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4 posts from April 2012


A Parent's Experience Abroad


After a visit to Santiago, where her daughter is studying with CIEE, writer Peggy Sturdivant reflected on both her time, and her daughter’s growth, abroad in a piece published in Washington’s Ballard News-Tribune.

Read the article, here


Host Institute Students at Bowdoin College

This coming academic year, two University of Naples “L’Orientale” students – and former flatmates to CIEE program participants living in Italy – will be at Bowdoin College.

Flatmates are students of the host university who live with and assist CIEE program participants with both cultural and academic issues while heping facilitate their social integration.  

Assunta Assia Zizza will be hosted by Bowdoin to do research on her MA thesis. Gaetano Martire will serve as the school’s Italian language teaching fellow.

To Assunta and Gaetano: Auguri, e in bocca al lupo!


Tanzania Safari Weekend

Elise Barry taking in the morning view on day 1


It was a twelve hour journey from Dar to the village.  The weather was cold and rainy and we did a lot of extreme driving / trekking in the mud... and they were all put the work.  The girls loved it.

On our first morning we went to the CTC Clinic (care and treatment center) to help out.  We received over 100 patients (all HIV positive) and the girls were split into teams to take on different tasks (and eventually rotate to try out each job).  We did patient registration/recording weight, recorded which medicine patients were receiving (for stocking purposes), and we took on a huge re-filing project to get things a bit more organized.

While we were at the clinic, we broke off into small groups and got tours of the facilities (a lot of which is under construction) and heard about future plans. 

 We finished up at the clinic around lunchtime and split into two groups to go on home visits.  My group visited six homes in a neighboring visit. Everyone we visited is HIV positive - and the point of the visit was to check on the general well being of the individuals and their families.   Students were encouraged to ask questions, which they did.  The home visits were very powerful for a number of reasons. Some of the individuals were visibly in a state of deterioration, as were their homes.  The girls were shocked at their living conditions - especially since TB is a common theme amongst HIV patients and every house we visited had a smoking fire pit. As I said, the weather was cold and rainy and most of the people we visited lived in homes that had gaping holes in the roof, or incomplete walls ... mud floors to sleep on and in some cases, no blankets. 

 These visits took up the rest of our afternoon on the first day.

 On the second day, we went to meet Jenny at the clinic where she was engaged in a Milk Powder distribution program for mothers living with HIV.  (it is recommended that HIV+ mothers stop breastfeeding at 6months and there are no milk cows in the village - so milk powder is the next option). 

We took a tour of the children's village where there are 6 homes that young children live in, we saw the sewing school (a small income generating project for local women). 

From here we split into two groups.  one group stayed with the babies to play with them, and the rest of us went back to the clinic to help with the milk powder distribution.

When we finished here, Jenny and Geoff took us to the next village over where there is a mamas group that does basket making for income generation.  All of the women in the group are HIV+ ....  The girls bought baskets and had the chance to speak with the women who made the baskets to hear their stories.

The girls really got a lot out of the experience and some are planning to go back and volunteer when the program ends in May.  

  2Elise Barry and Sarah Elshafie taking in the morning view

Molly Highman getting a tour of the labor ward (Jenny Peck is explaining the conditions under which most women give birth there)

Molly Highman and Sarah Elshafie listening to labor stories in the birthing room  (women have to bring their own basin to catch the afterbirth, and plastic sheeting to cover the table)

Sarah Elshafie and Molly Highman getting a tour of the future surgical ward (Geoff and Jenny Peck)

Sarah Elshafie and Molly Highman registering incoming patients

Andrielle Miller, Emily Pickens-Jones, Sarah Elshafie, Elise Barry, Molly Highman, and Miranda White saying hi to the babies

Elise Barry taking in the evening view on our last night

 Group shot on the rock



CIEE VP for Academic Affairs Honored

CIEE is excited to announce that Dr. Michael Vande Berg, Vice President for Academic Affairs, has been named one of two Forum on Education Abroad’s 2012 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award winners. The award was presented to Dr. Vande Berg at a ceremony during the Forum’s Annual Conference held in Denver, Colorado, March 21-23.

The Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award is given each year to a Forum member who has effectively used the Forum’s goals of standards of good practice, data collection and research, curricular development and academic design, and assessment in influencing institutions of higher learning to understand and support education abroad.

A founding member of the Forum on Education Abroad, Dr. Vande Berg has played a key role in influencing educational institutions to embrace the best of international education. He has assessed and consulted on a wide variety of study abroad research projects, including the “Georgetown Consortium” study which assessed learning outcomes for students studying abroad for non-traditional disciplines in countries where lesser-taught languages are the language of instruction. In addition, Dr. Vande Berg served as outside consultant and evaluator for a University of Minnesota project to integrate study abroad curriculum across all colleges and departments within the Minnesota system.

As Vice President for Academic Affairs for CIEE, Dr. Vande Berg has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including introducing webinar-style orientations that bring together directors and students online prior to departure; training resident staff around the world regarding various aspects of U.S. higher education and the lessons learned from research projects in the field; and developing the CIEE/Ping Foundation Matching Grant program, which helps fund local organizations at CIEE program sites to complete a project, develop a new infrastructure or expand offerings. Most recently, Dr. Vande Berg created “The Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad,” which allows CIEE students to reflect deeply on their intercultural experience abroad through intentional intervention.

For 65 years, CIEE has been the leader in providing access to high quality study abroad programs around the world. Today, with 155 programs in 41 countries, CIEE offers more summer, semester, and year-long academic programs in more cities than any other international education organization and is committed to offering high quality programs that are available to every student, regardless of economic means or academic major.