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Lugano: Creating Sustainable Social Change

Fall Semester 2023

Safari jeep
Students with linked arms
Cesky Krumlov

This program is an international experiential learning semester that will change how you view the world. With 9 weeks in Europe and 4 weeks in Africa, you will experience the world like never before, all while earning 18 credits.

Visit our Program Website at

European Experience

During the European component of the program, you will be based in Lugano, Switzerland.  Lugano is located in Canton Ticino, the only Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland.  You'll live at the Montarina Hostel, rated in a Washington Post article as one of the 8 top youth hostels in the world.  For 9 weeks, you'll take classes from Virginia Tech professors and have the weekends to explore the surrounding areas of Europe. You'll be required to visit at least the following cities:  Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, and Munich.  Funding for this is listed in the cost section under Required personal travel.

African Experience

You will spend 4 weeks participating in a experiential learning project/experience in Ethiopia or Rwanda. 

Your experiential learning project/experience will depend on the needs of our non-profit partner organizations in Africa.  Students will participate in a semester-long grant proposal and collaborate with local schools to develop curricula in areas such as:

  • ESL (English as a second language)
  • Basic computer and programming skills
  • US culture
  • Professional development

During your time in Africa, an safari excursion will be planned for you.

Students will receive 18 total credits:

  • Marketing, Society, and the Public Interest, MKTG 4644 - 3 credits
  • International Development, UAP 4764 - 3 credits
  • Topics in Public Communication, COMM 4244 - 3 credits
  • Field Practicum, MKTG 4964 - 6 credits
  • Study Abroad, MKTG 3954 - 3 credits

Contact Information

Dr. David Brinberg
2019 Pamplin

Ellie Walters
1046 Pamplin Hall
(540) 231-3208