Application and Eligibility

Application Deadline: November 1

The VIH Program constitutes a collaborative relationship between the Heinz Endowments, which funds the program and sets its strategic goals, and the University of Pittsburgh, which develops and administers the program. The VIH Program awards three young scholars from each of the 14 VIH institutions the opportunity to participate in a series of intercultural and leadership development conferences held at the University of Pittsburgh. It also provides each student with a scholarship of at least $5,000 to fund an accredited summer global experience. VIH awardees use the knowledge gained from these experiences to work in a team and develop a Community Engagement Experience (CEE).  This is not simply a study abroad scholarship; this is a leadership development program. The Heinz Endowments views the VIH Program as a means for students who have no previous international experience to develop leadership skills, to enhance their global perspectives, and upon returning from their international experience, to contribute as a leader in their community through their Community Engagement Experience (CEE). 

To help you prepare your application, check out our Pre-Departure Resources here


Eligibility Requirements

  • No previous international experience
  • Undergraduate women, non-binary, transgender students of sophomore or junior status at one of the VIH institutions
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Full-time student status for at least two terms with a Baccalaureate degree in progress
  • QPA of not less than 3.0
  • Will return to your university/college as a full-time student during the fall semester following the study abroad experience
  • Summer global experience must take place in one country (no multi-country experiences); it must be accredited and last for at least 28 days
  • Commit to attend all activities during two mandatory weekend conferences: one during the spring term prior to studying abroad and one during the fall following the study abroad experience
  • Commit to meeting all of the requirements of the VIH Program, including, but not limited to:  a) submitting an Experience Report; b) completing a CEE & submitting a CEE report by January 30; c) completing all assignments for the two retreats; d) assisting with marketing the VIH  Program on your campus.

VIH Awardees sign a Letter of Agreement which outlines the expectations in the program.


  • VIH Application for students from Arcadia, Carlow, Chatham, Duquesne, Lincoln, RMU, Temple, Thiel,  W&J, Waynesburg
  • Pitt students should apply to the VIH Program through PittFund$Me