United Nations SDG Virtual Consulting Projects

Join students across the world to participate in a virtual team-based consulting project contributing to a sustainable future for all. The main objective of the program is to connect talented students to solve real-world organizational challenges related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), giving students a platform to professionally and personally develop their intercultural competencies and prepare to become global leaders with the know-how to successfully navigate in a multicultural environment.
 
Learn more about UN Sustainable Development Goals here.
 
This virtual program is structured as a series of team-based consulting projects. Small groups of 4-6 students from different regions and backgrounds will be assigned to a project with a specific organizational partner from the Global Learning Collective network (in Asia, Africa, Europe or South America) to develop a solution that corresponds to the SDG(s) assigned as a thematic focus. The consulting teams will work with actual companies to develop new policies, present ideas, and explore strategies to propel global leaders and companies toward fulfillment of the United Nations SDGs.
 
Throughout the program students will meet weekly with the partner organization, attend sessions with a team mentor for feedback and support, and participate in a variety of cultural activities. Participants should expect to dedicate approximately 10 hours/week to internship activities. Students from all majors and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
 

What You'll Accomplish: 

Program learning outcomes:

  • Apply the UN SDGs in a multi-cultural environment and its market trend (political, economic, and socio-cultural);
  • Establish a professional rapport to support career development in an international context;
  • Harness your academic knowledge while engaging with innovative ideas and daily challenges the world;
  • Build a global network of professionals, students and leaders in different sectors;
  • Reflect on the similarities and differences of business practices in your country and that of the host country;
  • Examine your own strengths, weaknesses, values and beliefs in the international environment;
  • Analyze the transcontinental challenges and opportunities for sustainable food production;
  • Develop key professional skills for an international work environment, such as independent work ethic, cross-cultural collaboration, appreciation of diversity, and intercultural communication skills;
  • Learn to navigate remote business relationships and to work on a virtual team

In addition to gaining professional experience, you will also be able to develop your intercultural competence, including:

  • Develop cultural self-awareness and knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks (Knowledge)
  • Develop understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication styles and learn to successfully adapt in the presented cultural contexts (Skills)
  • Develop the ability to engage and learn from perspectives and experiences different from one’s own (Skills)
  • Learn to exercise curiosity and openness in interactions with other cultures (Attitudes)
  • Develop transferrable and personal leadership skills that are relevant for effective interactions in an interconnected world (Skills, Attitudes). 
What You'll Study: 

During the 8-week program, students will meet once per week with the partner organization, attend weekly meetups with the academic mentor for feedback and support, participate in a variety of cultural activities, and work together with fellow team members outside of established session times to facilitate project work. Participants should expect to dedicate approximately 10 hours/week to program activities. Students from all majors and academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

 

Example of the daily schedule, based on spring 2021 program.

Experiential Learning Description: 

Based on your preferences and application, you will be matched with a group of motivated students from various international backgrounds to embark on your consulting project experience. Your group will be assigned an international client who will guide you through the internship project.
 
In this 8-week program, the first week is reserved for orientation activities in order to contextualize the program and expectations, discuss a framework and available tools related to the SDGs, and meet fellow team members. Interns will then work directly with their teams and the partner organization in their assigned region to facilitate project work, while participating in cross-regional discussions and cultural activities to enrich the global learning experience.
 
Examples of projects:
- Eaton (China)
- Habitat for Humanity (Philippines)
- Raizs (Brazil)
- Demeter (Germany)

Univeristy of Pittsburgh runs this program in cooperation with the Global Learning Collective. 

The Global Learning Collective is the global consortium of educational organizations that share similar values, offer a personal connection to your in-country host partner, while providing on-the-ground expertise and local access in each region of the globe.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Oksana Stalczynski

Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. A study abroad experience broadens your horizon, grows your circle of friends and improves your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!

Feel free to contact me to find out more about study abroad programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.  Get in touch with me at Oksana.stalczynski@pitt.edu or 412-383-3237!

 

What's Included: 

The program cost is $2,328 for in-state / $2,528 for out-of-state students.
 
Please note that there is a $350 non-refundable deposit when you commit to participate in the program (after acceptance). This is not an additional cost. The deposit you pay will be credited back to your summer bill.
 
You will NOT be able to drop this course during the regular add/drop period.