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Riva San Vitale with mountains in the background.

The Steger Center for International Scholarship is the university’s European academic center. The Steger Center is housed in a renovated 18th century villa, Villa Maderni, which offers dining, lodging, and classroom accommodations.

Historic remnants in the building include original floor tiles, hand-painted ceilings, and a massive stone fireplace. Modern additions include a computer lab, group study areas, and a cafeteria. The Steger Center also boasts collaborative learning spaces, including a “creativity room” with white board walls, a library, and a garden where students can study in nice weather.

The residential learning communities based at the Steger Center go far beyond the traditional classroom experience and take advantage of its strategic location in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland.

Students participate on field trips and excursions to local and regional sites, cities, and organizations, which provide real-world learning experiences. Students will learn about course topics and experience the many cultures, economic systems, and social milieus of Europe.

The Steger Center currently houses semester-length residential programs, as well as a varied set of shorter offerings in the summer. To assist in students’ adjustment to living in Riva San Vitale, Italian language courses are provided to semester-long programs. All other courses are taught in English by Virginia Tech faculty members.

With spectacular natural beauty, varied educational opportunities, and rich cultural and historical heritage in the area, the Steger Center offers a unique international experience.