CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange



A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 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.


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Portland, ME 04101
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I loved my semester with CIEE in Hyderabad! India was a big switch from Indiana, but the CIEE staff was incredibly supportive every step of the way. Culture, classes, travel, health, and emotional health - they were there for everything! The semester allowed me to stretch myself and learn in ways that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do elsewhere. Besides being loads of fun that I will always remember, it helped me deepen my relationship with my then boyfriend / now-fiancee (originally from nearby Visakhapatnam), enables me to connect with Desi people wherever I am, taught me to think in new ways, and helped me get into a career in economic development.

It's easy to travel to and get around in other Western countries at any point in your life, but a semester with CIEE in India is absolutely irreplaceable. Definitely the right choice for me :)

Yes, I recommend this program

I loved studying abroad in Israel, of all the study abroad programs I have been in, this is definitely the best one. I had so much support in Israel from CIEE, we also had many trips both from the university of Haifa and from CIEE that I never felt unsafe or like I had no one to ask for advice. I also can say that even though we always had support from Martha (CIEE advisor in Israel), I never felt restricted or limited to explore the country and the culture. I definitely recommend anyone that would like to have a different experience to go to Israel with this program. I made amazing friends, learned a lot from the culture, country, history, society and I also learned a lot about myself in the time I spent there. I also have to say that Israel is probably the country where I have felt the safest from all the countries I have lived in. You will have a lot of fun here and learn a lot from the region. Studying abroad in Israel is different than studying abroad anywhere else. If you like to go out of your comfort zone, go to Israel, you won't regret it!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Living on campus at UOW and being a part of the CIEE program has made my time in Australia amazing. It made all the difference having program directors to help me make the transition into life in a new country. The excursions led by CIEE ended up being some of my favorite memories and I am so grateful for them. Not many exchange students I talked with had the opportunities that I had through CIEE, like spending a day with an Aboriginal teacher and abseiling in the Blue Mountains. My experience abroad has pushed me into new experiences daily and taught me lessons I will remember all of my life: how to cook, how to budget, how to take the train, how to surf, how to write strong essays, how to be responsibly spontaneous, and how to be myself. The best advice I have for future participants is to take the opportunity to travel during breaks and plan ahead. One of my favorite memories of my time here so far was going to Bali over mid-semester break with a friend. I met a good friend during the first couple days of orientation week, and we decided on the Bali trip and booked plane tickets right away. It was great to have something to look forward to for break, and it was an amazing trip. With that, make sure you book any plane tickets through a reliable travel agency or through the airlines themselves. Cheap plane tickets are awesome, but as I am now planning for travel at the end of the semester, I am learning there is nothing worse than booking flights through an unreliable travel agency and dealing with constantly-changing flight itineraries (and 14-hour layovers). Behold, another useful lesson I will hold onto! I cannot emphasize enough how much studying abroad has changed me for the better and helped me grow into a more confident and pro-active person. If you have any doubts at all about studying abroad, just know that you will have all the support you could want through CIEE and the friends you will make here, and that the experiences you'll have will become some of your most cherished memories.

How can this program be improved?
The program could be improved by giving students options to vote on as a group for the excursions they will take during their semester, with additional opportunities including a snorkeling trip at the Great Barrier Reef and a weekend-long surf camp.
Yes, I recommend this program

I am so beyond grateful that I chose to study abroad with CIEE Arts + Sciences in Hyderabad. Although I had been out of the US for brief trips before, this was the first time that I ever spent a prolonged period of time abroad. I was nervous. I was excited. I didn't know what to expect or what I was getting myself into. Fortunately, I absolutely had the time of my life and if I could relive the entire experience, I undoubtedly would.

The other reviews seem to have already provided a lot of substantive information, so I'll just share a few thoughts/observations/memories:

At first I did not think I wanted to do a homestay. However, I changed my mind upon arrival, and I am happy that I did. I lived with three other students in a home near campus with a wonderful Indian couple. Settling in off campus helped ease me into life outside of the university while introducing me to an amazingly gracious host family.

Classes are more lecture-oriented than I was used to. I took a course in the politics department and listening to the students discuss current events was fascinating. Also, campus is gigantic and learning to navigate it was a fun challenge. Bikes were provided to us and that certainly facilitated exploring.

Travel (City/Beyond):
I really made a point of familiarizing myself with the city's public transportation (bus, rickshaw, the MMTS train system). This made weekend and post-class jaunts around town a lot easier. Also, as was mentioned in other reviews, Hyderabad is centrally located within India and it isn't hard to get to a lot of other great travel destinations quickly (by bus or train). There is so much to do! It should also be noted that CIEE does a great job of helping everyone learn how to use the trains, rickshaws, buses, etc. when they arrive.

Study Abroad Cohort:
This was probably the best part. I made great friends and the shared experience of everything above made for an irreplaceable life-changing semester.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I arrived to India on December 27th, 2018, and immediately upon getting off of my plane, I was greeted by a man that asked me if I was Enrique. That was my first interaction with Kalyan, one of the program's staff, and that first time truly foreshadowed just how prepared and supportive the staff was. In the first week or so we were given bikes to get around the huge campus, it was arranged for us to get cell phones from an Indian cellular service, and even the orientation before the semester started was longer and far more immersive than other programs there.

One of the first things we did was go on a scavenger hunt all across Hyderabad, in groups of 3 competing against each other, and that day gave us a giant tour of the city and the knowledge of how to best get around via rickshaw. The teachers were very accommodating and one of the language teachers, Bhavani, would actually invite students over about once a month to learn how to prepare various Indian dishes and snacks.

I did a homestay, instead of staying at the Tagore International House on campus. My host family was very welcoming and it truly felt like I was part of their family. I still stay in touch with one of my host brothers and we hope to visit each other again in both the US and India. My host mother was amazing, and despite the language barrier, she was able to explain to me what certain holidays meant and how to prepare dishes like daal and aloo gobi. I did end up spending a considerable amount of time in Tagore to hang out with other students in the program. The social space set up their was pretty nice; a lot of ping pong games were played there, and a lot of great movies were watched. Mr. Das, the guy in charge of everything involving Tagore and its residents, was a great guy and always helped anyone book a bus, plane, or hostel, when we wanted to travel outside of Hyderabad.

We even had a cultural show at Tagore, which was the result of the program affording students the opportunity to learn how to play instruments like the tabla or the sitar, how to dance various styles of Indian dance, and yoga. We got to showcase what we had learned in our respective extracurriculars towards the end of the program and it was such a fun night that the program planned, and out of the many fond memories I have of my time there, that one is one of the ones that stands out to me.

I loved my study abroad experience and I'm beyond happy that I ended up choosing CIEE Hyderabad because I do believe it was an integral part of just how immersive my experience was. I still keep in regular contact with some staff and teachers and I hope to visit them again on my next trip to India.

How can this program be improved?
I can't think of any improvements to the program, but I would recommend to students to be very flexible and open-minded. Power outages are a thing, and it gets pretty hot in the spring, so be prepared for that.
Yes, I recommend this program


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