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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CIEE Scholarships
CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

$500 - $2,500

Win up to $3,000 for 2020 Study Abroad with CIEE!

Put “study abroad” on your 2020 calendar! Enter the Seize the Season Sweepstakes for a chance to be one of eight lucky students who will share up to $24,000 in study abroad scholarships with CIEE. Choose your prize: $1,500 toward any of 80+ summer study abroad programs or $3,000 toward any of 100+ fall study abroad programs. The sweepstakes ends on April 15, 2020. Enter today!


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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE ALA is the best program you can choose if you want to immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture. It is a unique study abroad program because it allows its participants to take classes at the University of Barcelona in Spanish, which is the best way to get to know other Spanish students and dramatically improve your language skills. The program attracts students who are eager to get out of their comfort zone and learn lots. The small size means that everyone becomes really close, and the leaders of the program are always there for one-on-one help. Would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and have a fulfilling experience studying abroad.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I loved visiting and learning in Buenos Aires! I loved meeting new people and I got to be able to explore the whole city within the semester. I was able to get an inside look on what tango was and the history of tango. Learning about tango has helped me learn about Argentinian culture as well as the overall history of the culture. I got to explore the culture as well as understand more Spanish! I also was able to learn about famous tango singers and song writers and understand the history of tango and how it became popular.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Traveling the public transportation gave me anxiety! I didn't know where to go and how to get to a certain location. After having people help me, I was able to learn about the public transportation system.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I had the chance to study abroad in Buenos Aires. It was a really good experience. The staff has been super good. They're very personal, and make sure we feel comfortable at all times. I've had many chances to improve my Spanish. The field trips to places like La Boca and Plaza de Mayo have been great experiences. The Argentine people have been great to me. I really don't have to much to complain about. The best recommendation I have is to bring a friend on the study abroad with you to make sure you don't even feel alone. At 27 years old, I'm one of the older guys in my group while the rest of my group is really young, so it has been harder to make friends for me, so I wish I would have brought a friend with me. Other than that, I recommend this program.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I'd bring a friend with me. The group I have with me is really nice. But most of them are at least 7 years younger than me and just want to party. I've spent a lot more time at the house because I have no one to go out with.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Buenos Aires is beautiful, and it's where I spent most of my time. But it's important to realize how much there is to do in the city and country as a whole. Besides there being so much to see and do on every street, flights are relatively cheap which allowed me to travel to Iguazú Falls and Patagonia, which meant I could see these once-in-a-lifetime locations and become even more immersed in Argentina. Even just staying within the city, there are so many historic buildings, beautiful sights, wonderful food, and things to do to stay constantly busy and impressed with what Buenos Aires has to offer.

What was your funniest moment?
I was at a bar with some friends and we ran into three other Americans. Believer (from Shrek) started playing and we were dancing and singing together from across the bar and having a fantastic time.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I could not have asked for a better study abroad program. My homestay was absolutely amazing, every professor at CIEE is there to help and support you in anything you may need, and the location of everything is perfect! Barcelona was an amazing city to study abroad in and I cannot wait to return. I will admit I struggled with a biology class I took while there but the Professor and Alberto, the CIEE program director, helped me through everything and I ended up passing! Do not worry, you will have time to travel around Europe as well! I made it to five different countries traveling with new friends from my program. An amazing way to meet new friends that will last a lifetime. This is absolutely the best study abroad program in my opinion. Definitely a challenge but always worth it in the end.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of every opportunity you get! You are only there for a short amount of time, don't waste it going to the same restaurant or cafe everyday, not traveling to those places you've been dreaming about, not making friends in your program. Make the most of your experience, it all depends on you!


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Alumni Interviews

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

Abigail Wedding

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted a full immersion program in Spain. I was looking for a city, but not a big city like Madrid. This program offered me a homestay, classes in Spanish, and a beach city. I also chose this program knowing that I would come in not knowing a single person. Additionally, this program seemed to give me opportunities to grow personally and academically.

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

I am the first person from my university to come to Alicante for a semester abroad in over 10 years. I organized everything myself. I had to write a letter as to why I wanted my university to approve this program for me. Thankfully, they did. Even though I did all of it on my own, it was not overwhelming as the CIEE main office was extremely helpful.

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

There will be ups and downs. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows. You will have bad days and good days, but you will learn a lot in those days.

People usually say "Well, you are abroad, nothing can be bad", but you will have days all you want to do is be in bed or go home. It is necessary to remind yourself that if you push through, you will have a good day. With traveling, you will have issues, but everything will be ok.

Abroad is an incredible experience, but it is important to know there will be hard times.

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

There are 3-time slots of the class a day. For me, a typical Monday included waking up around 9 am and taking the tram to CIEE. I start class at 11.

After class, I would take the tram home and eat comida (lunch) with my host family. I would then go rest for about an hour in my bed. Usually, after a nap, my friends and I would go to the beach, shop, go to a cafe or go grab a tapa. I would return home for dinner at around 9 pm.

Class is 4 days a week and we have free time whenever we aren't in class. Depending on the week, I would leave to travel for the weekend on Thursdays.

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 had 2 really big fears coming into my abroad experience. One, not knowing anyone, and, two my Spanish not being good enough since I had taken a year off. I very quickly overcame my fear of not having friends because, in reality, a majority of the students did not know each other. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly. I also learned so much Spanish in the first two weeks that my worry went away. I realized that you are automatically better when in a culture that speaks the language you are learning.

What was it like traveling and navigating a new city alone?

I had the opportunity to travel to other cities in Spain and countries in Europe. For the first, I was traveling to airports in foreign countries alone. It was a big learning experience. I learned to be ok with asking for help.

I also learned how to use public transportation in the cities because it was faster and cheaper. At first, it was difficult, but I used apps and asked for help when needed.

I think traveling is an important part of abroad to learn how to navigate a new city.

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.

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

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