FAQs

This page helps you navigate Penn's professional, academic, peer, and cultural resources available to all students. Please click the link below to drop down to each category

Housing & Dining

Housing

What is the difference between Penn's College Houses and traditional dorm-style living?
Penn's College House system integrates living spaces with opportunities for learning and connecting with faculty and peers from all class years. The College Houses provide academic support, leadership opportunities, and a connection to intellectual life at Penn. For more information about this system, please visit the College Houses and Academic Services website.

What furnishings will my student’s room have?
Different College Houses have varying furnishings, depending on how many students will be living in the room. Residential Services has information about room furnishings in your student’s College House in addition to a helpful packing list.

How can my student request a room change?
Students can find more information and a link to request a room change on Residential Services' website. This page also includes information about room change request deadlines, types of rooms available, and information for special accommodations. 


Dining

When are the dining locations on campus open?
A list of campus dining locations and their hours of operation is available here. Various locations on campus are open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., five days a week. Whether your student needs an on-the-go option or wants to take a study break in a café, there are plenty of options available.

What options are available for my student with a dietary restriction (allergies, vegetarian, etc.)?
Each residential dining location offers multiple vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. For a kosher meal, students can head to the Falk Dining Café located on the first floor of Hillel. For Halal meals, Kings Court English House offers lunch and dinner during the week. Hill College House and New College House also feature multiple vegan, nut-free, halal, and Jain options. Menus for residential and other dining locations can be found here.

 

Academics

Study Abroad

Does my student need to do an entire semester abroad? Are there shorter options available?
Many students opt for shortened study abroad experiences to participate in academic research or internships. Penn Abroad provides a great starting point for your student to explore different programs and experiences, including summer study abroad opportunities and international internships.
 

How much will my student’s study abroad program cost?
For a semester abroad, the cost of the program will be equivalent to Penn tuition plus a study abroad fee. Housing, airfare, and personal expenses are separate from this amount. Each program has a budget sheet that your student can reference when planning for his or her time abroad. For more information regarding cost and financial aid, see Penn Abroad’s Finances page.
 

Where do students live while they are abroad?
Housing varies based on the program your student participates in. Three common living scenarios are in a dormitory with other international students, with a host family, or in apartment-style housing. Your student should carefully read the information from his or her program of interest to understand the available housing arrangements. 


Academic Support

My student is stressed out over schoolwork, midterms, and/or final exams. What resources are available to help?
For help with study strategies, academic reading and writing, and time management skills, students can visit the Office of Learning Resources at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center. Students can call the office for an appointment at 215-573-9235, or they can come to walk-in hours. Walk-in hours are extended during final exam periods.

 

Mail, Storage & Transit

Mail

How should I address mail to my student?
To send mail to your student’s campus address, you will need to know the name of their College House, room number, and mailbox number. For example, if your student lives in Hill College House, you would address mail as follows:

John/Jane Doe
RM 100 HILL MB 200
3333 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6193

More information about proper mailing formats can be found here
 

How can I send a care package to my student?
Care packages or birthday cakes can be ordered through Penn Student Agencies. There are options for holidays throughout the year, as well as packages during final exam periods. You can place your order with PSA here


Storage

What storage options are available for students during the summer or a semester abroad?
Penn has an agreement with SchoolStorage to provide storage space for students. Your student can place an order online to arrange pickup and drop off of his or her items at a convenient time and location. Residential Services has tips and information on storing and shipping items here.


Transportation

What options are there for my student to get around Philadelphia?
There are plenty of options to get around Philadelphia offered by both Penn and SEPTA regional transit. You can find a list of stops and schedules for Penn's buses and shuttles here. Additionally, SEPTA runs regional trains to the Airport for easy commuting before and after breaks, as well as the LUCY bus system around University City.

Campus Life

Student Health Service

What kinds of services does SHS provide?
Student Health Service provides an array of services for students, including immunizations, sports medicine, allergy care, and nutrition. The Campus Health branch of SHS helps promote stress reduction and health education through various campus programs. You can find a full list of services here. 

How can my student make an appointment with SHS? 
Students can schedule an appointment with the Student Health Service online, by phone at 215-746-3535, or in person at 3535 Market Street. In the case of a medical emergency such as an illness or injury, students should call SHS, who will help students navigate treatment options and determine whether additional medical care is needed.

What kind of insurance does my student need? Does my student need additional vaccinations before coming to Penn or traveling abroad?
Insurance and immunization requirements, as well as a list of frequently asked questions, is available on the SHS website. Students may need additional immunizations before studying or traveling abroad; SHS provides comprehensive pre and post-travel consultations to ensure students stay safe and healthy during their experiences abroad. Your student can find more information and make a consultation appointment here


Career Services

How can my student make an appointment with Career Services? Are there walk-in hours?
Students can request appointments online through Handshake, the Career Services portal. Students can also meet with advisors on a walk-in basis--hours and more information about available services can be found here

When do employers/internship recruiters visit campus?
Students can find a full list of On-Campus Recruiting dates, workshops, and information sessions on the Career Services calendar of events. For information specifically about On-Campus Recruiting, visit the OCR website.