Plus3 Program Overview

Plus3 is your first chance to study abroad at Pitt. This two-week, three-credit interdisciplinary experience is a partnership between the Swanson School of Engineering and Pitt Business. Your travels to one of seven 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.

Location Information

Argentina: Healthcare Management

This program will provide you with first-hand knowledge of the impacts of globalization on healthcare in a middle-income country. You will focus first on understanding major themes in global healthcare, such as global burden of disease, determinants of health, food security, and health and economic inequality. Background on Argentina’s history and politics will provide you with a foundation to use during your site visits within the healthcare industry and Q&A sessions with industry stakeholders. By the end of this you will have an understanding of the mechanisms of delivering, financing, and managing healthcare in Argentina.

  • Who: Pitt Business students, School of Nursing students
  • Past site visits included Universidad Austral, Hospital Universitario Austral, Universidad Nacionel de La Matanza, primary healthcare centers, and both public/private hospitals
  • Cultural activities have included hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Buenos Aires, La Boca neighborhood, a tango lesson, street art tour, a visit to Recoleta Cemetary, a visit to an Estancia, Plaza de Mayo, the ESMA museum, the MALBA museum, and the Evita museum
  • Locations will include Buenos Aires, Pilar, and Tigre

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. This location gives students an in-depth look at both large-scale and small-scale coffee growing, processing, and exportation. Background on Costa Rica’s history and politics will provide a knowledge base for company visits that will explore engineering practices, environmental impacts, and international marketing. Q&A sessions with company executives and representatives will allow a deeper dive into business and engineering practices and to better understand the interdependencies in the global market.

  • Who: Pitt Business students, Swanson School of Engineering students
  • Past company visits included Cafe Britt, Cafe Rey, Life Monteverde, and Institutio Nacional del Cafe
  • Past 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: San Jose, Monteverde, various areas neighboring San Jose

Cyprus: The Crossroad 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. Cyprus’ 12,000+ years of cultural heritage will support students’ 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. Students on this Plus3 experience will 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).

Ecuador: Chocolate and Flowers

Ecuador is a major player in both the chocolate and flower global markets, and this equatorial nation provides the best firsthand experience on the global supply chain of two of the most unique commodities in the world. Through this program, students will gain background on Ecuador’s cultural and economic history that will provide valuable context as we visit companies, explore the chocolate and flower markets, and learn about sustainable agriculture and business. Students will taste, smell and witness first-hand many aspects of the chocolate and floral supply chains.

  • Who: Pitt Business (Oakland campus) students, University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Business students
  • Site visits may include: A rose farm, a cacao agroforest, a coastal cacao plantation, a chocolate processing factory and packing center, and the Guayaquil shipping port.
  • Cultural activities may include: A tour of Colonial Quito, visit a hummingbird reserve, Amazonian-style pottery making, walk in lush cloud forests at 8000 feet, tour coast of Ecuador, and stay at an Amazonian Rain Forest Field Station.
  • Locations: Quito, the Andes Amazon Field School

South 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 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: Pitt Business students, Swanson School of Engineering students
  • Potential 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.
  • Potential university visits include Seoul National University or Yonsei University or Busan University of Foreign Studies
  • Cultural visits may include in Seoul the Royal Palace visit, Seoul Tower and traditional market, DMZ tour and Han River Cruise, and cultural visits in Gyeongj

The Netherlands: Concept to Consumer! 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. Students will investigate how aviation, from fabrication of product to flight, is surviving and innovating in the current and difficult climate. Studies will take students to a university which has been involved in the Netherlands’ key global commerce. The program will examine how their ability to innovate and collaborate with industry partners to advance concepts/ideas to fabrication will 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 the class to dig deeper into business and engineering practices, and better understand their interdependencies 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: Amsterdam (with excursions to surrounding areas) and include an array of cultural and professional visits.

Vietnam: Globalization & Development

Vietnam’s developing economy is highlighted against its deep history that 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.

  • Who: Business and Engineering students
  • Locations: Ho Chi Minh City

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