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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. 

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 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.

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 GLOBAL INSTITUTE IN LONDON

UNVEILS NEW GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM ON THREE CONTINENTS

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/

CIEE COMMITS $20 MILLION IN SCHOLARSHIPS; 10,000 PASSPORTS TO DOUBLE NUMBER OF U.S. STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD

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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.”

CIEE Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Living and Learning Center in Berlin

CIEE Staff at Berlin Groundbreaking
CIEE staff members Benjamin Lorch, Catherine Scruggs, Caroline Maas, Cary Nathenson, Cornelia Mueller, and Dave Fougere celebrate the groundbreaking of CIEE’s new Global Institute – Berlin, during an official ceremony on October 17.

We’re one step closer to transforming study abroad in Berlin! On October 17, CIEE hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for our innovative new center for living and learning, the Global Institute – Berlin. Nearly 100 guests attended the event, including local dignitaries Thomas S. Miller, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy Berlin, and Dr. Peter Beckers, vice mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, as well as CIEE staff and local community members. 

 

Thomas Miller Speaks at Berlin Groundbreaking
Thomas S. Miller, minister counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy Berlin, stressed the importance of international experience for students during the groundbreaking event at the new CIEE Global Institute – Berlin.

Housed in a former factory building in Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s liveliest and culturally rich districts, the new Global Institute – Berlin offers a U.S.-style residence life program integrated with a local German neighborhood. When renovations are completed, the campus will include a spacious residence hall for up to 200 American and German students, 12 state-of-the-art lecture rooms, studio space, café, and Discover Berlin office with resources to help students get the most out of their time in Berlin. Learn more.

 

 

Attendees of Berlin Groundbreaking
CIEE staff, students, and local community members attend the October 17 Global Institute – Berlin groundbreaking ceremony.

 

 

100,000 STRONG FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH CIEE TO ENCOURAGE STUDY ABROAD IN CHINA

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 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 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. 

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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.

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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.

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“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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