The Pembroke College Visiting Student Programme aims to replicate as closely as possible the Oxford undergraduate experience. Pembroke is situated just south of the city center and consists of three main quads, which include buildings dating from the 17th century. There is a well-stocked library which caters for all the undergraduate courses represented in the College. Pembroke College has just over 500 students; while intellectual activity is highly prized, sporting traditions are strong as well, and the College has its own boat-house and playing fields. There are a number of clubs and societies ranging from the academic to the dramatic and from the musical to the gastronomic.
Education plays a significant role in the economic and social life of the city, as students have been coming to the city of Oxford to study for over 800 years. The city has storied gothic architecture, beautiful cobblestone streets, and a welcoming mindset. Oxford University, as well as the city’s museums and libraries lie side by side with the shops, offices, churches and houses that make up the commercial center. The city is well adapted to student life, with a compact center dominated by cyclists who often outnumber cars. It is well supplied with pubs, cafés and restaurants and the full range of shops are within easy reach. A few minutes' walk takes you to the tranquil greenery of the University Parks, Christ Church Meadow, or the Botanic Garden, while London is only an hour away.
Did you know…?
King Abdullah II of Jordan, J. William Fulbright, and J.R.R. Tolkien all spent time studying at Pembroke College.
Oxford has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
The program at Pembroke College is for College credit only.
There are a limited number of spots for Penn students at Pembroke College. All candidates should identify a second choice program.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.7 cumulative GPA, with a 3.3 GPA in your major/concentration
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of three college-level courses in your major by the end of the academic semester prior to departure.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at Pembroke College consists of two classes per term. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
Teaching at Oxford is primarily in tutorials, with one or two students working with one tutor on concentrated study, and writing an essay for each tutorial. The system thus places great emphasis on individual students developing skills of critical evaluation and reasoning, whilst exploring the chosen discipline in depth. There may also be additional classes as part of a term's course, and most courses will be supported by lectures in the faculties and departments. You have the opportunity to follow a course of study in one subject, progressing through courses to more difficult and specialized work, or to pick from a range of disciplines. This unrivaled opportunity to work closely with leading academics is intellectually demanding but immensely rewarding; the system places great emphasis upon helping students to develop their own independent writing, research and critical thinking skills. Pembroke’s visiting student page maintains further information on its tutorial system.
Penn students can choose from a list of subjects to study at Pembroke. Before confirming students’ choice of topics, Pembroke administrators will look at your past qualifications and statement of interests to make sure they are providing the most suitable courses for you.
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.
Students are given weekly and termly assignments by their tutors. In awarding the grade, tutors are required to provide an assessment, which relates the student's performance to that expected from a matriculated degree student.
Grades are reported to Penn on the Mansfield College grading scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
Pembroke College Grade
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Pembroke College prior to the start of each semester. Further information about Freshers Week can be found here. More information will be distributed upon acceptance.
Penn students studying at Pembroke have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found on the Oxford Students’ Union website.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Students are guaranteed a room in Pembroke College housing. Every student will have an individual study bedroom, with a mix of U.K. and U.S. and other international students in the immediate surroundings. There are 186 rooms in the main Pembroke College building and are primarily reserved for first years and visiting students. Students can upgrade to an en-suite room, as most floors share a kitchen and bathroom facilities. Students are generally encouraged to eat in College as meals in the College dining hall are considered to be an important daily social activity.
Further information regarding accommodation can be found here.
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.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
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.