Summer is the perfect time for students to consider study abroad opportunities

As Pitt-Greensburg students prepare to leave campus for summer jobs, internships, and life back home, many of them are leaving campus armed with materials to help them discuss study abroad opportunities with their parents. Others are busy preparing for their summer study abroad experiences in countries across the globe.

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg offers students a liberal arts education for the 21st century, of which one of the characteristics is strong emphasis on global skills. One way students develop that global perspective is to participate in the University’s rich and varied study abroad program.

A part of the University of Pittsburgh Study Abroad program, Pitt-Greensburg has its own Study Abroad Office and coordinator to assist students in choosing from among the more than 350 programs in more than 75 countries. The experiences can range from one-week during spring break or a portion of the summer term to a full semester or academic year. Credits earned during the experience can be applied toward the student’s degree, and internships are also available. This academic year (2017-2018), 41 Pitt-Greensburg students have traveled abroad or will travel abroad.

Financial aid and scholarships are available from Pitt-Greensburg and may be applied to study abroad programs. Pitt-Greensburg’s endowed travel abroad scholarships include the Guy Rossetti International Study Endowment Fund, The Carl F. Poke Endowed Fund for Student Travel, The SGA Truex Study Abroad Scholarship, and the Commercial Bank of PA Student Travel Scholarship.

“One hundred percent of Pitt-Greensburg students who file their FASFA and apply for the scholarships are awarded scholarship funds to study abroad,” said Michelle Apodaca, Pitt-Greensburg’s Study Abroad coordinator. “These generous endowment funds for study abroad make this incredible opportunity possible for many students who otherwise would not be able to afford it.”

In addition to the endowed scholarships, Pitt-Greensburg also is one of 14 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania that offer the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership Scholarship and travel abroad experience. Three young women from each institution are admitted into the program annually and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of an international experience of their choosing. The program specifically targets young women with no previous international experience and includes intensive preparation to develop leadership skills and learning the value of community engagement. The deadline for making application to the program is November 1. Requirements and application materials are available at www.viraheinz.pitt.edu.

The Heinz Endowments have a particular interest in developing VIH scholars who meet one (or more) of the following five indicators of diversity: LGBTQQ, disability, racial or ethnic minority, financial need as defined by receiving a Pell Grant, and STEM students.

Senior Biology major Corinne Kirk spent six weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark, and participated in a one-week study tour to Berlin, Germany, as a Vira I. Heinz scholarship recipient.

“My programs had two main focuses, one was children with special needs and the other was practical skills in medicine and anatomy. I was able to go to schools and speak with children and teachers to learn about the unique education style of Denmark. I also got to go into hospitals in Denmark and Germany to learn about healthcare systems, several disciplines of medicine, and skills such as suturing, CPR, medical emergency simulations, nasogastric tubing, and more.”

Students who study abroad immerse themselves in another culture, develop self-awareness, and take courses outside of the traditional classroom setting. While studying in a foreign country isn’t always easy, most students agree that studying abroad can be one of the best parts of their college experience. Graduate schools and employers value real-world experience and transferable skills. Pitt-Greensburg encourages students to study abroad because it helps them grow academically, professionally, and personally. We want our students to be more engaged and develop into global citizens, so they can use the transferable skills they acquired abroad to make positive impacts on campus, in their community, and in the world.  

Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 29 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Public Policy, and Education, as well as 24 minors and five certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg’s coffee shops, restaurants, art museums, theatres and boutiques and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.

Publication Date

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 10:15am