Global Business Institute London: International Business Issues and the City of London


Welcome to the Global Business Institute (GBI), your opportunity to study and practice business. GBI prepares you for the business world through coursework that advances your degree, offers out-of-the-classroom experiences that create cultural competence, and internship opportunities that provide you with transferable workplace skills.

A global center of finance, London offers an unparalleled setting for studying international business practices and issues. A Pitt Business accounting faculty member will teach your business course, which will focus on the the ways in which global companies are tackling real-work business issues. Learn the Underground as you commute from your flat in a London neighborhood to your part-time internship for credit or take advantage of the other course offerings, which are taught by British faculty from world-renowned institutions throughout the city.

The GBI London: International Business Issues program is a partnership between Pitt Business and the University of Pittsburgh Accounting Association (UPAA), and priority acceptance into this program is given to active UPAA members; however, all Pitt Business students are welcome to apply. Learn more about UPAA here! Scholarships are also provided to active UPAA members, for more information visit the additional Information tab.

Want to learn more? Check out the Pitt Business To the World student blog and this video. 


What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop: 

  • your application of business knowledge in a global environment

  • global competency skills through coursework, internship opportunities and cultural experiences. 

  • transferrable skills towards your professional and personal development by participating in an internship. 


If your first thoughts of London are the Royal Family and Downton Abbey, prepare to be blown away by what else London has to offer. English history and culture are juxtaposed against streets filled with black cabs and lined with ethnic restaurants from Algerian to Indian to Vietnamese. The birthplace of the English language is now home to speakers of more than 30 languages – and that doesn't count the variety of English accents you will hear. Skyscrapers tower over 17th-century buildings while Big Ben overlooks the River Thames.

Study abroad through GBI London and you find yourself constantly surprised by what you discover in one of the world’s most diverse global cities.


Where You'll Live: 

Part of the experience is to live like a Londoner. The overwhelming majority of students choose to live in shared apartments – the English call them flats – spread across the city. While flats are as varied as the city itself and no two are alike, all of them are located in safe neighborhoods and secure buildings. Regardless of where you live, you can expect a 45- to 60-minute commute to the CAPA Center.  We’ve got your commute covered with an unlimited pass for Zones 1 and 2 on the London Underground.
You can expect the following:

  • Shared bedrooms (2 or 3 students/bedroom, single bed or bunk bed)
  • Bedding, but need to bring your own towels
  • Shared bathroom
  • Shared kitchen 
  • Internet access (for general browsing, but not meant for heavy downloading or streaming)
  • Coin operated laundry 
  • It is not typical for UK residences to have air conditioning or dryers

Please note that meals are not included in the program fee.
You will receive your address, roommate information, and neighborhood description about 2 weeks before your departure for London.
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.
If apartment living does not appeal to you, homestays are also an option.  Email your Pitt program manager for more information. 


What You'll Study: 

You can receive 6-9 credits on this program.  The mandatory course requirement is the Survey of International business Issues and the City of London course.  In addition to this, you can participate in a three-credit internship or take one or two additional courses. Information for how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

You must have completed BUSACC 0030 Financial Accounting and BUSACC 0040 Managerial Accounting with a grade of “B” or better to participate in the program.

If you are at the end of your freshman year, you will enroll in BUSACC 1250 Survey of International Accounting Issues and the IASB and one or two other three-credit course(s).

If you are at the end of your sophomore year, you will enroll in BUSACC 1250 Survey of International Accounting Issues and the IASB and one or two other three-credit course(s) or a three-credit internship.

If you plan to do an internship, you can receive a total of 6 credits (1 academic course + internship).

Comparative Healthcare in London (ANTH1737)

This course will introduce the UK healthcare system and the context within which it operates. Students will explore the evolution of the National Health Service (NHS) from its inception in 1948 to present day; analyze case studies to compare the UK model of healthcare with other healthcare systems such as in the United States, France, Sweden, and lower income countries; develop an understanding of concepts and themes in comparative healthcare; and critically examine the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in healthcare.

Business International Internship (BUS1910)

This is a part-time internship (20 hours per week). In addition, you will attend weekly discussion-led sessions that include educational support and mentoring in a classroom environment, develop personal and professional skills, and learn to contextualize your internship experience socially and culturally. You will receive 3 credits for this course.
Please note internships are available for students who have successfully completed three semesters of coursework at Pitt or a transfer university as a degree-seeking student. 

Survey of International Business Issues and the City of London (BUSACC1250)

This financial accounting elective focuses on exposing students to the international accounting standards setting process and the study of the application of international accounting issues in business. Learning will take place through a mix of classroom time as well as experience based learning opportunities, with each weekly class focused on an accounting issue and a related site visit experience with a company working on the accounting issue. Participation requires a good understanding of the accounting process and an interest in the global business environment.
Prerequisites: completion of BUSACC 0030 Financial Accounting and BUSACC 0040 Managerial Accounting with a grade of 'B' or better.

International Finance (BUSFIN1341)

This course fulfills a finance major elective for Pitt Business students. 
This course will examine the structure and principal operations of the international financial economy. It will examine operations and their impact in terms of trade, the trading of financial assets and capital movements. It will also assess risk management techniques used by governments, corporations and other entities operating internationally and the global regulatory challenges posed by these developments. The course covers topics such as the historical development of money and capital markets, the role of major central banks, the maintenance of price stability, the control of interest rates, the management of monetary policy and the management of global systemic risk.

International Marketing (BUSMKT1461)

Fulfills a marketing major elective for Pitt Business students.
This course reflects the increasing amount of international marketing carried out by a wide and diverse range of organizations. Starting with why organizations may wish to expand their activities across national boundaries, students develop knowledge to identify which markets to enter, the methods of market entry available, and the management and control implications. The student will be encouraged to perceive the role of a global marketing manager, and to make decisions that could affect the outcome of a global marketing plan. This includes the international marketing environment and the international marketing mix, namely product, pricing, distribution and promotion, as well as emerging issues in international trade such as trading blocs, trade barriers, and the standardization versus customization dilemma.

Contemporary British Film (ENGFLM1190)

The 1990s and 2000s saw the British film industry undergo a number of dramatic changes. From an all-time low at the end of 1980s, during the early 1990s British cinema entered a period of confidence and success that was mirrored by a major structural and financial reorganization. The course will chart the development of British film during the period 1994-2010 through the critical study of key films, and will examine the way that these films both emerge from and transform the earlier British cinema tradition. Readings will focus on the critical reception of the films and the manner in which they have been absorbed into the canon. There will also be particular focus on the political and social context of the films.

Introduction to Shakespeare (ENGLIT0580)

For a portrayal of the variety and depth of human emotions, Shakespeare has never been equaled. In this course, a selection of plays will be studied in depth, with equal focus on the genres of comedy, history and tragedy. Through visits to Shakespearean plays in performance, to the Globe theatre workshop, and through guest speakers, the plays will be examined not only textually but also as living plays that tell us as much about modern identity as the development of the early modern identity. Students will examine the notion of Shakespeare as 'timeless' to understand how vitally he moves from the concerns of his day to ours. This course requires an addition $70 fee to cover the cost of theatre tickets while in London.  You will pay this via credit card upon arrival.

Post-war Pop Culture in Britain (ENGLIT1760)

This course will look at some key theories of popular culture, and include case studies of selected examples from the British Isles since 1945. Popular culture versus subcultures will be examined. The main aim will be to enable students to think independently about this topic. The course will include study visits to galleries, museums and other sites as an important learning experience. This course aims to draw in the students' previous educational and life experiences of culture and history, including oral cultures, popular and ethnic cultures and social and religious movements. It will compare British and American experiences of popular culture, the differences, similarities and cross-influences.

Writing the City - London (ENGWRT1200)

This course will introduce creative writing in relation to the city and the particular challenges of writing about place. Students will examine how various subjects such as the river, urban spaces, solitude, ethnicity, particular boroughs, and characters (both fictional and real) function in London narratives; develop an understanding of the role of memory and experience in literary psycho-geographical accounts of the metropolis; utilize their observations of London to practice creative writing; and investigate the potential of place within the narrative of various genres.

Global Perspective on Nursing and Midwifery History (NUR1061)

This course will explore the development of nursing practice from the perspectives of medical, nursing, and midwifery history. Students will explore the impacts of social change, evolving attitudes to care, and the role of the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and American Independence, as well as the transition from Agrarian to Industrial Society in shaping nursing care; consider contributions made by Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, and Mrs Bedford-Fenwick to nursing practice; examine the effect of religion, philosophy, ethics, law, sociology, and economics on clinical practice and the professional role and practice of nurses and midwives; and reflect on related historical changes.

Child Development in a British Context (PSY1050)

This course investigates the aims and principles of developmental psychology as a scientific discipline, and describes the methods used to obtain knowledge about children and their development. Issues such as children's early attachments, the development of the self, the emergence of consciousness, and the role of play are examined, with an emphasis on the role of education and child care practices and policies in the UK in shaping children's development.

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City -London (URBNST0410)

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the modern development of one of the world's most significant global cities in comparative context. It examines London's changing identity as a world city, with a particular emphasis on comparing the city's imperial, postcolonial, and transatlantic connections and the ways in which past and present, local and global intertwine in the capital.

Experiential Learning Description: 
On this program, you have the option to participate in an internship. Internship placements are based on your previous professional experiences, academic and professional goals, and availability of positions. Be aware that certain placements may be challenging as business operations are still being impacted by the global pandemic. You should have an open mind regarding internship placement opportunities.
Visa Advisory
As part of your study abroad program in the UK, you will be required to apply for a student visa if you are pursuing an internship placement. Please be aware that UK visa processing times may be delayed due to ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. Obtaining a visa is solely your responsibility and is a very detailed process. You should be prepared to do the following: 
  • Begin your visa application process as soon as you receive the detailed instructions and guidance from CAPA
  • Follow the instructions carefully, checking for mistakes 
  • Respond promptly to any requests for follow-up or additional information related to your visa application  
  • Check to ensure that your returned passport has the appropriate visa stamp prior to departing the U.S. 
Failure to follow the visa instructions correctly may result in additional costs beyond the visa application fee, visa denial, or may impact your ability to do an internship on your program. 
Please note that internships are available for students in their second semester of sophomore year or higher.
More than 75 percent of GBI: London students complete an internship, and with good reason. An international internship is your opportunity to create a stand-out resume, and you will be challenged to apply your coursework to the work world, acquire cultural competence, and create professional connections that can last a lifetime.  Not only will your LinkedIn profile get a boost, but your marketability to future employers will too.
Internships in GBI: London are 20 hours per week, excluding commuting time.  In addition to workplace experience, you will also meet with peers and faculty for internship seminars to help you get the most out of the experience.  Internships are always unpaid, always for three credits, and always pass/fail.
You can sign up for an internship regardless of your major as a part of the application process. Keep in mind that you will not know what your internship placement is until 14 days before departure.  While this may seem like a long time to wait, keep in mind that our partners are searching for an internship just for you. Your past experiences, coursework, and desired placements areas are all taken into account.  This kind of personalized service takes time but is well worth the wait. 

Pitt runs this program in partnership with CAPA: The Global Education Network. For more than 45 years CAPA: The Global Education Network has worked with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet students goals for learning abroad. 

The CAPA London Center is housed in 2 connected Victorian townhouses in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and their staff will be there to assist with any questions or challenges through out the program. 


Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Steph Spirk

Hola, hallo, hi!  I'm Steph Spirk, and I am an International Programs Manager for Pitt Business.  I am a yinzer, very proud to call Pittsburgh my home, yet my love for cultural exchange has always led me to new places, even ones I never thought I'd go to before.  I was a Pitt student myself, becoming an expert on study abroad by participating in three programs: Global Service Learning in Bolivia, the International Internship Program in Madrid, and an exchange program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.  I speak fluent Spanish and German at an advanced level.  In my free time you'll find me practicing yoga in the square, hiking through the many parks, painting, and capturing the beauty of Pittsburgh and beyond through the lens of my camera.
Looking forward to chatting with yinz!

Schedule an appointment

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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Dr. Karen Shastri

Dr. Karen Shastri is a Clinical Associate Professor of Business Administration at the College of Business Administration and the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research interests include internal management accounting practices and she also works on the topics of costs as they relate to effectiveness in the criminal justice and human services fields.  Courses she has recently taught include Managerial Accounting, Strategic Cost Management, Financial Accounting, and Not for Profit and Governmental Accounting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways or use the Navigate app.
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the Care Unit.
  • Select Study Abroad Virtual Advising as the Location
  • Select Study Abroad Program Specific Questions as the service
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Having trouble or don't see a time that works for you? Just email me!

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $7,407 $7,607
Program Fee $2,492 $2,492
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $10,199 $10,399

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1,000 - $1,500
Personal Expenses and Meals $1000 - $2,000
Local Cell Phone $100
Visa (interns and non-US citizens) $500


What's Included: 

As a part of your GBI London: International Business Issues and the City of London fee, the following are included in the program:

  • Tuition for 6-9 credits
  • Housing
  • Orientation in London
  • Cultural Events and Activities
  • An Unlimited Tube Pass for Zones 1 and 2
  • International health Insurance
  • Membership to the Student Central facilities


When You'll Go: 

The program arrival date for summer 2023 is May 18, 2023 and the departure date is July 1, 2023.

What Else You Need to Know: 

To mitigate the potential risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, our provider is asking for proof of vaccination to participate in the program.


All students are required to attend the mandatory agreement meeting.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your program.  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application.


Scholarship Information

Active members of UPAA are eligible for a $500 scholarship. The Pitt Business International Programs office will verify that you are currently a member in good standing with UPAA prior to the program application deadline.

For scholarship opportunities, be sure to check out the Pitt Business International Scholarship page for information about available global experiences funds offered exclusively to Pitt Business students.