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Executive Director’s Welcome

Sara Steinert Borella standing in front of a mountain

Welcome to the Steger Center for International Scholarship!

As the European face of Outreach and International Affairs, we work hard to fulfill OIA’s mission “to share the best of Virginia Tech by working alongside communities across the world.” For us here in Riva San Vitale in Ticino, the southernmost canton in Switzerland, that means helping students engage locally to make the most of their study abroad experience. Whether through project-based learning, directed research projects, or engagement with local schools or sports clubs, we work to help students learn to be at home here in Riva San Vitale.

Whether through project-based learning, directed research projects, or engagement with local schools or sports clubs, we work to help students learn to be at home here in Riva San Vitale.

How do you do that? Find the program that suits you best!

Whether it be a short-term study away during the summer months, or a semester abroad as part of your major or minor in a broad variety of fields ranging from international studies to architecture to the honors program, we will work with you to make the most of your time here in Switzerland.

We encourage you to take Italian prior to coming and while you are here, because the best way to engage with the local population is to talk to them! Fortunately, the center of Riva, with its restaurants and cafés as well as the hard-to-beat view of the lake, makes for the perfect place to settle in and get to know everyone.

Wondering what do when you aren't in class? The Steger Center offers programs for students and faculty outside of class time that are designed to help you navigate your new surroundings.

Take the opportunity to get to know both Ticino and Switzerland during one of our many day trips and to local events and sites. Get to know the towns of Lugano, Bellinzona, and Locarno while you are here.  Of course, being located in the center of Europe makes it easy to travel on long weekends to destinations near and far. And whatever the season, don't forget your hiking boots! I can think of no better way to get to know your surroundings and experience Switzerland than through the walks and hikes that start at our doorstep. 

Questions about how to get started? Check out the application process here on the website. We look forward to welcoming you to Switzerland soon.

Cordiali saluti,
Sara Steinert Borella
Executive Director