International Classroom

International Classroom provides opportunities into global learning by connecting K-12 communities to international educators, artists and museum-affiliated archaeologists.

About the Program


“This program helped my students see what life is really like in other countries.  By focusing on the things that most interested them such as food and music, the countries became real to them.  Our school talk to them all the time about becoming global citizens.  Having your educators made that more possible.”

Lisa Palandro, Teacher, Independence Charter School

Our workshops incorporate key 21st Century Skills such as world languages, multiple perspectives, intercultural communication, and appreciation for cultural diversity. A range of activities are designed to enhance knowledge, skills and awareness that are essential to succeed in the increasingly interconnected global society.

Global Learning Workshop Content Areas

Our International Classroom educators will take you to amazing places around the world through three types of intercultural programs.

  1. World Cultures Educators
  2. Archaeology and Anthropology Experts
  3. Performing Arts Around the World

Read the full list of International Classroom program descriptions.

international classroom

World Culture Educators

Learn more about a country directly from a person who resided there! This series provides interactions between your students and educators from diverse countries including China, Chile, Greece, Morocco, Japan, Kenya and more. A wide range of fascinating topics includes traditional holiday rituals, ancient writings, school and youth engagement, and global diasporas. Through captivating visuals and interactive approaches, World Culture Educators will immerse your students in intercultural dialogues and explore multiple viewpoints.

international classroom

Archaeology and Anthropology Experts

Interact with real working archaeologists and anthropologists! This series offers a rare opportunity for your students to meet our world-class museum-affiliated scholars. Topics in this series include ancient Egyptian mummification, daily life in ancient Egyptian cities, cuneiform writing, inquiry-based analyses of Greek artifacts, material cultures from the Navaho Nation, physical and forensic Anthropology and more. In this series, our archaeological experts share their experiences in the field through visuals, guide students through object analyses, and facilitate interactive discussions.

Cultural Performers

Local performing artists introduce cultural rituals, traditions, and stories from around the world. These programs offer a range of arts to educate students about vibrant cultural traditions, including puppet theater on Aesop’s Fables, traditional dances from India and Middle East, and African folktales with Swahili proverbs.

Program Formats and Fees

International Classroom programs are offered in three ways:

Ages All ages
Length 1 hour

In the Museum: $100 per 30 students plus group admission ($7 per student; $12 per additional adult; all teachers with school ID are FREE)

In your classroom or community: $200 per 30 students for a location within 20 miles of the Penn Museum; $300 + travel cost per 30 students for a location beyond 20 miles from the Penn Museum (50% discount applies for additional sessions); Large assembly format up to 200 students is also available upon request.

Virtual International Classroom Workshops: $200 per session per 30 students

Group size Flexible (In the Museum: one adult REQUIRED for every 10 students)

In the Museum: Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm depending on speaker availability

In your classroom or community: Flexible depending on speaker availability

Virtual International Classroom Workshops: See HERE

When to book Six to eight weeks in advance

Become an International Classroom Educator

International Classroom program welcomes qualified international and Native American residents, students, scholars, and artists as new educators throughout the year. The program is a great opportunity for university students to develop teaching and leadership skills, learn more about local students and school systems in the United States, and to contribute to the local communities in the Philadelphia region.

“I’ve had great pleasure facilitating the Chinese Zodiac workshop for the International Classroom Program. It has been a valuable and fun experience to have face-to-face, cross-cultural interactions with American students. I am happy that I could become a part of this great educational program. It provides students with meaningful, first-hand intercultural learning experience, something that could not be easily gained by simply reading a book.”

Yang Xu, Chinese Cultural Educator
Graduate School of Education,
University of Pennsylvania

Interested? Request an application by emailing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 215.898.8729. The application requires a brief description of the topic you propose and information about your teaching and public-speaking experiences. New educators must attend an orientation and training to learn basic lesson planning, effective teaching approaches and classroom management.

international classroom


Educating about the World for more than 50 years! International Classroom was created in 1961 at a junior high school in suburban Philadelphia as the "Ogontz Plan for Mutual International Education." Founders Evelyn and Norman Palmer viewed the many international students at colleges and universities of the Philadelphia area as an untapped reservoir of knowledge about the cultures of their home countries. Concerned that young Americans knew very little about the rest of the world, the founders developed a program that promoted international understanding between residents of the Delaware Valley and people from all over the world. They envisioned this program as a two-way street: it would also give international students the opportunity to learn more about the United States of America and its diverse communities. Since 1987, International Classroom has been an integral part of the Penn Museum’s education program. Since its founding in 1961, our speakers have visited over 10,000 classrooms and other settings throughout the region.

Winner of the Pennsylvania Council for International Education’s 2013 Bringing the World to Pennsylvania: K-16 Collaboration Award

Philadelphia World Heritage Education Initiative

Philadelphia World Heritage Logo

International Classroom Program is actively involved with the Philadelphia World Heritage Education Initiative. In November, 2015, the City of Philadelphia has become the First World Heritage City in the Nation. As the region celebrates this prestigious status and promotes global engagement through the network of The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), local educational leaders are working together to implement a series of activities focused on world heritage education. As an active member of the education taskforce for the initiative, International Classroom has contributed to various key global learning activities including providing teacher professional development, offering world culture and preservation workshops for the World Culture Days and contributing to the World Heritage curriculum development project for the School District of Philadelphia.


International Classroom Program collaborates with university centers and non-profit organizations with a global focus. Our current collaborators are;

University of Pennsylvania:
Graduate School of Education
Middle East Center
Penn Global
Penn Language Center
Philadelphia Writing Project
South Asia Center

Non-Profit Organizations:
Campus Philly
Global Philadelphia Association
World Affairs Council


International Classroom


© Penn Museum 2017 Sitemap | Contact | Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy |