With more than 350 programs in 75 countries, Pitt Global Experiences has something for everyone. Ultimately, the right program will depend on your own goals and desires. Studying abroad prepares Pitt-Johnstown students to take their place in the world by teaching cultural awareness. It will also teach you self-awareness and can prepare you for leadership roles in a global community. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that you can pursue after completing your freshman year. An international education experience may be the first time that you are truly away from home and familiar surroundings. While studying in a foreign country isn't always easy, most students agree that the benefits of giving up their familiar environment for a short period of time far outweigh the decision to complete their entire undergraduate degree on campus. While abroad, you can develop your language skills, enhance your understanding of your major by taking classes not offered at Pitt-Johnstown, and make degree progress. Often, studying abroad can be the best part of your college experience, but it does require planning and a bit of work before you get there.
The Study Abroad Office staff is here to help you learn what you need to do to make this opportunity happen! Schedule an appointment with a study abroad adviser.
Types of Programs
At Pitt Global Experiences Office, you have five types of programs that you can choose from. Most of our students go with Panther Programs – the programs that are led by Pitt faculty – but ultimately, the right program for you will depend on your own goals and desires. Let’s take a look at the program types below:
These are programs designed by our Global Experiences Office staff along with faculty, composed primarily of Pitt students, and are typically led by someone from Pitt – most likely your faculty member who usually teach at least one the courses during the program. You earn Pitt credit on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript. Also, your grades factor into your GPA: if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc. Panther Programs are offered every term and have courses which range from niche fields of study (Such as Nursing in Nicaragua, or Tropical Ecology in Ecuador, etc.) to programs that offer a wider variety of courses which may appeal to students seeking to fulfill General Education Requirements abroad (such as Pitt in Sydney or Pitt in London). There are a wide range of Panther Programs in terms of length, subject of study, and learning environment. Many programs offer experiential opportunities such as service learning, internships, or research. The lists of courses offered on these programs can be found on the individual program webpage. Housing details are listed on the individual program webpages.
Study Away Programs
It may seem like an oxymoron to say that you are participating in a global experience in the US, but our country offers an incredibly wide range of cultural experiences that you just can’t get in Pittsburgh.
Study Away programs are designed by Pitt Global Experiences Office staff, and are always taught by a Pitt faculty member. You earn Pitt credit on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript. Also, your coursework factors into your GPA: if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc. Study Away programs tend to be shorter (one to three weeks) and will typically have a niche focus, like Environmental Policy Writing or Bilingual Education. Housing for these programs is typically hotels, but details are listed on the individual program webpages.
Pitt has relationships with colleges and universities across that word that offer great global experience options with plenty of support while you are abroad. These are our Partner Programs, and are a good fit for more independent students who want to experience an academic culture that often differs greatly from that in the US. You earn Pitt credits on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript. Like Panther Programs, coursework factors into your GPA, so if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc. Some courses will show up as general courses (ARTSC 1761 – Trinity College Dublin Elective) or as specific courses (SPAN 1323 – Medical Translation). These programs take place primarily during the semester, and will offer a wide range of courses to choose from including courses in natural sciences. Housing details are listed on the individual program webpages.
The programs are offered at some of the best universities in the world. Exchange programs are for students who are a bit more willing to be independent as they often require more work—in the classroom and in navigating host university bureaucracies. However, it is certainly worth it for the deep immersion opportunities offered. Your credits transfer back as ‘S/NC,’ or Pitt’s way of saying pass/fail. That means you’ll need to earn the equivalent of a C or better in the local grading system to receive credit.
You pay normal Pitt tuition. Housing and living expenses are paid overseas. Whether courses will be taught in English or the host university language will depend on the university and the university’s visa requirements. These programs take place primarily during the semester and will offer a wide range of courses to choose from, including courses in natural sciences. Housing details are listed on the individual exchange program webpages. For more details, see about the Exchange Programs page.
Pitt-Recognized Programs and Institutions
Pitt- Recognized Programs (PRPs) are facilitated by third-party organizations that Pitt has worked with for years; they are vetted to ensure that they meet Pitt’s standards for academics, health, safety, and security.
Examples are CIEE, API, ISA, SIT, etc.
The student body of these programs is made up of students from across the U.S. and in some cases include local students at the host institution. You will meet people and make friends not only from across the world, but also across the U.S. You earn grades according to your host institution’s grading system; grades transfer back as ‘S/NC,’ or Pitt’s way of saying pass/fail. That means you must earn the equivalent of a C or better in the local grading system to receive credit from Pitt. Housing options vary by program provider and location. In order to participate in a Pitt-Recognized Program, you must complete an application for Pitt AND an application for the program provider. We recommend students work on these applications simultaneously to meet both the Pitt and provider application deadlines. When participating in a Pitt-recognized program, an administrative fee ($300 for summer; $400 for full term) is charged, which covers comprehensive international health and accident insurance, pre-departure advising, and the facilitation of credit transfer upon completion of the program. Tuition and fees for the program are paid directly to the provider. No Pitt tuition or fees are charged for Pitt-recognized programs. Be sure to carefully read and understand what the providers’ fees cover, i.e. tuition, housing, meals, excursions, travel expenses, visas (if needed), etc. There will usually be additional out of pocket expenses that will be the students’ responsibility. The Pitt-recognized option is as challenging and rewarding as our other study abroad options—it is not “study abroad light”!
Much like the countries and cultures in which you can study, the cost of participating in a program can vary widely and is affected by a variety of factors. While you may want to focus on the more exciting aspects of the process, it is important to understand the total cost of your experience and the varying ways in which you can finance your program. Each and every student that participates in a program will fund their experience in different ways, which may include:
- University of Pittsburgh scholarships and/or financial aid
- Federal and/or state grants
- Federal and/or private student loans
- University of Pittsburgh study abroad-specific scholarships
- National study abroad scholarships
- Personal funds
- and many other funding sources
PittFund$Me connects you with real, relevant scholarships. As a current Pitt student, you can log into PittFund$Me – hosted on the Scholarship Universe system – and answer a series of profile questions. The adaptive matching engine will display scholarship opportunities that are tailored to you. And don’t worry – you’ll only see institutional scholarships and vetted outside scholarships so you can be confident as you submit scholarship applications. Learn more about PittFund$Me and other funding options on our funding sources page.
Figuring out how to fund your experience will likely be a collaborative process that involves you, your family, the Financial Aid Office, your global experiences advisor, and your program provider.