CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange has committed to offering the most study abroad program options for students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in response to growing popularity among U.S. undergraduates.
STEM – and STEM education – is more globally relevant today than ever before and vital to our future. Students studying STEM disciplines are on the front lines of solving critical world issues, working to find solutions for global warming, cancer, hunger, disappearing habitats, clean water, and more. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2012-2013 were for STEM disciplines. That same year, study abroad participation by STEM students rose to 23 percent, a nearly two percent increase over the previous year.
To meet this growing demand, CIEE offers 104 study abroad programs with STEM course options in 47 locations worldwide. Thirty-six are designed specifically for STEM students, allowing them to fulfill academic requirements while gaining critical global perspective. Programs include Sustainability and the Environment in Monteverde, Cost Rica; Community Public Health in Gaborone, Botswana; Engineering, Technology, and Society in Dublin, Ireland; and Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation in Kralendijk, Bonaire. Beginning in spring 2016, CIEE will also offer a new Global Sustainability and Environment program in three global centers for innovation in sustainability – Berlin, Cape Town, and Shanghai – which will allow environmental studies students to earn credits toward their degree and enhance their global knowledge.
“STEM is most effective when it draws from all relevant sources, and these sources span the globe. To be cutting edge or even competitive, STEM students need an international understanding of different cultures and communities and how to apply technologies and ideas within a cultural framework,” said Maritheresa Frain, CIEE’s interim executive vice president, Study Abroad, and vice president for academic affairs. “On CIEE programs, STEM students gain this critical framework while taking part in fieldwork and research and by learning from leaders and innovators. They return home with a stronger, deeper knowledge of their chosen curriculum and the world around them.”
CIEE offers program options for every student, regardless of their major. From immersive semester-long programs to intensive, short-term summer, January, and May sessions, CIEE’s STEM portfolio accommodates students’ demanding schedules and rigorous academic requirements.
“By offering programs at different times of year and for various lengths, we hope to help more students gain access to life-changing international experiences,” said CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow, Ed.D. “For many students – especially those in the STEM fields – studying abroad during the semester isn’t possible due to rigorous curricula and schedules. With CIEE, students can choose the timing and duration of the program that best meets their needs and academic requirements, ensuring they stay on track for graduation while gaining important personal and professional skills in a real-world setting.”
Through its commitment to Generation Study Abroad™, a five-year initiative developed by the Institute of International Education, CIEE has pledged to break down the main barriers to study abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture – with concrete solutions, helping to double the number of American students who study abroad to 600,000 by the year 2020.
Learn more about all of CIEE's STEM program options at ciee.org/STEM.