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spring program:
combining theory and practice


European Experience

You will stay in Lugano, Switzerland which is located in Canton Ticino, the only Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland. You will take classes from 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, or the Franklin University Dorms. You will 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 and you can reach many wonderful cities in a few hours. You are required to travel to the United Kingdom for one of your breaks. Past students have visited cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, Prague, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Munich.

NOTE:  Students cannot remain in the Schengen region for more than 90 days in a 180 day period. 

Optional Africa Experience

During your last break, you have the opportunity to participate in an optional experiential learning project in Rwanda.  Your project will depend on the needs of our non-profit partner organizations in Africa.  Students will collaborate with local schools to develop and implement 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.


Contact the program leaders if you have questions or are interested in this opportunity. The optional Africa experience is an additional cost ($2,000) not included in the program fee. 

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