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Virginia Tech 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 Virginia Tech and Roanoke College 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 in-state ($14,863 out-of-state) 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. 




Only $4,000 more than a normal semester living on campus with a meal plan.

Financial Aid Information:

  • During your semester abroad, you are enrolled in and pay tuition to Roanoke College instead of Virginia Tech. 

  • Please read the attached document 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 will transfer to Virginia Tech as 18 Credits:

  • Marketing, Society, and the Public Interest (MKTG 4644, 3 credits)

  • Special Study: Legal Approaches to Change (MKTG 4984, 4 credits)

  • Consumer Behavior (MKTG 4204, 3 credits)

  • Field Study (MKTG 4964, 4 credits)

  • Study Abroad (MKTG 3954, 4 credits)

Credit Transfer Information:

  • Virginia Tech has approved the credit transfer from Roanoke College to Virginia Tech for the classes taken through the Linking Lives Study Abroad Program 

  • You must receive a C or better to transfer courses back to Virginia Tech 

  • Course credits will transfer, but GPA will not be affected

  • No more than 75% of degree requirements can be transferred from another university to Virginia Tech 

  • A minimum of 18 of the last 45 credit hours during your senior year must be completed at Virginia Tech  

Academic Opportunities include:

  • Communication majors can earn up to 12 credits in COMM

  • HNFE students can earn HNFE field study credits

  • Substitute MKTG 3954 for MKTG 4704 to earn a marketing cognate by completing additional reading and a paper that examines a topic in international marketing. Final approval of the cognate is obtained from the department, school, or college. (Communication Majors Only).

  • 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

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