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.

Updated refund & cancellation policy for flexible, secure booking due to COVID-19

In the unusual event CIEE has to cancel your summer ’20, fall '20, January '21, or spring '21 study abroad or internship program due to a health, safety, or security concern, you’re covered with Program Assurance Advantage.

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300 Fore St.
Portland, ME 04101
United States


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


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Yes, I recommend this program

I had so much fun during my semester abroad in Barcelona! I was able to take courses that met requirements for my majors; I took one of them at ESCI, a host institution, and the other 4 at CIEE. Barcelona has so many things to offer - I found something new each day that I explored around, and I never had a chance to be bored. When studying abroad, you also have the chance to travel A LOT. I'm glad I made the most of my time there and visited a bunch of other cities and countries! CIEE also offered some cool excursions, and I met a bunch of students from around the world. I'm very happy I had this opportunity and am already planning my trip back there!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to take lots of time to explore the city of Barcelona - there's so much more to find than you'd expect!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I arrived to the program late after some circumstantial issues with my visa, so I was worried that I was going to have a difficult time finding close friends and adjusting to the program in some way, shape, or form. Luckily, everyone in this program is amazing so not only did I have no issues, but I was able to make some great friends right off the bat. The staff at CIEE is extremely helpful and always offering opportunities to get to know Barcelona better, as well as connect you with local students. Taking classes at UB was extremely daunting at first and I felt out of my element, but with the help of the great tutors CIEE offers and the professors and program directors, I was able to do well in all of my classes and thrive academically. I chose to live in a homestay with another student, which was one of the best decisions I made in the program. It was a great way to get authentic meals while practicing Spanish in a conversational environment, and the girl I lived with and I ended up becoming great friends. There's a lot of time to do your own thing, I was able to do a lot of traveling while I was there, and I honestly don't have enough good things to say about the program, CIEE definitely contributed to study abroad being one of the greatest times of my life.

Yes, I recommend this program

I loved my 3 weeks in Peru! Having done two other winter interim courses via other organizations, I can say that this is by far the best program I have done to date. The staff was incredibly kind and helpful, the homestay experience was very rewarding, and I met a lot of amazing people on the trip. Though the academic element was not the most challenging, I still learned a lot. We were able to experience/ witness a lot of what we were learning about firsthand through different field trips, which was very enlightening. The program is flexible enough where you can be doing short trips on weekends and explore the country. Peru is an unbelievable place with a lot to see, do, and learn and I would recommend this experience for anyone looking to try something new and be challenged.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend arriving a few days early to explore Lima and do some day trips from Lima (Huacachina, Islas Ballestas, Nazca lines...). I would also recommend staying an extra week at the end to go on some other excursions that you may not have been able to do during the weekends.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I travelled with CIEE to Argentina as a high schooler. The experience was so great that I fully intended to return to Buenos Aires as a college student for a semester abroad. While researching into their semester programs, I came across the J-Term to study tango abroad. How could I resist?

This study abroad did nothing but encourage me to travel more. I learned so much about the culture of Buenos Aires in relation to tango and relished in the opportunity to explore the city on my own. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones too, and through all of this I learned more about the careers I hope to enter and fields I wish to study. I am literally counting down the days until full semester abroad (only 3/4 of a year to go!).

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Please integrate with your peers! As the young one of the group, I felt a bit intimidated by my peers and didn't really start hanging out with them until the second week. These guys were literally SO COOL, and I should've been making pals from the start.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The program at CIEE Madrid was perfect for my semester abroad! The classes there were fun and interesting and greatly contributed to my experience. The class schedule allows you to take 2 classes at a time for 6 weeks so I was able to take up to intermediate spanish language. I was also able to conduct my own research project with great support from CIEE staff. The schedule also allows lots of travel on the weekends! I traveled to 12 other cities while I was there. The other students in the program were amazing and we became such great friends- we would do cultural things like go to museums or parks and explore the nightlife of Madrid (which is incredible). This semester was an incredible experience for me!!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that the classes were a little bit more flexible concerning attendance. The very strict policies kind of made me feel like I was back in high school.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Jordan McClintock

A small-town girl with childhood roots in New York, Jordan discovered she had a love for exploring new places fairly early. In the rare times she is not in a state of wanderlust, you can find her studying pre-medicine at Colby College!

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.

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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