Staff Spotlight: Cynthia Benson

Program Leader
Cynthia is a certified French teacher, and holds a master's degree in education. She spent years in France and is currently employed as a High School French teacher in the suburbs of Chicago.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Some of my favorite moments were the times when the students shared their experiences. They verbalized what I had felt when I studied abroad in High School.

Listening to them share what they'd seen and felt was like experiencing it all over again for myself. CIEE created opportunities for them to reflect, share, and analyze their experiences. It was amazing to watch.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My perspective on oral proficiency has changed greatly in the classroom setting. I have adopted the way of assessing speaking through improvement scores and not just some high pressure interview where they could stress out and fail.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

CIEE is unique in its opportunities for all students. The ability for students without means to be able to travel abroad and expand their minds and language skills is one of the most admirable thing about this company.

The goal of CIEE to provide authentic language and cultural experiences for students of all backgrounds touches on such a fundamental wish that all language teachers have.

It gives my students hope that they can go abroad without wondering where the money will come from or the debt that could follow. They're doing what I wish I could do for my students.