CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange

CIEE

About

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For more than 75 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.

Scholarships

CIEE

CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

Value
$500 - $2,500

Reviews

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Cailin
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!!

CIEE gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Berlin's culture while also having the comfort of helpful staff and professors and other American students. I was very intimidated and worried I would have trouble meeting people and finding my way around, but this was the opposite of my experience. I was instantly able to meet other students through classes and excursions, and the Berlin residents themselves were fun to meet and talk to. Additionally, my professors incorporated the real world experiences we had into the course content to make it feel more tailored to us, especially in my class on European political systems. I would recommend this program in Berlin to anyone because there was truly something for everybody. The night life was exciting, the language was interesting, and the city had a rich history.

Pros
  • Great food in the area
  • Interesting classes
  • Fun night life
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Abigayle
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved it here!

The people, professors, CIEE staff, bicycles, bars, public transit systems, football games, housing and all aspects were so great! The Danes were a wonderful group to get to know and made Copenhagen my favorite city to travel to. I loved being able to reach everywhere easily by bike, metro or bus and everyone was very willing to help if needed. It was quite expensive but the quality of what you get for the cost was well worth it. Definitely a place I would recommend for first time travelers and students :)

Pros
  • Accessible transport
  • Friendly locals
  • Good housing
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Hannah
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

January in Prague Czech Republic

My experience was unique due to the challenges covid posed with going abroad and at the time of my group arriving In January 2022 Prague had just finished another lockdown and at this point they were opening most businesses again. It was a wonderful experience because of the support of the staff. I think that Prague might be a nicer visit in the spring or summer but if you don’t mind the cold too much and pack warm, there is still plenty to do. The staff also had planned some well thought out day trips for us. There is not much traveling you can do since the program I did was only 3 weeks and covid makes it difficult to cross borders now without recent negative test results but getting to Prague itself wasn’t so hard. The day trips that we went on were often outside for the majority of the day in the cold so I recommend really packing lots of layers and being prepared to walk outside in cold, rainy, or snowy weather for a couple of hours at a time. I will say that the trips are very interesting and will keep you pretty engaged the whole time.

Pros
  • Very nice accommodations
  • Interesting culture and activities
  • Very safe city
Cons
  • Pack layers- more than you think
  • Not many excursions
  • Lack of access to travel during program because of length and covid
Default avatar
JULIA
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad

My study abroad experience is so special to me. I had never been to Europe before nor had I left the United States very much, so coming to Barcelona for a whole semester was a big deal for me. I loved how supportive the staff and faculty were, and they were always inspiring me to make the most of my study abroad experience. I learned so much about the culture and about myself in Spain. I felt like I grew as a student as well as a person. I came back feeling more confident and inspired to travel. I will forever be grateful for the time I spent in Spain.

Pros
  • Friends
  • Travel opportunities
  • learn the culture
Cons
  • Living could be far from school
  • Time difference with families back home
  • Getting sick / needing prescriptions abroad
Default avatar
Claire
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Language Opportunity

This is an awesome opportunity if you want to practice your French. You will hopefully make great friends, like I did, and have some amazing chances to travel. It can be kind of intense, but you definitely experience full immersion with your host family and classes. Just to be clear, you will be taking classes with other international students, not in the university classes with other French students. It is still super cool to meet the students from all over the world. I really loved the program, but sometimes the administrators were not very clear about how the academic part of the program would work until you were registering for classes.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

Being a pre-medicine student, there are certain fields that I do not have the opportunity to explore. The CIEE offered a myriad of programs that catered to countless interests. Gender and Sexuality was an area that always fascinated me and the CIEE's course offering was extremely appealing.

The program website was engaging, informative, and constant guidance I was given was fantastic. Before, during, and after the application process, I was given numerous resources to help with planning, financial aid, and budgeting. There was truly personal touch to the CIEE's program and that made me even more excited to enroll in their course!

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

The CIEE was instrumental in helping me plan every step of the program.

Before I even got accepted, the CIEE helped me with deadlines and different materials. I never felt under pressure nor did I feel that I was just a number to them. They were so supportive and communicated with me, as well as my home institution.

During the program, I was given so much assistance regarding the Danish culture, housing, and food options. The only organization I had to do on my own was budgeting my money, which is something that I needed to learn!

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

Cherish every moment you have. Being in a January Term program, I knew that it was going to be a short experience. I was not prepared for how quickly it went nor was I ready to leave. I am so fortunate to have been able to explore Denmark but, it became unreal when the days were numbered.

Do not stress over the little things because, in the long run, it does not matter. Your time will go by fast and before you know it, you will feel like Denmark is your home.

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

An average weekday had class start about 11:00 a.m. or later. This was awesome for me because I got to explore Copenhagen and visit some incredible neighborhoods. The class would end around 3:30 p.m. (with a lunch break in between!) and we would then have the autonomy to do whatever we wanted. After class, other students and I would either keep exploring or do some shopping. At night, we would eat dinner either in our kitchen or out in the city.

Weekends were much more flexible and we had a lot of time to ourselves. The CIEE was great in providing excursions that introduced us to Danish cultures and gave us access to many interesting places. We got to visit the Danish Parliament and the Royal Palace for free!

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

My biggest fear of going abroad was the idea of being in a new place and adjusting to a new lifestyle. Domestic traveling was something I had done fairly often but, long-term international trips were a new ball game. Additionally, money has always been a concern to me and going abroad was a bit scary in that sense.

My fear subsided almost immediately after the program began. I fell in love with the Danish culture and Copenhagen itself. The homesick feeling I thought I would get never came. I have comfortably adjusted thanks to the guidance of the CIEE. In terms of budgeting, they were so helpful in giving us numerous options for groceries, pharmacies, and different shops. I always believed I was pretty independent, but this program helped me realize it was true!

What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do the CIEE Program again?

If I were to go back and relive my experience, I would have immersed myself in Danish culture even more. Although I was only in Copenhagen for a month, I feel that I definitely missed out on learning basic words in Danish, as well as interacting more with the public transportation system.

Also, there were times I felt a bit nervous when I definitely was reading too much into the situation. The locals are so friendly and helpful, so if you are ever lost, they will help you find your way!

Enjoy every minute and, above all, make the experience your own!

Staff Interviews

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

Katherine MacColl

Job Title
Teach Abroad Senior Coordinator
Katy taught abroad for 4 years in Turkey and then in Thailand. She is dedicated to helping others experience all that teaching abroad has to offer.
Katherine MacColl

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is from Myanmar. My friend and I did a guided hike through the countryside. We spent our nights above temples and the days wandering through another world. I remember being in awe of the differences, even between Thailand and Myanmar, and in the attitude of the people. They were the happiest people I had ever been around, even with the limited access they had to things that we feel that we "need".

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

CIEE has been a great place to work and has really motivated me to stay in the education industry. I love helping others and CIEE strives to give amazing customer service, always putting the teacher first. I have learned more about the process and how to best help others through it. I think, whatever you are doing in education, it is a place where there is always room to grow and continue to make an impact that has amazing ripple effects.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The best stories are those when the students or teachers feel they have made an impact. However, maybe more than what we think we impact, the impact that others make on us is what truly inspires me. Travel and living abroad changes you, it demands growth and patience. Students that feel that impact from their students and communities reminds me why I love helping them get started.

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

I would choose our program in Chile. Santiago is such an incredible city and the chance to work in a college setting has always been enticing to me. You are able to be the lead teacher and have amazing experiences to grow as a teacher and of a Spanish speaker. The program feels so tight knit, and you create an amazing group of friends right when you arrive.

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

CIEE goes above and beyond to encourage education on all levels. The Teach Abroad programs gives people the knowledge and confidence to go abroad, changing their lives forever and being able to change others lives through teaching. We work to break down stereotypes and we are upfront and honest about the challenges that we all have to face when we go abroad, but we make sure that participants have the tools to overcome these.

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

The biggest factor in being a successful company is to truly care. We all care about our participants and the experiences that await them. I hope that all of our participants feel like and feel connected to a great support system before and after their arrival in their new home. Without heart, what we do doesn't mean anything.

Professional Associations

The Forum on Education Abroad Logo
Gap Year Association Logo
NAFSA Logo