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Take Action: Join Us in the Effort to Save ECA Funding

Seventy years ago, CIEE was founded by men and women devoted to humanizing international relations, increasing global harmony, and nurturing peace in our world by bringing people together. American luminary Senator J. William Fulbright, the founder of the Fulbright Scholarship Program, spoke directly to this mission when he commented at CIEE’s 25th anniversary in Japan that “CIEE has shared my dedication to the belief that we must all strive to be able to perceive the world as others see it. Educational exchange can humanize international relations by turning nations into people.”

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget, which was released on March 16, calls for an unprecedented cut of 28 percent to the Department of State. Language in this budget directs a dramatic cut to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which funds and administers a broad cross-section of study abroad programs for Americans and international exchange programs that enable international students and scholars to come to the United States.

If enacted into law by Congress, these cuts would result in the:

  • Elimination of the Gilman Program, which helps Pell-eligible college students study abroad
  • Elimination of Critical Language Scholarships, which support Americans learning critical languages overseas
  • Elimination of the EducationUSA program, which promotes the American higher education system to foreign students through more than 300 centers around the world
  • Significant reductions to the Fulbright Program

In addition, these cuts would have an adverse impact on countless other programs that our higher education community values so greatly.

We believe in the power of global experiential learning and feel these cuts would significantly harm our nation’s public diplomacy effort and, ultimately, our national security and economy.

Congressman Hank Johnson is collecting signatures on a letter to the House State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees, in support of exchange program funding. His letter calls for the highest possible funding level for exchange programs in FY2018. Fostering the exchange of ideas and experiences to advance peace between people from all nations has never been more important than it is today. That’s why CIEE is supporting our friend, Congressman Johnson, in this effort.

Fostering the exchange of ideas and experiences to advance peace between people from all nations has never been more important than it is today. That’s why CIEE and The Alliance for International Exchange are supporting our friend, Congressman Johnson, in this effort. 

Click here to access a prewritten, customizable letter to your representative in Congress. It only takes a minute or two. The deadline for members of Congress to join the “Dear Colleague” letter is Wednesday, March 22.

Thank you for your support. Adding your voice to this effort will truly make a difference.

CIEE Celebrates 70 Years with Scholarships to Help More Students Study Abroad

The benefits of a global learning experience are well-known today: students earn higher grades, are more likely to graduate from college, and are viewed to be more employable following graduation. Yet only 3% of U.S. college students study abroad each year. That leaves millions more who are missing out on the experience. What’s stopping them from studying abroad? It’s no surprise that for many, the reason comes down to costs. Between program fees, airfare and other travel costs, and daily living expenses, too many students believe studying abroad is out of reach financially.

For students who study abroad with CIEE, the experience is more attainable than they think. That’s because as the oldest and largest study abroad provider in the U.S., CIEE has made it our mission for the past 70 years to help every student who wants to study abroad have access to this life-changing experience. Why? Because we understand the importance of an international experience – for the students who take part, as well as for promoting public diplomacy and building bridges between people and nations.

“Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations.”
- Senator J. William Fulbright, 1994


Since CIEE’s first student travelers boarded C-4 Troop ships to Europe in the summer of 1947, we’ve provided global learning experiences to more than 2 million people from across the globe – including 10,000 American college students each year.

But 10,000 students aren’t enough. CIEE awards more than $5 million in scholarships and grants annually to break through the cost barrier that far too many students see as unbreakable.

To mark our 70th year of bringing people together around the world, we’re awarding even more scholarships, grants, and discounts to ensure every student who wants to study abroad, can.

  • $5,000 Open Campus Grants: To celebrate 70 years of innovative programming, CIEE is awarding $5,000 Open Campus Grants to 280 students to spend a full semester at one our Global Institutes in Berlin, London, Paris, and Rome this fall (70 grants per location).

  • GAIN Grants: CIEE is also awarding grants of up to $2,000 each to 700 Pell-eligible students to help cover their travel costs.

CIEE offers many other scholarships, grants, and discounts to help every student – no matter their background or field of study – take part in the study abroad experience that’s right for them.

  • For Pell-eligible students: Applicants of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship can apply for CIEE Gilman Go Global Grants, $1,500 toward airfare plus $2,500 (semester) or $1,000 (summer) off program costs.

  • For high-achieving students: For students at the top of their academic studies, CIEE offers six different types of merit-based scholarships. These awards honor our future leaders and provide funding for specific programs and areas of study.

  • For students at minority-serving institutions: CIEE has partnered with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to cover 100 percent of program fees and travel costs for 10 students from minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to take part in a four-week study abroad program each year.

  • For summer students: Students who enroll in more than one four-week session receive a 20% discount off each additional session.

Plus, CIEE’s Passport Caravan is traveling to college campuses across the country to give away thousands of passports to help more students study abroad. View photos from Passport Caravan events on our Facebook page.

Explore the full list of CIEE’s scholarship and grant opportunities. And for more ideas for funding the study abroad experience, visit our Resources page.

Students who are ready to get started: Speak to a CIEE Study Abroad Advisor today.

CIEE Statement on Executive Order on Immigrants and Refugees

On Friday, January 27, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order that banned entry into the United States by people from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and ordered that families fleeing Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the U.S. The executive order has left many with questions and concerns regarding the future of immigration and exchange in the U.S.

Like so many across the nation, CIEE is working to determine the full impact of the executive order on our participants, staff, and partners worldwide. We are actively supporting our participants in the U.S. who are affected by the ban and will continue to share information and provide counsel as new details emerge.

Since 1947, CIEE has brought together people from different backgrounds to humanize international relations, increase global harmony, and nurture peace around the world. For 70 years we have held that through the exchange of ideas and experiences, we can foster understanding and mutual respect that will enable people to embrace their differences and celebrate their common ground. This mission – to advance peace between people from all nations, regardless of religious, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds – has never been more important than it is today.

International exchange is an enduring American institution, and CIEE is committed to protecting and advancing its long and strong legacy. We are actively working with internal staff, colleagues at The Alliance for International Exchange, and advisors in Washington D.C. to respond to the rapidly changing landscape in international exchange and to engage in discussions with key members of Congress and the Trump administration. As the national conversations continue, CIEE and its partners will remain at the table to ensure our voices – and the voices of our participants worldwide – are heard.

CIEE Welcomes Dr. Peter Morales as Chief Information Officer

CIEE has hired Peter Morales, Ph.D., as chief information officer. Peter, who joined the company on Oct. 31, oversees CIEE’s information technology organization. He is responsible for aligning IT strategies to achieve business goals and maximize the value of technology investments.

Peter brings to CIEE an extensive professional and academic background of leading technology initiatives at esteemed organizations including New York University (NYU) and the New York and American Stock Exchanges, and has authored numerous technology-related works. In 2010, he was named a Top 100 U.S. Latino Information Technologist by the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council.

Since 2007, Peter has served in a variety of positions at NYU including chief information officer/chief technology officer for NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, chief technology officer and director of the Project Management Office for the NYU School of Law, and program director for NYU Global Technologies. Key projects he led include a partnership with NASA’s Langley Research Center to develop a social platform for the coordination of lectures and projects; a strategic university initiative to build and roll out a next-generation, cloud-based teaching and learning platform; and the development of a custom digital asset management appliance using open-source technologies.

Prior to NYU, Peter held positions with New York-based stock exchanges including development director for the NYSE Group’s Securities Industry Automation Corporation Division and director of the American Stock Exchange Service’s Enterprise Software Engineering Center of Excellence. Prior to that, he worked at various New York companies as a software developer and architect.

Peter earned a doctorate in computer science from Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, a master’s degree in technology management from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

CIEE STATEMENT ON STATUS OF J-1 VISA PROGRAMS

As the United States prepares for a change in administration, we know that CIEE’s Exchange Visitors and their hosts in the U.S. may have questions about the future of J-1 visa programs. This statement serves to address those questions and frame expectations for the future.

First, all stakeholders should know that absolutely no changes have been made to J-1 visa programs. Any current or prospective J-1 Exchange Visitors should know that they continue to be welcomed in and to the United States. Current participants should expect to complete their exchange program according to a previously planned schedule and prospective participants should expect to pursue a future program according to standard timelines. 

Second, international exchange has a long history of deep bipartisan support in Congress – from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Outside of the U.S. government, international exchange has countless stakeholders around the world – from employers, to schools, to host families and host communities, to sending countries and governments. 

Third, CIEE has great confidence in the democratic process that would shape and deliver any policy changes that could come with a new administration. Policy changes require vigorous and thorough analysis and debate, and typically involve both the executive and legislative branches in a lengthy process. Additionally, the voice and will of the people – everyday Americans – are considered when governmental policy and programmatic change is developed or reviewed. As the largest U.S. State Department-designated sponsor of J-1 visas, CIEE has excellent working relationships with career civil service, professional, and political staff across the Executive Branch and Congress. You can be sure that we will have a seat at the table should any change to J-1 programs be considered.

Fourth, J-1 visa programs are tools for the advancement of U.S. national security and cultural exchange, not pathways for immigration or labor programs. J-1 visa programs are administered by the U.S. Department of State – a cabinet-level national security and foreign affairs agency of the federal government – and not the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Labor. By building mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and people of other nations, we are all stronger, safer, and more prosperous.

Fifth, and importantly, there is a great and longstanding tradition of tolerance across America. This is a country that celebrates diversity, freedom, multiculturalism, and plurality. CIEE has a long history of bringing together people from different backgrounds to support harmonious relations between all people from all nations.

International exchange is an enduring American institution and CIEE is committed to protecting and advancing its long and strong legacy. We look forward sharing the American experience with many future participants on our programs in the years to come. 

Reflections on the U.S. Presidential Election

On Wednesday, November 9, America awoke to a surprising outcome in our Presidential election as Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States.

Considered one of the most divisive campaigns in our nation’s history, and notwithstanding a popular vote that was nearly a dead heat, the outcome is clear – many Americans were seeking a change in the direction of their country and their voices were heard through the democratic process that we hold so dear.

The results of the election may have left a lot of folks with many questions, given the President-elect's platform on international engagement. Yet, at CIEE we have great confidence in the democratic process that will shape and deliver any policy changes that come with a new presidency. We also believe that post-election conversations and actions are often less severe than what took place during the contentious debates of the election cycle.

Since 1947, our mission has been to bring together people from different backgrounds, to support programs that facilitate harmonious relations between all people from all nations. I am most confident that our CIEE global family has many supporters and stakeholders in communities across the country who come from different backgrounds, who indeed are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Together, we draw on our differences and common values to do the good work we do every day.

While some may be dismayed by the outcome of the election, we should all embrace what makes America so strong – our wonderful democratic process that entitles us to speak our minds, select our leaders, and work together to achieve our dreams. In her concession speech, Secretary Hillary Clinton was gracious and hopeful of a better future, inviting all Americans to move forward together, and proclaiming that the American dream is big enough for everyone. In a similar tone of reconciliation and call for unity, President-elect Trump complimented Secretary Clinton for her campaign, shared his respect for her lifelong service to our country, and pledged to work hard for all Americans, regardless of background.

As the conversations begin in the new administration regarding international education and exchange, please know that CIEE and its partners will be at the table ensuring our voices are heard and that the important work of international exchange will continue its long and strong legacy of contributing to global harmony. Indeed, our mission to help people from all countries and cultures embrace differences and celebrate common ground has never been more important.

Peace,
Jim

James P. Pellow, Ed. D.
CIEE President and CEO

 

Announcing Our First 10 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship is a nationwide initiative designed to break down the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to make study abroad accessible to students from minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Along with Project Passport, the fellowship is part of a strategic three-year partnership between CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) to increase study abroad at MSIs. We received many wonderful applications from students around the country and are proud to announce the first-ever Frederick Douglass Global Fellows:

These Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are meritorious individuals who demonstrate high academic achievement, possess exemplary communication skills, display the hallmarks of self-determination, exhibit characteristics of bold leadership, and have a history of service to others. In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, one of America’s most powerful intellectuals, communicators, and scholars, they have committed to sharing their experiences and intercultural growth with peers and classmates before, during, and after their summer abroad.

“These fellows exemplify the wonderful kinds of students that attend minority-serving institutions,” said Marybeth Gasman, professor and director of CMSI. “They’re determined and inspiring, and they represent the future leaders of our increasingly diverse nation.”

This year's cohort of 10 students will take part in a summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural skills in London, England. Future Frederick Douglass Global Fellows will participate in study abroad programs in Cape Town, South Africa (summer 2018), and Seoul, South Korea (summer 2019).

“Frederick Douglass was an American icon. He escaped from slavery, wrote and spoke widely on issues of human rights and social justice in America and Europe, and became one of the most influential figures of the 19th century concerning the abolition and suffrage movements, as well as domestic and international relations,” stated CIEE's President and CEO Jim Pellow. “We’re honored to partner with Penn CMSI to enable a new generation of student leaders to build on their impressive credentials with an international experience in London, similar to Frederick Douglass’ international experience in 1845.”

Please join us in congratulating these inspiring students!

CIEE Reports on Increasing Diversity in Study Abroad Two Years into IIE Generation Study Abroad Pledge

CIEE reports it is making significant progress on its five-year leadership Generation Study Abroad pledge to increase access to study abroad opportunities for students of all ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and academic majors.

In November 2014, CIEE pledged a set of specific, action-oriented programs designed to break down the three main barriers to study abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture. Today, the organization is on track to meet its five-year goal to provide $20 million in student financial aid, sponsor passports for 10,000 students, provide training for college presidents and faculty, and create more flexible curriculum options to open study abroad opportunities to all students.

Highlights of CIEE’s progress to date include:

Breaking cost barriers

  • Student Scholarships: CIEE has awarded more than $14.4 million in scholarships and financial aid to high school students, college students, and institutions to support study abroad.
  • Faculty Grants: CIEE has awarded two $20,000 CIEE Generation Study Abroad Access Grants. Most recently, CIEE awarded its grant to Tennessee State University (TSU), an urban, land grant, historically black university based in Nashville. The grant will fund the development of a faculty-led program, “Intersecting Lives: Reading African-American Literature through a Black Feminist Lens,” that will enable first-generation and underserved minority students to study abroad. CIEE awarded its first Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Northshore Technical Community College in Louisiana to run a faculty-led program in the United Arab Emirates in January 2016 for freshmen and sophomores pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Breaking curriculum barriers 

  • Flexible Curriculum Model: CIEE reinvented the study abroad model with the launch of four Global Institutes in Berlin, Germany; London, England; Paris, France; and Rome, Italy. CIEE’s Global Institutes feature three, six-week blocks that provide students with affordable, flexible academic programming options that offer a range of academic disciplines and courses aligned with students’ graduation requirements. Students have the option of studying in one city or up to three cities in one semester for a comparative academic program.
  • Short-Term Curriculum Model: CIEE reached its goal of tripling short-term program offerings to enable students of all academic majors and with challenging schedules to study abroad. Today, CIEE offers 239 short-term options for students.
  • New STEM Programs: CIEE added new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, as well as sustainability curriculum options to its portfolio. CIEE now offers 104 study abroad programs with STEM course options in 44 locations worldwide – providing students with the most study abroad options for STEM disciplines available today.
  • Expanded Faculty-Led and Custom Programs and International Faculty Development Seminars: CIEE expanded its Faculty-Led & Custom Programs division and its International Faculty Development Seminars to help train college and university faculty on how to develop and deliver high-quality faculty-led study abroad programs.

Breaking culture barriers

  • CIEE Passport Caravan: CIEE has provided new passports to 2,800 college students with 1,700 more scheduled for 2017, and a goal of 10,000 by 2020. Of those who have received passports, 55 percent are students of color and 48 percent are Pell Grant-eligible.
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, CIEE and Mobility International USA (MIUSA) awarded scholarships to 27 U.S. college students with disabilities.
  • Partnership with Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions: CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions have developed a three-year comprehensive strategy to increase study abroad at minority-serving institutions. The partnership includes workshops for presidents and faculty, scholarships for student leaders, and visits by the CIEE Passport Caravan.

Read CIEE’s pledge and follow its progress at http://www.ciee.org/generation-study-abroad/progress/.

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: https://www.ciee.org/faculty-led-study-abroad/.

 

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.”