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Global Issues

All Over the MAP in 120 Days


Students study and conduct research from Beijing to Buenos Aires—becoming part of the neighborhoods where they live—through the Pitt Multi-region Academic Program (PittMAP).

With its focused curriculum, PittMAP requires participating students to work on a common topic as they visit three cities (for five weeks each) on three different continents.  For example, the spring 2011 group studied global health issues and practices, with particular attention to HIV/AIDS. Students and faculty members wrote about their experiences in "Around the World in 120 Days" on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Community Voices blog.

The spring 2011 group journeyed to Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Beijing, as did the inaugural PittMAP group in spring 2010. The spring 2012 program took students to Buenos Aires, Prague, and Beijing.

Pitt MAP academic director Nancy Condee, who led the 2010 trip, recalls telling students, “You’re not a tourist; it’s not a luxury situation. You’re in a university setting, and you have to take a breath and figure out how to make sense of it.”

“Eventually,” Condee says, “the students accepted that they couldn’t be experts, they couldn’t speak Chinese, but they could navigate in a rudimentary way. They were functioning as global citizens. That’s a change that took place in all of us.”

Condee also directs Pitt’s Global Studies Center, formerly the Global Studies Program, which is part of the University Center for International Studies and fosters interdisciplinary, comparative, and cross-cultural learning on global issues.

While PittMAP offers students from different disciplines a common theme, the University’s Semester Plus 3 program narrows the focus to business and engineering. Semester Plus 3 offers business students in the Managing in Complex Environments course and engineering students in the Introduction to Engineering Analysis course an introduction to international study after their freshman year.