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Lugano: Combining Theory and Practice in Lugano, Switzerland

Spring Semester,  2020

Excursion to Greece
Student in the Alps
program photo

This program combines classroom instruction with real-world projects. You will earn 18 credits taking classes in Italian, marketing research, consumer behavior and marketing, society, and the public interest. You will also work on a consulting field project to develop a business and marketing plan for a small non-profit organization that delivers programs to vulnerable populations. During your last 10-day break, you will have the opportunity to participate in an optional service learning project in Ethiopia or Rwanda.

For more information:

You will take classes from Virginia Tech professors at a local university and live at this Montarina Hostel, rated in a Washington Post article as one of the 8 top Youth hostels in the world. You’ll have the weekends and 3 one-week breaks to explore the surrounding areas of Europe. Lugano is on a major rail line between Italy and the rest of Europe. You can reach many wonderful cities in a few hours and will be required to visit at least the following cities during the program: Rome, Florence, Venice, Prague, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Munich. Funding for this is listed in the cost section under Required personal travel.

Note: Students cannot remain in the Schengen region for more than 90 days in a 180-day period and must leave this region during the program to comply with this regulation.

You will receive 18 credits:

  • Consumer behavior (MKTG 4204, 3 credits)
  • Marketing research (MKTG 4154, 3 credits)
  • Marketing , society, and the public interest (MKTG 4644, 3 credits)
  • Field practicum (MKTG 4404, 3 credits)
  • Elementary Italian (ITAL 1105, 3 credits)
  • Study abroad (MKTG 3954, 3 credits)


Each student must have a valid passport from their home country.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through a county health department or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:

Frequently Asked Questions

The fees include international medical insurance; what kind of coverage is it?

Our policy comes from Cultural Insurance Services International.  You can find the policy brochure here.

Who should I contact in case of an emergency while we are abroad?

You should contact the local coordinator or faculty member living with you.  You will be given their local and US-based numbers before you leave.

 How much should I budget for traveling and personal expenses?

We recommend budgeting $2000 for travel (flights, hostels, etc.) and $3000 for personal expenses (food, entrance fees to sites, souvenirs, etc.).

 Which airport does the group depart from when travelling from the US to Europe?

The group flight departs from Washington Dulles International Airport.

 Where are we staying in Lugano?

You are staying at the Montarina Hostel.

 Which meals are covered at the Montarina?

The Montarina provides dinner Monday-Thursday night.  Breakfast and lunch are not provided during our stay, but you will have access to a refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, and cooking/eating utensils.

 Do I need to bring my own sheets and towels?

Sheets and towels are provided by the Montarina.  You might want to bring your own sheets or towels for your travels.

 How will I do my laundry?

The Montarina provides laundry service twice a week. All clothes are washed on hot and dried on high, so expect your clothes to shrink. There is a small, coin-operated washer and dryer in the Montarina for clothing items that require special care.

 Will I have internet access at the Montarina?

Yes, the Montarina has wireless internet.  

 Can I get my books shipped to the Montarina?

Yes.  Books can be shipped to:

Your Name
c/o David Brinberg
Montarina Hostel
via Montarina 1
CH-6900 Lugano

Are there any sites or destinations I am required to visit while in Europe?

Yes. As part of the study abroad program you are expected to visit historic and cultural sites in these cities:  Rome, Florence, Venice, Prague, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Munich.

Lugano Spring 2021 bookmark.pdf

Program fees are $11,200. A non-refundable deposit of $1,200 payable online, is due after acceptance into the program.

Cost Summary (estimated)



Pre-trip Personal Costs:



VT GEO Application fee



VT GEO Participation fee



Books & Materials


















Pamplin billing:



Airfare & Rail pass



Four dinners per week






Required Group Travel



Medical Insurance






VT tuition & fees-estimated based on 2018 rates






Funds required during program:



Personal required travel



Meals not included






Total Estimated Costs



Note: Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Your financial aid eligibility can apply to this program. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University Financial Aid Office.  In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the Global Education Office at the International Affairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.  The form can be found on the Global Education Financial Aid page.

Due to prepayment on items such as air and lodging, billing may not be in sync with financial aid payouts. Please be prepared to pay costs in advance, and be reimbursed with any payouts later.

The program is accepting applications here.  


Business students, communication majors, and students in other majors with junior standing at the start of the Spring semester and a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible to apply. The course prerequisite for the program is MKTG 3104 (marketing management). Courses taken in Lugano satisfy mandatory and/or elective course requirements, depending on your major. Participating in study abroad does not allow a student any exceptions to meeting Policy 91 requirements.