Welcome International Exchange Students

Congratulations and welcome to Wharton! You have been selected to participate in the Wharton International Exchange Program. We look forward to welcoming you to Philadelphia. Please review the following video carefully since it contains data on course registration, visas, housing and other important matters.

Logistics: Housing, Visas and More


The Office of Off-Campus Services (OCS) assists students, staff and faculty at all stages of their off campus living experience.

Resources include: An interactive, searchable database of available rentals with hundreds of units listed at any one time. Listings include individual rental units (studios, one-, two-, three or more- bedroom apartments and houses), as well as share and sublet opportunities. Most of the rental listings are located in the University City/West Philadelphia and Center City neighborhoods.

Office of Off-Campus Services (OCS)
3702 Spruce Street, Stouffer Commons
Tel 215.898.8500


As an international student, you will need to enter the US with either an F-1 form I-20 or J-1 DS-2019 and the appropriate entry visa (Citizens of Canada and Bermuda require the form I-20 or DS-2019 but not the F-1 or J-1 entry visa.).  In past years several exchange students were turned away at the U.S. border due to the lack of appropriate visa so please note the following. After receiving your 9-digit Student ID number (will be sent to you by email after your PennKey Setup Code Letter is sent to you by postal mail), please follow this link https://www.ipenn.oip.upenn.edu to submit online I-20/DS-2019 application eform with required supporting documents to the University of Pennsylvania, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).  Please note: Since you will be attending Wharton for one semester, you need only show sufficient funds for the amount per semester listed on the form. Please select the amount listed under “Wharton Exchange”.  Lastly, ISSS has asked that we remind you to submit the shipping request at UEMS by logging in ipenn shipping eform.


To choose between F-1 or J-1 status and for additional steps, please see http://global.upenn.edu/isss/new#f1vsj1   You may contact Penn’s  ISSS office, which handles I-20/DS-2019 requests on behalf of the Wharton School, with any immigration related questions at isss@pobox.upenn.edu or 215-898-4661.

Health Services

Health Insurance

The university requires full-semester exchange students to either purchase the Penn Sponsored Insurance Plan (PSIP) or complete a waiver for those already possessing equivalent insurance. The requirements and process are on the Student Health Services website: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/insurance.php. Please contact Student Health directly with questions.
Students coming on exchange for only one quarter are not required to meet the university’s health insurance requirements and are not eligible to purchases PSIP but should still purchase health insurance that will cover them while here. We do not recommend any specific plan, but there are two sites: HTH at http://www.hthstudents.com/ or SOS International at http://www.sosinternational.com/ that you might want to check out. They can provide insurance, though not as comprehensive as some other plans, for the semester at reduced rates. If you use an alternate form of insurance, be sure that it covers: 1) medical benefits of at least $50K/person per accident or illness; 2) repatriation in the amount of 47.5K; and 3) medical evacuation in the amount of $10K. You will still need to pay the Student Health Fee (but that’s quite worth the $200 or so if you are unwell and need to be seen by a doctor on campus). You must be insured for hospitalization or emergency in some way – the costs are too exorbitant otherwise.

Immunization Records

All students coming to Penn are required to submit immunization records to Student Health Services. Please visit the Immunizations website to find out which immunizations are required and the process for submitting your records: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/immunization.php. Please contact Student Health directly with any questions.

Transporation from Airports

Regardless of the airport or the ground transportation route you select, please ask airport ground transportation/information staff for assistance in obtaining approved

Philadelphia International Airport

The University of Pennsylvania and International House are located in the “University City” section of Philadelphia. Therefore, you can take a taxi for the flat rate (not using the meter) described on the Philadelphia International Airport website.

JFK Airport

Limousine service to Philadelphia is probably the most convenient and affordable way to travel. You can contact Dave’s Best in advance: http://www.davesbestlimoservice.com/services.php of travel for up-to-date quotes and reservations. Additional information is available on the JFK Airport website.

Newark Liberty Airport

This New Jersey airport is also served by Dave’s Best Limousine service (see above) and a number of other alternatives. Additional information is available on the Newark Liberty Airport website.

Philadelphia —
A World-Class City

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the United States; it is where the Declaration of Independence was written and the Constitution was drafted. It served as the original capital of the country until the city of Washington was built. Currently, Philadelphia is a vibrant city of 1.5 million people in a greater metropolitan area of about 5 million. It has outstanding cultural institutions, including world-class museums and a renowned orchestra. Center City is readily accessible from Penn campus as well, only 1-2 miles east.

See the following links and resources to learn more about the city.