Scholarship Information

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The Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs began in 1926. As committees completed their rooms, they turned their attention to creating study abroad scholarships. The Nationality Rooms have awarded scholarships for summer study abroad annually since 1948. The purpose of the awards is to enable University of Pittsburgh students to have an in-depth immersion in another culture for at least five weeks. It is important that applicants choose a program that will maximize their contact with the populace abroad and be accepted by the University for credit.

It is the farsightedness and generosity of the Nationality Rooms committees and their friends which have raised more than $2.8 million to provide these important intercultural exchange opportunities.

Application Requirements

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  1. Online Application. Please complete and submit online application at including personal and academic information, proposed budget, and two essays.
  2. Two Letters of Recommendation. One must be from a University faculty member, while the other may be another faculty member or other individual (e.g., supervisor, University staff). These may be completed and submitted through the online application.
  3. Transcripts (undergraduate applicants only) Submit in January, after Fall Term grades are added. Transcripts can be obtained from the University Registrar and a hard copy must be submitted to the Nationality Rooms Program Office, 1209 Cathedral of Learning.
  4. Nationality Rooms Academic Credit Signature Form. Obtain approval for the proposed study from the Study Abroad Office. Undergraduates must attach a copy of the program description that gives the dates the course(s) will be taught. Graduates must obtain signatures from their advisor, the Dean of their department or school and Study Abroad Office (802 William Pitt Union). Print from the online application and submit to 1209 Cathedral of Learning.
  5. Awardee Obligation Signature Form. Print from the online application and submit to 1209 Cathedral of Learning. Please read this carefully. The winners of our scholarships have obligations to the Nationality Rooms Program and the Committees which they must fulfill.
  6. Other Scholarships Notice. Complete and submit through online application.

Eligibility Requirements for Undergraduates and Graduates

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  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • A current full-time student on a University of Pittsburgh campus for the fall and spring terms prior to study abroad
  • Must be enrolled and on campus as a full-time student for the fall and spring terms immediately following the study abroad
  • Proposed study abroad must relate to career goals
  • Foreign language skills if required by the scholarship applying for Minimum stay of five weeks in one country or region during the summer term
  • Students may apply for two scholarships, but can only win one
  • Previous awardees are not eligible, but previous applicants who did not win may apply again


  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 Must have at least 60 credits by the end of April 2014 (current sophomore or junior), AP credits not included
  • Propose a career-related, credit-worthy study abroad program or internship
  • For independent research proposal, must speak with the Scholarship Administrator All proposed undertakings must receive credits


  • Propose a career-related, credit-worthy internship or conduct independent research for a thesis or dissertation proposal.
  • Graduates may apply for the scholarships for a study abroad language program in conjunction with an independent research or internship.
  • Good academic standing

Additional Information

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Study Proposal (Undergraduate)

Applicants shall select a credit-worthy study abroad program relevant to their career goals that is a minimum of five weeks. Applicants participating in a study program must provide a copy of a course description and the dates of the program. This should be attached to their Academic Credit Signature Page. Approval for course credit acceptance must be obtained from the Study Abroad Office. An SAO representative must sign the Credit Signature Form.

Note: Undergraduates interested in conducting "independent study" must speak with the scholarship administrator (Cristina Lagnese,, 412-624-6159) for review before submitting their application.

Study Program/Internship/ Independent Study Proposal (Graduate)

Applicants shall propose a career-related, credit-worthy internship or an independent research project. Graduates may apply for the scholarships for a study abroad language program in conjunction with an independent research or internship.

Approval for course credit acceptance must be obtained from the appropriate Dean of the department in which credit is sought, the student’s advisor, and the Study Abroad Office. All three must sign the Academic Credit Signature Page where indicated. Applications without these signatures will not be accepted.

If your school does not issue credits for internships or independent research (i.e., School of Medicine, GSPIA), a letter from the Dean’s office must be attached attesting to the credit-worthiness of the proposal.

Information Sessions

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Information sessions begin at the end of September and are held once a week until January, except during University holiday breaks. Sign up for a session below.

The purpose of these sessions is to explain the application process, review the application, and ensure that study proposals follow the parameters of the scholarship program. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the application process as early as possible; therefore, they should attend a session at their earliest convenience.

They are held in different venues at the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union. If your schedule does not permit you to attend any of the scholarship sessions, please make an appointment with Cristina Lagnese, Scholarship Administrator at or call at 412-624-6150.

September 20TuesdayCL2043-4 p.m.
September 26MondayCL30412:30-1:30 p.m.
October 5WednesdayCL50110-11 a.m.
October 13ThursdayWPU52710-11 a.m.
October 21FridayCL2043-4 p.m.
October 27ThursdayCL2271-2 p.m.
November 1TuesdayCL23189:30-10:30 a.m.
November 9WednesdayCL50110:30-11:30 a.m.
November 14MondayCL30412:30-1:30 p.m.
November 22TuesdayCL23189:30-10:30 a.m.
December 1ThursdayWPU54010-11 a.m.
December 7WednesdayCL50110:30-11:30 a.m.
December 13TuesdayCL2043-4 p.m.
January 4, 2017WednesdayCL50110-11 a.m.
January 10, 2017TuesdayCL 208A4:15 p.m. GRADUATES ONLY

Finalists and Awardee Selection and Notification

Finalists for each award will be notified via e-mail within two weeks of the application deadline. Interviews with the selection panels are conducted from the last week of January through the end of February. Applicants must appear for interviews at the scheduled day and time, as each panel meets only once. No telephone interviews will be conducted. After the panel has reached a decision, a member of the panel notifies the awardee via telephone and the other finalists are notified by the Nationality Rooms Program Office via e-mail.

Awardee Responsibilities

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  1. Once the applicant has been notified that he/she is the winner of a Nationality Room scholarship, the winner must make an appointment with the Nationality Rooms office to discuss study abroad plans with Director and Scholarship Administrator.
  2. Attend the Winner Orientation Session and Award Presentation at the end of March or the first Saturday of April- to be announced.
  3. Complete required contract paperwork with the Study Abroad Office and pay any associated fees.
  4. The study abroad contract must be completed before the winner receives his/her financial award.

Timelines and Deadlines

Application openSeptember 2016
Information Sessions BeginTuesday, September 20, 2016
Final Information SessionJanuary 4, 2017 (focus on undergraduate applications)
 January 10, 2017 (graduates only)
Application DeadlineJanuary 9, 2017 (undergraduate); January 19, 2017 (graduate)
Finalists Notified (via e-mail)January 18, 2017 (undergraduate); January 30, 2017 (graduate)
Finalist Interviews beginJanuary 30 (undergraduate); February 6 (graduate)

Frequently Asked Questions

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When will I know if I’ve won an award?

Please see section Finalists and Awardee Selection and Notification

Can I use the scholarship for a summer study program preceding a year-abroad program and return for the fall and spring semesters of the following year?

No. Students are required to be on campus for the fall and spring terms immediately following their summer study experience.

Are there restrictions as to how the scholarship money may be spent?

The award is considered a supplement to the cost of the proposal. Scholarship funds should be spent on tuition, room and board, transportation, and passport and visa application expenses.

Do I have to enroll in an American university-sponsored program?

No. The Nationality Rooms Program encourages students to enroll in credit-worthy, host country sponsored programs. All study abroad programs must be approved by Study Abroad and the credits must be transferable to your transcript.

What do selection panels look for in a candidate?

Each panel varies but, in general, these points apply:

  • Academically and linguistically prepared for the study abroad experience
  • Knowledgeable about the country with sound academic reasons for going there
  • Defined relationship between the candidate’s project and their career goals
  • Inclusion of an in-depth cultural experience as well as, or in addition to, a classroom experience (e.g., a home stay as opposed to dormitory living, volunteer work, an informal research project on a related topic)

Contact Information

Cristina Lagnese, Scholarship Administrator
Nationality Rooms Program

1209 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412.624.6150
Fax: 412.624.4214

Register for a Scholarship Session

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Available Scholarships