Banco Santander, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, has launched 500 Santander Language Scholarships | English for Professional Development – University of Pennsylvania, to improve mastery of Professional English.

These scholarships are designed to help students and young professionals who are non-native speakers who want to pursue careers in a global market. 

Applications can be submitted at until 16 December.

Madrid, 8 October 2020 – English remains the dominant communication medium in global markets. Lack of mastery of the language is one of the main obstacles to professional development for many young people. Banco Santander, through Santander Universities, has invited applications for the Santander Language Scholarships | English for Professional Development – University of Pennsylvania, to enhance mastery of professional English at one of the world's leading universities for language learning.

These 500 scholarships are for recent graduates and professionals aged 18 to 32 from 11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Uruguay) whose level of English is at least B1. These are part of the more than 1,500 Santander #InvestInYou Scholarships that are seeking to provide effective solutions to enhance the capabilities of the recipients to meet the demands of today's job market, through a range of tools in various areas of knowledge. 

These scholarships have been launched in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), one of the world's leading universities for language learning, particularly in English language and literature. Penn is part of the Ivy League group of the most important universities in the USA. It regularly features in the top 20 of the best universities in the world, according to various rankings (THE, QS, etc.). 

The scholarship involves a training programme where the participants will learn about looking for work, job applications and interviews, to increase their employability and opportunities for professional development. This course will also give the students an opportunity to explore their overall professional career paths, while building their vocabulary and improving their linguistic skills to achieve their professional objectives.

Blanca Sagastume, Executive Vice President of Banco Santander, says that ”students and young graduates always tell us that language skills are among the most important factors for employability and professional development. This is why we have decided to widen our range of scholarships with an English programme designed specifically to give the recipients the best chance of success in recruitment processes, at a time when there is so much uncertainty in the job market. The University of Pennsylvania is probably the best partner we could have found to join us in this challenge”.

Jack Sullivan, Director of Penn’s English Language Programs says, “A core element of our mission is to foster partnerships that allow us to reach students around the globe while using the most suitable technology.  We are thrilled to collaborate with Banco Santander, the world leader in higher education investment, to offer free, convenient, and engaging online lessons that will help students and recent graduates in putting their best foot forward in the increasingly competitive job market.”  

The course is entirely online. It will give the participants the skills they need to use their English confidently in professional contexts, such as interviews and networking events, interpreting job offers accurately and mastering the language used in CVs, covering letters, professional emails and social media messages.

The course will be delivered through UPenn's online training platform. It will include individual activities (such as questionnaires about articles and videos, absorbing knowledge through games and the participants recording themselves) and synchronised real-time group activities (such as conversations, discussions and clarification of questions with teachers and other participants about the tasks, and mentoring from internationally renowned specialists).

The five-week course starts in February 2021 and will be delivered by UPenn's English Language Programs department. Applications will be accepted at until 16 December. 

This initiative is part of Banco Santander's EUR 100 million global support plan for tackling COVID-19 and the pandemic's negative effects. For education alone, the bank has earmarked EUR 30 million through Santander Universities to promote research projects into the development of vaccines, medicines and new diagnosis tests, provide support for students experiencing economic difficulties and work on progressing the university system's digital transition. 

Banco Santander and its commitment to education
Banco Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive, sustainable growth, with a long-standing dedication to higher education that sets it apart from the world's other financial institutions. With more than EUR 1,800 million invested in academic initiatives since 2002 through Santander Universities and over 430,000 university scholarships and grants awarded since 2005, it has been recognised as the company that invests the most in education worldwide (Varkey/UNESCO, Fortune 500 Report), with agreements in place with 1,000 universities and institutions in 22 countries.

University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to global impact
Penn Compact 2022 outlines President Amy Gutmann’s vision for Penn to be the most inclusive, innovative, and impactful university in the United States.  Offering free online classes that inform people’s daily lives is a prime example of this commitment.  Penn’s English Language Programs (ELP) has been a leader in providing engaging free courses around the globe since 2014.  To this date, nearly two million learners have enrolled in ELP online classes on topics ranging from applying to US universities, career development, media literacy, and climate change.