CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange



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


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Yes, I recommend this program

If you're on the fence about a virtual internship--do it!

Before beginning my virtual internship through CIEE, I was a little apprehensive. I had no experience working in the field, I'd never worked online before, and I didn't speak the language of the country where the company was based. Although nerve-wracking at first, I'm so happy I took the plunge. I've learned so many new skills, worked with people from all over the world, and gotten a look into what sustainability jobs might entail. Every day has been different, so I've had a taste of many different roles. If I could, I would 100% do it again!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be afraid to take a chance or to ask questions when you're unsure of something. More often than not, your internship provider will be happy to answer them and it shows your dedication to the organization.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Smart program, useful classes, still second to the city

I picked this because I'm a comm major w/interest in journalism, and because of the urban setting and CIEE's varied extracurricular activities.

Staff and faculty are smart, caring people. Any help I needed could be found on the top floor of study center. They are open about safety, resources, etc. and they hold students to a high standard of using common sense. The response to COVID was calm, informed, and measured.

Students cared about their Spanish skills and immersion. The day trips are great, but the more frequent tours and activities throughout the week are awesome ways to meet more faculty, a super easy way to get to know the city and the social calendar as well as other students from CIEE's many programs. About half of my classes were fairly easy, the other half were more serious/high level work. All the classes had less reading required than at my home university. Magazine class focused on storytelling and Profe Oscar Ceballos cares passionately about the craft. My Cursos Concertados flamenco class was fantastic. The classes available to you are in the study center for the CNMJ, Nervion for business, Triana for a few more, like my dance class. The classes do not necessarily help you get out into the community in an interactive and deep way, that is more up to you to figure out how to build connections with vendors or citizens when you visit the market or the women's march with class. I expected it to push me more/harder to do that. Regardless, the opportunities are there!

Homestays are great, and for the CNMJ program their location is in La Alameda or La Macarena, home to a lively artist community and close to the river and Calle Feria, and closer to the study center than the other neighborhoods, so it is arguably the best homestay neighborhood CIEE has in Seville.
I loved walking everywhere, smelling the orange blossoms, and riding a bike, as well as weekend independent travel. I had a little trouble connecting with my homestay (only 8 weeks though cuz COVID) but we got along well. I was with another student and she interacted very little with me. CIEE's weekly activities and their first month-ish social helped add variety and meet new people.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Add variety to your schedule: join a club; sign up for excursions - the ones that are just a few hours are easy, comfortable, and show you great places to hang out in the city, and are free/included in tuition; take a class outside your focus (I took "History of Flamenco through Dance" and "Business Ethics," both classes for international students. almost, but not all, of students in these courses were from the USA and in Seville with CIEE). Look for a language exchange at a local restaurant or bar. CIEE's has mostly English speakers, and if you join a non-CIEE one you will meet people who have found things in the city you don't know about. CIEE's program is a great jumping off point, but not the end goal.
Another piece of advice for anyone abroad, in any program, is: Trust that you will find your place socially and that you are worthy of inclusion and appreciation. It can take effort, time, and chance to find security in your peers. This program is small though CIEE Seville is big and you might feel like the odd one out among 11 others at first, but it will work out. You're
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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Rio de Janeiro

Studying abroad with CIEE Rio has been by far the best decision I have ever made. Nothing can compare to the delicious Brazilian food my wonderful host mother Jussara would cook for me everyday. The moment I stepped into the Brazilian soil I knew my life was going to change forever. The teachers were incredible and super attentive, it really helped that the program consisted of just 10 people because we were all able to get really close with the teachers and staff. I never felt in danger and I always knew that if by any chance I needed help I knew I could count on the wonderful staff. I am extremely thankful to have gotten this opportunity and if there ever comes a time where you have the opportunity to choose between Rio and literally anywhere else always choose Rio, you will not regret it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Tapioca!! not the pudding kind it was more like a crepe/tortilla there is no way I can properly describe it but it was the most delicious and healthy snack ever!!
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Yes, I recommend this program


I truly enjoyed the online global experience, although I was really looking forward to the actual event. I appreciate the experience afforded to me by the Frederick Douglass Summer Scholar program through CIEE. Although online, the opportunity to interact with other scholars from various locations, as well as the professor was most enjoyable. I also enjoyed the weekly drop in sessions and other activities made available. I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in the opportunity. Try it!

What would you improve about this program?
The connectivity issues some students were having
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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Monteverde- Tropical Community Ecology

I absolutely loved this program and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The sheer amount of biological diversity that you get to witness and learn about firsthand is unprecedented. The first two weeks you get to go on a field trip all along the pacific coast of Costa Rica and learn about every type of ecosystem that exists. In Corcovado, you wake up to the calls of howler monkeys and Scarlet Macaws out in search of breakfast. The campsite is absolutely beautiful- I would call is glamping because there is a private beach and bar at the place we stay (its called Jungla de Jaguar if you wanna check it out). Here we saw lizards, sloths, toucans, spiders, and someone even had a very up close encounter with a tapir! In Santa Rosa- my personal favorite place, we saw three different species of monkeys on the walk to breakfast alone. We also frequently saw Tamanduas, agoutis, parrots, snakes, frogs, etc. Definitely bring your camera. The teaching staff and TAs are the best people I have ever met in my life, and they will become your best friends. They know the answer to any question you could have, and are the friendliest people in the world. If you love the outdoors, and waking up in paradise, and making amazing friends, 100% do this program!

What was your funniest moment?
The first night camping out in Santa Rosa I was going to the bathroom and a frog jumped on the back of my leg and scared the crap out me (I screamed), but then we all had a good laugh about it. To be fair, I genuinely thought it was a snake, which was why I was so scared.


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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.

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