Earn a certificate in international college advising and develop your capacity to guide students seeking higher education experiences outside their home countries.

Understanding the admissions processes, cultural contexts, socioemotional aspects, and other influential factors involved in international college counseling can be complex. Counselors who advise international students need to be fluent in the ways in which higher education systems operate in order to best serve their students as they make important decisions about their futures and prepare for the transition to college.

What Sets Us Apart

  Engage in live virtual sessions with experienced admissions and college advising leaders.
  Access a network of professionals with ample opportunities to connect, share resources, and develop professional networks, both in a larger cohort format and in smaller teams.
 Focus on contemporary challenges and opportunities in an accelerated format.

About the Program

Developed by faculty at Penn GSE, the top-ranked graduate school of education in the U.S., the International College Advising certificate program is the only comprehensive college advising program designed for international college counselors. The program is tailored to mid-career college advisors working with international students who wish to pursue higher education outside their home countries. Whether you are an advisor in an international secondary school, a counselor at a boarding school with a large international caseload, or an independent educational consultant, you will gain a greater fluency of international higher education systems so that you can better serve students and families in your school or community.

Application deadline
March 30, 2023
Program start

April 13, 2023

Program length

3 months

Certificate offered

Penn GSE Certificate in International College Advising

Professional development

3 Continuing Education Credits from Penn GSE


This program includes both live virtual sessions and asynchronous work to be completed at your own pace.

  • Program fee: $7,500
  • Early-bird fee: $6,000

For information about group payment options or payment plans, please contact ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu.

Ideal candidates

Mid-career college advisors at international secondary schools, counselors at boarding schools with a large international caseload, and independent educational consultants working with international students who wish to pursue higher education in the U.S, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Programs for Working Professionals

The International College Advising certificate program is a unique and valuable professional development opportunity focused on current international admissions processes and associated cultural contexts. The program helps college advisors, counselors, and educational consultants develop the skills to successfully guide students seeking higher education experiences outside of their home countries.

The program includes both synchronous sessions and asynchronous work, with the opportunity to learn and grow from working with larger group sessions and smaller teams. You will have the opportunity to expand your network among a cohort of colleagues and peers.

To learn more details about this program, including information about the curriculum and the dates & times of sessions, please visit our application webpage.

Thank you for your interest in this program! Our application for the Spring 2022 cohort has now closed. Please reach out to us with any questions about future cohorts.

If you have questions, please contact us at ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu.

Language Requirements

Advanced English language proficiency is a requirement for this program. Participants are expected to be able to read scholarly texts and current news articles. Participants must also be able to produce written coursework as assigned and actively engage in nuanced discussions with faculty and cohort members.

This program reserves the right to request proof of English proficiency from applicants whose native language is not English, who have not earned a tertiary degree in English, or who have not worked in a predominantly English language office for at least two years. Duolingo (Score: 120) is the preferred method for demonstrating proficiency. Results should be sent via Duolingo by accessing the website's search filter, filtering institution type to “Other,” and sending the score to “Penn GSE International College Advising Certificate Program.” Please contact us if you have a financial need and require a testing-fee waiver.

Our Faculty

Eric Kaplan

Chief of Staff

Our Faculty

The International College Advising certificate program includes current and former senior leaders in college admissions and college advising as well as independent educational consultants with global practices.

Penn GSE Faculty Alan R. Ruby
Senior Fellow
Associateship, London Institute of Education
Penn GSE Faculty Aleka Bilan
Founder, Aleka Bilan Counsulting
Penn GSE Faculty Elizabeth Heaton
Vice President, Bright Horizons College Coach
Penn GSE Faculty Isthier Chaudhury
Senior Associate Director of International Admissions, Trinity College
Penn GSE Faculty Dr. Julie Park
Associate Professor, College of Education, University of Maryland
Penn GSE Faculty Becky Konowicz
Dean of Undergraduate Admission, Santa Clara University
Penn GSE Faculty Michelle Chow-Liu
Head of High School Counseling, Western Academy of Beijing
Penn GSE Faculty Amanda Barry
Deputy Director, Student Recruitment, The Australian National University