CIEE, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, and Awesome Travel Partner to Expand EducationUSA Collegiate Advisor Network to Increase Number of South African Students Attending University in the United States

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Project will create owner-run businesses across South Africa that facilitate post-secondary study in the U.S.

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), through a partnership with the U.S. Consulate General Cape Town and Awesome Travel, will create an expanded network of EducationUSA advisors around South Africa who can provide information and advice to prospective students on how to prepare to study in the United States. The purpose of the program is to dramatically increase the number of  South African students attending college or university in the United States and to strengthen small business across South Africa.

Currently, just over 2,000 South African students are pursuing higher education in the United States. They are studying at the best universities in the world, focusing on diverse topics, from molecular biology and economics to mechanical engineering, occupational therapy, and philosophy.

Over a two-year period, CIEE and Awesome Travel will recruit, train, assess, and support a network of 10 collegiate advisors across South Africa, who will be assisted in setting up an owner-run business with the goal that they will be self-sustaining by the end of the grant term. The EducationUSA advisors will be tasked with expanding access to international education for people across South Africa from all backgrounds, with an emphasis on rural and otherwise underrepresented areas. They will let all South African students know that a post-secondary opportunity in the United States is a realistic possibility, breaking down the college application process and helping students address any barriers related to access to higher education in the U.S. The hope for these businesses is that they expand to create jobs for people in their underserved local communities, become engines of economic activity and catalysts of change, all while improving public diplomacy between the U.S. and South Africa.

“The U.S. Mission in South Africa is committed to expanding resources for interested students and scholars in the United States, which will lead to jobs and partnerships right here in South Africa,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa Lana Marks.

With 73 years of experience in facilitating international education and exchange for millions of young people from America and countries around the world, CIEE brings to this project a wealth of knowledge, experience, and highly respected professional connections, including partnerships with more than 350 U.S. institutions of higher education who comprise their Academic Consortium and play a key role in the non-profit’s innovative study abroad program development, research, and evaluation.

“Since 1947, CIEE has been bringing the world together through international education and exchange experiences that humanize international relations by fostering interpersonal connections across cultures,” said James P. Pellow, president and CEO of CIEE. “We believe this mission has never been more important, and are delighted we can help strengthen ties between South Africa and the United States by ensuring that students across South Africa, regardless of background, are aware of opportunities to study in the United States.”


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

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