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U.S. Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba Joins Council on International Educational Exchange Board of Directors

CIEE: Council on International Education Exchange has elected Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, an exemplary leader in international relations and Middle Eastern foreign policy, to its Board of Directors. Ambassador Wahba’s appointment was confirmed at the board’s quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 27.

Marcella M. Wahba
Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Department of State, joins CIEE's Board of Directors.

A 22-year veteran of the U.S. Department of State, current member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and first president of the Arab Gulf States Institute, Ambassador Wahba brings extensive knowledge of international relations – particularly in the Middle East – to her new position. CIEE offers 13 study abroad programs in the region, including a Business, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences program in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Ambassador Wahba served as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary from October 2001 to June 2004.

“CIEE has a long history of leadership and innovation in facilitating high-quality international exchange programs. Ambassador Wahba’s extensive skills and knowledge of the Arab world will bring important insight to CIEE that will strengthen our ability to remain true to our mission to help people increase their knowledge and understanding of others around the world,” noted CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James Pellow.

During her Foreign Service career, which began in 1986, Ambassador Wahba received the White House Presidential Meritorious Service Award and was decorated by His Highness President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with the UAE’s Order of Independence (First Class). Ambassador Wahba retired from the U.S. Department of State, class of minister counselor, in May 2008. Since then, she has served as senior advisor to Gulf Cooperation Council countries at PineBridge Investments, an asset management firm based in New York City, and led DerMar International LLC, a consulting firm that assists American businesses seeking to establish or expand their presence in the Middle East. Ambassador Wahba graduated from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in international relations, and received a diploma in national security from the National War College, National Defense University, in June 2006.

CIEE’s 16-person Board of Directors is comprised of leaders in education, diplomacy, business, science, and technology, including two former U.S. ambassadors.

CIEE Launches Indiegogo Page to Support Student-Led Crowdfunding for Community Partners

From providing library books for youth in Cape Town to advocating for community rights, CIEE participants are making a difference in their communities while abroad. These students are offering their time, talents, and passions to local organizations that have positively impacted their study abroad experiences.

CIEE is helping to support and spread the word about these inspiring student-led initiatives by establishing a new partner page on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo – and we need your help!

Visit CIEE’s Indiegogo partner page to get inspired and read more about our students’ fundraising campaigns:

• Kagisano Women's Shelter (Botswana)
• CamionArte Library of Wheels (Mexico)
• Syrian Refugee Maternal Health (Turkey)
• Diplomats of Diversity (France)
• Community Rights: Mining Resistance (Thailand)
• Educating Athletes (South Africa)
• Local Books Library for Youth in Pollsmoor Prison (South Africa)
• Kid's Learning Hub (Senegal)

Then, pick your favorite cause and donate! CIEE will match up to $1,000 for the campaigns that receive the most donations.

Help us give back to the communities that welcome our students with open arms – donate today!

Activist Ruchira Gupta Brings Anti-Trafficking Message and Movement to CIEE Headquarters

“One girl at a time leads to 20,000 women and girls, and all of a sudden it’s a movement.” This movement being spoken of – to end human trafficking around the world – began in India more than 25 years ago and arrived in Maine this week with the help of the Justice for Women Lecture Series and activist Ruchira Gupta.

A rapt audience of more than 150 staff and community members listened in as Gupta shared her inspiring life’s work at CIEE’s headquarters in Portland, Maine, on March 19 as part of the annual lecture series. Watch the lecture:


Gupta has dedicated her life to fighting to end human trafficking in all its forms by highlighting the link between trafficking and prostitution laws, and lobbying policymakers to shift blame from victims to perpetrators. From her early days as a journalist to the creation of the Emmy-award-winning documentary, “The Selling of Innocents,” she has embarked on a noble, and often dangerous, journey to give a voice to India’s women. In 2002, her dedication culminated in the founding of the grassroots organization Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which has helped nearly 15,000 women lift themselves out of the sex trade by providing a safe place to live and access to education.  

(L-R): Cathy Lee, Justice for Women Lecture Series Founder; Ruchira Gupta, Apne Aap Women Worldwide Founder; Kayce Jennings, Girl Rising Producer; James Pellow, CIEE President and CEO

“Education and collaboration – these are the cornerstones of the work Apne Aap Worldwide does,” said Gupta. “Girls who become educated are becoming models for their communities, where prostitution has been practiced for centuries. We’re changing the whole ecosystem. I can see it happening before my eyes.”

Ruchira Gupta at CIEE
Human trafficking activist Ruchira Gupta speaks at CIEE's headquarters in Portland, Maine, on March 19.

 This celebration of the power of education continued as CIEE President and CEO James Pellow welcomed four Deering High School students who have been selected as CIEE Girl Rising scholars. Each of these young women – excellent students and models for their peers – will spend four weeks this summer developing leadership and intercultural skills as part of a CIEE High School Summer Abroad program. The CIEE Girl Rising scholarships celebrate CIEE’s three-year partnership with the global social movement, as well as the organization’s commitment to increasing access to international education opportunities for all students. Before concluding her talk, Gupta offered advice to these young women as they ready themselves for their journeys this summer, saying, “Learn, support, collaborate. And most important, listen.”

Back row (L-R): Ira Waltz, Deering High School Principal; Carlos Gomez, Deering High School Spanish Teacher; James Pellow, CIEE President and CEO. Front row (L-R): Priscilla Maccario*; Zaeda Hills*; Ruchira Gupta, Apne Aap Women Worldwide Founder; Kayce Jennings, Girl Rising Producer; Neilab Habibzai*; Nyamouch Gai* (*Deering High School student and CIEE Girl Rising scholarship winner)

The Justice for Women Lecture Series
Founded in 2011 with the University of Maine School of Law, the Justice for Women Lecture Series is the vision of Maine native Catherine Lee, who’s nearly lifelong mission has been to create a world in which all women and girls are treated justly and with respect. Each year, the series brings a distinguished speaker to the Greater Portland area for a global conversation about justice with the goal to inspire people to transform the lives of women and girls around the world.

CIEE is honored to support the Justice for Women Lecture Series for a fourth year and to further access to educational experiences by investing in the communities in which we live and operate.


CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced a February 10, 2015 deadline to submit applications for the second round of its Global Navigator Scholarship program, which provides financial support to high school students around the United States to study abroad this summer.

Each Global Navigator Scholarship recipient attends one of CIEE’s 30 summer study abroad programs in 16 places around the world – connecting with local students, gaining insight into the culture, and strengthening language skills while taking courses at a CIEE Study Center. In addition, students live with a host family and participate in numerous excursions to nearby cities, historical sites, and more.

“On this [CIEE High School Summer Abroad] program, I will gain hands-on experience and learn beneficial information," said 2015 Global Navigator Scholarship recipient Josh C. "I would not be able to study abroad without the Global Navigator Scholarship, so I am very excited for this chance to go to Bonaire!”

CIEE awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to 24 students representing 14 states during its first round. Hundreds of scholarships totaling $1 million remain available to cover from 10 to 100 percent of program costs for selected students.

Scholarships are awarded to high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors based on a combination of merit and need. Interested students can apply for the current round by February 10, 2015 or during round three by March 1, 2015 at ciee.org/highschoolsummer.

The Global Navigator Scholarships are made possible by a generous endowment from donor Sheron Long, former CEO of Hampton-Brown, a pre-K-12 education publisher of language and literacy materials, in partnership with CIEE.  They were founded to increase the number of high school students who study abroad by making the experience more financially accessible.


CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange  today announced Portland Public Schools' Deering High School is one of just 50 high schools nationwide to receive Global Navigator Scholarships for 2015. Select schools that demonstrate their dedication to expanding global education will receive $20,000 each in scholarships to enable more of their students to study abroad this summer as part of CIEE’s Global Navigator Scholarship program.

Also today, CIEE named Deering High School as its 2015 international partner to advance global education for girls, and will provide four additional summer abroad scholarships in recognition of the school’s commitment to the internationally acclaimed Girl Rising social movement.

Deering is widely recognized as one of the most progressive schools in Maine in promoting an integrated global education experience for all students. It is also the most diverse high school north of Boston, with students from 54 different countries who speak 27 languages. Deering is one of just 34 U.S. high schools to join the Asia Society’s International Studies School Network and is believed to be the first Maine public school to offer Arabic language.

“We see ourselves as global citizens. We are working hard to prepare our students to be college and career ready, and also to be globally competent,” said Deering High School Principal Ira Waltz. “Study abroad is an important part of our curriculum. Our students come home from their experiences abroad changed for the better and eager to share what they’ve learned with our school community. These scholarships are especially meaningful to enable more members of our diverse community to have a study abroad experience.”

Carlos Gómez, a Spanish teacher and faculty leader for the global focus at the school, adds, “These authentic learning opportunities will help our students develop their language and global competence skills.” 

CIEE offers 30 summer abroad programs for high school students in 16 destinations around the world. All programs combine cultural immersion and academics in language and culture, service and leadership, and content studies. The language and culture programs address seven different languages: Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, and Arabic.

The new Global Navigator Scholarship program recognizes a high school’s commitment to delivering an exemplary, integrated global education, with a special emphasis on second language acquisition and embracing intercultural skills and competencies. Individual student awards will be made on a combination of financial need, merit, and passion for the program themes – language, science, arts, service, leadership, and cultural exchange. Specific programs include learning about children’s rights and education, public health, and marine and environmental science at diverse CIEE locations in China, the Dominican Republic, Bonaire, and Botswana. The Global Navigator Scholarships are endowed by donor Sheron Long, former CEO of Hampton-Brown, a pre-K-12 education publisher of language and literacy materials, in partnership with CIEE. 

The four additional Girl Rising scholarships will be granted to female students devoted to promoting girls’ and woman’s leadership themes. This effort is the latest in a three-year relationship between CIEE and Deering to prepare Maine’s young women to be globally competent citizens, workers, and leaders. Deering has actively participated in the internationally acclaimed Girl Rising social movement since 2012 by hosting screenings of the award-winning film of the same name, teaching a companion curriculum, and organizing student panels to discuss ways to help grant more girls access to quality education around the globe.

“These scholarships are the latest milestone in a growing relationship between CIEE and Deering High School, as we deepen our partnership to nurture leadership skills and expand educational opportunities for women and girls,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “We want these scholarships to further global awareness among the entire student population, and to create lasting change by helping to eliminate the traditional study abroad barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture. Deering High School is ahead of the curve, equipping their students with the knowledge and skills needed for success in an increasingly interconnected world.”

Together, CIEE and Deering High School also support the annual Justice for Women Lecture Series, which is hosted by the University of Maine School Of Law. Deering students and CIEE staff attend private sessions with leading women’s rights activists from around the world, who visit Portland to share their experiences about their causes. This year’s lecture will be presented on March 19 by Indian abolitionist Ruchira Gupta, who is campaigning against sex trafficking of girls and women.


CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced it will provide $500,000 in study abroad scholarships to 100 high schools across the U.S. as part of its Generation Study Abroad™ pledge to provide $20 million in scholarships and grants by 2020. 

Generation Study Abroad is a five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE), which strives to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2020. CIEE has pledged a series of concrete initiatives to increase study abroad opportunities at the secondary and post-secondary education levels by breaking down the real and perceived barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture.  

“Study abroad is widely acknowledged by leaders in education, government, and business as one of the most important components of a 21st-century education.  Globalization brings the demand for a U.S. workforce that possesses knowledge of other countries and cultures and is competent in languages other than English,” said Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan E. Goodman. “The earlier we can engage students in immersive study abroad programs to learn from and about other cultures, the sooner an entire generation will adopt a broader worldview.”

CIEE’s $500,000 in high school study abroad scholarships represents a lead commitment to the IIE Generation Study Abroad campaign to reach high school students and educators. Scholarships will be extended to select high schools that have shown a commitment to expanding global education and promoting international exchange opportunities with CIEE. Students will be able to attend one of CIEE’s 30 summer study abroad programs in 16 destinations around the world.  Options include international community service programs, academic content programs, and language programs in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.

“The opportunity of study abroad isn’t just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience. It’s increasingly important for success in our modern global economy. Getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about the skills students gain in the classroom. It’s also about the opportunity to travel  beyond our borders and encounter other customs, languages, and cultures that are very different from our own,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE.

Study Abroad Leaders Break Barriers at 2014 CIEE Conference in Baltimore as CIEE Pledges More Access and Choice

CIEE hosted more than 500 study abroad professionals and administrators from institutions of higher education at its 2014 Annual Conference, November 19-22, in Baltimore.

 “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture” was chosen as this year’s conference theme to highlight the fact that only 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad. With an aim toward attracting more students to this enriching experience, conference participants took part in interactive sessions, presentations, and networking events to generate new ways to make study abroad more affordable, integrate international perspectives into curriculum, and communicate the benefits of international education.


James P. Pellow, ED.D - CIEE President & CEO

CIEE’s pledge to support the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad™ high-profile initiative was the highlight of the conference. IIE has challenged those involved in the field of study abroad to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad to 600,000 by 2020. To make it financially easier for students to do so, CIEE has committed to awarding $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students by the end of the decade. Further, CIEE will fund passports for 10,000 students and give an annual $20,000 faculty grant to support innovative approaches to study abroad.

To address curricular barriers, the study abroad leader also pledged to add more International Faculty Development Seminars and expand its Faculty-Led and Custom Programs. To break cultural barriers, CIEE will launch a media campaign to encourage study abroad by sharing students’ success stories, expand its work with minority-serving institutions to 100 schools by 2020, and give 25 full scholarships to students with disabilities in 2015, in partnership with Mobility International USA.


Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D.

In his opening speech, CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow, Ed.D., noted that last year, the number of international students coming to the United States increased 8 percent to 886,000, including 274,000 Chinese. But the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased just 2 percent to 289,000.

 “There are three times as many international students coming to the United States as we are sending abroad,” noted Pellow. “And the gap is growing. Next year, the number of Chinese studying in the United States is expected to surpass the number of all U.S. students studying abroad.”


Michelle Norris, NPR, leader of The Race Card Project

Presentations included addresses by Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), who spoke the importance of bold ideas and experimentation as he shared success stories from UMBC; Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, who shared the latest data on study abroad participation and how we can improve them; and Michele Norris, National Public Radio host and special correspondent and leader of The Race Card Project, who shared provocative thoughts on how we approach race and diversity in America that tie into cultural barriers to study abroad.

The conference also featured the concluding session of the Diversity Abroad Future Leaders Summit. CIEE and Diversity Abroad co-hosted these events to share best practices and develop ideas to increase diversity in study abroad. During the last of three sessions held this year, 20 young leaders of change in international education explored new ways to balance study abroad cost and value, examine program systems and structures to minimize costs, and give students and parents the tools to make study abroad attainable.


Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE

 “Studying abroad is one of the most important steps young people can take to ensure success in school and beyond,” said CIEE Chief Academic Officer for Study Abroad David F. Fougere. “Yet, many students are unable or choose not to pursue an international education experience. It’s critical that we change this, and at this year’s conference, we took huge strides toward making study abroad a reality for many more students.”

 The 2015 CIEE Annual Conference – The Reinvention of Study Abroad: Setting the Course for 2020 – will be held November 4-7 in Berlin.




Study abroad leader adds 11 new programs to give students greater access and choice; reopens International Business and Culture program in Ghana for fall 2015.

(BALTIMORE, MD -- NOVEMBER 21, 2014) -- CIEE: Council on International Education and Exchange today announced it will open a Global Institute in London in 2015 and offer new global study programs focused on sustainability and environmental issues across three continents beginning in spring 2016.

 These are part of a larger slate of 11 new programs that were approved by CIEE’s Academic Consortium Board (ACB) during its annual meeting at the CIEE Annual Conference, “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture,” underway today through November 22 in Baltimore.

 “CIEE is intentionally developing flexible, high-quality, and affordable international academic programs, designed to be more accessible to students from all socio-economic backgrounds and academic majors.  This is consistent with our organization’s history and helps us uphold our pledge to IIE’s Generation Study Abroad,” said David F. Fougere, chief operating officer, CIEE Study Abroad. “In keeping with our commitment to break the cost barriers that keep many students from studying abroad, the CIEE Global Institutes will be among the most affordable and flexible study abroad programs available.”

CIEE Global Institute – London will open in fall 2015.  CIEE students will have the option of enrolling in CIEE’s open-campus model, or to enroll directly in London colleges. Students who choose the latter can enroll at one of CIEE’s four partner institutions in London – University College London, Goldsmiths College, University of Westminster, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

The decision to create the Global Institute in London was based on the same student demand for program flexibility and affordable pricing that led to the creation of CIEE Global Institute – Berlin, also opening in fall 2015. 

CIEE’s new Global Sustainability and Environment program will be offered in Berlin, Cape Town, and Shanghai beginning in spring 2016. Designed to meet the academic requirements of advanced environmental studies students, this program will allow students to enhance their studies in their choice of three of the world’s global centers for innovation in sustainability.

Seven new summer programs for 2015 include:

  • Alicante, Spain – Intensive Language and Culture
  • Rennes, France – Intensive Language and Culture
  • Toulouse, France – Business and Culture 
  • Santiago, Dominican Republic – Language and Culture
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Business and Culture
  • Cape Town, South Africa – South African Studies
  • London, England – Business and Communication

In response to growing demand for business programs in Africa, CIEE will reopen its International Business and Culture program in Ghana in fall 2015.  Moving forward there will be two distinct CIEE semester programs on two Ghanaian university campuses: an Arts and Sciences program (University of Ghana) and an International Business and Culture program (Ashesi University College).

For details on our full program offerings, please visit http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/

2012-2013 Open Doors Data Shows Growth in Study Abroad, But Not Enough

Today the International Institute of Education released new Open Doors® data, including the number U.S. students who studied abroad during 2012-2013. Though more students are making study-abroad part of their college experience every year, we still have a long way to go. Less than 10 percent of all U.S. undergraduates are benefitting from these critical international experiences.

 See the full report.



CIEE: The Council on International Educational Exchange today announced a commitment to tackle the major barriers that keep students from studying abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture – with a centerpiece pledge of $20 million in scholarships and grants to American students through the Generation Study Abroad™ initiative. CIEE will also sponsor passports for 10,000 students to enable participation, and make an annual $20,000 grant to college faculty to support innovative approaches for custom study abroad programs.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders. CIEE’s greatly expanded outreach and scholarship offerings will make a significant contribution to expanding and diversifying the population of students who have the opportunity to study abroad,” said Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan E. Goodman.

Data shows that fewer than 300,000 U.S. students per year study abroad, which means that less than 10 percent of all U.S. college students experience international education before they graduate. The Generation Study Abroad initiative was launched earlier in 2014 and challenges institutions of higher education, governments, and associations to support study abroad and to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of this decade.

“Faculty and students alike consistently report their study abroad experiences are full of life changing, ah-ha moments,” James Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “Part of that change includes the realization that people in different countries, with different cultures and customs, are in many ways very similar to themselves. They are striving for a better life, for healthier children, for a more a peaceful world. This revelation helps students broaden their worldview and become more effective leaders of business, education, healthcare, politics and government.”

CIEE will announce complete details of its commitment to Generation Study Abroad at the CIEE Annual Conference, November 19-22 in Baltimore.  With its theme, “Breaking Barriers: Cost, Curriculum, Culture,” this year’s conference is dedicated to gathering industry leaders and professionals to explore and generate new strategies that will help more students of all backgrounds benefit from study abroad.

“CIEE is ideally positioned to help Generation Study Abroad achieve its critical goal. We began more than 65 years ago with a mission to help faculty and students to gain an understanding, acquire knowledge and develop the skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world,” said David F. Fougere, chief operating officer, CIEE Study Abroad. “The ability to move comfortably among cultures makes a difference between college graduates landing a job and finding a path to lifelong career satisfaction.  The Generation Study Abroad initiative takes on real and perceived beliefs surrounding cost, curriculum, and culture that are keeping students from studying abroad.”