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Penn state Students



Spend 2 months in Switzerland and 1 month in Eastern Africa! 

You will be based in Lugano, Switzerland, located in Canton Ticino -- the only Italian speaking Canton in Switzerland. You will take classes from Roanoke College and Virginia Tech professors at a local university and live at the Montarina Hostel, rated in a Washington Post article as one of the 8 top youth hostels in the world.

In September and October, you take classes from US professors and have the weekends 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. Past students have visited cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, and Munich.

In November, you participate in an experiential learning project in Rwanda. Your project will depend on the needs of our non-profit partner organizations. Students collaborate with local schools and non-profit organizations to develop, implement, and deliver curricula in areas such as:​

  • ESL (English as a second language)

  • Cultural exchange discussions

  • Basic computer skills

  • US culture

  • Professional development

To learn more about the Africa experience, check out our Service Learning and Impact pages.

You also go on a safari excursion, reflection retreat, and other local activities. You return to Lugano for about one week to complete your semester-long project and reflect on your experiences. 


$6,300 Virginia Resident ($14,863 Non-Virginia Resident) Tuition ​


$12,400 Program Fees

  • $1,200 deposit billed when committed to the program 

  • $5,600 billed May 10, due June 10

  • $5,600 billed June 10, due July 10

  • This includes housing for the semester, dinner 4 nights a week and lunch meal card in Europe, 3 meals a day in Rwanda, airfare to/from Europe and Africa, Eurail Pass, safari excursion, weekly laundry, international health insurance, Visas, etc.


$4,000 Out of Pocket Expenses

  • Not billed, just recommended out of pocket expenses. 

    Weekend travel, textbooks, souvenirs and gifts, breakfasts & lunches, toiletries, etc. 




About $6,000 more than a normal semester living on campus for a PA resident student at Penn State and about  $5,000 more than a normal semester living on campus for a Non-PA resident student at Penn State!


If you are a VA resident currently paying out of state tuition at Penn State, you could study abroad for $3,000 less than a normal semester!  (see Penn State cost calculator

Financial Aid Information:

  • During your semester abroad you will be enrolled at and pay tuition to Roanoke College instead of Penn State. 

  • Please contact us to see which scholarships, financial aid, tuition assistance, etc. can be applied to your semester abroad.


You will be enrolled in 5 Units at Roanoke College which may transfer to up to 18 credits at Penn State:

  • BUAD 260 - Topics in Business Administration - 3 credits (1 unit)

  • BUAD 343 - Buyer Behavior - 3 credits (1 unit)

  • COMM 416 - Community Internship - 3 credits (1 unit) 

  • ROA 218 - Digital Storytelling for Global Learning - 2 credits (0.5 unit) 

  • ROA 219 - Digital Storytelling for Global Learning - 2 credits (0.5 unit)

  • SOCI 261 - Selected Topics in Sociology - 4 credits (1 unit)

Credit Transfer Information:

  • Credits are transferred; grades are not. The credits transferred from another school do not affect a student's GPA. Only courses in which a grade of 'C' (2.0) or higher is earned will be considered for transfer.

  • A $25 processing fee will be posted to your student account once an official college transcript is received and credits are processed on your record in LionPATH.

  • At least 36 of the last 60 credits required for a baccalaureate degree must be taken at Penn State. Your specific major may may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at Penn State. Please be sure you have taken enough credits at Penn State to still earn credit abroad. 

Academic Opportunities include:

  • Experiential field study with international organizations and semester-long grant proposal project - looks great on resume! 

  • Opportunity to intern with Linking Lives the summer after participating in the program

  • Potentially earn credit for MKTG XFR200, MKTG XRFGEN, HDFS Lower Level Support, up to 6 credits towards HDFS internship 

  • HDFS students should contact Marc McCann (internship Director) at to learn more

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