CIEE High School and Gap Year Study Abroad

CIEE Global Navigator

Why choose CIEE Global Navigator?

With CIEE Global Navigator High School programs, the possibilities are endless. As a U.S. high school student, you can study abroad from as little as three weeks in the summer to an entire semester or gap year. With more than 60 programs on five continents, you’re sure to find the perfect program to match your personal goals and interests.


Upcoming Events

  1. Thu 30 May
    Gap Year Abroad Webinar

    Learn about CIEE's Gap Year Abroad program! Hear from CIEE's GAP team about program locations, language courses, housing, student support, and much more. All registrants will receive a link to view the webinar after the event.


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Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best semesters you'll have in college

You will never have an opportunity like this in America. Traveling to other countries with different cultures, history, food, and experiences is something you'll never forget. You'll see fairytale-like places and eat food that you just can't get in the States. I went to Italy, Malta, France, Germany, Czechia, Hungary, and Austria. I didn't regret a single trip I went on, but at the end of the semester, you'll be out of money. It goes by very fast so try to do as much as possible while balancing school and travel. Lots of fun and have made memories that I will always remember.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Create an early travel plan with friends from back home, but leave the last two months open. You'll make lots of friends abroad and will want to plan trips with them, so wait to fill your entire schedule with trips. Also, create a budget and try to stick to it as much as possible because you will go through money a lot quicker than you anticipate.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Czech Republic Summer Abroad

Everyone says that college is the best four years of your life and thus far, this has been true for me, I knew that I did not want to leave my college campus for an entire semester, so I when I heard that I could study abroad during the summer, I knew this is what was meant for me. I truly have a hard time putting my experience into words because it was so amazing. I met people in my program that I know are going to be lifelong friends. The support I received throughout my entire program is something I was not expecting, but am so glad I had this support. The psychology that I took in Prague is now preparing for my course load this semester. I honestly can say that this program and this opportunity was absolutely the greatest thing I have ever taken in my life. On top of everything, how cool is it to come back to college and tell me that you studied abroad in Europe for five weeks... so cool!!!!!

  • The people
  • The support
  • The beautiful city
  • Time change
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Study in Mohammedia

I spent three weeks in Mohammedia on a Leadership and Service in Youth Development program, and it was amazing! Our group discussions looking into biases, saviorism, ethical volunteering and more were incredibly valuable to my experience in the culture. The food was really good, and scenery was surprising and beautiful. Working with the children during our service time taught me a lot about my own community and my outlook on many issues, as well as inspiring me to redirect my thoughts in more positive ways. I was glad to learn some Darija and be able to navigate some of the city, which definitely helped in the immersive experience. Being part of this program changed me in many ways, and I hope it changes more people than just me.

  • Beautiful scenery
  • Collectivist and communal culture
  • Good food
  • Foreigner treatment
  • Water quality
  • Group dynamics, occasionally
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Yes, I recommend this program

Rome HS study abroad

I loved all of the people I studied abroad with and they were truly the highlight of my trip. The Program Leaders (PLs) were all super kind and down to earth. They were also close in age to us participants so we were able to connect with them and we became friends with them like our peers. There were 60 kids in my program since Rome is one of the most popular destinations. The kids were organized very well into 5 groups of 12 which made traveling around the city much easier than I thought it would be when I first arrived. The cultural excursions were very fun and we got to explore so much of the city. If I had to give advice to anyone traveling it would be to lower your expectations about food because the food served was not good so often times me and my friends would buy our own. Nonetheless I think that being able to try so many different things was really fun and I would recommend this to anyone. One more thing I loved was when you show up to the airport, nervous to meet your new friends, you immediately have a sense of community because of the CIEE shirts and everyone is very friendly and excited to meet people.

  • My Italian improved significantly
  • I have friends all over the country
  • I learned about a new culture from a firsthand perspective
  • The hotel was really old and cheap
  • The food from CIEE was really bad
  • My friend got pickpocketed
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Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable summer in Toulouse

I really had such an amazing experience with CIEE!! They offer many amazing cultural activities and weekend excursions that can really show you the culture and life in Toulouse. My French improved drastically with this course, as I stayed with a really kind and sweet homestay. I know many people whose homestays were not so good and CIEE moved them out quickly. I know there were probably some complaints with a few staff members, however I personally really liked my teacher and PL and had no issues. CIEE cares about all the students' safety and I felt very safe and secure at all times. I had a good amount of free time for lunch and occasionally after school. We did have curfews at 8 pm on weekdays and 11 pm on weekends, but with some people having really long commutes to the CIEE center from their homestays, they weren't able to go out much after school in their limited time. I personally joined this program alone, however I think this experience would be elevated had I came with even just one friend. I did spend a lot of money on shopping for this program, and I don't think that's talked about that much. I think that it's imperative to bring a lot of money (A LOT) for the actual program.

  • Wonderful, loving homestay
  • Wide range of cultural activities
  • Ensured safety and security by CIEE staff
  • Long commutes to the CIEE center
  • Not a lot of free time


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose CIEE first and foremost because of their scholarship and financial aid help. As a low income Hispanic student traveling and studying abroad was a far fetched idea but CIEE’s tremendous generosity and help allowed me to experience Tokyo, Japan during my junior year of High School. Second after having read the program’s itinerary and comparing it with other programs I realized I felt that CIEE had exactly, if not more than what I was looking for and with CIEE I went to four different cities in Japan and learned a lot of the local culture, customs, food and language.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

CIEE offered meet up points and airports, set us up with a language test before we left to check our level of understanding of the Japanese language and they had a lot of webinars and were on call the entire time. My mom was very paranoid about letting me go off with strangers to such a faraway country but CIEE was kind enough to keep her updated and called her frequently until they confirmed I was safely in their hands at the Narita airport. They provided us dorms, showers, buses, food, and great tour guides. As a full scholarship recipient there wasn’t much I had to organize on my own as everything was provided for.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Please study the language beforehand, it’s a courtesy to the native people of the country as well as a courtesy to yourself because if you find yourself not knowing how to speak or communicate at least at the basic level it’s going to be difficult to navigate yourself sometimes.

Also one month goes by very quickly savor it as best as you can, I came in the program very shy and came out very confident but I feel like my shyness prevented me from fully getting to know more people and more of the city, let yourself be free mentally and you will enjoy the experience much more. I always tell my friends to not be shy with your fellow peers as you will be each other’s family for the time you are there and to trust yourself and your instincts, it’s all strange and overwhelming at first but you will adapt.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Busy but fun! Depending on the day but usually we have classes in the morning Mondays to Fridays and then after class you could either have free time and explore the city on your own or you will be put in groups and do prescheduled activities such as calligraphy, meditation, exploring parts of the cities. We also took a week off of Tokyo to visit Kyoto and Hiroshima, we did not have classes that week but we did get to explore many parts of the two cities both with the entire group and on our own. We also had three days visiting our designated host families.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was certainly nervous but my biggest fear would have to be if I was going to be well received by others in the program and if I was going to manage to get out of my shell. I realized I didn’t have anything to worry about because by the third day I was already having a blast with everyone. I realized people aren’t so difficult to get along with and that I should let go of the fear of being reserved and how others perceived me because when I did let go it became much easier to be myself and get along with others!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Michele Schreiner

Job Title
Program Observer
Michele Schreiner is a District World Languages Supervisor in a public school district in southern New Jersey.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Taking the group excursion to Greifswald, Germany as a wonderful opportunity for me. I was able to observe how the German Language program students and the Global Entrepreneurship students came together for one weekend.

We all traveled together by train to Greifswald, a quaint little picturesque town in the North on the Baltic Sea. We stayed at the Youth Hostel in town, which had a large open area for soccer and volleyball. It was great fun to watch the students get to know one another.

The architecture in Greifswald was beautiful and the students enjoyed the contrast between the big city life in Berlin and this adorable university town.

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

As a language lover, I needed an opportunity to become a language learner again. Going to Berlin provided the perfect opportunity for me to focus my language learning skills on learning German. While in Berlin, I sought out as many opportunities as I could to utilize German with the local people. I am grateful for having had this opportunity.

Additionally, I personally needed a good refresher on my metro-taking skills. Being in Berlin was the perfect remedy for this, as the city is enormous and one often must change trains 2-3 times in order to get to a destination.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to go to see the program in Valparaiso. As diverse as my school district is, there is little opportunity to meet people from Chile. I would love to see how different the Spanish language is in Chile and to see how their culture is.

The security in Berlin at the study center was quite impressive. I appreciated how hard the Program Leaders were working to keep all of their students safe. I think this type of experience is unique to CIEE.

The company hires American high school teachers who are accustomed to working with American teenagers.

The 4 Program leaders I had an opportunity to get to know worked very hard at putting together meaningful "Into the Community" programs for their students. They also impressed me with how quickly and how well they had already gotten to know the students in their charge.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Personalization. I observed how well the Program Leaders worked with the German teachers in Berlin and how well they worked with the local CIEE employees in Berlin. All of these people working well together is what makes for a wonderful experience for the students, without their even realizing how many people are working behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Professional Associations

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