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Connecting with International Partners

Global Engineering Engagement facilitates academic linkages around the world to foster a diverse and internationally connected College of Engineering poised to impact the world.

The College of Engineering faculty, departments, and programs have a range of international collaborations around the world as represented by the map of partnerships and activities below.

The University’s Global Support unit within the Office of Global Programs provides further information and resources on collaborations. The director of Global Engineering Engagement can assist faculty to connect with existing international partners or to investigate potential partnership linkages.

The Global Engagement Network offers access to a network of strategic partnerships with peer institutions around the world that share Penn State’s commitment to solving the world’s most pressing challenges through a multi-layered engagement of research, faculty, and student collaboration.

International Agreement Process

Penn State uses three types of agreements for international collaborations as outlined below. Contact the director of Global Engineering Engagement to discuss the type of collaboration you would like to pursue and to provide details about the partnering institution and the scope of the agreement.

Global Collaborations asks that faculty complete the Intent to Submit an International Agreement Proposal (IS-IAP) form. The form will ask for basic information about the intended partner’s institution, contact information, and the nature of anticipated collaborative activities. The Global Collaborations team will review the request and determine whether additional details are needed. For standard, Penn State template-based agreements, the decision to proceed with drafting an agreement may be made based on the information contained in this form without completion of the International Agreement Proposal form.

For program-specific, custom agreements, or when non-Penn State templates are used, the more detailed International Agreement Proposal (IAP) application will be required, including endorsement from the College of Engineering.

Contact the director of Global Engineering Engagement to facilitate the agreement review process in the college prior to the completion of the International Agreement Proposal for University-level review.

Types of International Agreements

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a non-binding statement that acknowledges intent to explore the possibility of collaboration. LOIs are appropriate when a new project is being initiated, upon first meeting new international partners, or in connection with a one-time project. The LOI can serve as a signal of good will or a signal of the willingness to discuss the opportunities to cooperate further.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a general agreement that lists areas of possible joint activities, without creating financial obligations or committing resources. The purpose of an MOU is to acknowledge a formal, ongoing, and strategic relationship between institutions that is intended to be long-term, or to support a grant application.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a specific agreement that involves financial arrangements, institutional obligations, or specifies the terms of academic programs. MOAs are used to establish collaborative degree programs, reciprocal exchange programs, research projects where funds are committed, or joint research centers.

Travel Resources

The University’s Global Safety Office provides resources on travel, health and safety tips, and access to the Travel Safety Network resources and travel records database. All students, faculty, and staff traveling either in a group or individually for University purposes (with a club, organization, team, college, or department) or with University funding must record international travel in the TSN database prior to departure as outlined in the University’s International Travel Requirements Policy.

Hosting an International Scholar

Welcoming scholars from around the world contributes to a diverse academic community in the College of Engineering. Please contact Global Engineering Engagement for logistics and other support to welcome international scholars and visitors. The Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) offers advising, immigration services, and training to support Penn State’s international students, scholars, and faculty.

Global Engineering Contacts

  • Patrick Tunno
    Director of Global Engineering Engagement

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The mission of Global Engineering Engagement is to create an environment that embraces the values of international education, where access to global exposure and opportunities to develop cross-cultural competence is pervasive. We believe that it is within our reach to ensure that all engineering students can become internationally engaged.

Global Engineering Engagement

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

208 Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802