Application and Eligibility

Testimonial Video: VIH Application

Testimonial Video: Choosing a Program


The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership (VIH) 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 affords to three first-time women travelers from each of the VIH institutions the opportunity to participate in a series of leadership and intercultural development retreats held at the University of Pittsburgh. It also provides each young woman with a scholarship of at least $5,000 to fund an accredited international 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 view the VIH Program as a means for women who have no previous international experience to develop leadership skills, to gain intercultural experience, to succeed abroad, and upon returning, to contribute as a leader in their community through their Community Engagement Experience (CEE). Neither the program nor the curriculum at the retreats is geared for women who have been abroad. The Heinz Endowments have particular interest in developing VIH scholars who meet one (or more) of the following five indicators of diversity: LGBTQIA+, disability, racial or ethnic minority, demonstrable financial need as defined as being Pell eligible, and STEM students. It is strongly encouraged the VIH awardees study a language while they are abroad.  All students who choose to study in the following countries/regions will automatically be awarded an additional scholarship of $1,000: Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Oceania, or Eastern Europe/Nordic States.


VIH Application (.docx) for students from Arcadia, Carlow, Chatham, Duquesne, Lincoln, RMU, Temple,Thiel,  W&J, Waynesburg

Click here for a PDF

VIH Application for students from Pitt (Oakland, Johnstown, Greensburg, Bradford, Titusville)

Application Deadline: November 1

Testimonial Video: Advice for Applicants

Testimonial Video: Approaches to Choosing a Program

Testimonial Video: Matching Programs with Goals



VIH Program Eligibility:

  • No previous international experience (with the exception of Canada or the Arcadia Preview Program).
  • Undergraduate woman 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
  • International experience must take place in one country (no multi-country experiences); it must be accredited and last for at least 28 days
  • Be available to attend all activities during two mandatory weekend retreats: 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.


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