12th Annual CIEE Global Internship Conference - Day 3

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The last day of CIEE’s 12th Annual Global Internship Conference was packed with inspiring discussions about the future of global internships. 

The day began with an Opening Plenary on the impact of global internships and experiences. For the first time ever, IIE and CIEE, in collaboration with peer organizations involved with facilitating global internship experiences, launched an industry-wide study to examine the employability and professional outcomes of individuals who participated in a global internship. 

In this session, attendees were granted a preview of the results from the study. Leah Mason from IIE opened the session by sharing some preliminary insights that demonstrate how participation in a global internship positively impacts the development of 21st-century job skills.

Eighty percent of alumni surveyed indicated that participation in global internship activities supported their development of skills relevant to their professional journey, and alumni reported that their participation in activities helped develop or improve their intercultural skills, flexibility/adaptability, confidence and communication skills to a significant degree. 

But the findings from this research indicate that there is also room for improvement in aligning skills acquisition through global internship with skills relevant to professional pathways for graduates, including skills related to workforce development and curiosity in the workplace. "Internship programs can better align their approach and strengthen activities that focus specifically on career pathways and outcomes," she said.

The panelists - Ray Jones, CEO, TALENTBANQ; Magda Vigoureux, Assistant Director, Procurement Contracts Travel Missions & Events, Interpol; and Gentian Xhaxhiu,  Coordinator, Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) - discussed how these programs have positively impacted their organizations, offering stories and reflections that highlighted the value of global internships in building a diverse and skilled workforce. 

"We love having interns.," said Ray Jones. "They bring diversity into the workplace, new ways of thinking. In our business it is important to have the new generation talking to the right generation on social media."

Magda Vigoreux, a CIEE alum, talked about how her global internship helped prepare her for the world of work. “The most important skill students acquire when they study abroad or participate in global work-integrated learning experiences is self-reliance," she said. "My work-integrated study abroad experiences shaped who I am as a professional. Throughout my career, I’ve continued to build on the skills I acquired during these experiences.” 

Gentian Xhhaxhiu, also a CIEE alumn, described the transformative nature of his experience as an intern in the United States. "Being exposed to cultural diversity changes you, changes your mindset, gives you a more international perspective," he said. "Being an intern in NYC, I had to learn to adapt. It forced me out of my bubble, out of my comfort zone, and made me think that I might want to shift my career more toward international work, which I did."

CIEE UNHCR Student Challenge 

The sessions concluded with the final round of the CIEE UNHCR Student Challenge.  

The three finalist student teams, selected from over 130 participating teams, presented innovative ideas to improve access to higher education and careers for refugees. Co-sponsored by the UNHCR, with support from Microsoft, and District C, this challenge showcased student-led solutions to address the critical issue of increasing access to higher education for forcibly displaced people.   

The members of the winning team, Team Eagles, of Kepler College and African Leadership University, both in Kigali, Rwanda, each earned a Global Internship in summer 2025 facilitated by CIEE. In addition, CIEE will award a $50,000 grant to Team Eagles to help them implement their project in Rwanda.  

Conference Conclusion

In his closing remarks, James Pellow, Ed.D., president and CEO of CIEE, announced that the 13th Annual CIEE Global Internship Conference will be held in Singapore in 2025!