Persian Nationality Room and Intercultural Exchange Program

Have you been to the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning? Have you seen the 27 Nationality Rooms there? For those who haven't, the Nationality Rooms are a series of classrooms, each ornately designed and decorated with the theme of a specific country (or ethnicity, in some cases). They are, in fact, quite an attraction for tourists, school children and Pittsburghers alike. Unfortunately, despite the sizable Iranian population in the area and the long, rich history of the country, there is no Persian or Iranian room. With your help, this will soon change!

We at the Persian Student Organization are proud to announce our support for the kickoff of the project to establish the Persian Nationality Room. The preliminary work is currently underway. This will be a community-supported project, independent of any government or political ties. This project will require a great deal of support - financial and otherwise - which is why we're passing the message on to you. At the very least, volunteers are needed to serve on a committee that will oversee the project; preferably, these volunteers will be planning on living in the area for a number of years.


  • Persian Nationality Room: Concept, design and construction of a classroom in the Cathedral of Learning based on Persian's history and art. This room will be an ongoing, multiyear project.
  • Summer Study Abroad Scholarshp program: Providing scholarships for Pitt graduate students interested in traveling to Iran for various projects.
  • Collaborative cultural events and activities with the University of Pittsburgh The first of which is: participating in the annual Holiday Open Hous (Cathedral of Learning, Commons room, Dec 5th, 2010,noon to 4 pm, free and open to public )

You can learn more about the various projects at the new Persian Nationality Room website:


  • To support these projects, especially the Nationality Room project, we are in need of all kinds of community support, including but not limited to active committee members and funding. If you are interested in supporting the project in any way, please go to the following URL and fill out the support form so you can be contacted about it:

Intercultural Scholarship Program

Introduction: The Nationality Rooms have awarded scholarships for summer study abroad annually since 1948. The purpose of the awards is to enable University of Pittsburgh students to have an in-depth immersion in another culture for at least five weeks. Like the Nationality Room itself, these scholarships are community-supported.

Goal: While the project of the Nationality Room is underway, we would like to start our activities and collaborations with NRIEP (Nationality Room and Intercultural Exchange Program) which are just as important as actually building the room. These projects can proceed in parallel to progress on the room. For the first year, we are planning to provide one scholarship for a graduate student to go to Iran with an independent research project for a five week period. We are doing our best to make the deadline for summer 2011, which is actually the end of October 2010, but regardless of this year, we hope to provide scholarships for many future summers.

Applicants: Interested Pitt students can propose a cultural project in any related field from language, music, archeology, humanities, etc., basically anything non-political (subject to committee approval). It will be the applicants, with the consultancy of their advisors, who propose the project plans (including, goals, content, budget, etc.), according to the predefined application procedure.

We will be providing our help and support for the scholarship recipients in many different ways, such as:

  • Finding volunteer Iranian families to host them in different cities
  • Providing access to libraries and other necessary resources
  • Providing an English speaking Iranian guide
  • ...

What we need:

  • Connections with non-political institutions or organizations in Iran, willing to voluntarily help and support the student with their projects and their cultural exposure.
  • Funds: We need to raise roughly $4,000 in (tax-deductible) donations for one scholarship by Friday, October 29th, 201 (the deadline for announcing the summer 2011 scholarships). If you are interested in donating, please click here for instructions on donating online or by mail. Any extra funds collected will be saved in a University account for either the Persian Nationality Room construction or future scholarships.