The Philadelphia Center

Discover Your Direction in Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Philadelphia Center guarantee housing?
Why should students attend The Philadelphia Center?
Are there descriptions of The Philadelphia Center’s faculty and staff?
How many students have completed the program offered by The Philadelphia Center?
How long has The Philadelphia Center been in operation?
What does The Philadelphia Center offer?
What types of internships are available?
How does the placement process work?
Are the internships paid?
How much does your 16-week semester-long program cost?
Does the program have a central location?
Do students need to bring a car to Philadelphia?
How do students usually get to Philadelphia?  What do students usually bring with them and where do students stay during Orientation for the 16-week semester program?
Can international students participate in one of our programs?
When should students apply to The Philadelphia Center?
What are the dates for upcoming semesters?
What classes at The Center will apply to a major or required coursework?
What procedures should students follow in the event of an emergency?
Where can students find out more information about Philadelphia?
What is the contact information for The Philadelphia Center?


Does The Philadelphia Center guarantee housing?
Yes.  For the 16-week semester program, participants live independently with other students on the program in apartments or houses they choose during the first week of the semester.  Our experienced staff carefully guides students through our unique housing process, during which living arrangements are investigated and chosen from an array of options in and around Center City Philadelphia.  Every student is guaranteed a place to live.  With our help, students learn how to communicate with property owners, understand what to look for in an apartment, and review and sign a lease.  Our housing process allows each student to gain independent living skills and make the most out of their Philadelphia experience.  Students attending our eight-week summer program are usually housed in a local university dorm.  To learn more about our housing process please click here to watch our Introduction to The Philadelphia Center video.
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Why should students attend The Philadelphia Center?
If students want to discover their personal and professional direction in life, they should consider attending The Philadelphia Center.  By living independently in the city, interning at the placement that they choose, and learning in dynamic interdisciplinary seminars, students discover so many things about themselves both personally and professionally.  To read more about us, please click here.  To watch our Youtube video please click here.
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Are there descriptions of The Philadelphia Center’s faculty and staff?
Yes.  The Philadelphia Center is comprised of full-time faculty advisors and staff and part-time elective faculty, offering a diversity of backgrounds, interests, and teaching styles.  For more information please click here.
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How many students have completed the program offered by The Philadelphia Center?
More than 6,500 students from over 80 schools have completed our program.  To read what some of our alumni have said about their experiences, look for the comments posted throughout our web site.  You can also click here to read interviews with several of our alumni.
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How long has The Philadelphia Center been in operation?
The Philadelphia Center was founded in 1967 by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), and we are managed by Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
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What does The Philadelphia Center offer?
We offer three important programs for undergraduates interested in discovering their personal and professional direction in life: a 16-week semester program, an eight-week summer program and a four-week May term.
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What types of internships are available?
All students are guaranteed an internship.  We work closely with liberal arts students to help them apply their education to the workplace.  While we are unable to guarantee a specific placement, the 800+ internship opportunities in our database offer students a variety of fields – from accounting to zoology – from which to choose For more information about our internships, please click here. 
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How does the placement process work?
The Philadelphia Center uses a unique and valuable placement process that allows each student to maximize their experience in our program.  Prior to arrival in Philadelphia, students respond to a series of questions and begin thinking about their interests. During orientation, students meet with their faculty advisor to further identify and discuss their professional objectives.  Students then conduct research on placement opportunities, identify several organizations, and interview for the internships most likely to help them meet their goals.
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No. Students receive 8 academic credits for the learning that takes place during the internship, 4 credits for the required City-Seminar all students take and 4 credits for one elective.  Students receive a transcript of academic credit from Hope College, our managing institution, upon successful completion of the program. To assure a meaningful, substantial, and productive internship experience, each student works closely with a faculty advisor and placement supervisor to make sure they are engaged in a richly rewarding, hands-on work experience.  For more information about our internships please click here.
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How much does your 16-week semester-long program cost?
Expenses for our 16-week semester program are similar to what students spend on home campuses for tuition, room, board, and miscellaneous expenses. The main additional expense would be in “social” spending: restaurants, trips, and other extracurricular activities.  For more information please click here for budget information.
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Does the program have a central location?
Yes, The Philadelphia Center is located in the heart of Philadelphia, just a block from City Hall. Our facilities include seminar rooms, a computer center, a kitchenette, and a large common area.  Our address is 121 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
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Do students need to bring a car to Philadelphia?
We do not recommend that students bring cars to Philadelphia, as parking can be both difficult and expensive to obtain.  The city’s grid layout makes walking easy, and we have many great transportation options.  If you’re interested in exploring the East Coast, the myriad of inexpensive and frequent train and bus routes should do the trick!  Click here to download a map of Philadelphia in pdf.
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How do students usually get to Philadelphia?  What do students usually bring with them and where do students stay during Orientation for the 16-week semester program?
Most students fly, make a weekend drive with their parents, or take a bus. We encourage students to pack lightly for the orientation week and send for the remainder of your belongings after you’ve obtained housing.  You will stay at a hotel just one block from The Philadelphia Center during the first week of the program.  We will mail out packets with detailed information in the months before the program begins.  In the meantime if you have questions, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 215.735.7300.
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Can international students participate in one of our programs?
Yes.  Our internships are a great way for students to prepare for their post-graduation job search. Participants must be enrolled, full-time, in an American-based college or university. The unpaid internship will not impact an international student’s allotted OPT hours.
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When should students apply to The Philadelphia Center?
Many of our participating colleges require students to apply to study off-campus by a specific date.  Interested students should check with their advisor and other appropriate personnel involved with going off campus. 
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What are the dates for upcoming semesters?
To view the dates of our upcoming semesters, please click here to visit our calendar page.
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What classes at The Center will apply to a major or required coursework?
The answer to this very important question varies widely from campus to campus. We urge each student to speak with Philadelphia Center liaisons at your campus and meet with your academic advisor to discover which courses best fit your needs.  Every student must enroll in one of our City-Seminars.  For more information please click here.  Additionally, we also offer a variety of electives.  Most students enroll in one elective during the semester program.  For more information please click here.
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What procedures should students follow in the event of an emergency?
Students should keep their friends and families informed of their contact information while in Philadelphia.  Students should also provide The Philadelphia Center with updated emergency contact information.  Additionally, we recommend that each student provide contact information to their faculty advisors on their home campuses.
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Where can students find out more information about Philadelphia?
There are a variety of web sites with information about Philadelphia: http://www.visitphilly.com/; http://www.phila.gov/visitors/;  and http://www.independencevisitorcenter.com/ are three that you might find useful as a starting point.
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What is the contact information for The Philadelphia Center?
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 215.735.7300.  We are happy to help answer any questions.
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