We want every student to be part of a global project experience—including you. Beginning with the Class of 2022, all first-year students will receive a $5,000 Global Scholarship to complete a project at one of WPI’s 50+ 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 13 students through their IQP journey fifty miles away in nearby Boston, Massachusetts, and learn how their experience has forever altered their perspectives of themselves and the world they live in. 

This is not your typical study abroad—WPI students Journey to Boston

About the Global Projects Program


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


global project centers on six continents

Top 10

Most Popular Study Abroad Programs

The Princeton Review (2017-18)

School for a Scientist to Study Abroad

Popular Mechanics (2017)

years of undergraduate project experiences through the Global Projects Program


undergraduate students with off-campus project experience 


countries with project centers 


students completed an off-campus project (2017–18)

Where in the World Are Our Students?

At sites as close as our home city of Worcester and at 50+ other locations in 31 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. 

Explore Some of Our Project Centers


For the past 16 years, WPI students have been leaving their mark on Namibia, and the African nation has left an indelible imprint on them. The experience spurred some to join the Peace Corps after graduation. Another pursued a career in international development and now works in Africa. And many more have returned to the States transformed by the Namibian culture of positivity.


Every fall, when Nantucket has emptied of seasonal crowds, a second wave of visitors come ashore. But unlike the tourists who seek all the island has to offer, WPI project team members arrive focused on what they can offer the island.


Being able to use their Spanish is one of the draws for students to the Paraguay Project Center, the only center that requires students to be proficient in the host country’s language (Spanish and Guarani.). Whether it’s improving restaurant hospitality or examining the ways technology can improve education in rural schools, students walked––literally and figuratively––in the shoes of the local population in order to better equip them with the skills and resources to support themselves.


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. 

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.

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.


Albania team of students from WPI standing along a stone wall.
WPI students (from left) Tyler Weiss, Sarah St. Pierre, Donald Dione and Kylie Dickinson were involved in a flood management project in Shkodër,  Albania.
June 07, 2019
gilman scholars
From left, Sara Cardona, Olivia Jones, Mary Davis, Maria Daigle
April 10, 2019
Thailand Global Impact Design
Thailand Global Impact
March 22, 2019

In the News

A case study: The effects of project based learning almost 50 years after Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) re-engineered its technological education.

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