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Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available:
English Max credits offered: 21
Minimum VT Class Status required for admission:
1 Freshman/First Year Program Type: VT semester-long
Areas of Study: Global Citizenry, International Studies, Italian Housing Options: Dorm/Residence
Virginia Tech Steger Center:
Program Description:


Field of Study

All majors

Program Flyer 

Additional Information

Virginia Tech course, VT faculty led, VT credit (21 cr.)


Invest in your future.

Gain global and cross-cultural competencies.

Cultivate personal, professional, and intellectual development.

Enhance awareness of self and one's own culture.

Develop self-reliance and problem-solving skills.

Become more confident.

Improve language and cross-cultural interpersonal skills.




Riva San Vitale
Spring 2019, January 18 - May 8

Presidential Global Scholars: Global Perspectives through Personal Commitment

The Presidential Global Scholars program (PGS) is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Honors College, the Office of the University President, and Outreach and International Affairs. PGS is a collaborative living-learning and research community in which ambitious Honors students work together, with award-winning faculty, and with the resources and opportunities in Europe and beyond to better understand the world and what they might accomplish in it.  The purpose of PGS is to help students discover, commit to, and act upon a compelling personal interest in a pressing transcultural issue.

PGS 2019 View

Learn how to be a global citizen
PGS courses are hands-on learning experiences led by some of Virginia Tech's most distinguished professors. The 21 credit-hour course of study consists of —
UH 2504: Discourse and Global Citizenship
UH 2524: Natural Sciences and Global Citizenship
UH 2534: Design, Arts, and Global Citizenship
UH 2544: Social Science and Global Citizenship
UH 2554: Humanities and Global Citizenship
UH 4994: Undergraduate Research
ITAL 1106 or ITAL 2105: Italian Language and Culture
All courses count toward students’ VT general education requirements, honors diploma requirements, or both.

Experience different cultures
PGS provides the immersive cultural experiences made possible by a full semester abroad. Students live in the elegant Villa Maderni at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship amid the beauty of the Swiss Alps.  Program travel includes extended trips to Rome and Naples and frequent visits to Milan.  PGS builds in significant time for small group and individual research and recreational travel as well. PGS students take advantage of inexpensive airfares from Milan airport to travel to Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, to name but a few locations.


PGS is available to Virginia Tech Honors College and honors-eligible students (3.6 or higher cumulative GPA). Contact Dr. Paul Heilker ( for possible exceptions.


Participants will earn 21 semester hours of Virginia Tech academic credit (20 honors credits), with credit in CLE/General Education areas.

Because we are living in a small town in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, students are required to take ITAL 1105 or higher before spring 2017 and ITAL 1106 or higher during their study in Switzerland.


• VT Spring 2019 Tuition and Fees: Same as the student pays to attend VT in Blacksburg.
• Steger Center Room and Board: To be determined for 2019 (2018 cost = $7,100).
• Presidential Global Scholars Program Fee:  $3,000.
• Round-trip Airfare: Approximately $1,000.
Please note: Students will need additional spending money. Previous students recommend a minimum of $2000.

We do not want any student to pass up this exciting study abroad opportunity because of financial reasons. Many scholarships and forms of financial aid are available to help defer some of the program costs, including some specific to Virginia Tech:
  • Global Education Scholarship
  • Steger Center International Scholarship
  • Steer Center Room Fund
Check with the Global Education Office and the University Scholarships and Financial Aid Office for more information.

University Tuition & Fees

Tuition and university fees are billed separately from the program fee according to University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term:

Contact Information

If you have any specific questions regarding PGS, please contact Dr. Paul Heilker,

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/01/2018 09/10/2018 01/18/2019 05/08/2019