This program is offered through Penn State Erie-Behrend and runs once every two years. It is open to students at ALL Penn State Campuses and will run in Summer 2020. Please see the Penn State Behrend program website for more information.
Students will earn Penn State credits that can be used to fulfill requirements for the political science major or minor at any PSU campus, the international politics major at University Park (PL SC 499 only), and requirements in some majors for an Education Abroad component, including the international business major at Penn State Behrend. The course may also meet requirements in other majors and minors.
The course for the program will be co-taught by Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of political science at Penn State Behrend, and by Ryerson University Professor Greg Inwood. The class will take place on the Ryerson campus in downtown Toronto. American students from Penn State and Canadian students from Ryerson will participate together in class discussions and on class excursions and will take the same exams. Penn State students will be graded by Dr. Speel.
All students are required to take PL SC 299 or 499 for 3 credits.
The course focuses on the comparative politics of the United States and Canada and on international relations between the two countries. Among the topics to be discussed will be a comparison of the development of separate political cultures in the two countries, comparisons of government institutions, election systems, federalism, and regionalism, and comparisons of each country's policy approaches toward the economy, health care, gun control, language, free speech, legal marijuana, abortion, and the role of religion in education. Issues important in international relations between the two countries will also be discussed - this includes trade, border security, and control of the Arctic. Class excursions will visit the Ontario Parliament Buildings and Fort York, site of an important battle in the War of 1812.
The grade for PL SC 299 will be determined by exams and class participation. An additional research paper will be assigned for students who enroll in PL SC 499; the paper will be due at the end of June.
Successful applicants will satisfy these pre-requisites:
- Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
- Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study
Students will stay in university housing, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Toronto, near Dundas Square. Housing will be in private rooms with private bathrooms, television, telephone, internet access and air conditioning; kitchen, laundry and lounge facilities are shared among students on the same floor. Students will be responsible for providing their own meals. Parking will be available for an additional fee.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Summer budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
To learn more of the specifics about the course or residence, contact Dr. Robert Speel. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- One academic recommendation
- Signature Documents
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
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