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CIEE Teach Abroad

About

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in a foreign community.

Want to learn more about what it is like to teach abroad? Check out our Facebook page (@cieeteachabroad) and Instagram account (@cieeteach & #cieeteach)!

Website
www.ciee.org
Founded
1947
Headquarters

300 Fore St
Portland, ME 04101
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Tess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a really great experience with CIEE! From before I submitted my application up to now in South Korea, I've had a great group of people walking me through the process, answering my endless emails, and really clarifying my every question. They are very knowledgable about the process and helped me figure out whether I wanted to apply to a private or public school, and even helped me get placed in the same city as my best friend! They also helped me so much when it came to the EPIK application and all the paperwork, and it feels so great to know that I have a support system in the county in case something happens, and even just to meet new people. Going through the process with a company that I had heard of just made me feel so much more secure. I definitely recommend going through CIEE to teach abroad!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate chicken feet, which are common in Korea, but that was pretty nuts.
Default avatar
Amber
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Why was it unique?

CIEE was the most structured program, which was why I chose it. Any initial questions that I had during my search were automatically answered through their coordinators or website. It made making the decision of which country to teach in very easy. Katy and Aubrey, two of the best coordinators and staff ever, personally helped me break down which documents to acquire and where. They are definitely steadfast and consistent throughout the whole process. I've been in Korea for 4 months. After speaking with other teaching expats it has become clear to me that other programs do not EVEN compare to CIEE. The benefits package, the support system, and the training are all above and beyond with CIEE.

Education wise, Michelle Nail, was the best educator on TEFL. I could not have asked for a better teacher.

Culturally, their Korean representatives, Yumi and Brad, prepared me for culture shock and aided me in times of need. They also chose the best school for my personality and needs. I couldn't ask for a better program.

Dear future participants,

Just know that you are in good hands. Not only from the TEFL and Cultural training but from document gathering and anxiety about moving to a new place. Like Allstate, you are in good hands.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I came to Korea to teach and lose weight. Because of vegetables and rice. I was so shocked when I got here that there's a bakery on every corner. EVERY CORNER!!! Jokes on me. But I'm eating well. :)
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was a bit nervous about teaching English in a country where I knew very little about the culture or the language, but CIEE has helped me every step of the way. Their online TEFL certification course allowed me to meet other teachers in the CIEE program while learning from a tutor who had real experience in the field and was dedicated to assisting us with our studies. The visa application process was also easy to understand. Their online application system organizes your required documents into manageable steps, and the staff is really helpful in sending you emails to remind you about upcoming deadlines. Once I got to the interview process, it was a breeze! It is so great having such in-country support to help me with everything from questions with my contract to cultural fo pas. The in-country orientation also helped me connect with so many other teachers in the program. I am never short of a traveling buddy! If you are still on the fence about applying, I say just take the leap and go for it!! Living in a completely different culture not only expands your world-view, but it also allows you to personally grow more than you may think is possible.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The Korean food palate makes for some interesting combinations involving processed foods. One of the most surprising things I have eating so far is a seafood soup with hotdogs and American cheese. It was surprisingly good!! The best advice towards trying their food is to just dive on in without trying to judge it too much.
Default avatar
Michelle
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm in a small town in Gangwon-do, so although I have nice people that I work with, the CIEE staff is supportive, and it has been an interesting cultural experience so far, it is really hard at times when there's practically no one in the whole town who is a native English speaker or even has a good amount of English skills. I have to take a bus, 20 minutes South, to Wonju to do any "good" shopping and encounter other foreigners. It has been a good experience and I feel fully-immersed in a Korean society, but it is just hard to be thrown into such a vastly different environment. If you're placed in a bigger city, you won't have these problems, but even ordering food/drink is sometimes difficult in a small town unless you can speak a fair amount of Korean.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
It was a seafood dish at a Chinese restaurant. I thought most of the things in there were vegetables, but it turns out that most of them were sea-creatures including jellyfish!
Default avatar
Madison
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It has been one month since I have moved to Budapest through CIEE Teach Abroad! Teaching abroad has always been a dream of mine, and CIEE helped make it a reality. Katy made the application and hiring process very easy! She sent us our important documents (such as visas, housing info, etc.) early so that we were able to prepare. I had many questions before moving to Budapest, and Katy was very timely with her responses leading up to the departure. She was also there to meet us at the airport when we arrived and helped move us into our temporary accommodation. Having an expert around for the first weekend was extremely helpful! The in-country staff have also been great. They are always there if we need anything and keep us updated on events happening around Budapest. Despite this being the first time that CIEE has run a teach abroad program through Hungary, the overall process has run fairly smoothly. I look forward to the remainder of my year in Budapest!

What would you improve about this program?
They could have offered some more support in finding permanent accommodation.

Jobs

Programs

Displaying 10 - 12 of 12

Alumni Interviews

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

Jay Tipton

My name is Jay Tipton and I am from Los Angeles, CA. I currently teach English in Huelva, Spain which is located in Andalucia. Prior to teaching, I was a film/commercial/documentary producer.

Jay Tipton

Why did you choose this program?

I choose CIEE to get involved with teaching English abroad because they seemed super professional and the costs were reasonable. I spent many days/hours browsing the internet for the best way to teach abroad and my final decision was that CIEE seemed like the best option to get my foot in the door. Their representatives were unbelievably helpful throughout the entire process. I would recommend them to anyone!

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

My program provider assisted me with sooo many things (especially with the preparation phase of the experience)! Some of the biggest and most helpful were:

  1. Steps to obtain a visa.
  2. Steps to get in contact with my school.
  3. Steps on how to find housing/open bank account/set up life in general.
  4. Insurance.

Some of the things I had to organize on my own were:

  1. Actually finding my apartment once I got to my city.
  2. Determining my work schedule with my school.
  3. Scheduling my commutes.

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

Money related advice! Like:

  1. Find out your income and create a monthly budget (you can search the internet for the average costs of living in your city).
  2. Based, on that budget make sure you have enough money saved up to float you for 2-3 months (you'll need to put down a deposit, buy groceries, buy bus tickets, etc. before you get your first payment).
  3. Consider your personal/fun travel in your money-saving plans.

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

In Andalucia, we teach 12 hours a week, spread over 4 days a week (Monday-Thursday with Friday free).

Each participant's schedule is different, depending on their school. My school is located very near to where I live, so I have a short, easy commute that I usually do with a coworker. I have friends with much longer, more complicated commutes. I teach 12 hours in the classroom and spend about 2-3 hours a week planning and prepping for my classes.

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 know this sounds a little over-confident, but the truth is that I did not really have any fears before my abroad experience. I have moved many times to many different places in my life, so at this point I feel pretty secure whenever I make these types of moves. Thankfully, I had enough money saved up and support from friends/family that put me in a great position before the move, but in reality, I was not scared. I suppose this answer does not help too much but just being honest :)

Also, I did not speak a lot of Spanish (almost none) before the move, but I tried to study and prep as best as I could. That helped big time!

What is working with a new group of teachers, who you have never met before and do not speak your language like?

It was awesome! I will admit that it's entirely possible that I got super lucky with my school placement, but from day one I felt very welcomed and comfortable, despite my almost zero level of Spanish and a very limited level of English on my coworkers' part. Despite the language barrier, we still made it work. I showed interest in them and their lives and they did the same in return.

Over the semester, I started to create real bonds and connections with my coworkers, all in their own unique ways. Everyone was eager to help me and I tried to do the same back - teamwork baby!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Miranda Rodway

Job Title
Senior Coordinator, Teach in Spain Programs
Miranda has worked for CIEE since 2016 and has lived, studied, and worked abroad in England, Dominican Republic, Spain, and Fiji. Her experience in Spain provided her with fluency in Spanish and friends that have become family, and she is passionate about helping others achieve their dreams of living abroad.
Miranda Rodway

What is your favorite travel memory?

After the unexpected death of a loved one in 2013, I traveled on a whim to a rural island in the South Pacific called Taveuni to do some soul searching. Taveuni is one of the 70 islands that make up the nation of Fiji.

While I was there, I lived with a family in a small village. The way of life there made a lasting impression on me. My favorite memory is when a group of kids took me on ocean kayaks to go snorkeling. It was unforgettable! I watched them spearfish for lunch, make a fire on the beach, scale tall trees to pick coconuts and machete the coconuts open for us to enjoy.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I will never underestimate the value of good customer service, meeting people where they are at, and assuming positive intent.

I started out with the CIEE Support team, the team that is responsible for handling any and all problems that may come upon a participant's exchange year. It was an incredible learning experience that taught me not to take things personally, adults aren't always "right", and that kids can teach us incredible lessons if we only allow them and are open to the experience.

I started out working primarily with minors on our High School USA program, their host families, and local CIEE representatives. With so many cooks in the kitchen, it is important to know how to stay neutral and objective; something that has and will continue to serve me in my personal and professional life.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I spoke to an older participant who went to Spain on the Volunteer program last year and he is already trying to go back for another few months. He was so enthusiastic and spoke to me in Spanish, obviously overjoyed about having the opportunity to practice his Spanish. He is in his 60's and reminded me that it is never too late to try something new like going and living with a host family! When I worked with high school students on the Support team, I enjoyed being able to help them and hear their reflections and maturity after having returned home.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That is a difficult question to answer. If I had to choose and had all the time and resources to do so, I would do CIEE Teach Abroad in Chile.

I have never been that far South within the Americas and have always wanted to go. While many people are drawn to Spain (been there, done that!), I think it would be more helpful to learn South/Central American Spanish and culture given the number of Spanish speakers in the USA. I really had to try hard to neutralize my "Castillian accent" when working with South/Central American people in the various jobs I have had since university.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

CIEE provides the absolute best support to its participants.

This summer, I was exceptionally proud when we were able to assist a mother from Ecuador travel to the USA to be with her daughter who was hospitalized while on the Summer Work & Travel program. Being able to be with someone in a vulnerable moment like that was a very proud moment for our team with several staff members assisting over the course of the summer months.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe that everyone must be treated equally and support to be the best version of themselves at work as well as in their personal lives. The health and well-being of all is of the utmost importance and all organizations should make that a priority for their employees in any position. This means providing career mentoring, health insurance, paid time off, etc. I think CIEE does a great job with this.

More Interviews