Plus3 Engineering

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. The Plus3 program is led by a Pitt faculty member and a Pitt Program Assistant and is only open to first year students from these two schools.  Your travels to one of the listed locations 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.
Tentative locations and themes for the 2022 Plus3 program are: 
  • Costa Rica: Coffee and Bananas
  • Cyprus: Crossroads of Global Industries on a Mediterranean Island
  • Germany: Automobiles and Manufacturing
  • S. Korea: Smart Systems South Korea location is no longer an option due to quarantine restricitons still in place
  • Puerto Rico: Tourism
  • The Netherlands: Concept to Customer!  Aviation, Fabrication, Flood Control, Floriculture and Food
When completing an application for the Plus3 program, students will be asked to note their "top 3" locations. 

Information Sessions

Interested SSOE first-year students are encouraged to register for an in-person or virtual information session to learn more about the program. We’ll discuss the program timeline in more detail, offer helpful tips/suggestions for answering the short-answer questions on the application, and more. 
In-person (limited capacity):
Tuesday, November 2, 4-5pm, 102 Benedum
Wednesday, November 3rd, 6-7pm, Zoom


Tentative Programs at a Glance

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.

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • Company visits may include Cafe Britt, Cafe Rey, Life Monteverde, and Institutio Nacional del Cafe
  • Cultural activities may include 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


Cyprus: Crossroads of Global Industries on a Mediterranean Island

Cyprus is an island nation that sits at the crossroads of three continents and combines traditional industries like energy and shipping with emerging technologies associated with Industry 4.0 such blockchain and cybersecurity. A background on Cyprus’ more than 12,000 years of cultural heritage will support your understanding of the country’s role in the region for multinational corporations. Among many interesting facts, Cyprus is proud to be #1 in ship management globally, a hub for offshore gas and oil development, and a leader in online gaming. This Plus3 experience will enable you to gain a better understanding of the complexities and interdependencies of supply chain management in the global market.

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • Company visits may include: IT/Gaming (Wargaming, Logicom,, Shipping (MSC Ship Management, Petronav Ship Management, Celestyal Cruises, Royal Caribbean), Energy (Exxon Mobil, Noble Energy, Schlumberger, Haliburton, Cyprus Hydrocarbons), Heavy Industry (Portland Cement, Petronlina and VTTi, Government Desalination and Power Plants), and others
  • Cultural activities may include: Tours of the capital city Nicosia and costal cities Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphas. Visits to Ancient Kourion, the Tomb of the Kings, Aphrodite’s Rock, Ayia Napa Sea Caves and Marina, Medieval Kourion Castle, the Limassol Marina, and the Blue Flagged Beaches of Cyprus.
  • Locations: This program will be based in Nicosia (with excursions to surrounding areas).


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.

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • 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


S. Korea: Smart Systems South Korea location is no longer an option due to quarantine restricitons still in place

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.  

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • 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.


The Netherlands: Concept to Customer!  Aviation, Fabrication, Flood Control, Floriculture and Food

Explore how products and services advance from an idea to reality in some of the Netherlands' critical industries.  These industries are the foundation of the economic infrastructure which is vital to the Netherlands' overall economic stability and global collaboration.  The Netherlands has, for centuries, dealt with flooding and high waters by developing innovative water management techniques and technologies.  The ability to control flooding significantly impacts the viability of a number of industries. For instance, how does controlled flooding impact production of its famous tulip industry or its abilty to succeed in the agricultural/food industries? We will investigate how aviation, from fabrication of product to flight, is surviving and innovating in the current and difficult climate.  Our studies will take us to interact with a university which has been involved in the Netherlands' key global commerce.  We will examine how their ability to innovate and collaborate with industry partners to advance concepts/ideas to fabrication and to ultimately support their customers. This will bring us full circle in understanding how engineering and business collaborate to better drive innovation and ultimately satisfy the end user.   

Q & A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow you to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand their interdependancies in the global market.  From the manufacturing to the design practices, these visits provide a first hand look at managing innovation and the necessary interfaces such as the supply chain, of these global industries.    

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • Locations: This program will be based in Amsterdam (with excursions to surrounding areas) and include an array of cultural and professional visits.     


Puerto Rico: Tourism

The travel and tourism field has remained resilient despite natural disasters, political instability, pandemics, and more. This program explores the tourism industry from multiple lenses. How does tourism economically impact a city or community? What are the health-related impacts of residents and citizens? And what are the social and environmental/sustainability impacts of the industry in Puerto Rico (and how can we, as global citizens, potentially generate positive change in the field)?
  • Who: Business, Engineering and Nursing students
  • This program will include an array of cultural and professional visits.
  • Locations: San Juan (with excursions to surrounding areas) 




Student Blogs + More information

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



You will travel to one of the listed locations/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/apartment that provides daily breakfast.  

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.


Engineering students can view how these courses will fulfill degree requirements here:


Business students: please check with your academic advisor for fulfillment of degree requirements.

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: 

China: "During my time abroad in China, I learned so much more than I thought I could in just two weeks. Listening to business professionals speak about supply chain management, marketing smartphones in China, big data aggregation, and logistics was fascinating and helped deepen my understanding of such valuable concepts.” - Haley McArthur, Plus3 China 2018


Costa Rica: "During my two weeks in Costa Rica, I gained in-depth exposure to Costa Rica’s coffee supply chain, interacted with the Costa Rican people and learned about their unique way of life, and gained an appreciation for a country different from my own, all in just a few brief but fulfilling weeks.”  - Phil Missan, Plus3 Costa Rica 2018


Germany: "We learned so much more in these immersive two weeks than we could have done in a semester long class. On our site visits of SGL, BMW, KUKA, Continental and Hörauf & Kohler, we were exposed to the inner workings and behind the scenes operations of almost every aspect of the automotive supply chain.”  - Gemma Skidmore, Plus3 Germany, 2018


Italy: "The Plus3 program placed me far outside my comfort zone, exposed me to a new continent, country, and culture, and showed me real life examples of both business and engineering. While the food, sights, and people were all beautiful, the trip was challenging in ways that helped me to grow both personally and academically.”  - Shelby Smith, Plus3 Italy 2018


Vietnam: "Along with new experiences, I gained valuable skills from Plus3 that will help me in my future business endeavors. Through traveling to a country on the other side of the world I learned adaptability first-hand. Every day I had to be able to adapt to the group’s plans and be ready for any situation.” - Kate McAssey, Plus3 Vietnam 2018

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
Costa Rica Dr. Ryan Teeter  TBD
Cyprus Dr. Michael Sherwin Mr. Chris Kirchhof  
Germany Dr. Lawrence Feick    TBD
Puerto Rico TBD TBD
South Korea Dr. Minhee Yun Dr. Renee Clark 
The Netherlands Dr. Karen Bursic  Mr. Frank Burisc   (Co-Faculty)



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!

Schedule an appointment

SSOE students: schedule an appointment with me using Pathways via this link!

non-SSOE students-- send me an email and we'll set up a time to meet!


Your In-Country Contacts: 

Dr. Karen M. Bursic

Dr. Bursic is 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. 


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. 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 Director 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. 2022 will be Chris’s third Plus 3 experience as a Program Assistant  previously travelling with students to Chile and 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


Schedule an appointment


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

Michael (Mike) Sherwin, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Mike Sherwin is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Graduate Program Director of Industrial Engineering. He teaches courses in the areas of supply chain management and quality assurance. He is  also responsible for the Industrial Engineering Senior Design Capstone course where he has integrating professional development activities for students in the areas of team building an problem solving. Prior to joining the Industrial Engineering faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, Mike spent nearly 20-years working primarily in manufacturing and now also consults for businesses in the areas of supply chain and operations management. Through career and personal travel, he has visited more than 41 states and 11 countries. For more information on Dr. Sherwin, please visit his bio.

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 Cost $5,000 $5,200
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,300 $5,500

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


For global scholarship opportunities, check out:

  • the Pitt GEO scholarship page for links to national, provider and private scholarship samples
  • PittFund$Me  for Pitt sponsored funding including Pitt wide global scholarships, Nationality Rooms, VIH, etc.
  • PittFund$Me  for the SSOE Global Experience Scholarships!
What's Included: 
  • Lodging for orientation in Pittsburgh and time abroad
  • Tuition for three credits 
  • Round-trip international airfare*
  • In-country transportation
  • Excursions
  • Many meals
  • International Health Insurance

*Students who choose a return destination other than Pittsburgh will be charged the flight fee difference.
**Note that Pitt Global Experience Office courses/programs such as this one, operate outside of normal tuition and fee schedules and cannot be combined nor included in full-term tuition pricing. 
***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 Plus3 2022 are May 6 - 20, 2022.  Students will be required to report to the University of Pittsburgh on May 6th (designated time, based on location, will be determined in spring 2022).  

What Else You Need to Know: 

Application Requirements: 

  • First year, first semester students from the Swanson School of Engineering and Pitt Business
  • Must complete 24 credits earned at Pitt prior to start of program
  • Must have a clean judicial record
  • Minimum of a 2.75 GPA at the end of the first semester
  • valid passport or proof of application for renewal or application - for 2022 this must be expedited

Passport Requirements:

Students 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 within 6 months after the program ends (by November 20).  If a student has a new or renewal passport processing, they must upload documentation in the application process that they've expedited the process and are waiting for a new passport to arrive.  

Need to apply? We suggest you apply NOW as passport wait times are longer than normal at present.  

Students can apply at the Allegheny County of Dept. of Court Records or at your local post office (check your post office's website for more details).
414 Grant Street
Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4pm, Wednesdays until 7pm. 
​​​Check out our helpful Passport Guide for more information.


Disciplinary Record

  • One or more disciplinary violations on a student's record will trigger an additional review.  
  • Students with any drugs and alcohol-related violations will not be eligible to participate in Plus3. 
  • Students under active disciplinary sanction at the time of application and/or during the program are not eligible to study abroad.   


Application FAQs - answers many commonly asked questions about  the Plus3 application. 


Agreement Meeting

  • 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.