For the Record: International students

At Penn, enrollment of students from around the globe has grown steadily for more than a century, providing the University community with one of the most international and globally diverse student communities in the Ivy League. Applications from nations all over the world have increased by 143 percent just over the past eight years.

Penn has been a home away from home to students from at least 50 nations every year since the early 1900s. This photo shows international students attending a holiday dinner at the provost’s house in 1936. Today, the University provides academic experiences for students from more than 120 different countries.

On campus, the office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) provides advice and information to international students, visiting scholars, and faculty, including help regarding matters such as immigration, employment, and overseas travel. The ISSS also helps students adjust to the American culture, and aids students in dealing with issues related to living in Philadelphia.

One of the programs that brings international students to campus is Penn World Scholars. Students are given the opportunity to build cross-campus networks, meet with University and global leaders, participate in civic engagement projects, and enjoy social activities. The scholars are selected based on their leadership potential, as well as their academic achievement. 

For more information about this photo and other historical events at Penn, visit the University Archives at

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