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CIEE Selects Tennessee State University to Receive Second Annual $20,000 Generation Study Abroad Access Grant

CIEE today announced it has awarded its CIEE Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Tennessee State University (TSU), an urban, land grant, historically black university based in Nashville. TSU will use the $20,000 grant to support an innovative faculty-led study abroad program led by professors Rebecca Dixon, Ph.D., and Jennifer L. Hayes, Ph.D., in Paris, France, in June 2017. The grant will open doors for TSU students who have never traveled abroad or who don’t have the resources to study abroad.

TSU and CIEE’s Faculty-Led & Custom Programs team will work together to create and execute a program titled, “Intersecting Lives: Reading African-American Literature through a Black Feminist Lens.” Students in this program will learn and apply a black feminist critical framework to examine the historical contexts that have led African-American men and women to travel abroad to resist various levels of oppression in the United States. The program is designed to enhance students’ appreciation for global exchange and to begin to change their perspectives in ways that allow them to see themselves as a part of a global community.

“Many of our students are first-generation students and are from underserved minority groups who have not traveled outside of the United States. They are highly motivated and seek to improve their life chances through education,” said Dr. Hayes, an assistant professor of English and women’s studies at TSU. “We believe this experience will provide our students with a unique opportunity to see the connections between their experiences at TSU and the global community.”

Applications increased significantly for CIEE´s second annual grant, with more than 200 proposals submitted by colleges and universities across the United States, including 17 community colleges and 90 minority-serving institutions. CIEE created the Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to recognize innovative programs that increase access to international educational opportunities for students in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad. The grant program is part of CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad pledge to break through the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to double the number of students from all backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and majors who study abroad by 2020.

“CIEE is excited to award the second annual Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Tennessee State University. TSU has an illustrious history of enriching the lives of underserved minority groups who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad. We’re proud to work with Drs. Hayes and Dixon and the university to continue in this tradition by making it possible for more TSU students to gain the knowledge, intercultural skills, and global perspectives needed for success in today’s world,” said Maritheresa Frain, executive vice president of study abroad at CIEE.

CIEE awarded the first Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC). NTCC, based in Louisiana, used the grant to develop a faculty-led program in Sharjah and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for freshmen and sophomores pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math. The program, which ran in January 2016, focused on providing workforce training and industry credentials relevant to NTCC students’ future employment, while also offering intercultural skills training to help prepare them to enter the global economy following graduation.

For more information about CIEE’s Faculty-Led & Custom Programs, visit:


CIEE and CMSI Announce “Project Passport,” a Comprehensive Initiative to Develop Study Abroad Programs at Minority Serving Institutions

CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) announced today full details of their strategic three-year partnership to increase study abroad at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Titled “Project Passport,” the expanded partnership will be a series of opportunities geared towards college presidents, faculty, and students who are dedicated to expanding international exchange on their college campuses.

Through Project Passport, CIEE and CMSI will work with 10-12 MSIs each year to provide them with a complete package to expand their study abroad programs, including a Presidential Leadership Workshop on international education, faculty training and development programs on international education, as well as study abroad fellowships and free passports for students.

“Students of color and other MSI students are the least likely to experience study abroad opportunities,” explained Paola Esmieu, associate director for programs at CMSI. “The world is a big place, but through Project Passport, we’re hoping we can make it accessible for more and more students, especially those at places like Minority Serving Institutions.”

Project Passport has five major components. The first involves a one-day president-level workshop designed for university presidents from MSIs across the United States. This workshop not only discusses the importance of an international education for MSI students but also provides guidance on overcoming the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture for university presidents looking to expand study abroad opportunities at their respective institutions.

MSIs whose presidents attend this workshop will be able to nominate early career faculty from their institutions to receive professional development training at CMSI’s annual ELEVATE workshop. ELEVATE supports the ongoing learning, training, and networking of early career MSI faculty by providing them with professional development workshops, opportunities to create a close-knit network of peers, and a platform for collaboration.

Thirdly, following ELEVATE, faculty fellows will be invited to join a unique CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar. CIEE and CMSI designed this seminar to introduce key faculty leaders to the critical components of faculty-led study abroad programs including how to structure intercultural learning, integrate global learning experiences in academic curricula and student life on campus, and identify strategies for student recruitment for study abroad.

The fourth component of Project Passport will allow participating MSIs to nominate two student leaders to participate in a four-week, 3-credit study abroad experience for each year of the initiative. Students will be named Project Passport Global Fellows and have all housing and program costs covered by the program for a study abroad program in London, England, or Berlin, Germany.

Finally, as part of their commitment to tackle the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad, CIEE has committed to sponsor student passports for each Project Passport partner. Each participating MSI will receive a visit from CIEE’s Passport Caravan, which will spend a day at each institution to provide passports for 50 students, free of cost.

Also included in CIEE and CMSI’s partnership, but not housed under Project Passport, is the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, a scholarship program that provides full funding for 10 MSI students each year to take part in a summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural skills in one of three locations: London, England (summer 2017); Cape Town, South Africa (summer 2018); and Seoul, South Korea (summer 2019).

“Expanding opportunities for global education is an imperative for university leaders across the country,” said James P. Pellow, president and chief executive officer of CIEE and a Penn Graduate School of Education alumnus. On working with CMSI, Pellow added, “The opportunity to work with the nation’s leader in promoting best practices for education at MSIs is both a privilege and a powerful way to affect change.”



Meet the First CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholars

This summer, CIEE’s Study Centers in Prague, Czech Republic; Paris, France; and Barcelona, Spain, hosted students from the International Christian University in Mitaka, Japan, alongside students from colleges across the U.S.

As the first CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarship: Summer Study Around the World recipients, Mao Minami, Mikiko Saigo, and Marina Tanabe received full scholarships to take part in CIEE summer study abroad programs. Mao selected the Summer Communications, New Media, and Journalism program in Prague; Mikiko chose to immerse herself in the French language as part of the Summer Language and Culture program in Paris; and Marina advanced her business studies in the Summer Business and Culture program in Barcelona.

To start their journeys, the students were honored by CIEE staff at a special ceremony at the CIEE Study Center in Tokyo, Japan, on June 27, 2016.

2016 Japan 50-Year Scholarship Recipients
Left to right: Tomoko Nakano, CIEE; Marina Tanabe; Mao Minami; Mikiko Saigo; Kazutaka Otake, CIEE

Mao, Mikiko, and Marina are the first of 50 promising young Japanese university students who will receive CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarships to study abroad on CIEE summer programs in more than 40 countries around the world.  Through the scholarship, CIEE seeks to overcome the main barriers to study abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture – to allow more Japanese students to take part in important international education experiences. 

Mikiko Saigo
Mikiko Saigo received a CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarship to study abroad in Paris, France, this summer.

CIEE created the scholarships in September 2015 to commemorate 50 years of partnership with Japanese educators and students. Since our office in Tokyo opened in 1965, CIEE has provided scores of educational exchange programs to more than 60,000 Japanese and international students and educators who have gone on to serve as leaders in business, education, the arts, and public service. The experience they’ve had has opened the door for alumni to work across cultures as global citizens, helping to bridge cultural differences and encourage warm relationships between nations, businesses, and people.

Learn more about the CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarships.



In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, CIEE and Mobility International USA (MIUSA) have provided 27 scholarships to U.S. college students with disabilities to study abroad.

Representing 24 colleges and universities across the country, the students who received CIEE/MIUSA Access to the World Scholarships had the opportunity to further their academic studies while immersing themselves in another country and culture including France, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Spain, and other locations.

The scholarships are part of CIEE’s five-year leadership pledge to increase access to study abroad for all students from all backgrounds. “International education is a powerful tool in the development of all students, providing necessary skills to succeed in a globally interconnected world,” said CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow.

Virginia Commonwealth University student Antoine Craig thought studying abroad was beyond his reach. A strong advocate for people with disabilities in his home community of Richmond, Virginia, Antoine believed his visual impairment would preclude him from traveling and learning abroad. “I never thought I would be able to leave the U.S. and experience another culture. As a visually impaired person, there are a host of challenges – some I could expect and some I could not even fathom,” he said.

Antoine Craig
Virginia Commonwealth University student Antoine Craig studying abroad in Alicante, Spain.

Antoine received a scholarship to take part in CIEE’s Summer Language and Culture program in Alicante, Spain, in 2015. With this experience, he became the first person in his family to study abroad – with or without a disability. “The scholarship has allowed me to overcome my fears of traveling alone. Jumping in headfirst through this experience allowed me to see what I’m really capable of. Without the CIEE/MIUSA Access to the World Scholarship, I don’t know that I would ever have had the chance to learn that lesson,” said Craig.

MIUSA CEO and co-founder Susan Sygall applauded the long-standing partnership with CIEE. “I am so excited that MIUSA and CIEE are working in partnership to increase the number of people with disabilities who participate in all types of international exchange,” she said. “The scholarships have created a powerful catalyst for current awardees to serve as mentors and examples to demonstrate to people with disabilities ‘what is possible’.”

Joseph Underwood, a student at the University of Missouri – Columbia who received a scholarship to further his Spanish language skills during CIEE’s Summer Language and Culture program in Seville, Spain, this past June, agrees, saying, “If I were to speak to another student with a disability who was considering studying abroad, I’d tell them there’s no reason to think they can’t. It’s worth it. Studying abroad was the best experience of my life.”

Joseph Underwood
University of Missouri – Columbia student Joseph Underwood with fellow study abroad students in Seville, Spain.

CIEE and MIUSA launched the scholarship program in March 2015 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has helped to expand opportunities for people with disabilities since 1990. The scholarships are part of CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad pledge to break through the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to double the number of students from all backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and majors who study abroad by 2020. In support of this initiative, CIEE has committed to providing $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students, to sponsoring passports for 10,000 students, and to offering an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches to custom study abroad programs.

Read more about CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad pledge.


CIEE and CMSI Take 15 Minority Serving Institution Faculty on Study Abroad Tour to Expand International Education

This week, CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) are hosting 15 faculty members from minority serving institutions across the nation in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at an International Faculty Development Seminar (IFDS). Faculty members will gain expertise in facilitating faculty-led study abroad experiences for their students.

The Dominican Republic was chosen purposefully as the location for the seminar for several reasons. The history of race relations in the Dominican Republic provides an interesting backdrop to explore issues of identity. The country has a rich cultural heritage that can be seen through the Congos of Villa Mella, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which faculty members will be visiting. And finally, the Dominican Republic allows for an in-depth exploration of the African Diaspora.

Throughout the seminar, faculty members will model activities for intercultural development that can be used with their students. In addition, they will learn hands-on program planning aimed at understanding how to overcome the barriers and challenges they may face throughout the process of planning a study abroad program.

Participants were each nominated by their campus president based on their exemplary leadership, research, and teaching. They include William Arce and Jes Therkelson of California State University, Fresno; Samuel Roberson of Claflin University; Novell Tani and Evelyn Tyler of Florida A&M University; Nicole Yarling of Florida Memorial University; Melvenia Martin of Grambling State University; Bahiyyah Muhammad and GiShawn Mance of Howard University; Ervin James III and Mariola Rosario of Paul Quinn College; Erin Barnes and Joseph Rodriguez of the University of Texas, El Paso; and James Pope of Winston-Salem State University.

Facilitators for IFDS include Quinton Redcliffe, CIEE in Cape Town, South Africa; Erin Santana, CIEE in Portland, ME; Julio González-Ruiz, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; and Marybeth Gasman and Paola ‘Lola’ Esmieu, Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Philadelphia, PA.

According to Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, “IFDS is important to diversify study abroad opportunities for students at minority serving institutions as faculty members need the tools in order to plan successful study abroad experiences.”

James Pellow, President of CIEE, added, “IFDS complements the other components of the CIEE/CMSI partnership, which includes engaging presidential leadership in advocating for study abroad; the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program, which supports MSI students to travel to London, Cape Town, or Seoul; and our Passport Caravan, which is focused on giving free passports to students throughout the nation.”


Actress and Human Rights Activist Mira Sorvino and Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell to Headline 2016 CIEE Annual Conference

We’re excited to announce Academy Award-winning actress and human rights activist Mira Sorvino and Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell as the featured speakers for the 2016 CIEE Annual Conference, November 16-19, in Los Angeles.

At the Loews Hollywood Hotel, Sorvino and Sorrell will offer inspiration to an audience of more than 500 scholars, thinkers, and leaders in international education who are working to expand global education in the 21st century.

Mira Sorvino
Academy Award-Winning Actress and Human Rights Activist Mira Sorvino

During the conference’s opening presentation on November 16, Sorvino will share her perspectives on study abroad as a critical influencer in students’ lives, including her own. Sorvino studied abroad with CIEE in Beijing, China, while a student at Harvard University, an experience that helped to influence the roles she has pursued in her acting career and her life-long activism around human and women’s rights.  

Michael Sorrell
Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell

On November 18, during the conference’s Annual Luncheon, Sorrell will share his lessons in overcoming barriers and getting things done that others say can’t be done. In a few short years as president, Sorrell transformed the struggling Paul Quinn College – a historically black college in Dallas, Texas, on the brink of losing accreditation – into one of the most innovative small colleges in America that is rapidly becoming a model for urban higher education.

This year’s conference theme, Study Abroad 2016: Partnering with Faculty to Expand Global Education, is part of CIEE’s Generation Study Abroad pledge to break through the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to increase access to study abroad by all students. In support of this initiative, CIEE has committed to providing $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students, to sponsoring passports for 10,000 students, and to offering an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches to custom study abroad programs.

Mira Sorvino, Academy Award-Winning Actress and Human Rights Activist
Mira Sorvino is an actress best known for her commercial hits, “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” “Mimic,” “The Replacement Killers,” and “Summer of Sam.” Her breakthrough film was Woody Allen's “Mighty Aphrodite,” which earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1996 among many other honors.

Sorvino is an ardent supporter of human and women’s rights causes, having spent much of her career pursuing roles that marry her love of acting with her social-activist concerns. Sorvino starred in the critically acclaimed Holocaust drama, “The Grey Zone”; the 2005 miniseries, “Human Trafficking,” which explored the lives of women and children who have been abducted and forced into slavery; and the 2012 play, “Trade in Innocents,” about a couple that joins the fight to end the trafficking of children after the loss of their own child.

Sorvino is the official ambassador for the worldwide human rights organization Amnesty International's "Stop Violence Against Women" program. Her work with Amnesty was recognized at the Artivist Film Festival, which acknowledges socially conscious filmmakers, activist celebrities, and charitable organizations. In March of 2006, she was honored with Amnesty International's Artist of Conscience Award, which is given to those who have displayed strong philanthropic and humanist efforts. Through her work with Amnesty, she has lobbied Congress on such topics as human trafficking and the atrocities in Darfur, Sudan. Additionally, as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Fight against Human Trafficking, in 2013 Sorvino traveled to Cambodia with the Freedom Project to develop an exposé on child sex trafficking, which resulted in “Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary.”

Michael Sorrell, Ed.D., President of Paul Quinn College
Michael J. Sorrell is the 34th president of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the school has been transformed into one of the most innovative small colleges in America and is rapidly becoming a model for urban higher education by focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship.

Sorrell is active in the community, serving as a trustee or director for Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, the College Board, Amegy Bank, Teach for America, Earth Day Texas, Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Foundation, and the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership for the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University. He is a sought-after writer and speaker, regularly contributing editorials featured in the “Dallas Morning News” and the “Huffington Post.” Additionally, his TEDx talk on the New Urban College Model is critically acclaimed.

The “Washington Monthly” recently named Sorrell one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents. Additionally, he has been awarded the 2012 HBCU Male President of the Year by “HBCU Digest”; the Excellence in Education Distinguished Alumni Award from his high school, St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois; and the A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education from the Alumni Association of Duke University’s School of Law. 

To learn more about the CIEE Annual Conference, visit


CIEE Expands London Study Abroad Programs with Bloomsbury Locale

We're expanding our presence in London with a new property for our Global Institute in London’s Bloomsbury neighborhood.

The UK is the number one-ranked global destination for Americans to study abroad, with over 38,000 students attending programs in 2013-14, according to data from Open Doors. And those numbers are continuing to grow each year.

At 11,500 sq. ft., CIEE’s new London campus is large enough to accommodate increasing numbers of study abroad students. Located at 46-47 Russell Square, the building features Georgian-style architecture, 15 classrooms, a resource-rich library, stylish café, garden terrace, and technology center.

CIEE Global Institute London
CIEE's new Global Institute - London at 46-47 Russell Square in Bloomsbury.

CIEE chose the dynamic Bloomsbury location because of the wealth of cultural and educational opportunities it offers students. The new campus is next to the British Museum and just steps from many of London’s prestigious colleges and educational institutions, including University College London and SOAS, University of London. The area is also home to King’s Cross Station, made famous in the Harry Potter book and movie series, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, the cutting-edge Gagosian Gallery, and Granary Square, a favorite of art students.

In addition to its prime location, the Global Institute – London offers CIEE’s unique Open Campus program, which allows students of all majors to design a study abroad experience that’s right for their needs – one that offers maximum mobility, immersion, and intensive study, with opportunities for internships, research projects, and community service. Students can enroll in one, two, or three six-week academic blocks in London, or combine blocks at multiple CIEE Global Institutes, including at Berlin, Paris, or Rome, to immerse themselves in the unique cultural, historical, commercial, and academic attributes that make each place special.

Students at the Global Institute – London can choose between academic tracks in business; communication, journalism, and new media; international relations and political sciences; health sciences; and literature and culture. Additionally, they can direct enroll at four of London’s finest universities, including Goldsmiths, University of London; University College London; SOAS, University of London; and University of Westminster.

Lynn University student Katrina Daley is enrolled to be among the first students to attend class at the new Bloomsbury location when it opens this fall, advancing her studies in retail fashion. She’ll take courses in three of Europe’s top design centers – Berlin, London, and Paris – over the course of the semester, creating a curriculum that brings her major to life as never before possible. “I never dreamed that I would be able to pursue my passion in the three leading fashion cities of the world,” she said. “This opportunity is greater than any internship or job, giving me the on-site experience to truly understand how fashion and culture are intertwined. This will help me in my career after graduation.”

“More than ever, our students crave the firsthand learning experiences of study abroad combined with mobility, not just between cities, but between countries,” said Maritheresa Frain, executive vice president, study abroad at CIEE. “Through Open Campus, every student, whether a business major, architecture student, or fashion degree-seeker like Katrina, has access to a study abroad program that’s right for their needs, schedule, and resources.”

In addition to the new London location, CIEE will open its two new Global Institutes in Paris and Rome this fall.


Update: Zika Virus

The CDC has issued a Level 2 alert for the Zika virus, which recommends travelers to affected areas “practice enhanced precautions.” In the case of Zika, this means travelers should protect themselves against mosquito bites. The CDC also recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.

Areas reporting active Zika transmission include Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde in Africa.

According to the CDC:

  • Zika can be transmitted through mosquito bites, sexual contact, blood transfusion, and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild, so many people might not realize they have been infected.
  • Symptoms last for several days to a week.
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.
  • Currently, there is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika.

For updates and additional information, please monitor the CDC’s webpage on the Zika virus. Additional information can also be found on the World Health Organization’s website:



CIEE Generation Study Abroad Access Grant Program Highlights

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today credited the success of its inaugural Generation Study Abroad Access Grant (GSAAG) recipient’s program, and shared highlights from the Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) J-Term, STEM-focused, and faculty-led Global Maritime Academy program in Sharjah and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“NTCC’s Global Maritime Academy program was a great success, and truly supported our goal to recognize innovative programs that increase access to study abroad on every level,” said Kellie Sullivan, executive director of Faculty-Led and Custom Programs at CIEE. “We are excited to launch the 2017 campaign on April 15 and look forward to supporting more of these innovative programs that prepare students to succeed in today’s globally competitive environment,” she said. Sullivan also noted the key role that Abu Bakr Al Ani played in the program. The resident director of the CIEE Study Center in Sharjah, Al Ani skillfully applied his professional experience as a translator, eight years’ experience in the UAE, and his welcoming style to help create and maintain a thriving learning environment and make the experience a success.

CIEE’s first-ever GSAAG grant last year of $20,000 supported NTCC’s Global Maritime Academy program for freshmen and sophomores majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, industrial maintenance technology, drafting and design, industrial electrician, or welding. As participants, the students, many of whom had never had the opportunity to travel or study abroad before, received workforce training, industry credentials relevant to future employment, and intercultural skills training. Program highlights included:

"The Global Maritime Academy’s first Generation Study Abroad program has had a profound impact on the lives of participating students and faculty at Northshore Technical Community College,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, NTCC Chancellor. “The robust curriculum ensured relevant industry exposure in the field of maritime studies coupled with meaningful cultural immersion activities. CIEE provided flexibility for the construct of an innovative curriculum that has captured the interest of key stakeholders interested in supporting future international study abroad," he said. NTCC’s Global Maritime Academy proposal was one of nearly 50 submitted by schools across the United States during CIEE’s inaugural GSAAG campaign to recognize innovative programs that increase access to study abroad, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The grant program is part of CIEE’s commitment to Generation Study Abroad™, a national challenge initiated by the Institute of International Education to double the number of students studying abroad to 600,000 by the year 2020.

For more information about CIEE’s commitment to Generation Study Abroad, visit:



CIEE and The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions (Penn CMSI) today announced scholarship details related to our three-year comprehensive partnership to increase study abroad at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). 

CIEE has pledged 100 percent of all exhibitor fees related to its Annual Conference in 2016, 2017, and 2018 to support study abroad scholarships for students from Minority Serving Institutions. CIEE and CMSI expect the first-year scholarship pool to total at least $50,000. 

Funds historically used to support conference expenses will now be earmarked for the most financially challenged students attending the nation’s nearly 600 Minority Serving Institutions. Each year for the next three years, the scholarship funds will cover 100 percent of program fees and travel costs for 10 students of color from 10 MSIs. Each cohort of 10 students will take part in a summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural skills in one of three locations: London, England (summer 2017); Cape Town, South Africa (summer 2018); and Seoul, South Korea (summer 2019).

The scholarship is being named the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship in honor of Frederick Douglass – the African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and international statesman – to highlight the characteristics that today’s young leaders need most: a keen intellect, a strong work ethic, and a global perspective. President Abraham Lincoln called Douglass “one of the most meritorious men, if not the most meritorious man, in the United States.” Of the many impressive chapters of his life, after publishing his international bestselling autobiography in 1845, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” Douglass traveled to London and spent two years traveling and lecturing extensively throughout Britain and Ireland. During this trip, British supporters raised funds to buy his freedom from his American owner and when Douglass returned to America in 1847, he was a free man.

Consistent with that legacy, Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are meritorious men and women who demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary communication skills, who possess the hallmarks of self-determination, who exhibit characteristics of bold leadership, and who have a history of service to others. In the spirit of one of America’s most powerful intellectuals, communicators, and scholars, Frederick Douglass Global Fellows commit to sharing their experience and intercultural growth with peers and classmates, before, during, and after the fellowship.

To become a Frederick Douglass Global Fellow, each student must be nominated and receive a letter of recommendation from the president of their institution following their first year of college.

The first scholarships will be awarded on November 1, 2016 by Penn’s CMSI, one of the nation’s leaders in elevating the educational contributions of MSIs, increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs, and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. 

"Our partnership with CIEE is an unprecedented effort to move the needle in a serious way around study abroad for students of color, and especially students at Minority Serving Institutions,” said Dr. Marybeth Gasman, education professor and director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “Together, we are working to break down the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture that prevent far too many students of color from experiencing international study. This significant financial support will have a direct impact on some of our country’s brightest students.”

In addition to the scholarships, CIEE and CMSI have committed to a three-year partnership to co-sponsor training for college presidents and workshops for faculty to increase diversity in study abroad. Research shows that students who study abroad can have higher GPAs, are more likely to graduate on time and are more attractive to employers that seek to hire candidates with intercultural competencies. However, there is a significant gap in the profile of those who study abroad versus the overall population of U.S. undergraduates.  While students of color represent almost 40 percent of all undergraduates, they represent only 26 percent of those students who study abroad, including just 8.3 percent who are Hispanic and 5.6 percent who are Black.

“As the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization founded to support international exchange for all students, CIEE strives to implement both practical and innovative solutions to overcome the barriers to study abroad.  For seven decades, we’ve sponsored an annual conference that strives to bring together leaders in the field of study abroad to share best practices to improve the student experience. We felt compelled to use this platform – the annual conference – to demonstrate a simple approach to funding student scholarships, which will allow more students to embrace this life-changing academic experience,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE and a Penn Graduate School of Education alumnus. “With a proliferation of annual conferences, workshops, and meetings devoted to international study and exchange, we hope that other organizations might consider a similar approach to opening doors for individual students by funding scholarships.  

The deadline for students to apply to become Frederick Douglass Global Fellows is October 1, 2016.

For more information and to apply, visit the Penn CMSI website