Language & Culture

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Learn a Language, Unlock the World  

There’s chess. And there’s Harry Potter wizard-style chess, complete with animated life-sized pieces and sound effects. That’s the contrast between learning a foreign language at your U.S. high school and living it abroad with CIEE in one of 20 amazing destinations.

Our four-week Language & Culture programs give you the communication skills and cultural know-how to soak up more of the places you explore. But Global Navigators don’t just visit. They join local communities and make new friends, utilizing their growing language skills. 

Gain Fluency in 1 of 7 Languages








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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

Join Us for Day in Berlin

Follow a student  from breakfast through bedtime and see what makes language learning special with CIEE.

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’re learning at a level that’s comfortable, yet challenging. That’s why we:

  • Have every participant take a standardized language assessment before departure.
  • Double check that you’re in the right level after you arrive.
  • Require participants at our French and Spain locations to have one or two years of language experience. Advanced students can select language intensive programs in Alicante, Palma, and Rennes.
  • Group participants by proficiency levels that allow you to learn and grow. Unless your program centers on French or Spanish – no previous language is required.


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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.

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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]