Plus3 Engineering

Plus3 programs for summer 2021 will not be mobility (travel) programs.  
A Virtual Global Plus3 option  (Plus3: Virtually Exploring Global Supply Chainswill be available to first-year students in the Swanson School of Engineering, the College of Business Administration, the School of Nursing, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's Division of Business and Enterprise. Feel free to reach out to your school’s Program Manager (SSOE PM: Alicia Olalde) for more information on this and future opportunities.  


Plus3 is your first chance to study abroad at Pitt. This two-week, three-credit interdisciplinary experience is a partnership between the College of Business Administration and the Swanson School of Engineering. Your travels to one of six countries will give you a firsthand glimpse of globalization through industry-specific company tours, Q&A sessions with executives, and academic lectures that provide cultural and political perspective.

In prior years, students explored globalization through one of the following locations/industries:

  • China – Smartphones
  • Costa Rica – Coffee and Bananas
  • Germany – Automobiles and Manufacturing
  • Italy – Food, Fashion, and Fabrication
  • Korea - Smart Systems
  • Vietnam – Globalization and Development


Potential locations and updates for 2021 will be announced during the fall 2020 semester. 


Past Programs at a Glance

China: Smartphones

Smartphones have not only transformed the professional and personal spheres, but their design, production, and distribution is a fascinating case study in globalization. Background on China’s history and politics will give you a foundation to use during company visits, which highlight everything from cell phone manufacturing to global marketing departments as you travel from Beijing to Shanghai. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand the interdependencies of the global market.

  • Company visits included Secco, Phicomm, China Telecom, Intel, and PCH International
  • Cultural activities have included The Great Wall of China, a Chinese acrobatics show, and a sightseeing cruise tour in Shanghai
  • Locations will include Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an


Costa Rica: Coffee and Bananas

The second-most sought-after commodity in the world, coffee moves through a complex global web on its way to consumption. Your trip to Costa Rica will give you a firsthand look at both large-scale and small-scale coffee growing, processing, and exportation. Background on Costa Rica’s history and politics will give you a base to use in company visits exploring engineering practices and environmental impacts as well as international marketing. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices and to better understand the interdependencies in the global market.

  • Company visits included Cafe Britt, Cafe Rey, Life Monteverde, and Institutio Nacional del Cafe
  • Cultural activities included a trip to Monteverde (cloud forests and coffee plantations), Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfalls, and activities with local Costa Rican students
  • Locations will include San Jose, Monteverde, various areas neighboring San Jose


Germany: Automobiles and Manufacturing

Known for quality and precision, the automobile industry in Germany is a case study in German culture, business practices, and exportation. You will explore Germany’s historical and political background during lecture sessions and use this knowledge as context for company visits while exploring everything from car manufacturing to global marketing departments. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand the interdependencies of the global market. In addition to Augsburg, past participants have also traveled to other German destinations such as Munich, Berlin, Neuschwanstein, and Nuremburg.

  • Company visits have included Audi, Eurocopter, Donauworth, Riegele, and Fujitsu Technical Solutions
  • Cultural activities have included dinner at an authentic Bavarian Restaurant, a visit to the 'Deutsches' Museum, and a concentration camp in Dachau.
  • Locations will include Augsburg


Italy: Food, Fashion and Fabrication

Academic content includes site visits to highlight Italy's history and reputation as one of the world's leading countries in the high fashion and luxury brand markets. Lectures focus on Italy's historical background providing context for the company visits where you will learn about the business and engineering practices that highlight the nation's reputation as the top producer of high-end textiles and fashion. From the manufacturing to the design practices, these visits provide a firsthand look at the supply chain of these industries. 

  • Site visits have included Como Textile, Milan Textile, MF1-Mario Faroni Knitwear Factory, Sartorial Cavour Tailoring Company, and Lineapelle Leather Company
  • Cultural activities have included a visit to the Uffizi gallery, a meet and greet with local students, and a historic walking tour of Milan
  • Locations will include Milan and several surrounding cities


Korea: Smart Systems

Smart systems are what’s driving technology to be even more efficient. Digital devices working together as smart systems can sense, act upon, and communicate about a situation. They can recognize patterns, make predictions, and support human decision-making. Students will benefit from seeing how South Korea is not only manufacturing this technology but also how they are implementing technology into their daily life. Students will understand how this is being marketed and from a business perspective will understand how that is helping to drive the Korean economy. We will travel to the following cities: Seoul, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Busan.  

The proposed company visits include: 

  • Oracle, Woori Investment and Securities, KPMG, Samsung Mobile, Riot Games, Hyundai, BASF, Air Busan, Korea Technology and Finance Company and Korea Southern Power Company. 
  • There are two proposed university visits (Seoul National University or Yonsei University or Busan University of Foreign Studies). 
  • Cultural visits are included and include in Seoul the Royal Palace visit, Seoul Tower and traditional market, DMZ tour and Han River Cruise, and cultural visits in Gyeongju.


Vietnam: Globalization and Development

Vietnam’s developing economy is highlighted against its deep history that both shape this Asian country’s present. Lectures will focus on Vietnam’s historical and political background to provide context for company visits where you will learn about business and engineering practices. From entrepreneurship to exportation practices, these visits will give you a firsthand look at development occurring in Asia. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into the challenges facing international firms and to better understand the interdependencies between engineering and business management. While you will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, past groups have traveled to various parts of Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta.

  • Site visits have included the U.S. Consulate, II-VI Incorporated, Glass Egg Digital Media, Phu My Hung Corporation, and Tan Cang-Cat Lai Terminal
  • Cultural activities have included an authentic Vietnamese dinner, lessons in Vietnamese language and culture, cooking lessons at a local restaurant, and tour of the Củ Chi Tunnels
  • Locations will include Ho Chi Minh City


Student Blogs + More information

Want to learn more?  Check out the Pitt Plus3 Blog for past participant experiences: 



You will travel to one of six countries for the field study portion of Plus3.

Where You'll Live: 

Lodging in each location is unique, but you will be housed in shared bedrooms in a centralized hotel that provides daily breakfast. Please note that if you participate in Plus3: Costa Rica, you will stay in local homestays for part of the program.

What You'll Study: 

You will receive three academic credits for Plus3. For Swanson School of Engineering students, Plus3 could fulfill a technical elective in Engineering, but you must check with your department advisors for confirmation.  

Plus3 Academics

Plus3 is a 3-part program that occurs during the spring term with international travel the first two-weeks in May.

  • Pre-Departure Orientations and Workshops – Three to five cohort meetings with your faculty leader and program assistant in the spring term will help to prepare you for your time abroad.
  • Field Study – Company visits, guest lectures, and a reflection blog comprise the academic portion of your two weeks in-country.
  • Post-Program Project – You will complete a project (details determined by the faculty member) that acts as a summary for your experience. 


Optional language classes at Pitt prior to departure

Students interested in the Germany location are encouraged (but not required) to take some langauge courses here at Pitt prior to departure. Two recommended courses are:

  • GER 0101 – Beginning German 1 (3 credits)
    • Elementary German 101 meets three times a week, and while class periods will focus on speaking and listening, you will do the writing, reading, and most of the grammar practice at home. Students are expected to study regularly on their own to keep up with the material. In this course you will learn how to interact in German from the first day on. For example, you will learn how to ask questions and give basic information about yourself, how to ask for directions, how to say the time and make an appointment, how to find an apartment and how to respond to an invitation. You will learn the necessary grammatical structures and vocabulary, but also find out about cultural differences, e.g. regarding greetings, forms of address, and punctuality. Students will be working towards the A1-Exam of the Goethe Institut, which follows the Common European Framework of Reference and is accepted worldwide.
  • GER 0001 – Elementary German 1 (Intensive) (5 credits)
    • ​This Elementary German course meets five times a week and is the next best thing to studying abroad. You will learn how to interact in German from the first day on. For example, you will learn how to ask questions and give basic information about yourself, how to ask for directions, how to say the time and make an appointment, how to find an apartment and how to respond to an invitation. You will learn the necessary grammatical structures and vocabulary, but also find out about cultural differences, e.g. regarding greetings, forms of address, and punctuality. Students will be working towards the A1-Exam of the Goethe Institut, which follows the Common European Framework of Reference and is accepted worldwide.
Plus 3 Engineering (ENGRXXXX)

This three-credit research-focused study abroad opportunity is offered as a follow-up to the Engineering Analysis (ENGR 0011 and ENGR 0012) at the University of Pittsburgh. The course is conducted through pre-departure lectures and discussion sessions and a required trip abroad to tour local and multi-national companies, attend lectures, and visit cultural sites.
The course is composed of six groups, each of which travels to different destinations abroad and has a slightly different supply chain focus. The locations are China, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, and Vietnam and South Korea.

Experiential Learning Description: 

Each site has a designated faculty member and program assistant that will lead workshops, oversee academics and logistics, and travel with you in-country. The faculty member and program assistants for 2020 are:

Who Makes it Happen

Program Faculty Program Assistant
China Dr. Lei Li Chris Kirchhof
Costa Rica Dr. Ryan Teeter  Stacey Nath
Germany Dr. Lawrence Feick   Arielle Schweber
Italy Dr. Karen Bursic  Frank Bursic   (Co-Faculty)
Korea Dr. Minhee Yun Dr. Renee Clark 
Vietnam Prof. Meade Johnson  Hillary Koller



Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Alicia JF Olalde, M.A.

Konnichiwa! After working for the JET program in Japan for just over two years, I decided to pursue a career in international education. I returned to the US via a few months of travel -slowing making my way west with many stops in stunning locations and with amazing people. Whenever possible, I continue to love exploring new countries and cultures! I have been fortunate to work both as an administrator and as a classroom educator in higher education; my areas of interest are international, adult and comparative education.  I enjoy assisting engineering students seize international opportunities! Reach out to me at!

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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Frank Bursic

Frank Bursic holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He has had a highly successful career in business and executive management, project management, technical & leadership training, sales & marketing, business development, contract negotiations, and engineering design and services.  He currently owns and operates InRoads International LLC, a company that provides unique strategic business development expertise and market intelligence to the commercial nuclear power market.  Mr. Bursic has over 35 years of experience in a wide variety of industries and technologies and has travelled extensively in both Europe and Asia. 


Dr. Karen M. Bursic

Dr. Bursic is an Associate Professor and the Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Industrial Engineering.  She was instrumental in developing the International Requirement for IE, a first of its kind, which aims to have every graduate have a study abroad experience during their undergraduate career.   She has over 30 years of experience in industry and academia with a research focus on Engineering Education and numerous publications in this area.  She has traveled to Germany, Turkey and Italy to enhance her understanding of international education.   Dr. Bursic teaches courses in engineering economics and engineering management as well as engineering analysis and computing in the First Year Engineering program. 


Dr. Renee Clark

Dr. Renee Clark is a Research Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Assessment for the Swanson School of Engineering.  As part of the Engineering Education Research Center, Renee conducts research related to active learning within engineering  education.

Dr. Lawrence Feick

Dr. Lawrence Feick is Vice Provost for Special Projects at the University of Pittsburgh. From 2007 – 15 he served as the Senior Director of International Programs and the Director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is Professor of Business Administration at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh where he has been a faculty member since1982.  At Katz, he served as Associate Dean from 1989-1996 and Interim Dean during the 2005 – 06 academic year. From 1999 through 2005 he served as the director of the University's International Business Center (a federally funded CIBER). Previously, Dr. Feick served on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University where he earned his Ph.D.
Professor Feick teaches in the areas of marketing management and international marketing; and does research in the areas of consumer information search, international marketing, word-of-mouth influence, and the analysis of categorical data and has published articles in Journal of Consumer Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, Marketing Science, Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Bulletin, and Public Opinion Quarterly. Dr. Feick has served as a consultant to a number of profit and non-profit firms, including Eastman Kodak, General Motors, and Newsweek. He has done extensive executive teaching, including programs for Samsung Electronics, Audi, and Cheil Communications, and has developed a train-the-trainers program on the use of simulations and games and case studies in teaching marketing concepts. He is the coauthor of Country Manager, an international marketing simulation game. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Augsburg (Germany), Czech Management Center (Czech Republic), International Management Center (Hungary), Comenius University (Slovak Republic), Universidad Santa Maria (Ecuador), and the University of Montevideo (Uruguay) where he was a Fulbright Senior Specialist.

Professor Meade Johnson

Meade is a professor in marketing and executive in residence at Pitt Business. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in communications. She has held account management positions at several advertising agencies in Pittsburgh including: Marstellar, MARC Advertising, Blattner Brunner, and GBL Advertising. Meade has worked on a broad range of client businesses including consumer, business-to-business, and retail, providing such services as project management, marketing communications plan development, and strategic planning. In addition, she has a proven track record of leadership and has spearheaded the delivery of creative, media, and research services by agency teams to meet the needs of a variety of clients. Her client experience includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, Philips Respironics, Pittsburgh Public Schools, UPMC, PPG, and The New York Philharmonic. Meade is currently working as a marketing consultant and is a past president of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation Board.


Christopher Kirchhof

Chris Kirchhof is the Coordinator for Transfer Student Services in the Swanson School of Engineering at Pitt. Among his duties at Pitt, Chris teaches the Engineering Transfer Seminar course for new transfer students and serves as a liaison to students and staff at the Sichuan University – Pittsburgh Institute in Chengdu, China. 2020 will be Chris’s third Plus 3 experience as a Program Assistant and second consecutive year as the PA for Plus3 China.

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


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Dr. Lei Li

Dr. Lei Li is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering. His research interests are on surface, interface and nanotechnology. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Li has worked in information storage industry for nine years. Dr. Li grew up and got his BS and MS degree in China.  In recent years, he has traveled to China many times and visited different cities, including Beijing, Qingdao, Chengdu, Lijiang and Hangzhou.



Arielle Schweber

Bonjour! I’m the International Programs Manager for Pitt Business. I’m originally from New York but have spent some time in France, as I have dual nationality. I’m new to the city and university, but I can’t wait explore my inner yinzer! Since high school, I have participated in short and long term study abroad programs.  My first stop was in Spain, then a semester in France and finally two short term programs in Cuba and India. Outside of the office you can find me exploring new restaurants, biking, skiing, watching HGTV or planning my next adventure! My hope is for every Pitt student to study abroad. You can get in touch with me at or 412-383-7489.


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Dr. Ryan Teeter

Dr. Teeter is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting Information Systems at Pitt Business. For more information on Dr. Teeter, please visit his bio.


Dr. Minhee Yun

Dr. Minhee Yun is an associate professor of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Pittsburgh where he has been a faculty member since 2005. Minhee Yun leads research group “Nanoeletronic Device Laboratory (NEDL) and his research focus is in device fabrication and biomedical sensor development using nanostructured materials including 1-D and 2-D materials. 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-state Out-of-state
Program Fee & Tuition $4,800 $5,000
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,100 $5,300

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Additional Spending Money ~$300-$500
Visa costs if applicable- If you are not a U.S. Citizen there might be costs associated with applying for a visa


Swanson School of Engineering students can apply for funding through the following website.

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: 
  • Lodging for orientation in Pittsburgh and time abroad
  • Tuition for three credits
  • Round-trip international airfare*
  • In-country transportation
  • Excursions
  • Most meals
  • Visa (where applicable)
  • International Health Insurance

*Students who choose a return destination other than Pittsburgh will be charged the flight fee difference.
**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: 

Admission Requirements: 

  • First year, first semester students from the Swanson School of Engineering and Pitt Business  
  • Must have applied for a passport or already hold a valid passport by the application deadline. A valid passport means that it will not expire prior to the 6 month mark post program.  Need to apply? We suggest you apply during Thanksgiving break or apply in Pittsburgh by reviewing the instructions here.
  • Must have a clean judicial record
  • Minimum of a 2.75 GPA at the end of the first semester
  • Accepted students must attend a mandatory agreement meeting. The dates for this meeting will be announced in the Fall semester.  Details will be sent with acceptance letters.