CIEE Summer 2023 Impact Report - Changing Lives and Building Bridges

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As the new academic year begins, I'm pleased to share with you highlights of the 25,000+ student exchanges that CIEE supported this summer, as well as highlights from our investments in opening new programs, enhancing program quality, advancing thought leadership, and expanding access to international exchange programs for all students from all nations and all backgrounds.

Building Bridges between Nations and Strengthening Global Education

ciee staff
Top: CIEE College Enrollment Team Summit in Boston. Bottom left: CIEE Custom Program Team in Boston. Bottom right: CIEE International Program Advisory Council (IPAC) in Berlin

CIEE helped 25,000+ young people embrace an international experience, including: 

  • 7,500+ college and high school students studying, interning, or teaching abroad in 36 CIEE locations around the world
  • 17,500+ BridgeUSA Summer Work Travel, Camp Counselor, Intern and Trainee Program participants living in big cities and small towns in all 50 U.S. states, learning about American values as they helped American families and businesses thrive.

CIEE increased access by:

  • Awarding $1M in scholarships and grants to college students 
  • Awarding $5M in scholarships and grants to high school students
  • Partnering with the Japan-United States Friendship Commission’s first U.S.-Japan Institute in Tokyo and Kyoto for students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Partnering with the African American Irish Diaspora Network on the first AAIDN/CIEE Global Internship in Ireland Program for students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Sponsoring the 7th cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows for a four-week global comparative study of civil rights and social justice leadership.

CIEE invested in professional development by:

  • Hosting the first working session of CIEE’s International Program Advisory Council (IPAC) in Berlin.
  • Hosting the first College Enrollment Team Summit in Boston with more than 60 U.S.-based staff members together for three days of training and workshops.
  • Hosting high school teachers from 66 U.S. high schools on Global Navigator High School site visits to Rome, Berlin, Paris, Merida, Barcelona, and Rabat. 
  • Hosting high school teachers from four U.S. high schools for CIEE’s Global Educator Institute in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where they observed CIEE’s unique, educationally aligned study abroad curriculum model and developed an interdisciplinary unit plan they’ll deliver back home in their school.

Global Internships - Preparing Young People for the World of Work

GIC student challenge winners and AAIDN/CIEE interns
Left: Winners of the Global Internship Conference student challenge. Right: AAIDN/CIEE Global Internship in Ireland Program participants with U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, at a reception at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Dublin.

11th Annual Global Internship Conference

This year's Global Internship Conference (GIC) in Berlin was a smashing success that reinforced CIEE’s leadership role in the work-based experiential learning space and paves the way for our very ambitious plans to facilitate 50,000 internships experiences for young people globally by 2033. You can read recaps of events at the conference here, here, and here.

The Inaugural Global Internship Conference Student Challenge

The finals of the inaugural Global Internship Conference (GIC) Student Challenge were held on the last day of the Global Internship Conference in Berlin. CIEE collaborated with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to challenge student teams to present their best ideas to address economic inclusion for forcibly displaced populations. The winning team was USC’s the Wolves of Childs Way, comprised of four rising sophomores in the World Bachelor in Business program at the USC Marshall School of Business – Justin Kit Hang Tang (team captain), Muktahal Singh Birring, Armelle Davasse, and Hoi Ling (Karin) Wong. The winning team received scholarships for any 2024 CIEE summer global internship.

AAIDN/CIEE Global Internship in Ireland Program

The AAIDN/CIEE Global Internship in Ireland Program was established by the African American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN) and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to build bridges between African American and Irish communities and to prepare U.S. African American college students for the global job market. The three interns were each matched with an employer that aligned with their career goals and skillset for an eight-week work placement. You can read their reflections on their experience in Ireland on our website.

Cultivating Agents of Peace

future leaders
Top: Ambassador Johnny and Mrs. Angie Young Civic Leadership Summit participants with CIEE Board of Directors, Department of State officials, and CIEE staff in Washington, D.C. Bottom left: The 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows with Sabina Higgins, the spouse of the President of Ireland. Bottom right: BridgeUSA Ambassadors Fund for Summer Work Travel Seminar participants in Washington, DC

Ambassador Johnny and Mrs. Angie Young Civic Leadership Summit

Since 2013, CIEE has hosted the Ambassador Johnny and Mrs. Angie Young Civic Leadership Summit, CIEE’s annual workshop for outstanding international changemakers participating in the BridgeUSA Summer Work Travel Program. Following a competitive application process, 42 Young Fellows from 28 countries were selected to attend the 2023 summit held this year at American University in Washington D.C. The program draws from the mission of the Department of State’s BridgeUSA program and teaches the principles of being a changemaker, the building blocks of American democracy, and the importance of building bridges between people. It is named for Ambassador Johnny and Mrs. Angie Young in recognition of the couple’s lifelong dedication to public service, public diplomacy, and building bridges between peoples and nations.

2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellows spent four-weeks this summer on a three-continent comparative study of social justice leadership that began in Washington D.C., took them to Cape Town, and concluded with visits to Dublin, Derry, and Belfast. The twelve 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are students of color from colleges and universities across the United States who were selected for this competitive award based on their demonstrated leadership and communication skills, their commitment to agitating for positive change using techniques of non-violence, and their history of meaningful service to others.

This year’s cohort began their journey with a meeting with Irish Ambassador to the U.S., Geraldine Byrne Nason, and closed the program with a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin. Along the way, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows were led by exceptional social change leaders, including Mpho Tutu Von Furth, the youngest daughter of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Don Mullan, the author of Bloody Sunday and a lifelong global advocate for positive social change. Each of the Fellows opined that the extraordinary experience expanded their views on how best to advocate for positive change and they look forward to bringing that knowledge back to their colleges and home communities.

Ambassadors Fund for Summer Work Travel Seminar in NYC

In June, CIEE and peer sponsor organization, InterExchange, hosted a 3-day arrival seminar in New York City for 33 of the recipients of the BridgeUSA Ambassador Fund for Summer Work Travel Scholarship, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and was awarded this year to 89 participants hailing from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, and Greece. The seminar brought a diverse group of participants, some from warring countries, together to develop leadership skills, foster professional growth, and cultivate intercultural understanding.

Since its establishment as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (The Fulbright-Hays Act), the BridgeUSA program has served as a valuable and important diplomatic tool of U.S. foreign policy. Its mission – to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries – remains vital to U.S. national security and building people-to-people connections around the world. CIEE is proud to be the largest sponsor for the BridgeUSA program.

BridgeUSA - Sharing the American Way of Life

BridgeUSA participants
From L-R: CIEE BridgeUSA Work & Travel USA Scholarship recipients, Diana from Colombia, Fiyinfoluma from Nigeria, and Neto from Nigeria; BridgeUSA High School participants Grace from South Korea and Mara from Germany at their first baseball game in Wisconsin; BridgeUSA High School participant Sofiia from Ukraine with her host family in Vermont.

CIEE BridgeUSA Work & Travel USA Scholarships

CIEE supported three outstanding international students so they could participate in the transformative BridgeUSA Summer Work Travel program this summer. The CIEE Work & Travel USA Scholarship was awarded to Diana Marcela García from Colombia, who worked this summer at Brett Robinson Gulf Corp Phoenix All Suites; Fiyinfoluwa Adesina from Nigeria, who worked this summer at Valleyfair Cedar Fair Park; and Neto Tadas from Nigeria, who worked this summer at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Bringing the World to American High Schools

CIEE helped nearly 1,000 students from 42 countries unite with host families in 41 U.S. States to attend high school in the U.S. and live like American teens during the 2023-2024 school year. Through a dedicated national team of Local Coordinators, CIEE matches international students seeking to better understand America and American values with American families who hope to internationalize their homes, communities, and schools through the power of student exchanges.

Safe Harbor for a Ukrainian Student

Sofiia, from Ukraine, who started her program in August 2022 as part of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program, was unable to return home in June 2023. Working together with the State Department, CIEE offered to transfer her to a CIEE visa for a second year in the U.S. on a full scholarship. Typically, BridgeUSA high school students are not eligible for a second year, so this was a special collaboration to support Sofiia. She is living happily with her host family in Vermont, preparing to start her next year of high school.