CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange


Why choose CIEE?

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.



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.

$500 - $2,500

Upcoming Events

  1. Thu 20 June
    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.

    Hosted By:
  2. Wed 24 July
    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.

    Hosted By:


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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE: Seoul Arts + Sciences

I absolutely loved this program. The staff at CIEE were incredibly helpful before, during, and after the program. There were many options in choosing classes and many activities to participate in with your fellow study abroad peers. Studying at Yonsei University was also amazing in that the location was incredibly convenient and the campus was beautiful. There were so many things to do in the surrounding city of Sinchon and the staff communicated well with participants about internship, volunteer, and extracurricular activities we could participate in. All together it has been an incredible experience and I would whole heartedly recommend both this program and others hosted by CIEE.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moments came when I would speak to locals in the native language. I had studied it for 10 years prior to my participation in the program, however, using it in a natural environment is pretty intimidating. I was able to overcome this obstacle by frequently putting myself in postions of having to use the native language. By doing this I became more comfortable and more confident and I am glad I got to experience this and work outside my comfort zone.
  • Seoul is a big city and you never get bored
  • The staff on this program is amazing, responsive, and supportive
  • Classes are interesting and Professors are very kind
  • University isn’t amazing at incorporating visiting students
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Yes, I recommend this program

Abroad > Study

Shanghai is such an amazing city! I loved how international yet historical it is. Traveling in China is so easy and fun! Going to miss the ease of transportation here. The food is also so good! If you get sick of eating Chinese food, there are great American rooftop bars, Mexican restaurants, and French restaurants. Smartshanghai is a great resource for anyone staying in Shanghai, so many recommendations from spas to events to restaurants. If you're a shopper, this is also the place for you! There are tons of shopping malls and the fake market is great (make sure to bargain)!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Most nerve-recking moment was missing a train connection back to Shanghai and it was 12:30am. I was with one other girl from my program and we didn't realize the train connection was at another station in the same city, so we missed our second train. Because buying tickets and traveling is so convenient, we were able to buy new tickets for a train that would leave 1 hour later, thank goodness! We were so confused for a good 30 mins and not sure how we were going to get back. We had class the next day, but we collected ourselves and realized we could search for other trains and thankfully they had one that night! Otherwise, we would have had to find a hotel and leave the next day.
  • Safe city
  • Easy to travel around and lots to do
  • Food and drinks are amazing
  • language barrier
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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Study Abroad Review

I loved this program and everything they allowed us to do. Starting from the beginning it was a great welcome to a new country and meeting so many fun people. The classes were so detailed and learning-filled, and the extra circulars were great. We got to see tons of different places and got to go pottery painting, go on a wine tour, see holocaust museums, travel some, and more. It is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am so thankful to CIEE for making it special and something I could never forget.

What was your funniest moment?
When we had to pottery paint and I was horrible at it and got paint all on ,e
  • getting to try new things
  • meeting people in the fun classes
  • living in a different country with helpful people and getting class credit
  • time zone
  • commute to some places
  • N/A
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Yes, I recommend this program

I could not recommend this program more!

CIEE Amsterdam was amazing. I had such an incredible time. Everything I needed, CIEE took care of. I have a gluten allergy and was really anxious about how this would be handled on the trip. CIEE was beyond amazing. Additionally, the class was amazing. My professor, Evelina is one of the most interesting people I've ever met. Learning from her was such a privilege. The day trips that CIEE planned and led were very fun and informative. I wish I knew about CIEE earlier, because I would have gone on more programs. Thank you for an amazing summer CIEE!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go in with an open mind! You never know who. you're going to meet.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My wonderful time with CIEE

My experience with CIEE was truly unforgettable. The program facilitated my travels and provided unwavering support across various aspects of my journey—academics, social connections, and practical advice. The on-site staff was accommodating, ensuring I settled in smoothly and addressing all my needs and concerns with prompt solutions.

Through CIEE, I formed lasting friendships with people worldwide, tried delicious cuisine, and explored some of the most fascinating destinations. As a Korean American, I gained profound insights into Korea's history and culture, learning to immerse myself respectfully and become a well-rounded global citizen.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-wracking moments were when I had to converse with the locals using my limited Korean. It was daunting to build up the confidence, especially when I received mixed reactions from people who couldn't understand me. Initially, I tried to avoid speaking or engaging in public interactions to avoid using Korean at all costs. However, as time went on, I gradually built up my confidence by persistently practicing. It eventually became easier and easier. Although it remains intimidating at times, I see myself changing and growing more confident in myself each day. I have been traveling alone and often receive compliments on my Korean.
  • Making new global friendships
  • Self identity and finding myself
  • Career development
  • Budgeting
  • Health concerns
  • Limited support


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Alumni Interviews

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

Sofia Solari

Hi! My name is Sofia Solari. I studied abroad with CIEE's high school abroad program for an academic year in Sevilla, Spain and then returned to Sevilla for the spring semester of my junior year in college.
Sofia Solari


Why did you choose this program?

I chose CIEE in high school because my older brother used the program to study abroad in France and had a wonderful experience. When I was applying to study abroad in college, I knew I wanted to use CIEE again because I had such an extraordinary time with the program. I made so many friends during my first time abroad, that it was a no-brainer I would choose CIEE again for my college experience.

I feel like CIEE offers so many things such as different classes, excursions, and cultural exposures that really enabled me to learn Spanish quicker and become apart of the Sevillan community.

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

CIEE assisted me with everything I could have imagined! CIEE had on site staff in Spain that would support me in any mental, emotional, or physical assistance that came up. Not only that, but before going abroad with the program (both times) they provided info sessions and orientations.

I felt I had all of the information that I needed prepared by CIEE before I left the United States, and when I actually landed in the country, there were 3 days dedicated to orientation, so we all felt confident entering the Spanish community.

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

I would say the largest piece of advice I could give is: remember, homesickness is normal! You may feel homesick at times, especially during holidays, but remember you are only abroad for a short amount of time, and you should take advantage of your city! Join activities, talk to people, explore!

I feel like it is easy to get caught in the moment of missing home, but when I started to have that feeling, I would meet up with friends or walk around Sevilla. I would talk to my parents and friends from home occasionally, but I really put effort to dive deep into the culture. I took many classes offered in my town, and I joined a local gym!

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

During both programs with CIEE an average day consisted of meals with my host family, school, some homework, and exploring the city + participating in extracurricular activities such as cooking, pottery, and dance classes and hanging out with friends.

Once my schoolwork was completed, often times me and my friends would go to a park and sit and talk. My spanish friends would show me new Spanish songs, and we would make plans for the weekends.

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 going into the program was that I was not going to make friends. However, I think being a foreigner is a great conversation starter! So many classmates of mine introduced themselves and I began to hang out with them all the time. Do not be afraid to ask people questions or start a conversation!

When I first met my friend Javi, he made fun of my accent and I was mortified. Little did I know he would become my best friend on the program. I talk to him every single day, even now, and every time I go back to Spain we see each other and laugh about memories. I can not believe I have known him 6 years!

What was your favorite memory abroad?

My favorite memory abroad was being able to attend the Feria de Abril in Sevilla, Spain. The Feria de Abril is a huge tradition in the south of Spain and I had the opportunity to eat traditional foods, dance, and dress up in a flamenco dress. My friends helped me pick out a dress and invited me to their caseta (little tent) where they introduced me to their families and friends.

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