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Learning Abroad

CIEE believes that students learn most effectively abroad when they pursue specific learning goals, and develop the skills to communicate effectively and appropriately in a culture other than their own. We also understand that students are far more likely to succeed in these goals if CIEE resident staff proactively support and encourage their learning.

To that end, we’ve developed several initiatives, to help support your experience abroad:

Online Pre-Departure Orientation

Almost every CIEE program offers a live online meeting, where students can get to know each other and their resident staff. The purpose of the Online Pre-Departure Orientation is to set the tone for a semester of serious academic, cultural, and personal learning.

During the Online Orientation, Resident Directors introduce themselves and program staff - show photos and maps of their Study Center’s facilities, campus, and city - and provide time for students to ask questions - and to get to know the resident staff and each other

Logistical topics such as housing, packing, visitors, academic policies, health and safety, and free time are addressed. The Resident Director also asks students to consider how they are preparing intellectually and emotionally for their upcoming experience. A short quiz addresses differences in socialization, educational culture, family life, and other issues that U.S. students are likely to face while abroad. The students are asked about their individual goals and the Resident Directors review expectations for behavior, academics, and cultural adaptation. At the end of the session, students are invited to stay online and participate in a Q & A and an open Chat.

Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad

This interactive course, provides ongoing orientation through intercultural theory, activities, discussion, analytic reflection and writing.

Seminar topics include: values and culture; educational culture, stereotypes and generalizations; intercultural communication; global and self-awareness; empathy; perspective-shifting; and articulating their newfound knowledge and skills.

Discussions center on students’ experience engaging with the local culture. Written assignments offer opportunities to apply the concepts they’ve learned, and analyze their own responses to – and interactions with – the host culture

Students who successfully complete the Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad receive the CIEE Certificate of Achievement in Intercultural Education.

Certificate of Achievement in Intercultural Education

Students receive the CIEE Certificate of Achievement in Intercultural Education (CAIE) upon successful completion of the CIEE Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad. The CAIE denotes an understanding of concepts and skills necessary for intercultural development, a heightened commitment to intercultural learning during the course of their study abroad with CIEE, and an improved ability to adapt to an intercultural setting. This achievement appears as a notation on their CIEE Academic Record and students are provided with a physical certificate before their return to the U.S.