CIEE Awards UC San Diego $1 Million Grant To Lead Change in Study Abroad

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Matching grant will support a Global Internship program for Pell-eligible students, prioritizing underserved populations 


CIEE has selected UC San Diego as one of four nationally recognized institutions of higher education to receive $1 million in matching grants over four years to establish new study abroad programs that will advance institutional goals while improving student outcomes.

UC San Diego will debut a Global Internship program for Pell-eligible students, prioritizing underserved populations, that will foster an ecosystem of access and entrepreneurship opportunities to increase study abroad rates, reduce time-to-degree, and positively impact student employability and economic mobility.

"This grant marks a pivotal moment for UC San Diego, reinforcing our commitment to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and global engagement among our students,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “With this funding, we are empowering our students to become catalysts of change, creators of value and leaders in the ever-evolving global marketplace. I am proud of our university's dedication to providing educational experiences that prepare our students for success in the 21st century.” 

UC San Diego will address systemic barriers and provide targeted support to those facing unique challenges in accessing transformative educational experiences by activating CIEE Global Internships as an introduction to entrepreneurship. The program will use 8-week CIEE Global Internship programs during students’ first summer as a launch point for participation in The Basement’s Entrepreneurship programs at UC San Diego

This model is poised to train the next generation workforce through early exposure to global learning and structured innovation and entrepreneurial training. Following UC San Diego’s implementation of the program, other institutions could also implement the model with their entrepreneurship programs. Colleges and universities with entrepreneurship programs of all shapes and sizes can adopt this model, catalyzing scalability and radical access around the globe. Starting with the University of California campuses, this model can impact almost 300,000 students immediately. 

"At UC San Diego, we are committed to providing our students with holistic support and transformative learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom,” Alysson Satterlund, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life. “This grant will allow us to enhance our commitment to international experiences for students by offering global internships that not only enrich their academic journey but also provide invaluable opportunities for personal and professional growth. We are dedicated to preparing our students, especially those who have been historically underserved in the global arena, to thrive in a diverse and interconnected world; this funding will play a crucial role in achieving that goal." 

Announced in November 2023 at the 76th Annual CIEE Study Abroad conference in Paris, CIEE’s Pledge to Lead Change in Study Abroad seeks to show how a well-designed international exchange program can improve college enrollments, student retention rates, student graduation rates, and perhaps most importantly, enhance student employability and economic mobility. 

From a pool of 21 outstanding proposals from institutions across the United States, Arizona State University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Northeastern University, and UC San Diego were selected for their proposed bold study abroad programs that advance institutional goals and improve student outcomes.

Each of the four winners pledged to match CIEE’s $1 million grant resulting in a total of $8 million in funding over four years for students to study abroad in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

The four colleges chosen will launch national models of international education programs by showing how study abroad programs can:

  • Advance Both Institutional and Student Success Goals – including advancing their enrollment strategy, improving student retention, increasing graduation rates, and providing students with skills and competencies that enhance their career aspirations;
  • Expand Access to Students From all Backgrounds and Academic Majors – including Pell-eligible, first-generation, men, scientists, engineers, and other non-traditional student groups; and
  • Improve Our World Through Impactful Student Engagement Abroad - including programs that enhance student success while helping to serve the broader needs of our global community like climate change, public health, and refugees.

“UC San Diego’s globally scalable model that prioritizes underserved populations is truly inspiring and accomplishes all three goals of the Leading Change in Study Abroad Challenge,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., President and CEO of CIEE. “It provides students with global work experience that helps them develop practical career skills, while expanding their intercultural skills and building a global network of peers and mentors. We look forward to working with UC San Diego leadership over the next four years to help them implement their bold vision.” 

“UC San Diego is so excited to launch this new Global Internship program in partnership with CIEE because it brings together many of our core priorities, which include providing students with new opportunities and supporting diversity in innovation and entrepreneurship,” Corinne Peek-Asa, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at UC San Diego. “Integrating global and innovation experiences will build a new world-ready workforce pipeline, and we can’t wait to see our future leaders emerge.” 


About UC San Diego

At the University of California San Diego, a culture of risk-taking, collaboration and innovation emerged early on. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren’t afraid to push boundaries, challenge expectations and redefine conventional wisdom in order to make our world better. The only criterion our founders had for their campus was that it must be distinctive – and being experimental has been the norm since day one. Learn more at


About CIEE

CIEE builds bridges between different people, different countries, and different cultures. For 75 years, we have helped young people participate in high-quality international exchange and study abroad programs that bring the world together. We change lives, our alumni change the world. Learn more at


Media contact: Leslie Taylor,, (207)553-4274