP website.
Did you know…?

The IHP programs allow students to obtain hands-on educational experience in four different cities around the world in a single semester!  Both of the Penn Abroad approved IHP programs (Cities in the 21st Century and Health and Community) offer two tracks every semester, each with different destinations.  Students may apply to either track.


The SIT IHP: Cities in the 21st Century program is for Urban Studies Majors only.

There are a limited number of spots for Penn students on IHP programs.  All candidates should identify a second choice program in case they are not accepted.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0


Language of Instruction



A full course load on SIT IHP: Cities in the 21st Century consists of 4 classes per semester.  The courses are set in advance and all students on the program take the same courses.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad.

The program takes a holistic, interdisciplinary view of academic topics, drawing not only on articles and faculty lectures, but also student observations, guest lectures, and homestay interviews to facilitate learning. Assignments typically involve written essays, oral presentations, and more creative projects such as posters and photo stories.

More information on courses can be found on the SIT website.
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on an A-F scale. 

Special Features

BIO South AfricaOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend orientation activities organized by SIT prior to the start of each semester.  In addition to giving students extensive online pre-departure information, SIT will hold an intensive in-person orientation in either New York City or Washington, DC.  Students depart for their first destination on a group flight immediately following the orientation activities.  


BIO Vietnam

Students will live a host family for between two and four weeks at each program site.  Homestays are the primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations can include guest houses, hostels, dormitories, and/or small hotels.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 
SIT Scholarship: SIT encourages all qualified students to apply for their need-based scholarships.  The scholarship application is fully integrated into the online program application.

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics on an IHP program, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.