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Travel the world this October without leaving Pittsburgh

  • Our City/Our Campus
  • Global

This October, Pitt and Pittsburgh are putting international art, voices and perspectives on display. Read on to explore where you can try new foods, commune with global writers and learn about world history all month long.

Walk through a dazzling display

In its 125th year, the Asian Lantern Festival at Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium features an all-new display of giant luminous handcrafted sculptures. This year’s global passport theme will teach attendees about decades of conservation work along with Asian history and culture. Themed food and entertainment complete the atmosphere.

When: Thursday-Sunday nights, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Where: Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, 7370 Baker Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206

Tickets: $17-$27. Ticket prices vary and discounts are available. Find more details.

Consider these days booked

This year’s Pittsburgh International Literary Festival will host more than 50 artists representing over 20 countries and nations for two full weeks of free programming in Pittsburgh’s North Side. Celebrate literature from around the world with workshops and panels on topics like translating indigenous writing and global stories. Plus, catch performances and author conversations for story-lovers of all ages.

When: Various times and dates through Oct. 15

Where: Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15212. Events are also available virtually.

Tickets: Reserve free tickets in advance.

Get a glimpse of Germany

See how a study abroad experience in Deutschland might look — and taste — at this Oktoberfest celebration. Sample traditional foods like apple streusel and pretzels, play games and win prizes, and try your hand at reproducing prints from the Department of German’s art gallery.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2-4 p.m.

Where: William Pitt Union Ballroom, 3959 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Tickets: This is a free, unticketed event.

Catch 2 cultural cinemas

The month’s first global film festival, SCREENSHOT: Asia, is supported by Pitt’s Asian Studies Center and organized mainly by students. Screenings of 11 feature films by Asian and Asian American artists at venues across the city will be open to the public. Highlights include “Plan 75,” a mediation on the emerging age crisis in Japan by Cannes Golden Camera winner Chie Hayakawa, and 2023 Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Tiger Stripes,” a coming-of-age horror and pointed critique of Malaysia’s gender norms. 

When: Oct. 4-8

Where: Various venues

Tickets: You can reserve free tickets with your Pitt ID.

Pitt’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures will also continue its Slavic Film Fest this month with the screwball comedy “Láska hory prenásí,” known in English as “Love Can Move the Mountain” or “Avalache of Love.”

When: Sunday, Oct. 22, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Frick Fine Arts Building, Room 125, 650 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Tickets: This is a free, unticketed event.

Hear from global Pitt scholars

More than 85 undergraduate and graduate students will share their global learning experiences at the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs 2023 Scholarship Awardee Poster Showcase. The NRIEP Scholarship Program has supported study abroad, internships, independent research and experiential learning for Pitt students around the world for nearly 60 years.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 5-7 p.m.

Where: Connolly Ballroom, Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Tickets: This is a free, unticketed event.


— Nora Smith, photography by Aimee Obidzinski