We want every student to be part of a global project experience—including you. Beginning with the Class of 2022, all students will receive a $5,000 Global Scholarship to complete a project at one of WPI’s 40+ project centers across six continents.

At WPI, we know that the best way for students to understand and appreciate societal issues is to experience them firsthand. Through our Global Projects Program, WPI science, engineering, and business students immerse themselves in new cultures and tackle unstructured problems in ways that are meaningful to local sponsors in real communities. Our diverse project centers—strategically positioned in locations ranging from large international cities to small mountainside villages—are host to interdisciplinary and major capstone projects, and humanities and arts projects.  As well, students can participate in language immersion and exchange programs.

Not Your Typical Study Abroad Program

Our Global Projects Program is not an ordinary study abroad experience—like everything else at WPI, it’s distinctive. Regardless of if you choose to work across the city or across the ocean, it’s the experience that takes you further—you’ll work to make a profound impact to communities and organizations, and come back a different person than you were before.

 

An Experience that Changes Students—and Their World

They say good things come to those who wait, and that’s exactly the case here. For most students, the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP)—often completed at one of our global project centers in the U.S. or abroad—is more than a year in the making. Follow 20 students through their IQP journey in Bar Harbor, Maine, and learn how their experience has forever altered their perspectives of themselves and the world they live in. 

About the Global Projects Program

100%

of students receive a global project scholarship (as of class of 2022)

40+

project centers on six continents

Top 10

Most Popular Study Abroad Programs

The Princeton Review (2017-18)
#1

School for a Scientist to Study Abroad

Popular Mechanics (2017)

Where in the World Are Our Students?

At sites as close as our home city of Worcester and at over 40 other locations in 25 countries, opportunities are available to complete any of the projects required for graduation: Humanities & Arts (HUA), Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), and Major Qualifying Project (MQP). The selection process is competitive and project work is preceded by rigorous preparation. 

Global Impact: Pioneer Valley

When Kevin Sweeney left the private sector to join the Foisie Business School in 2012, it didn’t take long for him to notice an opportunity to apply WPI’s project-based learning model to the socio-economic issues in the region where he used to work: the Pioneer Valley, a mix of urban, rural, and suburban communities in western Massachusetts.

Global Impact: Greece

When WPI was approached about establishing a project center in Greece, the country was six years into its financial crisis and suffering high unemployment. Yet the economic climate offered students opportunities for real-world problem solving while learning sensitivity to a foreign culture--lessons that cannot be found in a classroom. 

Global Impact: Costa Rica

Enshrined in Costa Rica's constitution is the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, making it a natural partner for environmentally focused projects. Many WPI students emerge from the experience with a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the environment, the economy, and human rights.

Global Impact: Wellington, New Zealand

After a visit to Wellington, New Zealand, professor of organizational studies Michael Elmes realized, “It’s a great place to visit, and it’s a great place to do interesting, challenging projects.” WPI students agree—over two dozen projects have been completed at the Wellington project center so far, ranging from researching endangered dolphins to creating feasibility reports for a hydroponic greenhouse.

Personal and Professional Impact

It’s easy for us to say that the Global Projects Program can be life-changing, so we want you to hear it from those who lived it—a survey of over 2,500 WPI alumni revealed that their project experiences impacted them long after their time at WPI. Even more powerful was the impact of those project experiences through the Global Projects Program.
 

Return from Traveling off Campus

Thanks to the student organization Global Ambassadors (GAs), returning home from a project experience doesn’t have to mean the end of the experience for students. From speaking in travel prep classes and sharing their experiences with students at the Global Fair to helping students summarize their experience for interviews and resumes, GAs help students reinforce the value of off-campus programs to their academic, personal, and professional lives.
 

Preparations for Traveling off Campus

Through partnerships with the Forum on Education Abroad, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, and other institutions, the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD) works nonstop to ensure the safety and security of all WPI students, faculty, and staff who participate in the Global Projects Program. Extensive pre-departure prep, training for faculty advisors, and round the clock travel, medical, and security assistance services are an added measure of safety for all travelers during their time off campus.

In the News

The Boston Business Journal reported on the opening of WPI Seaport, a multipurpose space in Boston that will further WPI’s role in the state’s innovation economy. President Laurie Leshin was joined by several state and local officials, including Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, who said the new collaboration with WPI will “will bring more outstanding talent into our neighborhoods.”

Boston Business Journal

N magazine features the amazing project work that WPI students do at the university’s Nantucket Project Center that makes a difference to this local community. 

N Magazine