CIEE's Pledge to Lead Change in Study Abroad

The theme of CIEE’s 76th Annual Study Abroad Conference in Paris last November was Leading Change in Study Abroad. During the conference there were many rich presentations and discussions but two stood out as especially impactful.

First, the opening plenary was led by senior leaders at Arizona State University, Dean College, Elon University, and Northeastern University, who shared success stories from their respective campuses on how a bold, comprehensive strategy to promote, integrate, and expand international programs advanced their university’s core mission, increased enrollment and student retention, and led to significantly better student outcomes.  

Second, our International Program Advisory Council (IPAC) met for two days and explored a series of topics including a very colorful discussion on how colleges and study abroad organizations can best lead change in study abroad by providing more access, or as the idea evolved through their animated discussion, providing more Radical Access, to life-changing study abroad programs.

These success stories and encouragement from university leaders led CIEE to close the conference with a bold pledge to provide $3,000,000 to three exemplary colleges who seek to advance their institutional aspirations through a material investment in international programs. We have pledged to support colleges that are ready to become a national model of success in both leading change in study abroad and demonstrating the value of higher education with integrated international programs to parents and students across the country.

Today, we are pleased to announce:

CIEE's Pledge to Lead Change in Study Abroad

CIEE seeks bold institutional partners to help lead change in study abroad and demonstrate the vital link between global programs, institutional goals, and student success.

1) Leading change means embracing a global program strategy that helps an institution advance its mission and improves student success, while at the same time provides a model to the field of international education and can be emulated by other colleges and universities.

2) Examples of bold change models include, but are not limited to, the following examples: 

  • Using global programs to enhance enrollment and student outcomes (e.g. increase applications, yield, retention, graduation rates, and student success.)
  • Using global programs to expand diversity and access to study abroad programs (e.g. materially increasing the number of black and brown men who study abroad; materially increasing the number of Pell-eligible students who study abroad.)
  • Using global programs to provide global learning experiences for students in emerging critical academic areas and/or types of learning (e.g. global internships, women in science, climate studies, critical foreign language acquisition.)

3) The CIEE Challenge is designed to be simple, but impactful. CIEE will match funds from three institutions that provide $1,000,000 over four years ($250k/year from both the college and CIEE for a total of $500k/year) to realize their bold vision for driving change and increasing access to study abroad while advancing institutional goals and student outcomes.   

4) CIEE will provide funding and staff to support each program and document its success.

Call for Proposals: CIEE Challenge to Lead Change in Study Abroad

  • Proposals should be presented in 1,000 words and include clear metrics on institutional goals and student success.
  • Areas of particular importance for securing the grant to lead change in study abroad, include: 
    • Academic or experiential learning initiatives related to at least one of the following areas: 
      • Sustainability, environmental sciences, and climate change
      • Refugees and migration
      • STEM and society
      • Internships and the future of work
      • First year programs
    • Program themes that include: 
      • Changing the face of Study Abroad – focus on access and underrepresented students in Study Abroad
      • Showing the ability to scale the program to maximize the number of students impacted, and demonstrate potential for long term sustainability beyond the first four-years, using clear metrics and forecasts to demonstrate change
      • Integrating global programs with institutional goals to position international education as a solution-center to enrollment strategies, student retention, and student success

For more information and submission guidelines visit Leading Change

Proposals are due March 15, 2024, and the top three will be selected within four weeks.

Submit Your Proposal

We’re grateful for all the wonderful advice and perspective shared by our colleagues in Paris that inspired us to issue this challenge, and we look forward to working with bold change agents in the years ahead. For questions regarding this initiative please contact  Jill Sady, Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President,