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.


300 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
United States


Selfie taken when my host family took me skiiing (I was terrible)

I'm not sugar coating anything when I say that I had the best time of my life here and would recommend it to a stranger, walking down the street, not even asking me, not caring in one single bit, that they should go to Japan. I've met lifelong friends that I cherish with every part of my life, and memories that will make me weep once I go back and no longer get to be in Tokyo. I will say a few things that might make you think twice about going: 1. No car, the trains are busy, but that can also make it fun. 2. There is only one Mexican place I'd actually recommend and that's "Chiles". Please go, the cook is Cuban, and will adore you if you speak in Spanish. 3. If you look a little different, you get stared at. It sucks, but have fun with it. You're a gaijin, might as well have a lot of fun with it. 4. Thrift stores just get old-fashion looking clothes and double the price. 5. They pickle everything you can imagine but they don't have actual dill or sour PICKLES.

I had a great time with the program, the trip to Hiroshima was one of the most rewarding, though bittersweet, of course. I stayed with a host family throughout the duration of my time in Japan, and I absolutely love them as if they are my own family. It was big with three children, and it wasn't abnormal for the kids to break out in song at any point in time (those were the best though - you'll never get serenaded more than in the Ito house). I don't think anyone wouldn't be able to have a very memorable time.

How can this program be improved?
It's kind of frustrating about the schedule and how you can't see the courses. But, that's a Sophia problem not a CIEE one. Also, pickles.
Yes, I recommend this program
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This program offers a lot of fun events that really made things fun and the orientation in the beginning really helped to make friends with the others in the program. There's amazing support from the on-site staff that I would say it's a lifesaver. I got to go to various places and experiences various things like sushi making, washi making, and attending a philharmonic orchestra performance for free because of this program. I also really appreciate the transportation reimbursements they do for their events and they also offer cultural reimbursement for things you do on your own. I've met some really amazing people through this program and the director of the program also gave me some advice when I asked about career paths,etc. It's definitely worth picking this program if you want to be in Tokyo.

How can this program be improved?
I think some things like the housing application/match-up could be done better but to be honest, it's a great program that's well put together.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I chose this program because I wanted to improve my French. In that regard, this program was superb. High-quality classes led by understanding professors combined with the everyday practice with my host family made for a truly immersive French experience. The CIEE staff were extremely encouraging as well, and unfailingly patient with my errors. But the program offered so much else besides. Rather than listing them all, I'll name just my favorite. The home stay was simply amazing. I was welcomed into a family and made a part of their community, and as a result, my stay in French moved from the educational to the relational. I expected to learn a language; I did not expect to make what I think will be life-long friends. So if you are looking for a quality education and a welcoming community, this program is for you.

How can this program be improved?
I do think a little help with logistics in getting to Paris at the end of the program could be helpful, especially as students are concerned with tests, papers, and good-by's
Yes, I recommend this program
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I did have a great time abroad and met a lot of fun amazing people. Although this program could of been run a lot better. Compared to other CIEE global institutes that my friends told me about this one seemed to be run very poorly. I had a very hard time getting assistance from CIEE staff members and on occasion when I would ask them questions for help they wouldn’t even respond to my messages. In addition I felt that they avoided helping students in the program when they could’ve and did the least they could do to improve the experience for students. They were overall very hard to work with and it made my study abroad experience a lot harder to enjoy. Although London was a great city to study abroad in, I would not recommend doing it through CIEE. If you do wish to study with CIEE it might be better to study at one of their other global institutions that have better supporting staff.

No, I don't recommend this program
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In 1703, Peter the Great founded Saint Petersburg on territory he had just conquered from Sweden. He wanted to orient Russia to Europe, so he built Saint Petersburg as a European-style city. With its Baroque architecture, bridges, and canals, it is easy to see why Saint Petersburg has been nicknamed the "Venice of the North." There are also examples of "Leningrad" architecture from the Soviet period, and of course, new developments. Walking through Saint Petersburg is like walking through a history book, and CIEE's tours give you a deep insight into the city's rich history. CIEE's staff is always there to help with whatever problems you may have, and they have good recommendations for things to do. The classes are interesting, and how often can you study with a Baroque-style Orthodox cathedral in the middle of your campus? If it is your first time traveling to Russia, Saint Petersburg is the place to be, and CIEE is right program for you.

Yes, I recommend this program


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