Riva San Vitale

January - May 2020

Global Perspective through Personal Commitment

The Presidential Global Scholars program (PGS) is a collaborative living-learning and research community in which ambitious Honors students work together, with award-winning faculty, and with the resources and opportunities in Europe and beyond to better understand the world and what they might accomplish in it. The purpose of PGS is to help students discover, commit to, and act upon a compelling personal interest in a pressing transcultural issue.


  • + Learn How to Be a global citizen

    PGS courses are hands-on learning experiences led by some of Virginia Tech's most distinguished professors. All courses count both toward students’ Pathways general education requirements and their Honors Laureate Diploma requirements. The course of study consists of:


    Fall 2019

    UH 1504: PGS Pre-Departure Seminar

    ITAL 1105: Elementary Italian


    Spring 2020

    UH 2504: Discourse and Global Citizenship

    UH 2514: Quantitative/Computational Thinking and Global Citizenship

    UH 2524: Natural Sciences and Global Citizenship

    UH 2544: Social Science and Global Citizenship

    UH 2554: Humanities and Global Citizenship

    UH 4994: Undergraduate Research

    ITAL 1106: Elementary Italian


  • + Experience Different Cultures

    PGS provides the immersive cultural experiences made possible by a full semester abroad. Students live in the elegant Villa Maderni at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship amid the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Program travel includes extended trips to Rome and Naples and frequent visits to Milan. PGS builds in significant time for small group and individual research and recreational travel as well. PGS students take advantage of inexpensive airfares from Milan airport to travel to Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and Scotland, to name but a few locations.

> Eligibility


> Costs

PGS is available to Virginia Tech Honors College and honors-eligible students from all majors (3.6 or higher cumulative GPA). Contact Dr. Paul Heilker ( for possible exceptions.

When open, the PGS application portal is available through the APPLY NOW link above. There is no deadline for applying. Rather, PGS works with rolling admissions -- first come, first served -- until the program reaches its capacity of 36 students.

  • VT Spring 2020 Tuition and Fees: Same as the student pays to attend VT in Blacksburg.
  • Steger Center Room and Board: To be determined (2019 cost = $7,100).
  • Presidential Global Scholars Program Fee: To be determined (2019 cost = $3,000).
  • Round-trip Airfare: Approximately $1,000.


Please note: Students will need additional spending money. Previous students recommend a minimum of $2500.


Many scholarships and forms of financial aid are available to help defer some of the program costs, including some specific to Virginia Tech:


  • Global Education Scholarship
  • Steger Center International Scholarship
  • Steger Center Room Fund


Check with the Global Education Office and University Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.


If you have any specific questions regarding PGS, please contact Dr. Paul Heilker,

Virginia Tech Honors College, MC 0427

116 Hillcrest Hall

385 West Campus Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061


Phone: (540) 231-4591