The Steger Center for International Scholarship is the university’s European campus center and base for operations and support of its programs in the region. The center’s location in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, is also close to major northern Italian cities such as Milan.

The Steger Center was established to provide Virginia Tech students a residential community base from which to learn about and experience the many cultures, economic systems, social milieus, and nationalities of Europe. Housed in a renovated 18th century villa, Villa Maderni offers dining, lodging, and classroom accommodations. The Steger Center currently houses semester-length residential programs to Virginia Tech students from colleges and departments across the university, as well as a varied set of shorter offerings in the summer.

The residential learning communities based at the Steger Center go far beyond the traditional classroom experience and take advantage of Ticino’s strategic location. With spectacular natural beauty, varied educational opportunities, and rich cultural and historical heritage in the area, the Steger Center offers the potential for a unique international experience. Italian language courses are provided to semester long programs. A faculty member from nearby Lugano provides language instruction. Most other courses are taught in English by faculty members from the Blacksburg, Va. home campus of the university.

Living at the Steger Center

Students who study at the center are housed in either the Villa Maderni or nearby apartments. 
Villa Maderni is a two hundred and fifty year old restored villa which contains the center's offices, classrooms, a library, and a computer lab, as well as residential and dining facilities. At the Villa Maderni, the rooms are shared with either two, three or four roommates. Each student is provided two drawers under the bed, a closet with hangers, and a night table with lamp. Bathroom facilities are shared. There is a laundry room with two debit card-operated washers and dryers.

Apartments are located within the community of Riva San Vitale and require respect towards neighbours and sensitivity to their need for silence at night. The apartments house students in double and triple rooms.