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3 posts from May 2013


Barcelona RD Elected President of APUNE

Alberto del Río, RD for the CIEE Barcelona Advanced Liberal Arts program has just been elected President of APUNE (acronym for Association of Northamerican University Programs in Spain).  The oldest association in Europe dedicated to the needs of American university programs abroad (founded 1968), APUNE is a cultural, not-for-profit organization that seeks to both further and facilitate international exchange between the U.S. and Spain.

APUNE offers a forum where member institutions share common concerns and developments. Due to its long-standing presence, APUNE has come to serve as a resource for governmental agencies both in Spain and the U.S. and has thus become an important forum for addressing both logistical and intellectual dimensions. 


students perform in peking operas


Eric Thompson
CIEE student Eric Thompson in the NCCU Faculty Peking Opera Society's production of, “The Unofficial Biography of Taizhen,” about the famous Tang dynasty imperial consort, Yang Guifei.


On May 18, 2013, international students at National Chengchi University helped celebrate the host university’s anniversary by performing in three Peking operas. The performers included two students from the CIEE Taipei Study Center who are taking an extracurricular course on Chinese opera.

Eric Thompson from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, who is a spring student on the Communications, Business, and Political Economy program was interviewed about his role by Taipei Times.



At CIEE, participant health and safety is our primary concern and our Directors in Portland work closely with our Resident Staff in China to keep abreast with both local and regional developments.

We have access to a host of local resources including a well-established network of healthcare providers that provide updates to our full-time professional staff and primary care to our students.

Regarding H7N9:

CIEE resident staff in Shanghai, Nanjing, and Beijing continue to monitor information, daily, about the recent H7N9 Avian Influenza from a variety of international and Chinese health authorities. CIEE students are being informed of pertinent information and receiving updates as necessary.

We have instructed students about important health and safety protocols, including the importance of avoiding contact with birds, making sure that all food is thoroughly cooked, and adopting standard hygiene precautions for the prevention of the common influenza. This information is posted around the study centers and is sent to students by email.

Due to ongoing concerns about both H7N9 and poor air quality, CIEE has also purchased boxes of N95 face masks for all study centers in mainland China.

As it appears that most cases have resulted from direct contact with infected birds, this strain of avian flu is not considered a pandemic. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmissions. Students are being advised to avoid all contact with birds and to stay away from products containing chicken.

While they are also being advised not to eat food from street venders, eating on campuses is safe, as the universities must be on par with the health standards of the State Food and Drug Administration. Students have constant access to hand sanitizer, N95 face masks, and thermometers to monitor themselves should there be any appearance of flu-like symptoms.

Air Quality:

In addition to the distribution of N95 face masks, air purifiers are being installed in our study center and offices in Beijing, where the Air Quality Index (AQI) is higher than our other locations. Our onsite staff monitors the AQI and emails/texts our students with updates as necessary. We have also made, and will continue to make, any necessary adjustments to our excursions/schedule, taking the AQI into account.

Below is a link to samples of the information that has been distributed by CIEE China resident staff to the students in recent weeks:

Included here are some sources that we and our onsite staff use. We share these in order to help keep you informed and up to date:

More Information on H7N9

  1. World Health Organization (WHO) FAQ on human infection caused by the avian influenza virus
  2. WHO Global Alert and Response (GAR) for updates
  3. WHO Weekly Report of number of confirmed human cases for avian influenza
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Avian Flu (H7N9) in China
  5. Chinese CDC H7N9 Avian Influenza Virus Update
  6. Embassy of the United States in Beijing U.S. Citizen Services Important Notices
  7. OSAC Message for U.S. Citizens Beijing (China), H7N9 Influenza
  8. South China Morning Post H7N9 news coverage


More Information on Air Quality

  1. Air Quality Index (AQI) Index & Standards published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  2. AQI Brochure Further explanation of air quality standards
  3. US Consulate Shanghai Air quality is monitored and updated on Twitter every hour, follow CGShanghaiAir
  4. US Embassy Beijing Air quality is monitored daily


Once again, we continue to monitor both of these situations very closely. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.