CIEE Reports on Increasing Diversity in Study Abroad Two Years into IIE Generation Study Abroad Pledge

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CIEE reports it is making significant progress on its five-year leadership Generation Study Abroad pledge to increase access to study abroad opportunities for students of all ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and academic majors.

In November 2014, CIEE pledged a set of specific, action-oriented programs designed to break down the three main barriers to study abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture. Today, the organization is on track to meet its five-year goal to provide $20 million in student financial aid, sponsor passports for 10,000 students, provide training for college presidents and faculty, and create more flexible curriculum options to open study abroad opportunities to all students.

Highlights of CIEE’s progress to date include:

Breaking cost barriers

  • Student Scholarships: CIEE has awarded more than $14.4 million in scholarships and financial aid to high school students, college students, and institutions to support study abroad.
  • Faculty Grants: CIEE has awarded two $20,000 CIEE Access Grants. Most recently, CIEE awarded its grant to Tennessee State University (TSU), an urban, land grant, historically black university based in Nashville. The grant will fund the development of a faculty-led program, “Intersecting Lives: Reading African-American Literature through a Black Feminist Lens,” that will enable first-generation and underserved minority students to study abroad. CIEE awarded its first Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Northshore Technical Community College in Louisiana to run a faculty-led program in the United Arab Emirates in January 2016 for freshmen and sophomores pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Breaking curriculum barriers 

  • Flexible Curriculum Model: CIEE reinvented the study abroad model with the launch of four Global Institutes in Berlin, Germany; London, England; Paris, France; and Rome, Italy. CIEE’s Global Institutes feature three, six-week blocks that provide students with affordable, flexible academic programming options that offer a range of academic disciplines and courses aligned with students’ graduation requirements. Students have the option of studying in one city or up to three cities in one semester for a comparative academic program.
  • Short-Term Curriculum Model: CIEE reached its goal of tripling short-term program offerings to enable students of all academic majors and with challenging schedules to study abroad. Today, CIEE offers 239 short-term options for students.
  • New STEM Programs: CIEE added new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, as well as sustainability curriculum options to its portfolio. CIEE now offers 104 study abroad programs with STEM course options in 44 locations worldwide – providing students with the most study abroad options for STEM disciplines available today.
  • Expanded Faculty-Led and Custom Programs Seminars: CIEE expanded its Faculty-Led & Custom Programs to help train college and university faculty on how to develop and deliver high-quality faculty-led study abroad programs.

Breaking culture barriers

  • CIEE Passport Caravan: CIEE has provided new passports to 2,800 college students with 1,700 more scheduled for 2017, and a goal of 10,000 by 2020. Of those who have received passports, 55 percent are students of color and 48 percent are Pell Grant-eligible.
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, CIEE and Mobility International USA (MIUSA) awarded scholarships to 27 U.S. college students with disabilities.
  • Partnership with Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions: CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions have developed a three-year comprehensive strategy to increase study abroad at minority-serving institutions. The partnership includes workshops for presidents and faculty, scholarships for student leaders, and visits by the CIEE Passport Caravan.

Read CIEE’s pledge and follow its progress at

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