CIEE

Provider

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available.

CIEE Study Abroad

Programs from CIEE

Program Reviews

  • R
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Wake Forest University
    4/10
    I cannot believe I am this stressed on a tropical island
    03/21/2016

    Let me start by saying that Bonaire is a beautiful place. The island is a fantastic, the weather is gorgeous, and I have met so many wonderful people while I've been here, both from the program and just on the island in general. I've enjoyed being able to dive multiple times a week and carry out my own independent research project. The excursions we have on the weekends are amazing as well, from spelunking to visiting Curacao. It's been eye opening to experience a whole different culture and learn about a field of biology that I'm very interested in pursuing as a career.

    That being said, I have never felt more academically stressed than I have on this program, and I normally attend a university that's well-known for its academic rigor. It isn't even because the material is difficult, or that there is too much material being taught at once. It's because of the staff. They're wonderful people, but I have never met anyone less qualified to teach college-level academic courses. It is not a good thing when I've come to expect a teacher to say "I don't know" to an answer asked in class, on the material that they are supposed to be knowledgeable about. And when I am told to see a certain teacher if I need help with something, I expect to be helped, not told that they don't know how to work the program, which results in points being taken off my final grade for that assignment. Additionally, the program has such a disorganized structure, which makes for incredibly poor communication between the students and the staff; there is no set schedule of what classes are on which days each week. Sometimes, I even feel as if the staff actively try to make life difficult for the students, and I'm not alone in my opinion. I have already lost track of how many times I and my peers have spent voicing our frustrations about the unhelpful nature of the staff among ourselves.

    The worst part is, I am writing this about halfway into the semester. I am already beyond frustrated with the staff, and it is not even the end, when all of our major assignments are due and final exams are given. Bottom line is, if you are looking for a study abroad experience on a tropical island, and you can take these courses without worrying about whether or not you will even get credit for them, I would highly recommend this program. But, if you are looking for something with a fulfilling academic experience as well, avoid CIEE Bonaire.

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  • Kathryn
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Minneapolis, MN
    Luther College
    10/10
    True Adventure
    02/10/2016

    While participating in this program, I was able to do an internship at a school. The school was one room and had nearly 100 students. My classmate and I worked in the school 2 days out of the week for 6 months and formed some incredible bonds with both the teachers and the students. Every day we split up to eat, the men in one room and the women in another. We would eat out of one communal bowl with our hands. We were able to help with some grant writing on the side and get the school enough money to build a new roof. It was a great way to develop skills and work with people. The coolest thing was at the end of the year we attend the graduation, which ended in a big dance party with the students and the mothers.

    How could this program be improved?

    Safety was always a bit of a problem. We were staying the dorms and there was a guard outside the dorm 24/7, but our rooms were broken into multiple times. By the end of the semester almost everyone had had something stolen.

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  • Andrew
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Arlington, MA
    Boston College
    9/10
    A Life-Changing First Experience in Paris, France
    02/04/2016

    This a retelling of what's in my fellow CPEC (as it was known then) student's intro chapter to his personal memoir and history of the circus called The Ordinary Acrobat (plug!). Our program director told us we had an event coming up--a circus show. Circus? With elephants? No, no. Nouveau Cirque. We saw Et apres on verra bien, loosely translated "And after, you'll really see", incorporating acrobatics, a guy singing Simon and Garfunkel in a French accent, a guy yelling "Ca va!!!" et us responding and a guy falling with a chair on a trampoline, saying in French, "the more you guy up, the more you'll come down." It inspired me to continue nurturing my passion for the arts in French and my friend to write a book and have a career in circus and all of us to want to learn French better.

    How could this program be improved?

    More communication with staff throughout semester related to workload and health issues.

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  • Bethany
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Modesto, CA
    California Lutheran University
    10/10
    I have no words
    02/04/2016

    There are way too many memories, way too many amazing things, to even consider writing them all down. So I'm going to cheat and say "check out my totally unironic and super interesting blog"! Yes, I hate those annoying self-promoting bloggers too. For real though, Tanzania is great, CIEE is great, everything is great. Don't let the words "Africa, malaria, developing country, etc." scare you. https://bethanyraepetersen.wordpress.com/

    How could this program be improved?

    I would focus a little bit more on the hands-on Community Development experience. There was lots of theory, but not as much real volunteer experience.

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  • Suzy
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New York City
    Fordham University
    10/10
    Contemporary Middle Eastern Art in the UAE
    12/17/2015

    I am a senior at Fordham University in NYC and have dedicated this past year to traveling throughout the UAE and Oman while studying abroad with CIEE at the American University of Sharjah. I had dedicated my entire year to researching contemporary Middle Eastern art as I met with artists through my painting class and at contemporary art galleries in Dubai. I had the opportunity to represent Leila Heller Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi art fair and Art Dubai and was able to bring some of my friends from classes to these fairs.

    My experience studying with my CIEE group has been life changing. It has inspired me to further my interests in the contemporary art field. I just completed a Fulbright application which funds me to live in the UAE for a year to interview Emirati artists as they prepare for the Sharjah Biennial 2017. I aspire to become a curator of contemporary Arab art and want to exhibit these works within the Gulf and NYC regions. I am currently curating a group exhibition in NYC with Iranian and Afghan artists. I will be traveling back to the UAE this January to meet with old professors at AUS and to visit more artist studios.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would've liked to learn more Arabic while studying there. Even though my classes encouraged intensive language, I feel I would have learned about the language through a more intimate setting if CIEE had encouraged everyone to participate in Arabic practice groups.

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