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Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Beijing, China; Shanghai, China; Suzhou, China
Program Terms: Spring Break
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Panther Program Housing Options: Hotel
Language Prerequisite: No prerequisite Number of Credits: 3
Internship/Research?: None Open to Non-Pitt Students: Yes
Language of Instruction: English Program Length: 1 week
Courses of Study: Business, Engineering Minimum GPA: 2.50 (for engineering students only), 2.75
Pitt Campus: Pitt-Oakland campus only
Program Description:


Program Overview

INNOVATE is a study abroad program and international conference for undergraduate and graduate students in business and engineering that examines the relationship between technology, globalization, and leadership in the contemporary marketplace. Participants spend five days each in two exciting cities in China - Beijing and Shanghai - participating in meetings with key business, academic, and government leaders. Students will also engage in professional site visits to many leading multi-national and domestic Chinese companies.


INNOVATE involves students from multiple countries and numerous US and international universities. In the spirit of international collaboration, the program is designed to promote interaction among students of various cultures and backgrounds. Outside the formal framework of the program, the conversations that occur during dinner and sightseeing excursions are opportunities for participants to reflect on what they have learned and to challenge their thinking about their own cultures. INNOVATE prepares tomorrow's leaders to grapple with the issues of technology and globalization, not just in the abstract, but also through direct experience.

Location Information

INNOVATE students will visit both Beijing and Shanghai as part of the 2013 program. Beijing, the capital of China, has both a long history and a vibrant, cosmopolitan modernity. Visitors there will see 1000-year-old temples next to cutting edge 21st century architecture. Beijingers are both sophisticated and patriotic and love to show off their city to "foreign friends." The city is always changing and yet it still struggles with issues of development, economic inequalities and how to blend its local tradition with global culture. Shanghai, meanwhile, is the most populous city in China as well as the largest city proper in the world. Historically, Shanghai was the first Chinese city to open to foreign trade, and still today remains China's most important economic center. Visiting students will enjoy the amalgam of eastern and western cultures in this exciting city.


University of Pittsburgh Students
This experience is the international component of a 3-credit University of Pittsburgh spring term course:  ENGR 1600 - Global Engineering Technology.  The course is focused on understanding globalization and technology with a particular emphasis on China. The first part of the course is focused on preparing students for the intensive, 10-day study tour of China. The last part of the course is focused on reflections of that study-tour and a better understanding of issues facing both the U.S. and China. Specifically, each week, guest speakers will address topics intended to provide the necessary background for this trip. These lectures will serve as the basis for comparative discussion and analysis. Topics will include: history and politics, economics, contemporary culture and demographics, and technology trends.

In addition to attending class lectures, students will complete background readings and complete short writing assignments in which they consider topics discussed in class as they relate to their particular field of study. After returning, the students will be required to document their experience, primarily through an end-of-semester symposium. Students will complete individual posters addressing a theme from the conference and write a final paper on a topic of their own choosing. 
Please note that University of Pittsburgh students must enroll in and complete ENGR 1600 and apply to the international educational experience via the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page.
University of Pittsburgh Business Students (CBA).
For CBA students the course for this experience (ENGR1600) can count as the following:
1.  A Marketing elective -OR- a Supply Chain Management elective (may apply to either the Certificate in Supply Chain Management or the SCM major)
2.  One of two required foreign culture courses.

Non University of Pittsburgh Students (domestic and international)
Non-Pitt students are invited to attend the 10-day Spring Break study tour component of the course.  These students will not receive academic credit for the experience.  

Recommended Courses

The following courses fulfill the engineering humanities and social science requirement and will prepare you for a broader understanding of the culture before you embark.
  • CHIN 0001 - First Year Spoken Chinese (or any other level of Chinese Language)
  • HIST 0751 - Ancient Worlds
  • ECON 1630 - Economic Development of China
  • HIST 1423 - Modern China

Program Dates

INNOVATE coincides with spring break at the University of Pittsburgh. Non-Pitt international students should plan to meet the INNOVATE group in Beijing; more details will be provided to students after admission into the program.

Depart U.S. - March 6, 2014
Arrive in China - March 7, 2014
Depart China to U.S. - March 16, 2014

Program Dates are subject to change.


Students will be responsible for paying the appropriate program fee:

Pitt Students: $3900.00  

Non-Pitt Student: $2200.00 (does not include: airfare, insurance, visa processing or academic credit) 

Program fees and related details are tentative and subject to change without notice.

Please note that airfare is not included in the fee for non-Pitt students participating in the program.

Program fee includes: airfare to and from China (Pitt students only), airport transfers and all ground transportation, double occupancy hotel lodging in 3-4 star hotels for the duration of the trip, most meals, admission and participation to all events and excursions included on the INNOVATE itinerary, visa processing fees (Pitt students only), international insurance (Pitt students only) and other related costs, as appropriate.

Additional Expenses not included in the program fee: some meals, personal expenses (~$300), airfare and visa processing fees for non-Pitt students. 
Pitt students taking less than 12 credits or are on Co-op during the Spring 2014 term must contact the International Programs Advisor regarding additional University of Pittsburgh tuition costs.  

IMPORTANT INFO: Please note that a non-refundable program deposit of $300.00 in the form of a money order made payable to "University of Pittsburgh" will be due on November 22, 2014. This deposit will be applied toward your program fee and is required to hold your place in the program. Students who do not submit this deposit will be ineligible to participate in INNOVATE, as we cannot book airfare and accommodations and/or process visa applications on your behalf without first receiving your deposit.


Airfare is included in the price of the program for University of Pittsburgh students, but it is not included in the price for non-Pitt students who will need to purchase their own flights. Housing Information (and board info if you can get it) Double occupancy hotel lodging in 3-4 star hotels for the duration of the trip will be provided.

Admissions Requirements

  • No prior Chinese language required.
  • Pitt students must have 24 credits, at least a minimum 2.5 GPA for engineering students or a 2.75 GPA for business students.
  • Juniors and seniors in any related engineering or business field are encouraged to apply.
  • If you would like to spend any of your last 30 credits abroad, you must also obtain special approval.
  • Please note: Students will hear back from the admissions committee by November 18th, 2013.  


Past Experiences

"My favorite aspect of the Innovate program was touring engineering facilities in
China. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences in the Chinese
workplace compared to domestic companies."

- Charles Ringel (Spring 2012)


"If you want to experience a new culture and open your eyes to what's out
there, going abroad is the best choice. I learned that in order to be a
successful engineer, I need to familiarize myself with other cultures that
I may potentially work with. Not to mention, I made stronger friendships
with my fellow classmates."

- Hilary Gill (Spring 2012)

Contact Information

Peer Advising Walk-in hours:
Monday and Tuesday 11-5
Wednesday 9-5

Dr. Kristine Lalley
Director, International Engineering Initiatives
Swanson School of Engineering

Rice University Contact:
Sarah Phillips
Brown School of Engineering
Director, International Opportunities

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2015 11/14/2014** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.