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New Three-Day Excursions Give Students Another View of the World

Last weekend, nearly 400 students enhanced their summer studies abroad by traveling from 15 locations to one of seven international cities for three days of guided exploration. New this summer, CIEE’s Intercultural Comparative Experience Weekends allow students on short-term programs to compare multiple cultures and make connections that lead to meaningful insights.


Whether a student went from Prague to Berlin or Amman to Istanbul, these amazing three-day weekends provided a new intercultural lens through a range of components: an art and architecture tour; music, dance or theater; community service tied to relevant social issues; and specially designed curriculum to help students tie together their experiences. In Barcelona, for example, students explored Park Güell, a garden complex designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, and enjoyed tapas and a Flamenco performance. After a look at events that have shaped Catalan identity, students then examined the Catalan perspective on some current issues, including boundary disputes, nationality, and the economy. Finally, they met with supporters of the pro-Catalonia independence movement and participated in folk traditions.


Visit Facebook  to see more photos from our first worldwide Intercultural Comparative Experience Weekends.



Students in the new CIEE Global Architecture and Design programs just completed their spring 2014 semesters. These programs are designed to meet the academic requirements of advanced architecture and design students and offer a chance to further their studies.  

Below are photos and comments from the Barcelona & Berlin students, two world centers for design innovation and excellence. Learn more.



“As an international student in Boston coming from Venezuela, I could have never imagined having an opportunity like this. This will have a tremendous impact in my next years as an architecture student.”

Francesco, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Barcelona, spring 2014


"This program was amazing. There was a constant flow of passionate energy within the studio as well as with the faculty and staff which was appreciable!"

Edwin, Carnegie Mellon University, Barcelona, spring 2014


 "My favorite part was the exposure to new technology and the collaboration with students from different schools."

Vance, Howard University, Barcelona, spring 2014



"We became real Berliners. The program pushed us to become invested in the city and to add new ideas to it."

Dan, Carnegie Mellon University and Carly, George Washington University, Berlin, spring 2014



100 Students, Two Weeks, Three Continents: CIEE and Spelman College Launch an Exciting New Journey

More than 100 students and eight faculty members from Spelman College in Atlanta departed May 11 for two weeks of intercultural learning through innovative programs created in partnership with CIEE. On three continents, they’ll explore new cultures with a dynamic combination of academics and community activities to gain the skills to be successful global leaders.


Plus: Follow students in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Peru, and Portugal at #spelmanciee.


Spelman College Students Prepare to Spend Two Weeks Abroad this May


In May, just over 100 Spelman College students will pack their passports and travel to Peru, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, or Portugal, for two weeks of intercultural learning with a custom program that includes Spelman faculty and CIEE staff members. CIEE is proud of our special partnership with Atlanta-based Spelman, and the opportunity it provides to these students to build the skills they’ll need in today’s global community.

In each location, students will immerse themselves into their host countries’ cultures through co-curricular activities with faculty and locals. A custom intercultural engagement curriculum taught by CIEE staff will also build intercultural competencies and leadership skills. Read more.

Visit the CIEE Study Abroad Facebook page to view photos and stories from our students’ journeys over the next few weeks.
Did you know that CIEE’s commitment to providing students of every background with opportunities for international education is so strong, that we award students more than $3 million every year in grants and special funding? Learn more.


Visit CIEE at NAFSA!

For more than 65 years CIEE has been the leader in providing high-quality international study abroad and exchange programs. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

CIEE Presenters:

Monday, May 26th
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
NAFSA Pre-Conference Workshop
CEP Workshop: Health, Safety, and Risk Management for Education Abroad
Trainer: Adam Rubin, CIEE

Wednesday May 28th
8:45 am – 9:45 am
Session: Findings from the Education Abroad Risk Management State of the Field Survey
Co-Presenter: Adam Rubin, CIEE

CIEE Staff Attendance:

James P. Pellow, President & Chief Executive Officer
David F. Fougere, Chief Operating Officer, Study Abroad
Nancy Kittredge, Vice President of Human Resources
Maritheresa Frain, Vice President of Academic Affairs
Spencer Jones, Vice President of Institutional Relations and Enrollment Management

Amy Dwyer, Director, Institutional Relations, Study Abroad
Tyler D’Andrea, Manager, Institutional Relations, Study Abroad
Betsy Parker, Manager, Institutional Relations, Study Abroad
Catharine Scruggs, Executive Director, Program Management, Study Abroad
Caroline Maas, Resident Director of Operations – Northern Europe
Janine El Tal, Resident Director of Operations – Middle East and North Africa
Adam Rubin, Senior Director, Program Development and Evaluation, Study Abroad
Bill Bull, Director of Health, Safety and Security
Jarlath McGuckin, Manager, Enrollment Operations
Kathy Martin, Registrar and Director, Institutional Agreements
Morgan Reiss – Director, Student Services, Seville
Gina Campbell, Program Coordinator, International Faculty Development Seminars
Kellie Sullivan, Director, Faculty and Custom Programs
Erin Santana, Senior Coordinator, Faculty and Custom Programs
Melissa Sandoval, Senior Coordinator, Faculty and Custom Programs
Jeff Thaxter, Director, iNext
Kristen Riley, Senior Operations Coordinator, iNext
Matt Redman, Director, Teach Abroad

Stop by our booth (#1613) in the exhibit hall to learn more about our new programs, new locations, Intercultural Comparative Experiences, and expansive scholarship and grant opportunities.

We look forward to meeting you in San Diego!


Staff Updates

Chris Gould as stepped down as Regional Director of Operations (RDO) for Asia-Pacific. Colin Bezener is serving as Acting RDO until a permanent replacement is found. Colin previously worked at CIEE for eight years, most recently as director of Intern and Trainee Programs, before leaving to complete his MBA at the China Europe Business School. He returns to CIEE from an international development organization based in Washington, D.C. where he served as project director.

Tian Song, manager for student services at the CIEE Study Center in Shanghai, China, since 2011, has accepted a new position with the CIEE Study Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During her time in Shanghai, Tian strengthened CIEE’s academic, cultural, and residential life program offerings, and was instrumental in improving health and safety protocols. Tian is assisting with hiring and training her replacement and will transition to her new position in Santo Domingo in May.

Jennifer Venecek has stepped down as Resident Director of CIEE’s Study Center in Tanzania to return to the U.S. During her tenure, Jennifer led the redevelopment and relocation of CIEE’s programs from Dar es Salaam to Iringa.

Justin Beckman, who has lived and worked in Tanzania for the past 15 years, will replace Jennifer as Resident Director. Most recently, Justin has served as project manager and field coordinator for a Johns Hopkins University research study in Iringa on the drivers of HIV/AIDs rates in the region. As an undergraduate, Justin studied abroad in Zanzibar in 1999, and led a group of fellow undergraduates back to Tanzania in 2001. These experiences inspired him to complete his bachelor’s degree in history and African studies, followed by an advanced degree in history from Yale University and extensive research into the 1964 Zanzibar revolution on Pemba Island. Justin is fluent in Swahili and conversant in the local Iringa language of Hehe.


CIEE Collaborates with U.S. Faculty to Sponsor International Workshop for Architecture and Design Students

 CIEE is excited to sponsor a new Venice Biennale Workshop, a collaboration with U.S. faculty that gives 10 U.S. students a chance to work with experts in design and architecture and take part in the field’s leading international forum. We’ve teamed up with New York University, Terreform ONE, and La Biennale di Venezia to host this innovative session for students from NYU and Rhode Island School of Design, May 27-June 7.

 Students begin their adventure in New York at the offices of Terreform ONE, a nonprofit design group that focuses on urban solutions for sustainable energy, infrastructure, food, water, and more. Students will learn cutting-edge methods for forecasting population growth of the world’s densest cities, using a model called the Bio City Map. After a week in New York, the group travels to Venice, Italy, for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, an international exhibition held every two years to showcase art, film, and architecture. In Venice, students will continue to focus on the latest advances in design and architecture for urban projects and help install Terreform ONE’s exhibit – the official selection at this prestigious event.


“Students will learn new methods of studying urban growth and interact with world-renowned architects, designers and thought leaders,” saysMaria Aiolova, CIEE’s academic director for Global Architecture and Design programs. “I look forward to sharing my ideas with the students and colleagues from around the world.”

 The workshop grew out of CIEE’s new Global Architecture and Design programs, in which students work with experts to explore how innovation and technology can help cities become self-sufficient, while they explore and connect with new cultures. These dynamic programs are offered in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, and Prague. See what students have to say about their experiences here


CIEE Alumni Gather to Celebrate 40 Years of International Education in Paris


On April 1, more than 160 alumni, staff, and special guests gathered at Maison de l'architecture to reconnect and celebrate four decades of international education and cultural exchange at our Paris Study Center. Since 1974, the CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange center has welcomed thousands of American students, and fostered an understanding of French culture and connections between countries.

Like other CIEE alumni events, this evening was an ideal way for past participants to share their international exchange experiences, forge new friendships, and build their professional networks. CIEE staff members, special guests, students, and alumni from a variety of CIEE programs attended, including study abroad alums from various CIEE Study Centers who now live in Paris and over 40 alumni from J-1 Exchange Visitor programs, which give students from abroad opportunities to train with U.S. companies, experience U.S. culture, and ultimately strengthen ties between nations.

Also attending were representatives from CIEE’s partner institutions in France: Université de Paris - Sorbonne Nouvelle, the Université Paris Diderot, Collège International de Philosophie, and Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). CIEE was honored to host two staff members from the U.S. Embassy, a member of the Franco-American Commission (Fulbright-France), and 16 members of Club Barbes – one of our Paris Study Center’s partners. Four members of Club Barbes will visit Harvard University later this month as part of a project called Diplomats of Diversity, initially funded and co-created by CIEE.


As part of our commitment to offer alumni ways to continue learning about other cultures, the evening featured presentations from several guests, including Caroline Ryan, managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in France.

“Caroline inspired the audience by speaking about her own experiences as a binational professional citizen, and described AmCham’s programs in France that support intellectual and economic exchange between the U.S. and France,” said Dan Olds, director of CIEE alumni relations.

Chosen for its rich history and architectural interest, the venue itself inspired guests. Built in the early 1600s as the home of a Franciscan order, The Recollects (as it was known for years) was renovated in 2003. It is now a regional architectural training center and headquarters of the Regional Council of the Order of Architects of Ile-de-France.

One of the evening’s highlights was a moving performance by Auni Hovanesian, a 2008 study abroad alumni and program assistant at the Paris Study Center, who sang original compositions accompanied by musicians on the violin and cello.

Alumni who live, work, and study in Paris made the most of the opportunity to learn and interact. “Late in the evening, it was amazing to see U.S. study abroad, J-1 Internship alums, and members of Club Barbes chatting together in French on the patio,” noted Olds. “On many levels, it was a remarkable and authentic moment of international and intercultural exchange.”



CIEE Students Gather in Berlin for Architecture Summit

Berlin Summit_1

Students from CIEE’s Global Architecture and Design programs in Barcelona, Berlin, and Prague gathered last week for a three-day summit in Berlin, one of the world’s leading urban centers in design. Representing 12 U.S. schools of architecture, 24 students are midway through a semester of exploring how innovation and technology can help cities become self-sufficient. From Wednesday to Friday, the summit provided an opportunity for them to present projects, get feedback from expert faculty, discuss and compare findings with peers, attend lectures, and explore the city.

The summit is held in conjunction with FUTURE CITY BERLIN: Symposium on Speculative Design Practices and Heterodox Pedagogy, where Berlin’s innovators presented their latest ideas and projects. Highlights include a virtual keynote address from the dean of Rice University’s School of Architecture and an event that had students teaming up to explore Berlin with a specific mission, and then presenting their discoveries to the larger group.


Students Publish Marine Science Findings from CIEE Bonaire Research Station

Every semester, upper-level undergraduates from around the United States who are interested in marine biology convene at Bonaire, a small island in the Dutch Caribbean, to participate in the CIEE Tropical Marine Ecology & Conservation program. Students conduct field-based research about human impacts on the marine environment, the viability of local protected areas and species, and the effectiveness of conservation measures on the island’s natural resources and pristine coral reefs. 


Research benefits local ecosystems

This research often influences students in their future studies, and provides sustained and invaluable resources to the Bonaire National Marine Park and surrounding community.

“In the 15 weeks that we spent on Bonaire, we have been able to see the effect that we as a society have had on our reefs,” said spring 2012 participants Gabrielle Lout, Amber Packard, and Madeline Roth in an introduction to Physis, a scholarly journal students write and publish at the end of each semester program. “We were able to study and witness extraordinary events – from monitoring sea turtles, to the intricate relationships between corals and algae, to the self-healing capabilities of sea pearls.” 

Physis offers students the opportunity for a comprehensive experience in scholarly research, publication and presentation.

“CIEE showed me what it would be like to follow through the entire research process, from coming up with an idea, to writing a paper and presenting in front of a public audience,” said Sarah Heidmann, a student at Oregon State University studying biology with a marine option. She participated in CIEE Bonaire in fall 2012.

“The goal is to provide an integrated program of excellent quality tropical marine ecology and conservation,” said Rita B.J. Peachey, Ph.D., resident program director and president of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean. “The field-based science program is designed to prepare students for graduate programs in marine science, or for jobs in marine ecology, natural-resource management and conservation.”

As part of their CIEE Bonaire experience, students become certified in scientific diving through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences. 

“My diving skills improved immensely, from an open-water diver with about 10 dives to a certified scientific diver with rescue skills and over 100 dives,” said Heidmann. “With help from CIEE Dive Safety Officer, I was able to become a scientific diver at Oregon State.”


A critical site for marine science

CIEE Bonaire’s program leverages the students’ work on local issues to enhance dialogue about critical issues facing Bonaire’s coral reefs and ecology. The program has hosted more than 100 public lectures by visiting scientists, as well as a number of scientific meetings. Physis, now in its 14th volume, has become a significant part of scholarly literature on tropical marine ecology, and students present their findings at meetings.

“Before Bonaire, I had never really worked in a group to get something done, other than for small projects in class,” said Heidmann. “It was satisfying to take scientific papers written by students, and put them all together with pictures and figures to create a journal that was a symbol of our time on the island.”


Giving back

Another important component of the participants’ experience is sharing what they’ve learned with local schools and communities. Outreach programs combine hands-on inquiry with field trips and interactive classes to help local Bonairestudents grasp the importance of understanding and conserving their local ecosystem. In fall 2012, CIEE students held the program’s first Sustainability Fair, with local groups, including the Karko (Conch) Foundation, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, Bonaire Animal Shelter, and the marine park's Junior Rangers program participating. 

Despite this emphasis on research and outreach – as well as handling a rigorous six-course academic load – students have ample time to explore the island during their time on Bonaire. On the northwest end of the main island, students can take a walk on “the wild side” at the Washington Slagbaai National Park.

And just a half-mile away is Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island rimmed with a white sandy beach, where students enjoy snorkeling along the pristine coral reef, amidst amid a rainbow of tropical fish and plant life – and an occasional dolphin. The more adventurous try kiteboarding, sea kayaking, water skiing, mountain biking or caving.


Building skills students use again and again

Most students who participate in the CIEE Tropical Marine Ecology & Conservation program say it has a profound impact on their academic and career pursuits.

“Although it has been four years since my work with CIEE, I continue to call on the skills and inspiration that I gained on the coral-laden coastline of Bonaire,” said Anna Malek, who participated in in 2009 and is completing a doctoral program at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. “I rely upon the intuition and experience I gained in Bonaire to develop research projects, monitoring protocol and sampling methods to assess the environmental impact of offshore wind-farm development.”


Learn more about CIEE Study Abroad programs in Bonaire.