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2012-2013 Open Doors Data Shows Growth in Study Abroad, But Not Enough

Today the International Institute of Education released new Open Doors® data, including the number U.S. students who studied abroad during 2012-2013. Though more students are making study-abroad part of their college experience every year, we still have a long way to go. Less than 10 percent of all U.S. undergraduates are benefitting from these critical international experiences.

 See the full report.




CIEE: The Council on International Educational Exchange today announced a commitment to tackle the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture – with a centerpiece pledge of $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students through the Generation Study Abroad™ initiative. CIEE will also sponsor passports for 10,000 students to enable participation, and make an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. CIEE’s greatly expanded outreach and scholarship offerings will make a significant contribution to expanding and diversifying the population of students who have the opportunity to study abroad,” said Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan E. Goodman.

Data shows that fewer than 300,000 U.S. students per year study abroad, which means that less than 10 percent of all U.S. college students experience international education before they graduate. The Generation Study Abroad initiative was launched earlier in 2014 and challenges institutions of higher education, governments, and associations to support study abroad and to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of this decade.

“Faculty and students alike consistently report their study abroad experiences are full of life changing, ah-ha moments,” James Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “Part of that change includes the realization that people in different countries, with different cultures and customs, are in many ways very similar to themselves. They are striving for a better life, for healthier children, for a more a peaceful world. This revelation helps students broaden their worldview and become more effective leaders of business, education, healthcare, politics and government.”

CIEE will announce complete details of its commitment to Generation Study Abroad at the CIEE Annual Conference, November 19-22 in Baltimore.  With its theme, “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture,” this year’s conference is dedicated to gathering industry leaders and professionals to explore and generate new strategies that will help more students of all backgrounds benefit from study abroad.

“CIEE is ideally positioned to help Generation Study Abroad achieve its critical goal. We began more than 65 years ago with a mission to help faculty and students to gain an understanding, acquire knowledge and develop the skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world,” said David F. Fougere, chief operating officer, CIEE Study Abroad. “The ability to move comfortably among cultures makes a difference between college graduates landing a job and finding a path to lifelong career satisfaction.  The Generation Study Abroad initiative takes on real and perceived beliefs surrounding cost, curriculum, and culture that are keeping students from studying abroad.”


CIEE Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Living and Learning Center in Berlin

CIEE Staff at Berlin Groundbreaking
CIEE staff members Benjamin Lorch, Catherine Scruggs, Caroline Maas, Cary Nathenson, Cornelia Mueller, and Dave Fougere celebrate the groundbreaking of CIEE’s new Global Institute – Berlin, during an official ceremony on October 17.

We’re one step closer to transforming study abroad in Berlin! On October 17, CIEE hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for our innovative new center for living and learning, the Global Institute – Berlin. Nearly 100 guests attended the event, including local dignitaries Thomas S. Miller, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy Berlin, and Dr. Peter Beckers, vice mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, as well as CIEE staff and local community members. 

Thomas Miller Speaks at Berlin Groundbreaking
Thomas S. Miller, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy Berlin, stressed the importance of international experience for students during the groundbreaking event at the new CIEE Global Institute – Berlin.

Housed in a former factory building in Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s liveliest and culturally rich districts, the new Global Institute – Berlin offers a U.S.-style residence life program integrated with a local German neighborhood. When renovations are completed, the campus will include a spacious residence hall for up to 200 American and German students, 12 state-of-the-art lecture rooms, studio space, café, and Discover Berlin office with resources to help students get the most out of their time in Berlin. Learn more.


Attendees of Berlin Groundbreaking
CIEE staff, students, and local community members attend the October 17 Global Institute – Berlin groundbreaking ceremony.





CIEE is excited to announce its partnership with the national 100,000 Strong Foundation to help increase the number and diversity of Americans studying in China.

The foundation is an offshoot of President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” started in 2009 to get 100,000 Americans to study in China by the end of this year. The U.S. Department of State already has achieved that goal, and the movement continues at the center of efforts to deepen connections between the United States and China. The 100,000 Strong Foundation is an independent bipartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

As a leader in study abroad in China for 35 years, CIEE is ideally positioned to help the foundation further its mission. With partner universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Taipei, and Hong Kong, CIEE offers study abroad and exchange programs to U.S. high school and college students, and enrichment seminars to U.S. faculty and administrators.

“Our broad portfolio of programs and partners allows us to serve nearly 600 participants each year, giving them skills and knowledge of Chinese language and culture that opens new perspectives and helps shape career options and choices,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., CIEE’s president and CEO. “We’re proud to have been selected by the 100,000 Strong Foundation and look forward to many new initiatives designed to support our mutual goals to create new opportunities for students to advance their Mandarin language skills and gain rich cultural experiences in China.”

Specific partnership initiatives include:

• Selecting and supporting 10 students each year to serve as 100,000 Strong Student Ambassadors
• Cross-promoting activities that highlight China as a study-abroad destination
• Increasing the number and diversity of Americans learning Mandarin and studying in China  

“CIEE strives to support programs that have real impact,” Pellow said. “Our partnership with the 100,000 Strong Foundation will provide American students and faculty with concrete opportunities to know China better, to know the Chinese people better, and to understand the Chinese culture better. It complements similar CIEE initiatives in Brazil, Russia, and India, and will help young Americans become more successful global leaders in the decades ahead.”


Update on Explosion in Chile

According to reports from CIEE staff in Chile, the area in and around campus and student housing continues to be unaffected and safe.

Each year on September 11, demonstrations, marches, and protests in downtown Santiago mark the anniversary of the 1973 overthrow of President Allende and installation of General Pinochet. Officials reported clashes with vandals and arrests overnight, but these events took place far from our students. Following guidance from the U.S. State Department, we continue to advise students to avoid protests, as well as suspicious packages or unattended backpacks in public areas.

CIEE staff remains on-call 24/7, and we will continue to monitor events in Chile.

Bill Bull
Director, Health, Safety, and Security


Terror Threat Raised in Spain

You may have heard that today the Spanish Secretary of State for Security ordered increased security measures as the government raised the level of the terror threat in Spain. There are five levels of terrorist risk (with two sublevels), from 0 (no risk) to 5 (extreme risk). The government has increased the level from “2 low” to “2 high.” Spain’s security agencies are stepping up their monitoring efforts at the country’s airports, train stations, hospitals, government buildings, and other key sites in response to the heightened sense of risk.

The safety and security of students, faculty, and staff is our first priority. Our on-site and regional staff will continue to monitor and assess the situation and are sharing this information directly with students. In the event that there are issues in Spain, we have emergency contingency plans in place to assess the situation quickly and fluidly and take appropriate courses of action. We work closely with local and global security professionals and the U.S. Embassy to make informed decisions, and have protocols in place that allow us to make both small and large-scale changes to our programs as necessary.

We will remain in close contact with students and will advise them to:

• Register with the U.S. Department of State at
• Avoid any demonstrations or protests that might occur during their time in Spain
• Stay up to date on all government advice via local news sources
• Purchase a local phone to ensure immediate access
• Keep emergency numbers in Spain and Portland in easily accessible places
• Inform CIEE staff of travel plans

We will continue to keep you informed of developments in Spain as needed.

Bill Bull
Director, Health, Safety, and Security

Explosion in Chile

Today, there are reports of an explosion of a small improvised explosive device (IED) in the coastal city of Vina del Mar, Chile. Earlier this week, Chilean media reported an explosion of a device in a subterranean commercial area, the latest in a series of explosions in public locations over the last several weeks that suggest a potential risk to citizens in Santiago. I want to reassure you that all students on CIEE programs in Chile are safe and have been informed of the incident, as well as the potential for similar events, particularly in the days around September 11, which marks the anniversary of the 1973 military coup against President Allende. The Chilean government has called these latest incidents acts of terrorism, and the U.S. Embassy has recommended that U.S. citizens increase their vigilance and avoid suspicious packages or unattended backpacks in public areas as well as on public transportation in Santiago.

Per U.S. Embassy recommendations, CIEE has informed all students in Chile about these incidents and provided tips for staying safe, including increasing vigilance, avoiding suspicious packages or unattended backpacks in public areas and on public transportation, and avoiding certain prominent public areas. Additionally, all students have been enrolled in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which provides students with the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate to contact students directly in an emergency.

CIEE is in regular contact with the State Department and local authorities, and is closely monitoring the security situation in Chile through all available outlets. In the meantime, CIEE’s programs in Chile have not been interrupted, and daily life for Chileans and CIEE students continues normally.

Safety is our top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with students. We will provide additional updates as needed as the situation progresses.

Bill Bull Director, Health, Safety, and Security


CIEE Academic Director for Architecture and Design Presents New Ideas for Urban Design at 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival

This summer, Maria Aiolova, LEED AP, CIEE academic director for architecture and design and co-founder of Terreform ONE, was invited to the prestigious 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival to present on “Post-Sustainability: New Directions in Ecological Urban Design.” With co-presenter and co-founder of Terreform ONE, Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D., Maria examined the socio-ecological possibilities for New York City and other urban environments around the world.

Held annually in Aspen, Colorado, by the Aspen Institute, the festival is the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders to discuss ideas and issues that shape our lives. This year the event celebrated its tenth anniversary with the theme “Imagining 2024.” Guest presenters – including former United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and actor Robert De Niro – and festival attendees explored questions that included: What will the next ten years bring? What form will climate change take? What dynamics will shape our societies at home and abroad?


Aiolova_Joachim - Aspen Ideas Festival
Maria Aiolova and Mitchell Joachim, co-founders of Terreform ONE, present on their vision of global sustainability during the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, June 27 - July 3.

Maria also participated in two round-table discussions in which leaders generated ideas to global challenges, such as inspiring the next generation of innovators and mitigating the impact of extreme weather on the world’s poorest communities.

Discover how CIEE programs help students find solutions for the critical issues facing cities around the world here.


CIEE Carefully Monitoring Ebola Virus

Given recent news coverage about the Ebola virus, we’d like to assure you that we’re keeping a close eye on the situation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. State Department, there is no need to suspend or close programs in Ghana or Senegal, the African countries where we host study abroad programs. No international travel organization has announced travel restrictions to Senegal or Ghana, and officials maintain that risk in these countries is low.

Your students’ safety is our top priority. Our experienced health and safety team continues to closely watch this situation and has protocols in place. Questions? Send us an email or call us at 1-800-40-STUDY.


Three-Day Excursions Enrich Summer Short-Term Programs

What’s better than studying abroad in the summer? An international summer program that allows you to see even more of the world! That’s the goal of CIEE’s new Intercultural Comparative Weekends. Now part of every CIEE Short-Term Summer Programs, these three-day excursions allow participants to experience multiple cultures, and encourage connections and insights.

 In mid-July, our second group of nearly 400 students traveled from 17 CIEE Study Centers in Europe, Latin American, Africa, and the Middle East to one of eight international cities: Barcelona; Berlin; Istanbul; London; Mexico City; Paris; Santiago, Chile; and Toubab Dialaw, Senegal. (Students ranked their top four destination choices, and 70 percent traveled to their first choice.)

Over three days in each location, students were guided through a range of activities that included an art and architecture tour; music, dance or theater performances; and community service geared toward relevant social issues, as they explored urban sustainability, cultural identity, immigration, gentrification, community engagement, and more.

“I really enjoyed the East End tour. Normally when you think about London, you think of Buckingham Palace, the houses of Parliament…,” said one student from University of Pittsburgh. “This opened my eyes to an important part of London's culture that I didn't know existed.”  

After two successful Intercultural Comparative Weekends, we’re already planning new destinations for next summer. “It’s so rewarding to see students apply the new intercultural skills they’re learning to understand a culture that’s very different from the one they’ve been experiencing,” says Catharine Scruggs, executive director of Study Abroad program management at CIEE. “We look forward to keeping this momentum going.”  

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