About

Program Overview

The Plus3 Program is a student’s first chance to study abroad at the University of Pittsburgh. This two-week, three-credit interdisciplinary experience is a partnership between the Swanson School of Engineering and Pitt Business. Your travels to one of five countries will give you a firsthand glimpse of globalization through industry-specific company tours, Q&A sessions with executives, and academic lectures that provide cultural and political perspective.


In 2017 students will explore globalization through one of the following locations/industries:

China: Smartphones

Smartphones have not only transformed the professional and personal spheres, but their design, production, and distribution is a fascinating case study in globalization. Background on China’s history and politics will give you a foundation to use during company visits, which highlight everything from cell phone manufacturing to global marketing departments as you travel from Beijing to Hong Kong. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand the interdependencies of the global market.

  • Company visits included Secco, Phicomm, China Telecom, Intel, and PCH International
  • Cultural activities have included The Great Wall of China, a Chinese acrobatics show, and a sightseeing cruise tour in Hong Kong
  • Locations will include Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an

Germany: Automobiles and Manufacturing

Known for quality and precision, the automobile industry in Germany is a case study in German culture, business practices, and exportation. You will explore Germany’s historical and political background during lecture sessions and use this knowledge as context for company visits while exploring everything from car manufacturing to global marketing departments. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand the interdependencies of the global market. In addition to Augsburg, past participants have also traveled to other German destinations such as Munich, Berlin, Neuschwanstein, and Nuremburg.

  • Company visits have included Audi, Eurocopter, Donauworth, Riegele, and Fujitsu Technical Solutions
  • Cultural activities have included dinner at an authentic Bavarian Restaurant, a visit to the ‘Deutsches’ Museum, and a concentration camp in Dachau.
  • Locations will include Augsburg

Vietnam: Development

Vietnam’s developing economy is highlighted against its deep history that both shape this Asian country’s present. Lectures will focus on Vietnam’s historical and political background to provide context for company visits where you will learn about business and engineering practices. From entrepreneurship to exportation practices, these visits will give you a firsthand look at development occurring in Asia. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into the challenges facing international firms and to better understand the interdependencies between engineering and business management. While you will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, past groups have traveled to various parts of Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta.

  • Site visits have included the U.S. Consulate, II-VI Incorporated, Glass Egg Digital Media, Phu My Hung Corporation, and Tan Cang-Cat Lai Terminal
  • Cultural activities have included an authentic Vietnamese dinner, lessons in Vietnamese language and culture, cooking lessons at a local restaurant, and tour of the Củ Chi Tunnels
  • Locations will include Ho Chi Minh City

Costa Rica: Coffee

The second-most sought-after commodity in the world, coffee moves through a complex global web on its way to consumption. Your trip to Costa Rica will give you a firsthand look at both large-scale and small-scale coffee growing, processing, and exportation. Background on Costa Rica’s history and politics will give you a base to use in company visits exploring engineering practices and environmental impacts as well as international marketing. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices and to better understand the interdependencies in the global market.

  • Company visits included Cafe Britt, Cafe Rey, Life Monteverde, and Institutio Nacional del Cafe
  • Cultural activities included a trip to Monteverde (cloud forests and coffee plantations), Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfalls, and activities with local Costa Rican students
  • Locations will include San Jose, Monteverde, various areas neighboring San Jose

Italy: Textile and Fashion

Academic content includes site visits to highlight Italy’s history and reputation as one of the world’s leading countries in the high fashion and luxury brand markets. Lectures focus on Italy’s historical background providing context for the company visits where you will learn about the business and engineering practices that highlight the nation’s reputation as the top producer of high-end textiles and fashion. From the manufacturing to the design practices, these visits provide a firsthand look at the supply chain of these industries.

  • Site visits have included Como Textile, Milan Textile, MF1-Mario Faroni Knitwear Factory, Sartorial Cavour Tailoring Company, and Lineapelle Leather Company
  • Cultural activities have included a visit to the Uffizi gallery, a meet and greet with local students, and a historic walking tour of Milan
  • Locations will include Milan and several surrounding cities

Learn more about the program on the Pitt Study Abroad website: Plus3 Program.