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Presidential Global Scholars

Students studying abroad visiting ruins

Gain a global perspective through personal commitment

The Presidential Global Scholars program (PGS) is a collaborative living-learning and research community in which ambitious Honors students work together, with award-winning faculty, and with the resources and opportunities in Europe and beyond to better understand the world and what they might accomplish in it. The purpose of PGS is to help students discover, commit to, and act upon a compelling personal interest in a pressing transcultural issue.

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PGS Program Information

Learn how to be a Global Citizen

PGS courses are hands-on learning experiences led by some of Virginia Tech's most distinguished professors. All courses count both toward students’ Pathways general education requirements and their Honors Laureate Diploma requirements.

PGS will count differently towards your Honors Laureate Diploma based on when you first entered the Honors College. Select the option below that corresponds to your first semester in Honors.

PGS provides immersive cultural experiences made possible by a full semester abroad. Students live in the elegant Villa Maderni at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship amid the beauty of the Swiss Alps. 

Experience Different Cultures

Program travel includes extended trips to Rome and Naples and frequent visits to Milan. PGS builds in significant time for small group and individual research and recreational travel as well. PGS students take advantage of inexpensive airfares from Milan airport to travel to Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, England, France, Italy, and Scotland, to name but a few locations.

Cost Expectation
  • VT Spring 2024 Tuition and Fees: Same as the student pays to attend VT in Blacksburg.
  • Steger Center Room and Board: To be determined (2023 cost = $7,400).
  • Presidential Global Scholars Program Fee: To be determined (2024 cost = $3,800).
  • Round-trip Airfare: Approximately $1,000. 

Please note: Students will need additional spending money. Previous students recommend a minimum of $4000. Many scholarships and forms of financial aid are available to help defer some of the program costs, including some specific to Virginia Tech like the Global Education Scholarship, Steger Center International Scholarship, and the Steger Center Room Fund.

Check with the Global Education Office and University Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.

How to Apply

To apply, contact Dr. Heilker. There is no deadline for applying. Rather, PGS works with rolling admissions — first come, first served — until the program reaches its capacity of 30 students.


PGS is available to Virginia Tech Honors College and honors-eligible students from all majors (3.4 or higher cumulative GPA). Contact Dr. Heilker for possible exceptions.


If you have any specific questions regarding PGS, please contact Dr. Heilker:

+ Contact Dr. Heilker