Global Business Institute: Shanghai - Summer

Welcome to the Global Business Institute (GBI), your opportunity to study and practice business at one of five international campuses. GBI prepares you for the business world through coursework that advances your degree, offers out-of-the-classroom experiences that create cultural competence, and internship opportunities that provide you with transferable workplace skills.

A global megacity of 24+ million people, Shanghai is dynamic, technologically advanced, and fast-paced. It's future-focused with a drive toward economic development and strong international trade. Shanghai is a port city with infectious energy and you can be at the center of it all! You'll have the opportunity to take 9 credits of coursework, including Chinese language, an internship in your academic and professional interest area, and an option of a business or general education course. The city will be your classroom, with cultural activities and programming designed to complement your academics. And, you'll live with a local student, which will help you develop a personal connection to Shanghai.

Learn more about the GBI experience for Pitt Business students by viewing the Pitt Business To the World student blog and this video

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to: 

  • fulfill major elective course(s) and general elective course requirements. 
  • develop your global competency skills through coursework, internship opportunities and cultural experiences. 
  • gain transferrable skills towards your professional and personal development by participating in an internship. 


Shanghai (translating to “on the ocean") is China’s largest city and its commercial and financial hub. It's important geographical location where the Yangtze River meets the East China Sea has made it a center of foreign trade activities from the mid-1800s, and it now boasts the world’s busiest container port. This modern metropolis has a very global and cosmopolitan feel but is still quintessentially Chinese, which has earned it the nickname of “Paris of the East” and the “Pearl of the Orient”. It is now a magnet city for people from around the world interested in making, buying, and selling goods to and from China. It has benefited greatly from the recent economic boom, which can be seen in its cutting edge architecture, hyper-modern infrastructure, and fast pace of living.

Where You'll Live: 

The program is located at Donghua University’s downtown campus. The Donghua University campus is the perfect, central location in the middle of the city. The campus is active and vibrant. You’ll will have many opportunities to integrate into the local campus community. You can expect the following with your housing:

  • You will share a room with a local Chinese roommate in Donghua University’s international student dormitory (double-occupancy)
  • En-Suite Western style bathrooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour controlled building access
  • There is no meal plan included
    • You have access to the campus cafeterias where you can get budget-friendly meals
    • You may also opt to explore the nearby noodle shops or neighborhood
  • Courses will be held on campus which is conveniently located close to a major metro stop so you can easily commute to and from your internship

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study: 

Courses on GBI: Shanghai allow you to study subjects related to your major in a Chinese context. Courses are 3 credits, and you'll take 9 credits. Students must take a language course, internship, and can choose their third course from the below list. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found below:
The following are examples of offered courses, and all are pending final approval. Courses may be subject to change or cancelation.
Looking to complete the Certificate in International Business? Take the following courses to fulfill many of the CPIB requirements! Course descriptions are listed in the general course list below. Please note that you will still need to meet the language requirement to receive the certificate. 
CPIB Track 

  • BUSECON 1508 - Key Issues in International Economics for Managers  

Major Elective (choose 1) 

  • BUSMKT 1461 - International Marketing 

CBA Elective 

  • BUS 1910 -  International Internship For Credit  

Arts & Sciences Elective 

  • ARTSC 1403
  • HIST 1423


The Chinese Economy (ARTSC1403)

This course is meant to provide an overview of Chinese economy and its impact on the rest of the world. The first part of the course gives a brief historical overview of China's economy, from Mao to Deng's reforms, and on to the 21st century challenges of transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to a system more incorporated into the global framework. The second part focuses on China’s role in globalization and regional economic integration including the topics of uneven growth and development in China’s western regions and China’s rise from economic isolation. A special emphasis on US-China trade relations helps students evaluate and understand the economic pursuit of these two superpowers in East Asia. The third section of the course considers the unique challenges for multinational corporations to compete in the Chinese market. Students are exposed to the Chinese consumer–their culture and buying behavior. Throughout the course, students analyze the opportunities and risks of international businesses in China.

Politics and Governance (ARTSC1403)

This course begins with a historical survey of imperial China (before 1912) and Republican China (1912-1949). After providing some historical background, the course then focuses on the politics of the People’s Republic of China, including the Mao era (1949-1978) and the reform era (after 1978). Special attention is paid to “Mao Zedong Thought,” Deng Xiaoping’s contributions and legacies, the organizational structure and operational dynamics of the current political system, modern state building, and the Communist Party’s strategies for survival. When examining these issues, students engage in some of the current debates of the field, mainly those over the features of China’s politico-economic transition and the prospect of democracy in China.

Business International Internship (BUS1910)

This is a part-time internship (20 hours per week). In addition, you will attend weekly discussion-led sessions that include educational support and mentoring in a classroom environment, develop personal and professional skills, and learn to contextualize your internship experience socially and culturally. You will receive 3 credits for this course.
Please note internships are available for students who have successfully completed three semesters of coursework at Pitt or a transfer university as a degree-seeking student. 

Key Issues in International Economics for Managers (BUSECN1508)

Fulfills a requirement for the CPIB/ Global Management major. 
The objective of this course is to examine theoretical analysis of international trade and commercial policy. Students will look at the pure theory of international trade as exemplified by comparative advantage and gains from trade in the classical and neoclassical models and explore alternative explanations of trade and development. The theory of customs unions and modern day explanations of preferential trading arrangements will be explored and some of the principal unresolved theoretical and practical problems of free trade will be examined.

International Marketing (BUSMKT1461)

Fulfills a marketing major elective for Pitt Business students.
This course reflects the increasing amount of international marketing carried out by a wide and diverse range of organizations. Starting with why organizations may wish to expand their activities across national boundaries, students develop knowledge to identify which markets to enter, the methods of market entry available, and the management and control implications. The student will be encouraged to perceive the role of a global marketing manager, and to make decisions that could affect the outcome of a global marketing plan. This includes the international marketing environment and the international marketing mix, namely product, pricing, distribution and promotion, as well as emerging issues in international trade such as trading blocs, trade barriers, and the standardization versus customization dilemma.

Chinese Language in Shanghai (CHIN1901)

Students will engage in a conversation-style course that is designed to improve their basic Mandarin skills. There will also be ample opportunity to practice conversational skills on campus and in the university neighborhood.

China Then, China Now (HIST1423)

Using a historically- grounded but multi-disciplinary approach, this course seeks to give students on the Pitt in Shanghai program a fuller context in which to understand what they see, hear, and interact within contemporary China.
 It is common to hear the average Chinese person say “we have a huge country with a long history and lots of people” and to then discuss how the “humiliation” of the past 200 years is something contemporary Chinese must overcome. Indeed, history is a living, breathing, and malleable thing in China. Starting with the mid-1800s and using the rich backdrop that today’s Shanghai provides, this class will show students how past and present intersect on an daily basis and how that drives the popular view of what it means to be Chinese and what role China should play in the world. Topics included will be the Opium Wars and Boxer Rebellion, Western settlements and the “China Trade”, the founding and rise of the Chinese Communist Party, World War Two and its aftermath, the Maoist era and post-Mao “reform and opening”, the rise of urban China, and the downsides to staggering economic growth.
 The course will be highly experiential and will include guest speakers from various fields.

Experiential Learning Description: 

An international internship is your opportunity to create a stand-out resume, and you will be challenged to apply your coursework to the work world, acquire cultural competence, and create professional connections that can last a lifetime. Not only will your LinkedIn profile get a boost, but your overall marketability to future employers will, too.
Internships in GBI: Shanghai are 20 hours per week, excluding commuting time. Students will apply for an internship visa with the help of CET after arrival in Shanghai, and internship placements will last approximately 8 weeks. In addition to workplace experience, you will also meet with peers and faculty for internship seminars to help you get the most out of the experience. Internships are always unpaid, always for three credits, and always pass/fail. Internships in Shanghai are not available for PRC nationals due to Chinese residency regulations. Internships are available for students who have successfully completed three semesters of coursework at Pitt or a transfer university as a degree-seeking student.

You won't have Pitt faculty on the ground with you for this program.  However, CET Academic Programs, the partner organization we work with on this program will provide academic, intern, and emergency support for you! In addition, CET Academic programs has a full-time staff on site in Shanghai. Academic staff ensure that you and your classes are a good fit. They direct the curriculum, manage the faculty, and monitor courses. Programming staff help you get the most out of the program. They handle housing, excursions, and day-to-day logistics, and are trained in emergency prevention and management.
Courses will be taught by local faculty members identified by our partner in China, CET Academic Programs. Chinese studies faculty teach your electives. They typically hold, or are working towards, a PhD in their field, and have experience either teaching or researching in the United States.Chinese language instructors are seasoned teachers, hand-picked by CET from the host university. Most instructors have graduate degrees in Chinese or Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and experience teaching US students.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Hillary Koller

Hello! I’m Hillary, Director of Pitt Business International Programs. I originally hail from New Jersey, but became a member of the Pitt community as an undergraduate student in 2002 and I have been here pretty much ever since. During my time at Pitt I’ve had the opportunity to accompany students abroad, and I’m excited to work with you to make your international experience a valuable one! When I’m not in the office, you can find me spending time in the great outdoors, reading, cooking, and taking a yoga or ballet class. Get in touch with me at


Schedule an appointment


To schedule an appointment with me, send me an email and we'll find a time that works for you!

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6984 $7,184
Program Fee $15 $15
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $7299 $7499

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1600-$2000
Personal Expenses $1500-$2500
Visa $200
Local Phone $100

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.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 9 credits
  • Housing
  • Orientation in Shanghai
  • Cultural Events and Activities
  • Excursion to the Chinese countryside
  • Health Insurance

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.

When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 

All students are required to attend the mandatory Agreement Meeting. This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application.

For scholarship opportunities, be sure to check out the Pitt Study Abroad Scholarship page. 

Pitt Business students may also apply for additional scholarship through the Pitt Business International Scholarships, as well as crowdfund using the Pitt Business Fund My Travel page. Please note, that the application deadline for the Pitt Business International Scholarship is the same as the program application deadline.  

Students with a Criminal Record: Please note that there could be complications to your visa process. It is VERY important that you bring this to the attention of your program manager as soon as possible.