Scholarship Information for Undergraduates

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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.


  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. 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. Proposed study abroad programs and internships must receive credit.
  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.


  • 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.  If the program is only 4 weeks, the applicant must have a study plan for the fifth week (i.e. independent research for a class, shadow a professional, volunteer, etc.)
  • 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 the spring semester of the current academic year (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


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.


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.


  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. The study abroad contract must be completed before the winner receives his/her financial award.
  4. Take part in the following year’s Orientation to advise the new awardees.
  5. Follow through on the obligations to the Nationality Rooms Program specified in the Awardee Obligations Form.


Application open: September
Information Sessions Begin:
Final Information Session: January (graduates only)

Application Deadline: January
Finalists Notified (via e-mail): January
Finalist Interviews begin: January 30 (undergraduate) & February 6 (graduate)


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)