CIEE Achieves IIE Generation Study Abroad Pledge Goals

Happy new year!

Welcome to 2020, the start of a new decade and the year by which many study abroad organizations pledged to double the number of Americans studying abroad as part of the IIE Generation Study Abroad Initiative.

The GSA initiative was launched in 2014 in response to a growing concern that too few Americans pursued the life-changing experience of international education so were missing out on the opportunity to develop skills critical for success in our interconnected and interdependent world.

CIEE is pleased to share that we achieved the lofty goal of doubling the number of students studying abroad with our organization. The total number of students, both college and high school, that attended CIEE study abroad programs last year was more than 15,000, almost three times the 5,650 students who studied abroad with us in 2012, IIE’s base year for the GSA pledge.

We achieved this goal thanks to our Academic Consortium Board, strategic partnerships with many of our AC member schools, the tireless commitment of CIEE staff around the world to support this growth, and the generous donation of scholarships for the Global Navigator Scholarship program. We extend our sincere gratitude to the ACB, the scores of schools that provided ideas and support for this success, and our generous benefactor.

Beyond increasing the numbers of students we’ve helped study abroad, we are even more proud of the enormous strides CIEE has made increasing the racial and socioeconomic diversity of students we serve. Just one example of this is that Pell-eligible students now represent 25% of our college summer students and students of color now represent 42% of summer students.  Most impressively, over 50% of all high school students attending intensive summer language and culture courses in seven different languages are students of color.

These impressive gains were achieved through a series of integrated initiatives designed to overcome the barriers of cost, curriculum and culture.  Since 2015, CIEE has:

Breaking Down Barriers of Cost

  • Provided $53 million in financial aid, grants, and discounts -- far exceeding our pledge of $20 million.
  • Awarded 10,000  free passports through the CIEE Passport Caravan
  • Established dozens of lower cost programs, like January-term, summer programs, and the innovative Open Campus Academic Block model to provide your students with scores of affordable, high-quality program options.

Breaking Down Barriers of Curriculum

  • Expanded our custom faculty-led programs to serve over 13,000 students last year.
  • Granted five $20,000 faculty-led program grants to innovative faculty that created unique programs for non-traditional students. 
  • Expanded STEM and business courses offerings, and added international internships in over 20 international locations.

Breaking Down Barriers of Culture

  • Created role models and programs that help students from non-traditional backgrounds believe not only that they could study abroad, but that they should study abroad. 
    • We anticipate more than 1,000 applications for the 2020 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, which supports 10 exemplary student leaders each year for a fully funded summer program.
  • Engaged college presidents to become champions of global education
    • More than 50 college presidents will match CIEE’s Frederick Douglass Summer Scholar grant of $1,500 towards a summer program for FDGF applicants from their school
    • The Frederick Douglass Summer Scholar matching grants alone doubled the number of African American students studying abroad on CIEE programs during summer 2019.

Looking forward, we plan to remain committed to many of the CIEE initiatives that achieved these goals. We will support the financial aid programs that are having the biggest impact, we will relaunch the passport caravan program, and we will expand the Frederick Douglass family of programs to support more talented students and young professionals of color.

Thank you for your ideas, your encouragement, and your support over these last five years.  We would not have been able to achieve these important goals without your help.

Very best wishes for continued success at your organization in 2020.