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Petitions to Study Abroad

Goals and Student Interest

In light of the increasingly close contact between the legal communities of various nations, Penn Law and its faculty recognize the value that study at a foreign law school may have for certain Penn JD candidates. Such students will have a demonstrated interest in matters of foreign and international law or relations.

Study Abroad Track

Process and Deadline

Within the Study Abroad track, there are three different avenues:

1. Penn Law Programs;

2. Official Semester Abroad Programs sponsored by a U.S. law school; and

3. Direct enrollment by the student in a foreign law school.

Students interested pursuing one of these should meet with Amy Gadsden, Associate Dean for International and Strategic Initiatives no later than January 31 of the academic year prior to the proposed period of study away to discuss their eligibility, application deadlines, and specific requirements for receiving Penn’s permission to study abroad.

Official Penn Law Programs

Penn Law currently has several exchange programs negotiated with foreign law schools: Waseda Law School in Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong University; Sciences Po in Paris; Tsinghua Law School in Beijing; ESADE Law School in Barcelona, Spain; and Tel Aviv Law School.  You may learn more about each program by contacting the International Programs Office.

1. Candidates for these official Penn Law programs must complete Part I of the Study Abroad Application and receive approval from Penn Law before submitting their applications directly to a partner law school.

2. Students will be selected by Penn on the basis of merit, taking into account their academic records and achievements, their maturity and their potential for contribution to the program. The Law School will screen applications to the participating schools which have final authority to select and reject participants.

3. Students engaged in these Penn Law exchange programs remain eligible for Penn Law financial aid grants.

“Semester Abroad” Program

The second approach to study overseas is through enrollment in an ABA-approved foreign study program hosted by another U.S. law school. A list of such programs may be found at:

Semester Abroad candidates must complete Part I of the same Study Abroad Application, and receive approval on the same basis, as described above with regard to official Penn Law Programs.

Direct Enrollment

The third approach towards study abroad is through direct enrollment in a foreign law school identified by the student. This choice places a significant burden on the student who, among other things, must demonstrate the foreign program’s satisfaction of the rigorous ABA standards at

a) Students wishing to enroll directly in a foreign law school must complete Part I of the same Study Abroad Application, and receive approval on the same basis, as described above with regard to official Penn Law Programs.

b) In addition, students wishing to enroll directly overseas must complete Part II of the Study Abroad Application. Additional requirements found there include the need for faculty members from both Penn Law and the foreign school to serve as supervisors.

c) Information on, and links to, many law schools around the world may be found at