Are you interested in exploring the relationship between technology, globalization, and leadership in the global marketplace with students from multiple countries and U.S. universities? Then INNOVATE is for you!
You will enroll in a spring semester course and travel abroad during spring break.
You will spend ten days abroad in three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou. In China, you will participate in meetings with key business, academic, and government leaders and engage in professional site visits to many leading multi-national and domestic Chinese companies.
We have been doing this program since 2008! We partner with The Asia Institute. This provider handles all of the logistics for the program and has been an amazing partner for this program.
In the spirit of international collaboration, the program is designed to promote interaction among students of various cultures and backgrounds. INNOVATE prepares tomorrow's leaders to grapple with the issues of technology and globalization, not just in the abstract, but also through direct experience. Outside of the formal framework of the program, the conversations that occur during dinner and sightseeing excursions will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you have learned and to challenge your thinking about your own culture.
To learn more- watch this video:
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:
- an understanding of business and engineering innovation in China
- the ability to adapt and thrive while traveling through China
- a deeper understanding of the role that history and culture play in the development of a technology and business.
INNOVATE students will visit both Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai.
As the capital of China, Beijing has both a long history and a vibrant, cosmopolitan modernity. You 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 world’s most populous megacity, and the first Chinese city to open to foreign trade. Today, Shanghai remains China's most important economic center. You will enjoy a mix of eastern and western cultures in this exciting city.
Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai, is known for its canals, bridges and classical gardens.
Double occupancy hotel lodging in 3-4 star hotels for the duration of the trip is included.
You can expect the following at the hotels:
- Double with a shared bathroom
- Heat and Air conditioning
- Sheets, blankets, towels, and washcloths
- Breakfast included each day
This is a 3-credit course taught during the spring semester.
Engineering students-This 3 credit course (ENGR 1600 - Global Engineering Technology) have the option to do additional writing course-work so that they can apply the class toward a W requirement. Please see below how departments have deicded how the course can count for requirements:
Bioengineering: Advanced Engineering/ Science/Technical Elective or Humanities/Social Science:
Chemical engineering: Please contact Dr. Bayles to confirm how the course counts
Civil/Environmental engineering: ENGR Elective for CE Majors and Environmental Program Elective for ENVE Majors
Electrical and Computer engineering: Technical/Open
Industrial Engineering: IE Technical elective
Mechanical Engineering: ME Technical Elective
Materials Science: Please contact Dr. Nettleship to confirm how the course counts
Engineering Science: Please contact Dr. Smolinski to confirm how the course counts
This experience (ENGR 1600 - Global Engineering Technology) can count as the following:
1. A Marketing elective -OR- a Supply Chain Management elective (may apply it to either the Certificate in Supply Chain Management or the SCM major)
2. One of two required foreign culture requirements.
The course is focused on understanding globalization and technology with a particular emphasis on China.
All other Majors- please check with your academic advisor.
Click below for more information on the course content and syllabus.
Course Content Overview: This course is focused on understanding business and technology in the era of globalization, with a particular emphasis on China. The first part of the course is focused on preparation for an intensive, 10-day study tour of China that will occur during the spring break. The latter half of the course is focused on reflections based on the study-tour and a better understanding of issues facing both the U.S. and China. While the course will generally focus on globalization, innovation, and supply chains, we will also address other relevant topics.
The course includes:
- Preparation for the intensive, 10-day study tour of China.
- Background readings and complete short writing assignments that link topics discussed in class to your particular field of study.
- Guest speakers who provide the necessary background for the program and serve as the basis for comparative discussion and analysis. Topics will include: history and politics, economics, contemporary culture and demographics, and technology trends.
- Documentation of the experience, primarily through an end-of-semester symposium upon return from China. You will complete individual posters addressing a theme from the conference and write a final paper on a topic of your choosing.
- Reflections of the study-tour and a better understanding of issues facing both the U.S. and China.
- You can opt to take the course for a "W" requirement.
Buna! That’s hello in Romanian. After returning from being a Peace Corp volunteer in Transylvania- I decided to work in the field of international education helping international students. Life took me back to Buffalo, NY (where I grew up- land of chicken wings)- and I worked for SUNY Buffalo for many years assisting international students and scholars. In 2010, I moved to the ‘Burgh- and am now assisting engineering students to study abroad. For fun I enjoy my two kiddos, yoga and fitness, international films, and travel (of course). Come talk with me about studying abroad! firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-624-9823 | 152 Benedum Hall -https://www.instagram.com/ssoeinternational/ | www.facebook.com/SSOEIntProg
Dr. Rajgopal is a professor of Industrial Engineering and has been on the faculty at Pitt since 1986. He also serves as the graduate program director for the Industrial Engineering department. He is an advocate for study abroad and has led a number of study abroad programs.
I am the program assistant and will travel with the group thsi year! For the last 2 years, I’ve worked at Pitt in the Office of International Services as an immigration specialist helping students, scholars and faculty with their visas. My passion for international education began as a communications major and Spanish minor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I also have a master’s in student affairs in higher education from IUP. I’ve participated in several study abroad trips throughout education and career, including serving as program assistant for the INNOVATE China trip in 2018.
Hello! My name is Mike Cannizzaro, I am one of the INNOVATE TAs and I'm a first year master's student studying electrical engineering here at Pitt. I graduated from Pitt undergrad over the summer (also in electrical engineering), and I participated in Innovate last spring! I had such an incredible experience with Innovate, and I'm so excited to be back!
Email me at MJC153@pitt.edu
Hello! My name is Larissa Allen, and I am one of the TAs for INNOVATE 2020! I graduated from the Swanson School of Engineering with a degree in Bioengineering in 2018 and am now a second degree ABSN student in the School of Nursing here at Pitt. My entire undergraduate experience was shaped through study abroad, and I am excited to be working again with the International Programs office to make this year’s INNOVATE successful. After spending two semesters abroad in Singapore and South Korea, studying abroad through INNOVATE, and working as a peer advisor with the Swanson International Programs office, I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about INNOVATE and beyond! I cannot wait to return to China and share the experience with all of you! Feel free to email me! LAA68@pitt.edu
Items Billed by Pitt
Study Abroad Tuition (3 credits)
This charge is in addition to your semester tuition fee
|Program Fee ( (see the "What's included" section)||$2120||$2120|
|Total Billed by Pitt||$4700||$4900|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Meals and Personal Expenses||$300|
|If you are not a U.S. Citizen and require to travel for a visa application (Depends on if you have to travel to apply for the visa)||dependent on travel costs required|
Total Estimated Program Cost
Total Estimated Cost of Program
As a part of the program costs, the following were included in the program:
- Tuition for 3 Pitt credits
- All Accommodations
- Airfare to and from China
- Airport transfers (in-country) and all ground transportation
- Health insurance
- Most meals
- Admission and participation to all events and excursion
- Visa processing fee (please note, if you are not a U.S. citizen you might be required to apply for a visa at your countries embassy or consulate, this could result in additional fees you will have to pay).
Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our budgeting page for more information.
Questions about Funding study abroad? Check out the study abroad’s funding search page and note that SSoE has funding specifically for Pitt engineering students.
Traveling to and from China
Because of the short nature of our study abroad program, your program includes the cost of the flight and transportation to and from the Pittsburgh Airport.
While in China - Itinerary
Click here to see an example schedule of the program. This is subject to change but provides a good idea of the program's schedule.
- Undergraduate and graduate students from all majors are eligible to apply.
- Must have applied for a passport or already hold a passport by the application deadline. Need to apply? See instructions here.
- Must be in your second, third or fourth+ year at the time of application
- 2.75 GPA
Past INNOVATE stdudents want you to know…
"The friends I have made during this trip have that spark of adventure inside of them, and it was a pleasure to enjoy this experience with them."
-Andrew Welby (Check out his blog!)
"Leaving China definitely made me feel depressed. Even though I was only there for a short time, I knew I was not close to being ready to leave. I learned so much about the country in such a short amount of time and honestly was able to have the time of my life. "
- Sean Kurtz (Check out his blog!)
"The trip is coming to an end—we just had the closing dinner. The Pitt graduate that spoke made me want to move here because of how easily she adjusted. The trip flew by, and the slideshow of pictures made me realize how many places we all saw in such a small amount of time. I also realized how close everyone got."
- Victoria Portier (Check out her blog!)