2020 Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer a travel reimbursement?

SUNFEST offers a reimbursement of up to $450 for students who travel more than 150 miles. If you plan on obtaining a reimbursement for your travel expenses, please keep all necessary receipts and please email Marissa Tartaglia (mtartag@seas.upenn.edu) to let her know that you want to be reimbursed. Students collecting reimbursements will be granted access to Penn’s Concur Travel and Expense Management System, where they will submit an expense report to the Penn Engineering Financial Services (PEFS).

When is the move-in date and move-out dates?

Move-in is Sunday, May 24, 2020.

Move-out is Saturday, August 1, 2020.

How do I get to campus?

Directions to Penn’s campus can be found here.

From Philadelphia International Airport
The Philadelphia International Airport is located approximately 20 minutes Penn’s campus.  SEPTA’s Airport Regional Rail runs directly to the Penn Medicine Station and 30th St Station. From either of these train stations, campus is a short walk (5-15 minutes). Train fares are $6.75 if you purchase a ticket at the station or $8.00 if you pay in cash on the train.

Other options from the PHL Airport:

  • Taxi ($28.50 + tip)
  • Uber or Lyft ($20-$30)

What are the living arrangements?

SUNFEST will provide housing with American Campus Communities.

Do we need to bring bedding and towels? Kitchen supplies?

You will have the option to rent bedding and kitchen supplies from American Campus Communities.

More details TBA.

Does SUNFEST housing have a gym?

Yes, the housing provided by SUNFEST includes a 24-hour gym.

Can I get access to Penn Campus Recreation?

You will need to purchase summer membership to Penn Recreation in order to use their facilities. The rate for a 10-week membership is $225.

Individuals can enroll in the Working Student Summer Membership at Membership Services. PennCard, University ID from the Student’s home institution, and payment are required at the time of enrollment.

Can I purchase a meal plan through Penn?

Yes, you will have the option to purchase a meal plan from Penn Dining. Information on plans and pricing can be found here.

If you are not a Penn student and you would like to sign up for a Summer dining plan, please contact Penn Dining at bsd-dining@pobox.upenn.edu.

Where is the SUNFEST Orientation?

More details TBA. Learn more about the buildings that make up the Penn Engineering Campus here.

How do I find out about required activities such as workshops, meetings, and deadlines?

You will have access to the SUNFEST Google Calendar, which will contain details regarding all required activities, workshops, and deadlines. In addition to this calendar, there is a SUNFEST weekly email that you will receive on Monday mornings throughout the program. This email will list upcoming events and deadlines, as well as some things going on in Philadelphia that week.

Where can I find information about the University of Pennsylvania campus?

This website has plenty of useful information about Penn.

Where do I find information about Philadelphia?

Two sources for information about Philadelphia and fun events in the city are:

When will we be getting paid?

You will be paid in 3 installments, one paycheck at the end of June, a second at the end of July, and third at the end of August.

Please sign up for direct deposit during the first week of the program to ensure timely payment.

Will taxes be taken out of my paycheck?

Yes, your REU stipend is taxable income. Federal, state, and local taxes will be withheld from your paycheck.

Is there parking on campus?

You can obtain a Student Parking Permit. These permits are issued on an annual basis valid from September 1 through August 31, or on an academic year basis valid from September 1 through May 31. Students may apply for any of the permits listed above and may also apply for 24-Hr parking permits issued for around-the-clock parking, including holidays. Specific parameters will apply to student parking permits and can be found here.

The alternative is to use street parking. There is free street parking a few blocks away from the center of campus.

Are alcohol and tobacco products allowed?

No Alcohol or tobacco products of any kind will be allowed in the properties – including for students who are of age.

What safety resources does Penn offer?

Department of Public Safety Numbers to Save:

  • General Information: (215) 898-7297
  • Emergencies: (215) 573-3333 or 511 from any campus phone
  • Special Services: (215) 898-4481 or (215) 898-6600 (off-hours)

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24/7 Walking Escort Services | Call (215) 898-WALK (9255)
Public Safety Security Officers will walk with you anywhere in the Penn Patrol Zone. The FREE Walking Escort service extends between 30th and 43rd Streets, and Market to Baltimore Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also extends west to 50th Street, and north/south from Spring Garden to Woodland Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 3 a.m. via the University’s partnership with the University City District Ambassador Program.

How to Request a Walking Escort:

  • Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building
  • Call (215) 898-WALK (9255) or 511 (from campus phone)
  • Use one of the many building and blue-light phones located on and off Penn’s Campus

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(215) 898-HELP Line
The HELP Line is a 24-hour-a-day phone number for members of the Penn community who seek time-sensitive help navigating Penn’s resources for health and wellness.
Any member of the Penn community can utilize this service by calling (215) 898-HELP (4357). Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Division of Public Safety professionals trained in mental health referrals by staff from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Students dealing with the complex emotional challenges of university life can use the HELP Line to receive information and referrals to the many health and wellness resources at Penn, including CAPS, Student Health Service, Student Intervention Services, Public Safety, and others. They may also call on behalf of a friend or acquaintance. Parents concerned about their student
may also call the HELP Line for assistance.

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UPennAlert Emergency Notification System

The UPennAlert Emergency Notification System enables the University to quickly notify the Penn and surrounding Philadelphia community of critical information during a major emergency. This is accomplished through three (3) key methods: personal electronic devices, siren and public address systems, and digital displays.

Sign up for UPennAlerts  here: https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/pennready/upennalert/

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Department of Public Safety: Visit their website www.publicsafety.upenn.edu for the latest news in campus safety.

What free transit options does Penn offer?

On-Call Evening Shuttles
There are several options when using the on-call shuttle service. Please find all details provided by Penn Transportation on their website.

Penn Bus West & Penn Bus East
Penn Bus West & Penn Bus East operates Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., year-round except for holidays observed by the University of Pennsylvania. Passengers from Penn, Drexel, University of the Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) need only show a valid institutional ID to ride Penn Bus for free. Penn Bus will pick up and deliver passengers only at designated Transit Stops on campus, and at certain intersections with a stop sign or traffic light along its off-campus route.

Penn Accessible Transit (PAT)
Penn Accessible Transit (PAT) is a service of Penn Transit, which provides transportation within service boundaries for persons with disabilities. To obtain preapproval to use PAT, contact the Office of Affirmative Action if you are faculty or staff. Students should contact the Office of Student Disabilities Services.

Penn Shuttle West
Penn Shuttle West (Spruce West Shuttle and Walnut West Shuttle) provide transportation free of charge to and from Transit Stops and West Philadelphia within defined boundaries for faculty, staff and students from Penn, the University of the Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). Passengers need to show their institutional ID to board the shuttle. Penn West Shuttle (Walnut and Spruce) run in the evening, seven days a week, year round except for Penn-recognized holidays.

To use the Penn Shuttle West from a West Philadelphia location call 215-898-RIDE (7433) during service hours. (See instructions on how to use our on-call shuttle service.). You can also catch the Penn Shuttle at West at the transit stops listed below during service hours and tell the driver the address to which you wish to go.

Penn Shuttle East
Penn Shuttle East provides transportation free of charge to and from Transit Stops and Center City within defined boundaries for faculty, staff and students from Penn, the University of the Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). Passengers need to show their institutional ID to board the shuttles. Penn Shuttles run in the evening, seven days a week, year round except for Penn-recognized holidays.

To use the Penn Shuttle East from a Center City location call 215-898-RIDE (7433) during service hours. (See instructions on how to use our on-call shuttle service.) You can also catch the Penn Shuttle at East at the transit stops listed below during service hours and tell the driver the location to which you wish to go.

LUCY®
LUCY-Loop through University City, operated by SEPTA, makes multiple stops between Penn’s Campus and 30th Street Station, Monday – Friday, excluding major holidays, from 6:10 a.m. to 7 p.m. LUCY® is free of charge to PennCard holders. Visit www.universitycity.org for information about routes and schedules. This shuttle service is managed by the University City District, and is free for students, faculty and staff at University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), University City Science Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who present their
institutional ID cards.