Language & Culture

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Learn a Language, Unlock the World  

Don’t just visit. Get the communication skills and cultural savvy you need to soak up more of the amazing places you explore, with a four-week Language & Culture program. Our Global Navigators join local communities, pledge to adopt their chosen language, and make new friends as they improve their language skills. That’s the difference between learning a foreign language at your high school and living it abroad with CIEE.

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Action-Packed Days

From sunrise to sunset, each day of your CIEE Language & Culture program is chock-full of learning, new experiences and cultural surprises – each one a chance to sharpen your language skills.


Your native-speaking teacher uses methods you know from home to introduce new vocabulary and local situations that require you to communicate.  This approach cements learning in place, and gives you a foundation to connect with locals and make discoveries about the culture you’re exploring – discoveries tourists often miss. Download our sample curiculum. 


Practice today’s lessons with real people, in real time, maybe ordering coffee in an outdoor café, buying fruit at a market, or interviewing locals about an issue that impacts their community. You can’t do that in your U.S. high school Italian class!


In France, you might put down your pen and pick up a whisk to link the day’s lesson to the local way of life. Roll up your sleeves alongside new friends to make tarte au citron revisitée, using your new language as a main ingredient. Learning never tasted this good!


Compare football teams with your host brother. Talk politics with your host parent(s). Whatever the topic, you’ll practice fresh words and skills and get to know each other better, while you dig into a home-cooked meal.

See For Yourself


Follow a student  from breakfast through bedtime and see what mak

Leaders That Make Every Day Awesome


    We hire and train our teachers to make sure you get the experience of learning from a native speaker who sees things from a different perspective, yet teaches in a comfortable, familiar way.


    So much more than chaperones, our leaders are hand-picked U.S. high school teachers, eager to help you connect what you learn each morning to what you experience outside of class. They get how you think and learn, making them the ideal guides to help you squeeze as much as you can from your time abroad.


    Whether your host is a family with kids, an empty-nest couple, or a single parent, you can be confident that they’ll be happy to welcome you. Each host meets our detailed requirements, and is carefully screened by our local staff. For more information on home stay screenings, check out this page.

What Will You Bring Home?

  • 1 Month = 1 Year

    1 month with CIEE is equal to 1 year of high school foreign language instruction. With total immersion and 60 hours of instruction from a native-speaking teacher.


    This document shows you’ve learned your language of choice – and that you’ve got the before and after program tests to prove it.


    Earn four college credits to put toward your future degree, prove your ability to do college-level work, or test out of a college class. In 2018, our students earned a total of 3,232 college credits!


Want to Earn College Credit?

Learn how you can earn four college credits towards your future degree while abroad with CIEE

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Bring High School Language Learning to Life

Your foreign language classes have given you a great start. Here’s how four weeks of total immersion in a different country can help you optimize those skills:


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When you’re out of toothpaste or unsure of your metro stop and you can’t use English to fix things, a surprising thing happens. You realize you know more French (or Spanish or German . . . .) than you think – and your confidence soars.  


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Because our lessons align with standards followed by U.S. foreign language teachers, you won’t be lost. Instead, you’ll be ready to take skills to the next level by experiencing fun, real-life situations based on your location.

We take language learning seriously! That’s why we’re the only study abroad provider that develops and vets our curriculum with a team of U.S. high school teachers and college professors.

Learn more about our approach to language learning: Download Sample Curiculum


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You get the most from your time abroad when you learn at a level that’s comfortable, yet challenging. That’s why we ask you to:

  • Complete a standardized language assessment before you depart.
  • Have a one-on-one conversation with one of our language instructors when you arrive.

Arabic, German, Italian, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese: Beginners welcome

We offer introductory classes for beginners in these programs: Arabic, German, Italian, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese. No language experience is required.

French and Spanish: Choose from two levels of experience

High school language study is required for our French and Spanish programs. We offer both regular and intensive formats.

  • Regular programs: One year of high school language required. Students pledge to communicate in their target language in and out of class.
  • Intensive programs: Two years of high school language required. These intensely immersive programs are designed for intermediate and advanced students who want to learn with highly motivated peers. Students pledge to communicate in their target language at all times and take weekly surveys to reflect on progress.
    Locations: Spain: Alicante, Palma. France: Rennes


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Tests before and after your CIEE program make it easy to see just how far you’ve come. That’s how we know most participants learn as much in four weeks as the average U.S. high schooler does in one academic year. And when they return to school, students often report back that they’ve tested out of a language requirement or moved up a level in class.

Explore Language & Culture Programs

What People are Saying

  • “The biggest benefit of learning German here is how much immersion you have and how much German you hear on a daily basis. You start thinking in German!”

    --Christian S., [Midwest/Oak Park and River High School]