"There is a flickering spark in us all which, if struck at just the right age...can light the rest of our lives, elevating our ideals, deepening our tolerance, and sharpening our appetite for knowledge about the rest of the world. Educational and cultural exchanges...provide a perfect opportunity for this precious spark to grow, making us more sensitive and wiser international citizens through our careers." - Ronald Reagan, former US President
The European Studies Center is raising support to enable Pitt students to experience the personal growth and professional benefits of living, working or studying abroad. As this opportunity presents a substantial challenge for most Pitt students, funds from this source will go directly to offsetting costs involved in providing them with what is often a life changing experience.
Research has proven that studying or interning abroad during college provides a vast range of personal and professional benefits including increased self-confidence and other interpersonal skills alongside the development of the constellation of skills (cultural awareness, foreign language proficiency) that are part of an individual’s “global competence.”
Europe is the most popular destination for both traditional and individually directed study abroad, and for good reason. Economically, diplomatically, and culturally, the U.S. and Europe have long been linked.
The benefits of studying in Europe notwithstanding, the costs of doing so are significant, including tuition, transportation, housing and, often, lost summer or spring break income. As a public university, Pitt overwhelmingly attracts undergraduates from families of modest means and it is often impossible to find financial support for internships or study abroad. Internships in particular are difficult to support, as traditional scholarships for study abroad are for coursework, not unpaid work experience.
Despite these challenges, many Pitt students have sought and won internships at such places as the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, the German Bundestag, the European Parliament, various cultural organizations and museums. Judging from reports, letters and personal communication, these experiences have proven eye opening and life transforming for our students. Even if they never travel abroad again, their undergraduate international experience will have provided them with tangible skills that will aid them in their careers and further education.
Funds raised through this campaign will provide direct support for students who are pursuing study and internships in Europe. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000.00, which will provide five scholarships of $1,000 apiece. While modest this amount can provide the crucial difference to our undergraduates. Awardees will be chosen based on demonstrated need, a personal statement and budget, and the quality and relevance of the experience abroad they are pursuing.
A gift of $20 could help a student with miscellaneous travel expenses on the way to their new city!
A gift of $50 could help stock a student's flat with groceries.
A gift of $100 could help a student buy a rail or bus pass to explore their new city!
A gift of $250 could help a student buy school or work supplies.
A $500 donation could help a student pay for one month's rent.
A $1,000 donation could provide airfare for a student to travel to and from their host city.