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CIEE is excited to announce its partnership with the national 100,000 Strong Foundation to help increase the number and diversity of Americans studying in China.

The foundation is an offshoot of President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative” started in 2009 to get 100,000 Americans to study in China by the end of this year. The U.S. Department of State already has achieved that goal, and the movement continues at the center of efforts to deepen connections between the United States and China. The 100,000 Strong Foundation is an independent bipartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

As a leader in study abroad in China for 35 years, CIEE is ideally positioned to help the foundation further its mission. With partner universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Taipei, and Hong Kong, CIEE offers study abroad and exchange programs to U.S. high school and college students, and enrichment seminars to U.S. faculty and administrators.

“Our broad portfolio of programs and partners allows us to serve nearly 600 participants each year, giving them skills and knowledge of Chinese language and culture that opens new perspectives and helps shape career options and choices,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., CIEE’s president and CEO. “We’re proud to have been selected by the 100,000 Strong Foundation and look forward to many new initiatives designed to support our mutual goals to create new opportunities for students to advance their Mandarin language skills and gain rich cultural experiences in China.”

Specific partnership initiatives include:

• Selecting and supporting 10 students each year to serve as 100,000 Strong Student Ambassadors
• Cross-promoting activities that highlight China as a study-abroad destination
• Increasing the number and diversity of Americans learning Mandarin and studying in China  

“CIEE strives to support programs that have real impact,” Pellow said. “Our partnership with the 100,000 Strong Foundation will provide American students and faculty with concrete opportunities to know China better, to know the Chinese people better, and to understand the Chinese culture better. It complements similar CIEE initiatives in Brazil, Russia, and India, and will help young Americans become more successful global leaders in the decades ahead.”

CIEE Launches Innovative Online Course to Help Aspiring Educators Teach Abroad with Confidence

CIEE proudly announces the launch of its Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification courses – online courses that provide optimal preparation to teach English in classrooms around the world.

In keeping with its mission to help people thrive in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world, CIEE TEFL courses prepare new teachers to enter classrooms with knowledge of TEFL theories and pedagogical practices, plus keen cultural awareness. The professional-level TEFL certification course exceeds the requirements of competitive hiring institutions and fulfills the visa terms of local and national governments.

“We want to give people all the tools they need to explore the world and its many diverse cultures,” says Matthew Redman, director of CIEE’s Teach Abroad programs. “CIEE TEFL is an important addition to our company’s offerings – it provides practical skills and knowledge and allows people to go abroad with confidence that they’re completely prepared to make the most of their time overseas.”

As a leading provider of teach abroad programs, CIEE has helped thousands of college graduates participate in CIEE Teach Abroad programs all over the world. By working closely with participants from the time they decide to go abroad until well after they’ve returned, CIEE has discovered that success abroad directly correlates with the sense of readiness program participants have.

In 2013, CIEE set out to build TEFL courses that would prepare participants more thoroughly than traditional TEFL courses by third-party providers. CIEE’s program developers consulted with intercultural experts, ESL professionals, education programmers, and academic peers to develop and optimize curriculum, produce content, and achieve accreditation from the World TEFL Accrediting Commission. The result is an innovative approach that addresses the needs of CIEE TEFL trainees, hiring institutions, and international English learners.

CIEE’s two TEFL courses are conducted via a convenient, cloud-based learning management system that can be accessed anywhere with computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Students participate in asynchronous discussions and receive feedback on assignments from experienced EFL tutors. Students who choose professional-level certification also attend weekly meetings and complete a 20-hour practicum in their communities or virtually, giving them a valuable opportunity to practice what they’ve learned and build confidence.

A pilot course produced positive feedback from students, who appreciated the convenience, flexibility, engaging interaction, and variation of this online format. “I liked being able to move through the modules at my own pace, and the ability to connect with my peers through discussions and tutorials,” notes a tester from Massachusetts.

Equally important, students confirmed that the course gives them more confidence. “I feel more comfortable about teaching now than I ever did – and I’m only halfway done!” says a tester from Utah, who departs soon for Thailand. “For the first time, I really began to believe in myself as a teacher,” adds a student from Michigan, who soon will be teaching in Spain.

CIEE TEFL courses begin October 6; new courses begin every two weeks. Visit ciee.org/tefl, send an email, or call 207-274-5711 for more information.

CIEE and AIC Announce Merger to Increase Access to Global Academic Internships

CIEE and AIC: Academic Internship Council, a global leader in placement-based academic and experiential education programs, are merging to expand academic internship programming around the globe.

CIEE President and CEO James P. Pellow, Ed.D., and AIC President Tony Johnson, formalized the partnership on September 18.

International internships are one of the fastest growing areas of student interest in study abroad. College presidents, provosts, deans, and study abroad professionals are seeking high-quality, academically rigorous global internships to meet this demand. The partnership between CIEE and AIC creates the most comprehensive portfolio of internships in the field, in terms of both programming and geographic locations.

These organizations have more than 100 years of combined experience in facilitating international programs. By combining CIEE’s more than 60 Study Centers around the globe with AIC’s broad network of international and domestic internship opportunities, CIEE and AIC will offer universities and students more internship options in more cities than any other international organization.

“The demand for high-quality international academic internships is consistent with higher education’s desire to increase experiential learning opportunities across all disciplines to better prepare students for today’s interconnected world,” said Pellow. “To meet that demand, we believe it’s important to partner with the most talented and experienced professionals. We feel especially privileged to be uniting with the AIC team and in particular, with Tony Johnson, a professional of the highest caliber, and whom many consider the grandfather of international internships. More than 30 years ago, Tony began helping American students secure internships with the British Parliament. Today he is widely regarded as a leader in this field, having placed more than 30,000 students in international internships.”

AIC serves more than 30 U.S. and international universities, establishing academic internship opportunities for students in Canada, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. AIC offers domestic internships in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. CIEE provides study abroad programs, faculty training programs, and custom international programs to more than 340 U.S. colleges and universities, with academic internship opportunities in 21 international cities. In addition, each year CIEE helps more than 5,500 international students participate in U.S.-based internship opportunities through the U.S. State Department’s Exchange Visitor Program.

"After developing international internship opportunities for nearly three decades with Boston University and EUSA, primarily in Europe, my colleagues at AIC and I sought to build a portfolio of internship opportunities in locations less-served by most organizations, but growing in popularity with university students,” said Johnson. “Joining forces with CIEE will allow us to continue that momentum by combining AIC’s strength in developing custom internships with CIEE’s foundation of academic program-based internships. Together, we will serve member schools and students with the highest level of service and support.”

Sharing a commitment to both quality and access, CIEE and AIC look forward to expanding their traditional and customized international internship programs to allow all students – regardless of academic major or type of institution – to benefit from international internships.

CIEE Celebrates 20 Years of International Education in Buenos Aires

CIEE celebrated 20 years of international education and exchange in Buenos Aires, Argentina, earlier this month, teaming up with longtime institutional partner the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) Argentina to host three days of special events with community stakeholders, alumni, staff members, and special guests. 

 Partners in International Education 

Events began July 16 when more than 200 academics, politicians, and members of the public gathered to discuss progress in Latin American over the past two decades during a seminar titled, "Latin American Integration: Results and Challenges." The five-hour session – organized by CIEE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and FLACSO – took place at the Palacio San Martin, ceremonial seat of the Foreign Ministry of Argentina and a national landmark.

Daniel Filmus, founding resident director of the CIEE Study Center in Buenos Aires, secretary of Malvinas Islands and South Atlantic Maritime Affairs, and former minister of Education, Science, and Technology, and Argentine senator, gave opening remarks at the start of the five-hour seminar.

Two panels of diplomats and academic experts presented their views and debated the future of Argentina’s integration within Latin America. Panelists from all over South America discussed issues of economic integration, trade, and regional cooperation throughout Latin America from both an academic and diplomatic perspective.

“This gathering of experts and dignitaries reflects the value that Argentina places on international education and the mutually beneficial relationship CIEE and Argentina have shared since the CIEE Study Center in Buenos Aires opened in the fall of 1993,” said Dan Olds, director of alumni relations at CIEE.

  1Dignitaries and experts from all over South America gathered July 16 to discuss Argentina’s position in South America at the Palacio San Martin. The seminar was part of CIEE’s celebration of 20 years of international education in Buenos Aires. See a complete list of panelists here


CIEE and the Local Community 

To celebrate the importance of becoming part of the fabric of local communities wherever we are, CIEE students and staff members joined community volunteers and their children July 17 at the Barrio Mitre Community Center. A significant part of the CIEE Study Abroad program in Buenos Aires involves service work at the center, which provides enrichment activities for children and education and counseling for mothers.

The day began with a food-safety workshop for CIEE Community Public Health summer program students and local mothers. At the same time, a small group of CIEE Liberal Arts program students and neighborhood youth also worked together to help rebuild 10 computers donated by the CIEE Buenos Aires Study Center. After a break for lunch, students from CIEE’s Summer Spanish Language program led games with children and their mothers. Meanwhile, a neighborhood volunteer taught silk screening and helped everyone at the center create a T-shirt to commemorate its 20-year relationship with CIEE. Other CIEE students and local women baked cookies together for the celebration in the community kitchen.

Finally, center staff members, patrons, and CIEE staff members gathered in front of a new entryway and access ramp, newly constructed to improve access for disabled and elderly patrons, and recognized CIEE’s commitment to the community. After dedication speeches and ceremonial ribbon cutting by Catharine Scruggs, executive director of program management for CIEE Study Abroad, and Resident Director Andrea Rizzotti, the group enjoyed a guitar performance by neighborhood girls. (CIEE had donated the guitars to the center after flooding destroyed instruments.)

“It was incredibly meaningful to witness all the positive effects CIEE’s relationship with the Barrio Mitre Community Center has had on the community,” noted Scruggs. “It was equally powerful to see the deep impression that volunteering at the center makes on our students.” 


[CIEE students and staff members celebrate with community members and patrons as an improved-access entry is officially opening in July at the Barrio Mitre Community Center in Buenos Aires. Service work at the center is an integral part of CIEE Buenos Aires Study Abroad Program.]


A Night 20 Years in the Making

Anniversary celebration events culminated July 18 with a full evening at the Palacio San Martin. CIEE staff members recognized the many students, partners, host families, and others who have enriched our programs in Argentina over 20 years. Attendees included eight CIEE Study Abroad alumni who live nearby and four Argentine alumni from CIEE Internship USA and Work and Travel USA programs, reflecting our commitment to helping J-1 participants continue their international exchange experience long after they return home.

At the start of the evening, guests enjoyed cocktails as they explored two installations. “Images of 20 Years” included video clips of historic and recent activities in the program with an interactive wall that allowed guests to see and hear from staff and faculty members involved in our Buenos Aires programs. 

The prestigious exhibition “30 years of Democracy” donated by FLACSO Argentina for the event, included paintings, sculpture, photography, and crafts by Argentine and Latin American artists. 

After this reception, guests were treated to a beautiful tango performance by well-known dance professors Mercedes Mouriño and Gerardo “Lalo” Bengochea, who teach at the CIEE Buenos Aires Study Center. Then a series of speakers took the stage to share the history of CIEE’s program and recognize our community partners and dedicated host families. The celebration continued with cake and dancing late into the night.

“From partners to government officials to children of our host families to a 90-year-old representative of the social activist group Madres de Plaza de Mayo, we’re thrilled to have such depth and diversity of support in Argentina,” noted Olds. “It was truly a wonderful series of events to recognize an important milestone and pay tribute to the committed community partners, faculty, and staff members that have helped CIEE students in Buenos Aires become global citizens since 1994.”



Click here for more photos of the event. 

CIEE Alumni, Interns, and Trainees Gather in New York and Oakland

Current and past CIEE participants made connections from coast to coast this summer, with two special events held in New York City and Oakland, Calif.

More than 80 participants, alumni, and staff from 18 countries gathered on June 28 in Central Park for a picnic lunch and fun with Frisbee, horseshoes, and touch football. The casual outdoor setting made it easy for guests to unwind and compare experiences. Participants from all areas of CIEE enjoyed the chance to share their experiences from studying, working, and teaching abroad, and exchanged perspectives with young people from all over the world who are gaining valuable professional experience in the United States. 

Nyc shot

Just before the picnic, nearly 40 CIEE Internship USA and Professional Career Training USA participants met to learn more about the Big Apple – their current home away from home – with a guided tour of the Museum of the City of New York. The visit reflects CIEE’s commitment to helping J-1 participants explore and engage in American culture.


On the west coast, nearly 70 alumni, intern, trainee and summer work travel participants, and special guests representing 13 countries gathered July 10 at the Oakland Museum of California for an evening of culture and cocktails. There were many opportunities to mix and mingle as guests explored the exhibits “Super Awesome: Art and Giant Robot” and “Vinyl: The Sound and Culture of Records.”

Like other CIEE alumni events, these gatherings helped CIEE participants forge new friendships and build professional networks in the spirit of understanding and growth through ongoing global exchange.


“The best part of these events is the new connections that are made,” says Dan Olds, CIEE’s director of alumni relations. “It’s wonderful to see a New York native who has studied in France exchange thoughts with a young French student about her time in Paris and pass along the name of a colleague, for example. These links help our participants keep international exchange alive long after they travel abroad.”

See photos from New York and Oakland.

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New ACB Members Join Esteemed Panel of Study Abroad Professionals

We’re pleased to introduce four new members of the CIEE Academic Consortium Board (ACB), recently ratified by the AC membership. From various regions and with differing backgrounds and perspectives, these accomplished professionals reflect the diverse group of institutions represented by the Academic Consortium. We look forward to collaborating with them and the rest of our talented ACB to ensure that every CIEE study abroad program meets the highest standards for academic quality, intercultural exchange, and safety.

The following new ACB members will attend the November ACB meeting and begin their terms on the 2015 ACB immediately thereafter:

Chris Deegan, Executive Director of Study Abroad, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chris began his work in international education more than 25 years ago as an academic director for a study abroad program in India. Since then, he has developed and administered study abroad programs and curricula in locations as diverse as Mongolia, Vietnam, India, Fiji, and Samoa. He holds a master’s degree in South Asian studies from the University of Hawaii (UH) Manoa. Chris also completed a joint doctoral fellowship at UH and the East-West Center in Honolulu.

Giorgio G. DiMauro, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Global Education and Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, Rutgers University
Giorgio oversees the development and implementation of study abroad programs and campus internationalization at Rutgers. He is also an affiliated faculty member in the department of Germanic, Russian, and East European languages and literatures. Giorgio’s previous positions include associate director of study abroad programs at Princeton University and associate director of the Office of International Programs at Harvard University. He holds a doctorate in Slavic languages and literatures from Harvard and a bachelor’s degree in Russian literature from Reed College.

Mary E. McMahon, Ph.D., Director of Education Abroad, University of California
Mary oversees study abroad programs in partnership with more than 24 universities in 13 Asian and African countries. She previously held a variety of managerial positions at the University of California (UC) Santa-Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. She has a doctorate in education, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political science from Stanford University, as well as a master’s degree in Asian studies from UC Berkeley. Mary also completed an intensive management development program at Harvard University.

Maxine J. Sample, Ph.D., Director of International Education, Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education, and English professor, Virginia State University
Under Maxine’s leadership, Virginia State University (VSU) has seen participation in study abroad programs rise by 300 percent. Previously, Maxine was an English professor and coordinator of Africana studies at VSU. She holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Emory University, a master’s degree in African-American studies and literature from Clark Atlanta University, and a bachelor’s degree in English education from The College of New Jersey.

Please join us in congratulating our new members and thanking our outgoing board members and the rest of our esteemed board for its tireless work and commitment to international education.

100 Students, Two Weeks, Three Continents: CIEE and Spelman College Launch an Exciting New Journey

More than 100 students and eight faculty members from Spelman College in Atlanta departed May 11 for two weeks of intercultural learning through innovative programs created in partnership with CIEE. On three continents, they’ll explore new cultures with a dynamic combination of academics and community activities to gain the skills to be successful global leaders.


Plus: Follow students in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Peru, and Portugal at #spelmanciee.

CIEE Collaborates with U.S. Faculty to Sponsor International Workshop for Architecture and Design Students

CIEE is excited to sponsor a new Venice Biennale Workshop, a collaboration with U.S. faculty that gives 10 U.S. students a chance to work with experts in design and architecture and take part in the field’s leading international forum. We’ve teamed up with New York University, Terreform ONE, and La Biennale di Venezia to host this innovative session for students from NYU and Rhode Island School of Design, May 27-June 7.

Students begin their adventure in New York at the offices of Terreform ONE, a nonprofit design group that focuses on urban solutions for sustainable energy, infrastructure, food, water, and more. Students will learn cutting-edge methods for forecasting population growth of the world’s densest cities, using a model called the Bio City Map. After a week in New York, the group travels to Venice, Italy, for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, an international exhibition held every two years to showcase art, film, and architecture. In Venice, students will continue to focus on the latest advances in design and architecture for urban projects and help install Terreform ONE’s exhibit – the official selection at this prestigious event.


“Students will learn new methods of studying urban growth and interact with world-renowned architects, designers and thought leaders,” saysMaria Aiolova, CIEE’s academic director for Global Architecture and Design programs. “I look forward to sharing my ideas with the students and colleagues from around the world.”

 The workshop grew out of CIEE’s new Global Architecture and Design programs, in which students work with experts to explore how innovation and technology can help cities become self-sufficient, while they explore and connect with new cultures. These dynamic programs are offered in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, and Prague. See what students have to say about their experiences here

CIEE Alumni Gather to Celebrate 40 Years of International Education in Paris


On April 1, more than 160 alumni, staff, and special guests gathered at Maison de l'architecture to reconnect and celebrate four decades of international education and cultural exchange at our Paris Study Center. Since 1974, the CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange center has welcomed thousands of American students, and fostered an understanding of French culture and connections between countries.

Like other CIEE alumni events, this evening was an ideal way for past participants to share their international exchange experiences, forge new friendships, and build their professional networks. CIEE staff members, special guests, students, and alumni from a variety of CIEE programs attended, including study abroad alums from various CIEE Study Centers who now live in Paris and over 40 alumni from J-1 Exchange Visitor programs, which give students from abroad opportunities to train with U.S. companies, experience U.S. culture, and ultimately strengthen ties between nations. The gathering was co-coordinated with CIEE staff and CIEE’s long-time local partner Parenthèse.

Also attending were representatives from CIEE’s partner institutions in France: Université de Paris - Sorbonne Nouvelle, the Université Paris Diderot, Collège International de Philosophie, and Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). CIEE was honored to host two staff members from the U.S. Embassy, a member of the Franco-American Commission (Fulbright-France), and 16 members of Club Barbes – one of our Paris Study Center’s partners. Four members of Club Barbes will visit Harvard University later this month as part of a project called Diplomats of Diversity, initially funded and co-created by CIEE.


As part of our commitment to offer alumni ways to continue learning about other cultures, the evening featured presentations from several guests, including Caroline Ryan, managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in France.

“Caroline inspired the audience by speaking about her own experiences as a binational professional citizen, and described AmCham’s programs in France that support intellectual and economic exchange between the U.S. and France,” said Dan Olds, director of CIEE alumni relations.

Chosen for its rich history and architectural interest, the venue itself inspired guests. Built in the early 1600s as the home of a Franciscan order, The Recollects (as it was known for years) was renovated in 2003. It is now a regional architectural training center and headquarters of the Regional Council of the Order of Architects of Ile-de-France.

One of the evening’s highlights was a moving performance by Auni Hovanesian, a 2008 study abroad alumni and program assistant at the Paris Study Center, who sang original compositions accompanied by musicians on the violin and cello.

Alumni who live, work, and study in Paris made the most of the opportunity to learn and interact. “Late in the evening, it was amazing to see U.S. study abroad, J-1 Internship alums, and members of Club Barbes chatting together in French on the patio,” noted Olds. “On many levels, it was a remarkable and authentic moment of international and intercultural exchange.”


Human Rights Activist Dr. Sima Samar Gives Inside Look at Afghan Women’s Issues at CIEE


Sima Samar_Lauren Lovelace - CIEE
Host Lauren Lovelace and featured speaker Sima Samar, M.D., at CIEE as part of the 2014 Justice for Women Lecture Series.

On March 18, Sima Samar, M.D., chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, offered a rare look at the challenges of Afghan women at CIEE headquarters in Portland, Maine, as part of the 2014 Justice for Women Lecture Series. More than 200 students, community leaders, and local residents attended the live event, and nearly 100 CIEE alumni and resident staff in 18 countries participated through online streaming.

Born and educated in Afghanistan, Dr. Samar has long fought for the welfare and rights of Afghan women, often at risk to her life. As chair of the first human rights commission in Afghanistan’s history, she oversees human and women’s rights education programs and investigates rights abuses throughout the country.

During the 90-minute discussion at CIEE, hosted by Lauren Lovelace, Afghanistan expert and executive director of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council at Georgetown University, Dr. Samar spoke about this incredible work, the challenges of educating about human rights, and the importance of women in society, citing the rise in the number of girls attending school as evidence that this message is finally gaining traction. Twelve years ago, girls in Afghanistan didn’t attend school; now, half a million attend classes every day. Also during her talk, Dr. Samar emphasized the critical role women play in creating peace. “There’s a lot of hope for the future in Afghanistan,” she said. “Unless you have the support of women in the peace process … that peace can’t be sustained.” Dr. Samar answered questions from the audience, including one from an alum of CIEE’s Work and Travel program and Civic Leadership Summit who was participating in the event from her home in Romania.

Dr. Samar and James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and CEO of CIEE, met earlier in her visit with a group of students from Deering and Waynflete high schools in Portland. Dr. Samar encouraged students to empower themselves by learning about the world, and in particular, about cultures vastly different from their own. She voiced her belief that women should actively seek other women as mentors and leaders throughout their lives, naming Djamila Bouhired, a strong voice for Algerian independence, as a key influence in her life.

CIEE has partnered with the University of Maine School of Law for three years to present the Justice for Women Lecture Series, which brings internationally recognized and distinguished speakers to Portland, Maine, for global conversations about justice for women and girls in the developing world. Dr. Samar is the third speaker in the series, which was launched in 2012.

“Each year, the Justice for Women Lecture Series offers people in Maine the chance to interact with an extraordinary global leader, exposing new perspectives, cultures, and styles in leadership,” said Pellow. “This series offers a rare opportunity for Portland’s community and student leaders to meet women who have overcome extreme adversity and remained dedicated to global causes grounded in universal values. These extraordinary women – judges, doctors, and Nobel Laureates – offer lessons that are equally as important to leaders on a global stage as they are to student leaders right here in Maine. Our hope is that Dr. Samar’s story of courage and determination will inspire all of us to take positive action in our communities.”