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CIEE Partners with Spelman College and Northeastern University to Launch Custom Study Abroad Programs for Undergrads in STEM Disciplines

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange has partnered with Spelman College, a global leader in the education of women of African descent, and Northeastern University, a global, experiential, research university in Boston, to offer custom study abroad programs this spring with the goal to increase international education opportunities for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

For a second year, CIEE has partnered with Spelman College to support their Going Global initiative, which seeks to provide every student with an international travel experience before graduation. For two weeks, May 10-24, 161 Spelman students are taking part in an immersive program with a customized intercultural engagement curriculum to enhance intercultural competencies and leadership skills in one of six locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Seoul, South Korea; Lima, Peru; Lisbon, Portugal; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Forty-five of the students participating in the program are STEM majors, a 137 percent increase in participation from the previous year.

“Our deliberate efforts to address the major barriers to international travel experience – cost, culture, curriculum, and champions – have yielded much fruition by providing global travel opportunities for a group that is traditionally underrepresented in study abroad,” said Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D., associate provost for global education at Spelman College. “This program has become the most effective strategy for us to achieve both Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and strategic planning goals of yearly increase in student and faculty international travel experiences.”

CIEE is also supporting a customized program for 23 Northeastern University students in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 12-June 11. Designed specifically for students in STEM majors and those with an interest in sustainability, the Northeastern program will help students build an understanding of how energy resources are being utilized in the U.S. and Brazil, current alternative energy systems and technologies, and how these alternatives can impact the environment through fieldwork activities and meetings with industry leaders.

“There is a huge need for students to understand the necessity of sustainable development, especially in developing countries that are ahead of the U.S. in this effort,” said Courtney Pfluger, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of engineering at Northeastern who will lead the students on the four-week program. “Students who become globally competent will be the leaders in shaping our world and realizing the potential in bettering our environment and society.”

A growing segment in study abroad, STEM students today make up nearly 23 percent of U.S. students studying abroad, representing a significant increase over the past 10 years according to Open Doors Data. “CIEE has seen increased interest in STEM programs from both students and faculty and administrators at institutions across the country,” said CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow. “Colleges and universities like Spelman College and Northeastern University are recognizing the importance of providing access to international experiences for all students. Spelman and Northeastern have both seen the positive impact of creating custom programs built to professors’ curricula and students’ academic requirements and schedules.”

CIEE offers 29 semester, summer, and winter study abroad programs focused on STEM disciplines, including tropical marine ecology and conservation, and engineering. The organization recently introduced a new Global Sustainability and Environment program on three continents: Shanghai, China; Berlin, Germany; and Cape Town, South Africa.


CIEE Launches Global Institute in Rome; Unveils 15 New Study Abroad Programs and Three New Internship Locations

In an effort to expand access to study abroad opportunities for U.S. undergraduates, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced it will open a Global Institute in Rome next fall and offer 15 new global study abroad programs starting in spring 2016. The new programs were approved by CIEE’s Academic Consortium Board (ACB) during its annual meeting in Portland, Maine, April 27-28.

Designed to break down the main barriers students face to international education – cost, curriculum, and culture – CIEE Global Institutes feature an innovative Open Campus program model that allows students pursuing all majors to customize the study abroad experience to their academic requirements, interests, and schedule. The new Global Institute – Rome will follow the openings of CIEE Global Institutes in Berlin and London this fall, and represents the first time CIEE, the leader in international education and exchange, will offer programs in Italy’s capital city. CIEE currently offers programs in Ferrara in northern Italy.

“CIEE is committed to breaking through the barriers that keep too many students from studying abroad. That’s why we’re developing flexible, high-quality, and affordable international academic programs that will provide more access for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds and academic majors,” said James P. Pellow, CIEE president and chief executive officer. “We’re pleased to able to extend our affordable and flexible Open Campus model into Rome to give our students access to one of the world’s most historic and culturally relevant cities.”

Expanding on the flexibility of its Open Campus program, CIEE will introduce a pilot program next spring allowing students in CIEE’s Open Campus programs in Berlin and London to study in both international cities by pairing a six-week academic block in one location with a second six-week block in the other.

During its annual meeting, the ACB also approved 14 new study abroad programs in 10 cities, including Buenos Aires, Moscow, Taipei, and Rabat, bringing the organization’s total number of undergraduate study abroad programs to more than 220. CIEE operates 61 Study Centers in 43 countries worldwide.

To meet students’ growing need to gain real-world work experience in global economic centers and hubs for business innovation, CIEE also announced today that the Academic Internship Council (AIC) will offer internships in three new locations: Berlin, Germany; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile. AIC, which merged with CIEE in September 2014, works with academic institutions, students, and employers to offer customized academic internship programs that help students achieve personal and professional growth and competitive advantage in the global workforce. The new locations bring AIC’s total internship locations to 10 international cities.

“We’re dedicated to providing diverse options for students across the United States to gain practical work experience that will help them be competitive in today’s job market. Our new internship locations represent some of the world’s leading economic centers on three continents, offering students more choice of where they can gain the skills needed to become globally competent workers,” said AIC President Tony Johnson.



CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced Beth M. Evans as vice president of global enrollment management for Study Abroad.

In this newly created position, Evans will oversee global enrollment, including direct-to-student, and institutional relations for CIEE’s more than 200 undergraduate study abroad programs. In addition, she will manage the awarding of CIEE’s annual scholarship funds.

Evans brings more than 25 years of experience in enrollment management, financial aid management, international education, and strategic planning to CIEE. She holds professional affiliations with College Board, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Most recently, Evans served as vice president of enrollment management at St. John’s University, where she was responsible for graduate and undergraduate enrollment and managed an annual budget of $173 million, including more than $161 million in financial aid programs. Previously, she held executive positions in study abroad and admissions at New York University and Muhlenberg College. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and accounting from Muhlenberg College. Evans studied abroad in Seville, Spain, as an undergraduate.

“Beth is an exceptional advocate for making the study abroad experience accessible to more students,” said David F. Fougere, executive vice president, Study Abroad at CIEE. “She is passionate about international education, brings high levels of energy to her work, and shares our dedication to exceeding expectations in every challenge.”

The new position supports CIEE’s commitment to Generation Study Abroad™, a national initiative to double the number of American students studying abroad to 600,000 by 2020. CIEE has pledged $20 million in scholarships and grants for American students, passports for 10,000 students to enable participation, and an annual grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.


CIEE Welcomes New Staff to Study Abroad Team

Join us in welcoming the following new staff to the Study Abroad team:

Sara Palumbo, Director of Enrollment

Sara Palumbo joined the CIEE Study Abroad team as the new director of enrollment in January. Sara works closely with the CIEE Study Abroad advisors during the student application and predeparture experience. Before joining CIEE, Sara served as executive director of enrollment management and adult services at St. John’s University, director of student affairs and retention at Long Island University – Global College, and associate director of admissions at New York University. She credits her excitement for international education to her two formative study abroad experiences in Florence and Nanjing. Sara holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from City University of New York.

Craig Hastings, Regional Director of Operations, Latin America & Caribbean

Craig Hastings has joined CIEE as resident director of operations, Latin America and Caribbean. He comes to CIEE from Saudi Arabia, where he managed special enrichment programming at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Previously, Craig served as deputy director of LASPAU, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Harvard University dedicated to educational exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean. During his tenure, he led the organization’s administration of scholarship programs, including the Fulbright Foreign Student program, the Organization of American States (OAS) scholarship programs, and the national scholarship programs of Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru. Craig holds a master’s degree in education with a focus in administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish with a concentration in international relations from Clark University. Craig is an active member of NAFSA and serves on the 2015 and 2016 NAFSA Annual Conference Committee.



In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange and Mobility International USA (MIUSA) are awarding 25 scholarships to motivated and high-achieving U.S. college students with disabilities to study abroad. Twenty students will receive scholarships to one of CIEE’s 65 four-week summer programs. Another five students will receive scholarships to the Open Campus program at CIEE’s new Global Institute – Berlin.

According to Open Doors Data, students with disabilities are one of the most underrepresented groups in study abroad. CIEE and MIUSA are actively trying to change this by increasing access to international education opportunities through the new CIEE/MIUSA Access to the World Scholarships.

“International education is a powerful tool in the development of all students, providing the necessary skills to succeed in a globally interconnected world,” said James Pellow, president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “On this 25th anniversary, we’re proud to continue the work of expanding opportunities for people with disabilities started by President George H.W. Bush and Congress in July 1990 by providing scholarships that will help to tear down the barriers to international education and offer examples to all students that study abroad is possible.”

The new CIEE/MIUSA Access to the World Scholarships are part of the two organizations’ commitment to Generation Study Abroad™, a five-year initiative from the Institute of International Education (IIE), which strives to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020. CIEE has pledged a series of concrete initiatives over the next five years to increase study abroad opportunities at the secondary and postsecondary education levels by breaking down the real and perceived barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture.

The deadline to apply for a scholarship is April 1. Interested U.S. college students should visit our webpage ( to learn more and complete the scholarship application form.


200 Jackson State University Students Receive Free Passports at CIEE Passport Caravan Launch

CIEE and Jackson State University (JSU) provided 200 free passports to students during the launch of CIEE’s Passport Caravan on February 19. The one-day, on-campus event was the first of many passport events CIEE plans to hold over the next five years on college and university campuses across the United States.

"As a college student, it has been pretty inconvenient and expensive to get a passport," said JSU student Javis Jones. "I just didn't really have the income to do it. When I heard about this opportunity, it was really a no-brainer."

Read more on the CIEE and JSU Passport Caravan in "The Clarion-Ledger."

Student with Passport
A Jackson State University student poses after receiving a free passport during CIEE's Passport Caravan on February 19.

CIEE is sponsoring passports for 10,000 students around the country as part of its participation in the national Generation Study Abroad™ initiative. Developed in 2014 by the Institute of International Education, the initiative seeks to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020 by breaking down the main barriers: cost, curriculum, and culture. CIEE has also committed to providing $20 million in scholarships to U.S. students, as well as an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.

Request the CIEE Passport Caravan come to your school.

Jackson State University Marching Band
The Jackson State University marching band performs during the CIEE Passport Caravan.






Grants support college study abroad by tackling cost, curriculum, and culture barriers

that keep young people from pursuing international learning


 (PORTLAND, ME – Dec. 18, 2014)  In an effort to make the study abroad experience accessible to more college students, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) today announced it will award $1.2 million in grants to college students for study at one of its two new Global Institutes in London or Berlin. One hundred grants of $6,000 will be awarded per semester during the 2015-2016 academic year, with the first round available through CIEE on January 15 for fall 2015.

 The $1.2 million in grant monies for students is the first allotment of CIEE’s $20 million scholarship pledge to Generation Study Abroad™, a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.  

 “Study abroad has never been as critical a component of education as it is in today’s globalized marketplace,” said James P. Pellow, Ed. D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “These grants are paired with an innovative academic model that will help students overcome the barriers of cost and curriculum as they strive to develop the skills needed to compete and excel in our interconnected world.”

 The decision to distribute the first allocation of grants to college students attending CIEE’s new Global Institutes in Berlin or London is deliberate, as it squarely tackles the three central barriers that keep students from studying abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture. CIEE’s Global Institutes – debuting fall 2015 – offer accessibly priced programs, maximum cultural immersion in the host city, and unmatched curriculum flexibility. Each features an innovative Open Campus academic model that couples courses for all majors taught in English with innovative 12- or 18-week accredited programs to accommodate students’ diverse needs. Students will be able to choose from five academic tracks and select a variety of academic internship, community service, and guided research programs.

IIE has documented the outcomes of their Generation Study Abroad Think Tank in a green paper designed to inspire and provoke discussion about the topic of study abroad. Among its many findings is that study abroad is no longer a luxury, but rather one of the most important components of a 21st-century education, as globalization brings with it the demand for a U.S. workforce that possesses knowledge of other countries and cultures and is competent in languages other than English. The ability to work across cultures is no longer a nice-to-have skill set of elite executives, they conclude. Rather, it is essential to a successful and satisfying life and career. Studies show students who study abroad have better grades, experience less attrition, and graduate from college at higher rates than students who do not study abroad.

“The barrier to integrating study abroad into the curriculum affects how well a student is prepared for and can readily adapt to both the cross-cultural experience and a new and challenging academic system,” said Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan E. Goodman, Ph.D. “CIEE’s grants address all three of the primary challenges that prevent students from studying abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture.”

 In addition to providing scholarships to students, other commitments by CIEE to Generation Study Abroad include sponsoring passports for 10,000 students to enable greater participation. CIEE will also make an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.

For more information:

About CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange

Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and more than 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE operates 61 study centers in 43 countries, sponsors international faculty training programs, teach abroad programs, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit

 About Institute of International Education

Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad. Visit

 About Generation Study Abroad

Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing study abroad programs.



Kathleen Goodwin

Executive Director Marketing Communications




IIE President Adds Fourth ’C,’ Notes Need for Champions to Boost Study Abroad

CIEE was honored to have Institute of International Education (IIE) President Allan E. Goodman speak at our 2014 annual conference last November in Baltimore. The conference focused on finding ways to overcome the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture. In his keynote address, Dr. Goodman identified a fourth ‘C’ – for ‘champions’ – and made a strong case for the role they should play in  promoting study abroad.

Goodman’s vision includes influencers with key roles at many different points in the process. These range from advisors who raise awareness of international opportunities when students are freshmen, to coaches who encourage student-athletes to take advantage of studying abroad and help accommodate their plans. Learn more.


CIEE Welcomes New Academic Consortium Board Members in Baltimore

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange honored three outgoing members and welcomed four new people to its Academic Consortium Board (ACB) during its 2014 Annual Conference, November 19-22, in Baltimore.

 Independently elected, the ACB is comprised of exemplary leaders in international education from the nation’s finest colleges and universities. They’re responsible for the quality assurance of all CIEE programs, including approvals and reviews, and site evaluations.

 CIEE Executive Vice President, Study Abroad David Fougere celebrated outgoing ACB Chair Joël Gallegos for his unwavering dedication to the field of international education and CIEE, stating, “He is a leader and guide, not just for the other members of the ACB and the Academic Consortium as a whole, but also for me. Since I started at CIEE, Joël has shared with me his vast knowledge and expertise. He has been a trusted advisor, collaborator, and friend.”

 Gallegos, assistant provost for international programs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, contributed to the ACB for eight years, including serving the past two years as chair, and was instrumental in the development of new CIEE programs and models.

 Brian Harley, director of programs for study abroad at Purdue University, and Cheryl Matherly, vice provost of global education at the University of Tulsa, also are leaving the board. Gallegos lauded their years of work and dedication.

 CIEE also welcomed the following leaders to the ACB:

  • Chris Deegan, executive director of study abroad, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Giorgio G. DiMauro, Ph.D., director, Center for Global Education and Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, Rutgers University
  • Mary E. McMahon, Ph.D., director of education abroad, University of California
  • Maxine J. Sample, Ph.D., director of international education, Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education, Virginia State University


Read more about the ACB here


Study Abroad Leaders Break Barriers at 2014 CIEE Conference in Baltimore as CIEE Pledges More Access and Choice

CIEE hosted more than 500 study abroad professionals and administrators from institutions of higher education at its 2014 Annual Conference, November 19-22, in Baltimore.

 “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture” was chosen as this year’s conference theme to highlight the fact that only 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad. With an aim toward attracting more students to this enriching experience, conference participants took part in interactive sessions, presentations, and networking events to generate new ways to make study abroad more affordable, integrate international perspectives into curriculum, and communicate the benefits of international education.


James P. Pellow, ED.D - CIEE President & CEO

CIEE’s pledge to support the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad™ high-profile initiative was the highlight of the conference. IIE has challenged those involved in the field of study abroad to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 600,000 by 2020. To make it financially easier for students to do so, CIEE has committed to awarding $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students by the end of the decade. Further, CIEE will fund passports for 10,000 students and give an annual $20,000 faculty grant to support innovative approaches to study abroad.

To address curricular barriers, the study abroad leader also pledged to add more International Faculty Development Seminars and expand its Faculty-Led and Custom Programs. To break cultural barriers, CIEE will launch a media campaign to encourage study abroad by sharing students’ success stories, expand its work with minority-serving institutions to 100 schools by 2020, and give 25 full scholarships to students with disabilities in 2015, in partnership with Mobility International USA.


Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D.

In his opening speech, CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow, Ed.D., noted that last year, the number of international students coming to the United States increased 8 percent to 886,000, including 274,000 Chinese. But the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased just 2 percent to 289,000.

 “There are three times as many international students coming to the United States as we are sending abroad,” noted Pellow. “And the gap is growing. Next year, the number of Chinese studying in the United States is expected to surpass the number of all U.S. students studying abroad.”


Michelle Norris, NPR, leader of The Race Card Project

Presentations included addresses by Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), who spoke the importance of bold ideas and experimentation as he shared success stories from UMBC; Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, who shared the latest data on study abroad participation and how we can improve them; and Michele Norris, National Public Radio host and special correspondent and leader of The Race Card Project, who shared provocative thoughts on how we approach race and diversity in America that tie into cultural barriers to study abroad.

The conference also featured the concluding session of the Diversity Abroad Future Leaders Summit. CIEE and Diversity Abroad co-hosted these events to share best practices and develop ideas to increase diversity in study abroad. During the last of three sessions held this year, 20 young leaders of change in international education explored new ways to balance study abroad cost and value, examine program systems and structures to minimize costs, and give students and parents the tools to make study abroad attainable.


Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE

 “Studying abroad is one of the most important steps young people can take to ensure success in school and beyond,” said CIEE Chief Academic Officer for Study Abroad David F. Fougere. “Yet, many students are unable or choose not to pursue an international education experience. It’s critical that we change this, and at this year’s conference, we took huge strides toward making study abroad a reality for many more students.”

 The 2015 CIEE Annual Conference – The Reinvention of Study Abroad: Setting the Course for 2020 – will be held November 4-7 in Berlin.