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CIEE Awards Nearly 400 Scholarships to Help High School Students Study Abroad in Global Navigator Program’s First Year

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced it has awarded 391 Global Navigator scholarships totaling more than $1.6 million to high school students to study abroad in summer 2015, the program’s pilot year.

Forty-one high schools in six states were selected as Global Navigator schools, qualifying them for scholarships that enable their students to participate in summer study abroad programs. Schools were selected through a competitive assessment of their commitment to foreign-language acquisition and global education. Global Navigator schools provide rigorous, integrated, and globally focused academic programs, while serving students from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. In fact, 48 percent of 2015 Global Navigator scholarship recipients are students from diverse backgrounds.

“Leaders of the country’s most globally minded secondary schools are striving to combine rigorous academic programs with experiential learning, which can happen only when students have the opportunity to study abroad,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE. “The Global Navigator Scholarship program recognizes exemplary schools, then enables them to enhance student learning by providing real-world experiences for students who would not otherwise be able to study abroad. It levels the playing field for students from all backgrounds.”

The student scholarship recipients, known as Global Navigators, will each take part in one of 30 four-week language, culture, and leadership programs this summer in one of 16 locations around the world. Students were selected using criteria spanning merit, financial need, and passion for meaningful cross-cultural exchange. In total, 70 percent of students in the pilot enrolled in language programs, 15 percent in service programs, and 15 percent in content area studies.

CIEE Global Navigator scholarships are made possible by a generous endowment from donor Sheron Long, former CEO of Hampton-Brown, a pre-K through grade 12 education publisher of language and literacy materials. The intent of the awards is to increase the number of high school students who study abroad by making the experience more financially accessible.

“The goal of the CIEE Global Navigator program is to prepare students to navigate across languages, connect with cultures, and develop global competencies for thriving in today’s interconnected world,” said Ms. Long.

Based on the success of the pilot, CIEE is expanding the program to create opportunities for more high school students to study abroad and become Global Navigators.

CIEE Partners with Spelman College and Northeastern University to Launch Custom Study Abroad Programs for Undergrads in STEM Disciplines

 CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange has partnered with Spelman College, a global leader in the education of women of African descent, and Northeastern University, a global, experiential, research university in Boston, to offer custom study abroad programs this spring with the goal to increase international education opportunities for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

For a second year, CIEE has partnered with Spelman College to support their Going Global initiative, which seeks to provide every student with an international travel experience before graduation. For two weeks, May 10-24, 161 Spelman students are taking part in an immersive program with a customized intercultural engagement curriculum to enhance intercultural competencies and leadership skills in one of six locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Seoul, South Korea; Lima, Peru; Lisbon, Portugal; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Forty-five of the students participating in the program are STEM majors, a 137 percent increase in participation from the previous year.

“Our deliberate efforts to address the major barriers to international travel experience – cost, culture, curriculum, and champions – have yielded much fruition by providing global travel opportunities for a group that is traditionally underrepresented in study abroad,” said Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D., associate provost for global education at Spelman College. “This program has become the most effective strategy for us to achieve both Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and strategic planning goals of yearly increase in student and faculty international travel experiences.”

CIEE is also supporting a customized program for 23 Northeastern University students in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 12-June 11. Designed specifically for students in STEM majors and those with an interest in sustainability, the Northeastern program will help students build an understanding of how energy resources are being utilized in the U.S. and Brazil, current alternative energy systems and technologies, and how these alternatives can impact the environment through fieldwork activities and meetings with industry leaders.

“There is a huge need for students to understand the necessity of sustainable development, especially in developing countries that are ahead of the U.S. in this effort,” said Courtney Pfluger, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of engineering at Northeastern who will lead the students on the four-week program. “Students who become globally competent will be the leaders in shaping our world and realizing the potential in bettering our environment and society.”

A growing segment in study abroad, STEM students today make up nearly 23 percent of U.S. students studying abroad, representing a significant increase over the past 10 years according to Open Doors Data. “CIEE has seen increased interest in STEM programs from both students and faculty and administrators at institutions across the country,” said CIEE President and Chief Executive Officer James P. Pellow. “Colleges and universities like Spelman College and Northeastern University are recognizing the importance of providing access to international experiences for all students. Spelman and Northeastern have both seen the positive impact of creating custom programs built to professors’ curricula and students’ academic requirements and schedules.”

CIEE offers 29 semester, summer, and winter study abroad programs focused on STEM disciplines, including tropical marine ecology and conservation, and engineering. The organization recently introduced a new Global Sustainability and Environment program on three continents: Shanghai, China; Berlin, Germany; and Cape Town, South Africa.


CIEE Launches Global Institute in Rome; Unveils 15 New Study Abroad Programs and Three New Internship Locations

In an effort to expand access to study abroad opportunities for U.S. undergraduates, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced it will open a Global Institute in Rome next fall and offer 15 new global study abroad programs starting in spring 2016. The new programs were approved by CIEE’s Academic Consortium Board (ACB) during its annual meeting in Portland, Maine, April 27-28.

Designed to break down the main barriers students face to international education – cost, curriculum, and culture – CIEE Global Institutes feature an innovative Open Campus program model that allows students pursuing all majors to customize the study abroad experience to their academic requirements, interests, and schedule. The new Global Institute – Rome will follow the openings of CIEE Global Institutes in Berlin and London this fall, and represents the first time CIEE, the leader in international education and exchange, will offer programs in Italy’s capital city. CIEE currently offers programs in Ferrara in northern Italy.

“CIEE is committed to breaking through the barriers that keep too many students from studying abroad. That’s why we’re developing flexible, high-quality, and affordable international academic programs that will provide more access for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds and academic majors,” said James P. Pellow, CIEE president and chief executive officer. “We’re pleased to able to extend our affordable and flexible Open Campus model into Rome to give our students access to one of the world’s most historic and culturally relevant cities.”

Expanding on the flexibility of its Open Campus program, CIEE will introduce a pilot program next spring allowing students in CIEE’s Open Campus programs in Berlin and London to study in both international cities by pairing a six-week academic block in one location with a second six-week block in the other.

During its annual meeting, the ACB also approved 14 new study abroad programs in 10 cities, including Buenos Aires, Moscow, Taipei, and Rabat, bringing the organization’s total number of undergraduate study abroad programs to more than 220. CIEE operates 61 Study Centers in 43 countries worldwide.

To meet students’ growing need to gain real-world work experience in global economic centers and hubs for business innovation, CIEE also announced today that the Academic Internship Council (AIC) will offer internships in three new locations: Berlin, Germany; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile. AIC, which merged with CIEE in September 2014, works with academic institutions, students, and employers to offer customized academic internship programs that help students achieve personal and professional growth and competitive advantage in the global workforce. The new locations bring AIC’s total internship locations to 10 international cities.

“We’re dedicated to providing diverse options for students across the United States to gain practical work experience that will help them be competitive in today’s job market. Our new internship locations represent some of the world’s leading economic centers on three continents, offering students more choice of where they can gain the skills needed to become globally competent workers,” said AIC President Tony Johnson.

CIEE Honors Boston Latin School Students as First CIEE Global Navigator Scholars in Massachusetts

On May 4, CIEE held a ceremony and reception for 16 Boston Latin School students awarded prestigious Global Navigator Scholarships to study abroad for three or four weeks this summer on CIEE High School Summer Abroad programs. CIEE chose Boston Latin School as one of only 50 schools across the country – and the only school in Massachusetts – to participate in this year’s Global Navigator Scholarship program.

Boston Latin School Global Navigator Scholarship Reception
CIEE Board of Directors Chair Robert Fallon and CIEE President and CEO Jim Pellow award 16 Boston Latin School students as Global Navigators Scholars during a ceremony on May 4.

The 16 students, who were awarded a total value of $56,000 in program scholarships, represent the diverse spectrum of young adults across Boston Latin School. Their scholarships will cover the costs of instruction, housing, meals, and excursions during their programs in Spain, Bonaire, Tanzania, Japan, or China. Global Navigator Scholarships are awarded based on merit and need, and generously endowed by Sheron Long, the former CEO of Hampton-Brown, in partnership with CIEE.

Students were presented their awards by Boston Latin School alum, Robert E. Fallon ’65, founder, president, and CEO of Phosplatin Therapeutics and chair of CIEE’s Board of Directors. As part of his 50th high school reunion celebration, Fallon generously donated funds to cover the cost of flights for Boston Latin students receiving Global Navigator Scholarships.

Boston Latin School Global Navigator Scholarship Reception
Boston Latin School students present CIEE Board of Directors Chair Robert Fallon with a scrapbook to thank him for his generous donation of funds to cover the costs of airfare for the Global Navigator Scholars.

“I want to give the students of Boston Latin the opportunity to gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world,” said Fallon. “These are the skills that will equip them to venture out from Boston to engage with the broader world and be productive global citizens. My wife Joanne and I couldn’t be prouder that Boston Latin School Global Navigator Scholars will embark this summer on an international experience that will enrich their lives.”

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 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.