CIEE

Program Reviews

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Maren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I picked this because I'm a comm major w/interest in journalism, and because of the urban setting and CIEE's varied extracurricular activities.
Staff and faculty are smart, caring people. Any help I needed could be found on the top floor of study center. They are open about safety, resources, etc. and they hold students to a high standard of using common sense. The response to COVID was calm, informed, and measured.
Students cared about their Spanish skills and immersion. The day trips are great, but the more frequent tours and activities throughout the week are awesome ways to meet more faculty, a super easy way to get to know the city and the social calendar as well as other students from CIEE's many programs. About half of my classes were fairly easy, the other half were more serious/high level work. All the classes had less reading required than at my home university. Magazine class focused on storytelling and Profe Oscar Ceballos cares passionately about the craft. My Cursos Concertados flamenco class was fantastic. The classes available to you are in the study center for the CNMJ, Nervion for business, Triana for a few more, like my dance class. The classes do not necessarily help you get out into the community in an interactive and deep way, that is more up to you to figure out how to build connections with vendors or citizens when you visit the market or the women's march with class. I expected it to push me more/harder to do that. Regardless, the opportunities are there!
Homestays are great, and for the CNMJ program their location is in La Alameda or La Macarena, home to a lively artist community and close to the river and Calle Feria, and closer to the study center than the other neighborhoods, so it is arguably the best homestay neighborhood CIEE has in Seville.
I loved walking everywhere, smelling the orange blossoms, and riding a bike, as well as weekend independent travel. I had a little trouble connecting with my homestay (only 8 weeks though cuz COVID) but we got along well. I was with another student and she interacted very little with me. CIEE's weekly activities and their first month-ish social helped add variety and meet new people.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Add variety to your schedule: join a club; sign up for excursions - the ones that are just a few hours are easy, comfortable, and show you great places to hang out in the city, and are free/included in tuition; take a class outside your focus (I took "History of Flamenco through Dance" and "Business Ethics," both classes for international students. almost, but not all, of students in these courses were from the USA and in Seville with CIEE). Look for a language exchange at a local restaurant or bar. CIEE's has mostly English speakers, and if you join a non-CIEE one you will meet people who have found things in the city you don't know about. CIEE's program is a great jumping off point, but not the end goal.
Another piece of advice for anyone abroad, in any program, is: Trust that you will find your place socially and that you are worthy of inclusion and appreciation. It can take effort, time, and chance to find security in your peers. This program is small though CIEE Seville is big and you might feel like the odd one out among 11 others at first, but it will work out. You're
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Cristina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad with CIEE Rio has been by far the best decision I have ever made. Nothing can compare to the delicious Brazilian food my wonderful host mother Jussara would cook for me everyday. The moment I stepped into the Brazilian soil I knew my life was going to change forever. The teachers were incredible and super attentive, it really helped that the program consisted of just 10 people because we were all able to get really close with the teachers and staff. I never felt in danger and I always knew that if by any chance I needed help I knew I could count on the wonderful staff. I am extremely thankful to have gotten this opportunity and if there ever comes a time where you have the opportunity to choose between Rio and literally anywhere else always choose Rio, you will not regret it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Tapioca!! not the pudding kind it was more like a crepe/tortilla there is no way I can properly describe it but it was the most delicious and healthy snack ever!!
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Michaela
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I truly enjoyed the online global experience, although I was really looking forward to the actual event. I appreciate the experience afforded to me by the Frederick Douglass Summer Scholar program through CIEE. Although online, the opportunity to interact with other scholars from various locations, as well as the professor was most enjoyable. I also enjoyed the weekly drop in sessions and other activities made available. I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in the opportunity. Try it!

What would you improve about this program?
The connectivity issues some students were having
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April
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely loved this program and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The sheer amount of biological diversity that you get to witness and learn about firsthand is unprecedented. The first two weeks you get to go on a field trip all along the pacific coast of Costa Rica and learn about every type of ecosystem that exists. In Corcovado, you wake up to the calls of howler monkeys and Scarlet Macaws out in search of breakfast. The campsite is absolutely beautiful- I would call is glamping because there is a private beach and bar at the place we stay (its called Jungla de Jaguar if you wanna check it out). Here we saw lizards, sloths, toucans, spiders, and someone even had a very up close encounter with a tapir! In Santa Rosa- my personal favorite place, we saw three different species of monkeys on the walk to breakfast alone. We also frequently saw Tamanduas, agoutis, parrots, snakes, frogs, etc. Definitely bring your camera. The teaching staff and TAs are the best people I have ever met in my life, and they will become your best friends. They know the answer to any question you could have, and are the friendliest people in the world. If you love the outdoors, and waking up in paradise, and making amazing friends, 100% do this program!

What was your funniest moment?
The first night camping out in Santa Rosa I was going to the bathroom and a frog jumped on the back of my leg and scared the crap out me (I screamed), but then we all had a good laugh about it. To be fair, I genuinely thought it was a snake, which was why I was so scared.
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Olivia
9/10
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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Genevieve
10/10
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.

Victoria
10/10
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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Elise
10/10
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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Mary
9/10
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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Megan
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was a great program! The course is very accessible and involves many field trips to clinics in Accra. The course took up 3 hours of every weekday, leaving plenty of time for adventure, studying, or volunteering in the afternoon and on weekends. The program also provided a useful tour of the city and a fun trip to Kakum National Park and the Cape Coast castle. It was a great way to blend fun and important history. Staying in the International Hostel was not a great accommodation due to the openness to a variety of sketchy people and the lack of hot water/soap/basic accommodation. There was also a need to lock your door at all times as the campus is not the safest. Overall great trip, 3 weeks was enough in this beautiful city.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise you to bring plenty of bug spray but also to be prepared to live in conditions very different than you are used to normally.