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04/17/2014

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.

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“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

04/10/2014

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

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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.

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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.”

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03/31/2014

CIEE Students Gather in Berlin for Architecture Summit

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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. 

03/11/2014

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIFTH CIEE BEST SUMMER EVER SWEEPSTAKES WINNER!

CIEE Study Abroad - Best Summer EverLauren R. of Washtenaw Community College is this week’s CIEE Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes winner. Lauren is the fifth and final winner among U.S. college students to win $5,000 toward the CIEE 2014 Summer Study Abroad program of her choice.

CIEE offers over 70 top-quality immersive summer abroad programs in more than 30 countries worldwide, giving students more choice than anyone else.

02/28/2014

Ultimaker Donates 3D Printers to Global Architecture and Design Program

Based in the world’s leading urban centers in design, our Global Architecture and Design programs bring students and leading experts together to explore how innovation and technology can help cities become self-sufficient. We’re committed to providing these students with the best tools available, which is why we’re excited to announce that our programs' design studios in Barcelona, Berlin, and Prague recently received new 3D printers.

Ultimaker, a Dutch-based company that designs and produces cutting-edge printers, has generously equipped each studio with their latest 3D printer, the Ultimaker 2, for a value that totals more than $8,000.

Students from twelve U.S. schools of architecture wasted no time putting this exciting  technology to work, in the following projects:

  • Modeling ecological corridors through rainwater management and bioremediation in Berlin
  • Mastering the latest techniques for flood management in Prague
  • Investigating the benefits of innovative material technologies in Barcelona.

“Having Ultimaker 2 at every design studio allows our students to test their ideas and develop experimental models to advance their projects and push the envelope of the existing technology,” says Maria Aiolova, CIEE Academic Director for Global Architecture and Design. “Our goal is to create global hubs to experiment with how this technology might be used in the future.”

Learn more about our Global Architecture and Design programs here, and see what current students have to say about their experiences in Prague here

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FOURTH CIEE BEST SUMMER EVER SWEEPSTAKES WINNER!

CIEE Study Abroad - Best Summer EverLisa M. of Illinois Wesleyan University is this week’s CIEE Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes winner. Lisa is the fourth of five U.S. college students to win $5,000 toward the CIEE 2014 Summer Study Abroad program of her choice. Eligible students can enter here, and we’ll announce our final winner next week. One more to go!

CIEE offers over 70 top-quality immersive summer abroad programs in more than 30 countries worldwide, giving students more choice than anyone else. Click here for full sweepstakes details, and check this blog to see the next winner.

02/26/2014

CIEE Alumnus Concludes Tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Russia

After more than five years in President Barack Obama’s administration and two years in his current position, CIEE alumnus Michael McFaul will end his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation today. A longtime Russia scholar, Ambassador McFaul is known for spearheading a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations, and for his role in devising the New Start nuclear arms control treaty, which was widely viewed as the first significant overhaul of nuclear disarmament policy since the Cold War.

Throughout his life, Ambassador McFaul has passionately supported international exchange, believing that it plays a pivotal role in academic and professional development. He cites his own career path as proof, the beginnings of which were laid in 1983 during his first trip abroad as a student on CIEE’s study abroad program to St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time). Thirty years later, Ambassador McFaul remains connected to the CIEE community. In March 2013, he shared his study abroad experience during a discussion with students and staff from CIEE’s Study Center in St. Petersburg and local Russian students at the European University at St. Petersburg. Watch a video of the talk.

In 1985, Ambassador McFaul returned to Russia as a language student at the Pushkin Institute sponsored by the American Councils for Teachers of Russian (ACTR), today known as American Councils, and in 1990 as a Fulbright scholar at the Moscow State University. “These experiences changed my life and set me on a career path which eventually took me to the White House in January 2009 as a special assistant to the president for Russian and Eurasia affairs,” Ambassador McFaul remarked in a June 20, 2013 blog post. “Three years later, I returned to Moscow, this time not as an exchange student, but as the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. I am deeply grateful to CIEE, ACTR, and Fulbright for helping me get to where I am today.”

In one of his final duties, Ambassador McFaul led the U.S. presidential delegation to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, on February 7. He and fellow delegates showed their support for the Americans competing in the Games by attending the Opening Ceremony and meeting with athletes prior to competitions.

Read an exit interview with New Republic magazine in which Ambassador McFaul reflects on his service over the past two years here.

02/21/2014

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR THIRD CIEE BEST SUMMER EVER SWEEPSTAKES WINNER!

CIEE Study Abroad - Best Summer EverAlyssa B. of Davidson College is this week’s CIEE Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes winner. Alyssa is the third of five U.S. college students to win $5,000 toward the CIEE 2014 Summer Study Abroad program of her choice. Eligible students can enter here, and we’ll announce a winner every week through March 3. Two more to go!

CIEE offers over 70 top-quality immersive summer abroad programs in more than 30 countries worldwide, giving students more choice than anyone else. Click here for full sweepstakes details, and check this blog to see the next winner.

02/13/2014

Congratulations to Our Second CIEE Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes Winner!

CIEE Study Abroad - Best Summer EverPrecilla Prempeh of North Carolina Central University is this week’s CIEE Best Summer Ever Sweepstakes winner. Precilla is the second of five U.S. college students to win $5,000 toward the CIEE 2014 Summer Study Abroad program of her choice. Eligible students can enter here, and we’ll announce a winner every week through March 3. Three more to go!

CIEE offers over 70 top-quality immersive summer abroad programs in more than 30 countries worldwide, giving students more choice than anyone else. Click here for full sweepstakes details, and check this blog to see the next winner.