- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- Ability to meet Program Swimming Qualifications and Conditions (see "Life Abroad" tab for details)
- Prerequisite: BIO220 - Biology: Populations and Communities
Based at the University of Split on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, famous for its beautiful beaches and location on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, this program examines the key habitats of marine coastal communities. The interconnectedness of the chemical, geological and physical components of these environments that result in the organisms that reside in each system will be explored, as well as the unique suite of characteristics necessary for organisms to survive in each system.
In addition to the biological and evolutionary aspects of coastal biology, this course will also focus on the process of science. Scientists communicate using many forms. Presentations, writing, discussion and critical review are some of the most common means scientists use to communicate. This course will address these forms of communication to help students become critical and independent thinkers, as well as better scientists.
A central theme of this program is sustainability. As part of the course, students will address anthropogenic impacts upon the environment and the cost of responsible stewardship. Science courses historically have left significant ecological footprints as students explore the environment, removing organisms and disrupting habitats. Students will be encouraged to reduce their ecological footprint while in the field, on campus and in Croatia.
Possible in-country excursions will include trips to Diocletian's Palace, the ruins at Salona, and Krka National Park.
Summer: This program will not run in summer 2021, but hopes are that program operation will resume in 2022. Contact the faculty leader or check back for information about future travel on this program.
Program Leader Information
- Renee Bishop-Pierce, Associate Professor, Science, Penn State Scranton
All students will be enrolled in BIOL482: Marine Coastal Ecosystems for 3 credits.
- BIOL482 addresses the academic program requirements for Bachelor of Science in Biology. At the completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Identify the main coastal ecosystems and understand the complex interactions between physical, chemical and geological features with biological processes.
- Summarize and evaluate primary literature both orally and in written format.
- Apply theoretical and practical exercises examining how environmental and biological factors interact to sustain near-shore ecosystems.
- Demonstrate field skills used to study marine near-shore environments.
- Develop global literacy by interacting and learning in a team environment with students from another culture.
- BIOL 220, Biology: Populations and Communities, is a prerequisite for BIOL 482.
Students are required to take the prescribed course listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for this course. To determine how this course will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
- Research courses offered on your program
- Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements
- Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options.
- You must enroll in a minimum of 3 credits
- You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation.
Students will be housed in a hostel affiliated with the University of Split in shared rooms with other Penn State students. Laundry services are available for students. Internet access is free of charge and is available on University of Split campus and in common areas in the hostel but may not be available in every room of the hostel.
The University of Split is dedicated to providing access to education opportunities to students with disabilities. Dormitories and campus facilities, such libraries and laboratories, are accessible.
Students will be enrolled in the campus meal plan, with some meals on their own and some included on group excursions.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the 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.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule.
Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account
Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
After the Start of the Program
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.
Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.
The Coastal Biology program involves swimming and snorkeling. It is important for your safety that you can meet the Program Swimming Qualifications and Conditions outlined below.
When applying to the program, you must sign a document affirming you meet the listed requirements.
- Participants should be able to tread water for 10 minutes and swim 200 yards in <12 minutes.
- The snorkeling site selected will range in depth from 1-5 meters and will take place 1-30 meters from shore.
- The conditions will be calm with wave height less than .5 meters.
- The dates for the snorkeling are weather dependent, but the program will likely include up to 4 consecutive days of snorkeling activity.
- The snorkeling portion of the program would range from 1-3 hours per day, with the option for shorter time in the water or “intermittent” participation, with breaks.
- Participants will be required to use the buddy system while snorkeling.
- Snorkeling vests are available upon request. Please consult the faculty leader.
If you have questions or concerns about your ability to meet any of the above, please contact the faculty leader Renee Bishop-Pierce.
Gender and LGBTQA Considerations
There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.
Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations
When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.
It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
Steps to Study Abroad
The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
How to Apply
Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!
Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.
You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.
Contact Education Abroad
If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.
Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.
Education Abroad Advisers
Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.
For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!