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
United States



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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I thoroughly enjoyed my study abroad experience in Seville. The course work was rigorous and definitely forced me to continually practice my written and oral Spanish language skills. Before participating in the program, I was comfortable reading, writing and being lectured to in Spanish, but by the end of the semester I was also confident in my spoken language ability and lost nearly all my self-consciousness speaking Spanish. I strongly recommend a semester immersion program for any students who want to hone their Spanish language skills while gaining course credit abroad!

Note: I took courses in both the CIEE Seville Center and the Universidad de Sevilla. The staff and faculty support at the CIEE center helped provide resources while I experienced culture shock and language insecurity, and the courses at the Universidad de Sevilla gave me a community of local students to immerse myself more fully in the local culture. Strongly recommend taking courses at as many locations as possible!

Yes, I recommend this program
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This program was truly life-changing! As a dual citizen, I had been to the country many times before but no trip left an impact as much as this one did. While in Haifa I got to experience a whole new side to Israel. I lived and studied at the gorgeous campus location and I had an internship down in the city. Learning to live on my own while across the globe was an absolutely incredible experience! The staff at the university and in CIEE were such a great support system and helped me with any question I had, even something as simple as "where should I go grocery shopping?". I made lifelong friends and memories and am eternally grateful that I chose to study abroad in Haifa, Israel! 100% recommend this program and everything that comes with it!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Wow what a wonderful experience. Almost two years later, I still think about my study abroad experience every day. My experience in CIEE was wonderful. I took the Peace & Conflict program through CIEE which was located at the University of Haifa. CIEE added much to the study abroad experience. Not only were the classes dense and full of great material that fit my major, but through the program I was also given opportunities to experience going river rafting, explore new cities, practice my Hebrew, talk about conflicts of Israel, and see ancient sites dating back to thousands of years ago. If you are on the fence about going to Israel, I recommend taking the leap and just doing it. I never once felt unsafe, in harm, nor did I ever feel that the program inhibited my ability to explore on my own. The staff are all very helpful, the course material is all very interesting, and the view of Haifa (and the whole north of Israel) from the university is stunning. I 100% recommend going.

Yes, I recommend this program


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