University of Pittsburgh
January 23, 2005

Professional Exposure + International Sojourn = An Award Winning Combination for Pitt's Plus3 Program

Study abroad program recognized as 2005 Andrew Heiskell Award winner for innovation in international education
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Pitt's Plus3 study abroad program was among the winners of the fourth-annual Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education announced today in New York City at the Institute for International Education's (IIE) Board of Trustees meeting.

Jointly organized and led by faculty from the College of Business Administration (CBA) and the School of Engineering and with support from the University's Study Abroad Office, the Plus3 study abroad program is a three-credit, optional add-on to both CBA's required first-year course Managing in Complex Environments and engineering's required first-year course Introduction to Engineering Analysis. The program was developed and is supported by the University's International Business Center—one of the first five Title VI national resource Centers for International Business Education and Research funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

In presenting the Heiskell Awards, IIE President Allan E. Goodman said, "The 2005 Andrew Heiskell Award-winning programs represent some of the most effective responses to the challenge of preparing the next generation to think and work on a global basis. By recognizing excellence and innovation, the institute hopes to encourage other colleges to create and expand their own programs based on these successful models. Campuses with strong international programs provide a richer experience for both the U.S. students and the international students they serve."

Heiskell Award winners and honorable mentions in the study abroad, internationalizing the campus, and outstanding faculty programs categories represent eight colleges and universities throughout the United States.

The Plus3 program includes preparatory lectures and lessons in survival-language skills followed by a two-week international research trip at semester's end. In 2004, participating business and engineering students chose field study options in Valparaiso, Chile; Nanjing, China; Prague, the Czech Republic; or Augsburg, Germany. Field study options for 2005 include São Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; Rouen, France; as well as Valparaiso and Augsburg.

While overseas, students study the host country's history, language, and culture. From their Pitt faculty leader or local experts, they learn about cross-cultural management and the industries and firms they have been assigned to analyze. Students also take part in four-to-six company site visits that form the basis for the team project they are required to complete on returning to the United States.

"It is crucial to our national competitiveness that students in the professional schools become more global," said Lawrence Feick, director of Pitt's International Business Center and codeveloper of the Plus3 program. "In recent years, we have witnessed increasing global competition from countries such as India and China for highly skilled professional jobs in many areas."

According to Larry Shuman, another Plus3 codeveloper and associate dean for academic affairs in Pitt's School of Engineering, the program is the ideal first step in the school's push to have its graduates more cross-culturally aware. "Tomorrow's engineers will have to become more innovative, function as systems integrators, and be able to work in diverse cultures if they are going to compete successfully for jobs in a worldwide market in which others, with the same technical skills, will work for a fraction of the salary."

Plus3, along with the other winning initiatives and honorable mentions, will be showcased on the IIENetwork Web site,, throughout the year as best practices in the field of international education and will serve as resources for the international educational community worldwide. Each of the winning programs will receive a $1,000 prize. They also will be featured in the Spring 2005 issue of the IIENetworker magazine.

The awards are named for the late Andrew Heiskell, a longtime member of IIE's Board of Trustees, a renowned philanthropist, and a passionate supporter of international education.

With a network of 19 offices worldwide and more than 780 college and university members and 5,000 volunteers, IIE is one of the world's most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organizations. The IIE—an independent, nonprofit organization—is a resource for educators and institutions across the globe. The IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals, and trainees; conducts policy research; and provides advice and counseling on international education opportunities abroad. For more information about IIE, visit

For more information about the Plus3 program, call either CBA's or the School of Engineering's study abroad offices at 412-383-7489 and 412-624-3489, respectively, or visit