Making the decision to study abroad comes with a lot of questions… So we’ve put together a list of our most frequently asked questions to assist you as you embark on this journey! 

Confirmed students/parents should also check their My.CIEE.org account for extended readings on these topics, as well as much more! Can’t find the answer you are looking for? Give us a call!

General Information

Founded in 1947, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 400 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE serves as a leading sponsor for the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program (the J-1 Visa program), supporting exchanges with more than 90 countries. In addition, CIEE operates 65 study centers in 44 countries, and sponsors international faculty training programs, teach abroad programs, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. 

To learn more about CIEE’s mission and various study abroad programs, visit this page. To learn more about CIEE’s summer abroad program options for U.S high school students, you’ve come to the right place! Hit “program search” to start browsing our programs and find the perfect fit!

CIEE Global Navigator High School Study Abroad programs prepare high school students to navigate across languages, engage with cultures, and address global or local issues in today’s interconnected world.

CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs are 3- to 4-week long programs that take U.S. and international high school students on study abroad adventures in more than 50 global destinations.

Participants can choose from various programs (see details in the next FAQ) to either immerse themselves in a foreign language, dive into a service-learning project, or explore a global topic they are passionate about, like marine science, international relations or the arts.

For longer stays, we also offer trimester, semester, and academic year long programs for high school students (high school semester abroad) and graduates (gap year abroad). Learn more about CIEE’s high school semester programs and gap year programs.

CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs include five program types: Language & Culture, Business, Social Change, and STEM.

Language & Culture: These programs last four weeks and combine homestays with classroom learning, cultural activities, and excursions to enhance fluency in one of 7 languages (Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, or Arabic). Pre- and post-tests measure growth of language proficiency, and participants qualify for 4 college credits from Tulane University.  

Social Change: These programs last three weeks and focus on global issues such as the environment or children’s rights. Students join a local nonprofit and develop problem-solving skills while learning about community empowerment to make the world a better place. Participants complete a certified 50 hours of service learning.  

Business: These programs last three weeks and allow students to pursue or develop an interest in content-specific topics that delve into serious study in business. Participants experience hands-on research, workshops, and real-world application of skills. They complete a final project to showcase their newly acquired knowledge.

STEM: These programs last three weeks and allow students to pursue or develop an interest in content-specific topics that cover topics ranging from wildlife conservation to engineering. Participants experience hands-on research, workshops, and real-world application of skills. They complete a final project to showcase their newly acquired knowledge.

Arts & Culture: These programs last three weeks and allow students to pursue or develop an interest in content-specific topics that delve into serious study in Arts & Culture from creative writing to Fashion Design. Participants experience hands-on research, workshops, and real-world application of skills. They complete a final project to showcase their newly acquired knowledge.

Browse our programs and for more details, check out the individual program pages to view dates and program tuition. The participant’s legal guardian will view and sign the Program Terms & Conditions electronically via the My CIEE Account.

CIEE is a mission-driven, non-profit organization. What does that mean for you? 

  1. Benefit from the best value on the market with programs that are designed to maximize your time on site to not only have tons of fun, but also provide you with the tools and experiences to develop and grow as a global citizen.

  2. Access the country’s largest study abroad scholarship fund in secondary education. Every year, we award more than $5 million dollars to students with academic merit and various financial needs. For more information about our Global Navigator scholarships and how to apply, check out this page.

  3. Unlike many other providers, we run high school summer abroad programs in locations where we operate our own study centers and can rely on our own local staff and teachers, as well as a rich network of homestays and local connections. This puts us in a unique position to control every aspect of our programming, from the original curriculum design to your final experience in-country.

Our CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs are designed and managed by our US-based team (contact us) but are managed on the ground by our local CIEE study center staff.

CIEE owns and operates study centers in 65+ locations worldwide. Study centers vary in size and amenities and welcome U.S. and international students on a variety of study abroad programs. Our local staff hires local teachers and manages a local network of homestays and business connections to deliver all our program courses and activities.

All CIEE study centers are conveniently located in city centers to be within easy commuting distance of each site’s main attractions. To learn more about our local staff in each program location, check out the “Our Staff” section on every program page.

On a CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad program, dedicated program leaders will tag along with you every day. Program Leaders are all US. high school teachers, educators, CIEE alumni, or highly qualified adults who have experience both working with U.S. high school students like you and are versed in the program location and the language or the subject matter of your program.

All Program Leaders on Language & Culture programs are fluent in the target language of the program. They will help you connect the dots between what you learn in language class and the various activities and excursions you go on every day.

Program Leaders bring their individual skill sets and participate in a pre-departure training with CIEE, which aids in their ability to support our diverse body of students. 

Learn more about our Program Leaders with this short video.

We hire over 200 Program Leaders every year. If you’re interested in joining us, learn more!

Any U.S.-based or international high school student can apply to a CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad program, but please note that some programs have specific eligibility requirements (for example, some Language & Culture programs have different language level requirements). Rising freshman are not eligible to participate. You need to complete 9th grade prior to traveling on a CIEE program.

Please check out the “Date & Fees” section of each program page for detailed eligibility requirements on that particular program.

Some restrictions apply for CIEE Global Navigator scholarship applications. Learn more about eligibility requirements for a scholarship.

All our participants are excited to travel and curious about the world.

That’s one of the best parts of being on a CIEE program: You not only learn from your host community, but you also learn from fellow participants who share these interests.

We are proud that our participants come from all over and bring the unique perspectives created by their cultural backgrounds and personal identities to group activities. That’s why CIEE works to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for participants of every race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability and sexual orientation.


Applications can be open on my.ciee.org.

Applications need to be started and completed by the person intending to travel. But don’t worry. There will be plenty of opportunities to involve your legal guardian(s) in the process. In fact, one of the first tasks in the application is to provide their contact information! One legal guardian will need to be listed as “Primary Emergency Contact”, and that person will be sent a personal login to be able to view your application and specific tasks they need to complete. 

Our Application Support page will walk you through the application step by step. Keep this page bookmarked as you work through your application.

If you are not planning to apply for a scholarship, admissions are rolling. Submit your application as early as you can before programs fill up!

For those applying for an Academic Merit + Need scholarship, the deadline is January 15, 2025 at 11:59 p.m. EST. All tasks in your to-do list must be complete and submitted to CIEE by that day to be considered. Scholarship decision and program acceptance announcements will go out via email in mid-February. You will find out which of your 3 program choices you have been accepted to and your scholarship award amount at that time. If accepted, you will have 7 days to decide to accept your award and travel with CIEE this summer, or to decline. A non-refundable acceptance deposit will be due at this time to claim your spot on the program.

If you are applying for an Academic Merit Only award and decide you want to go on a program regardless of whether or not you receive a scholarship award, you may contact us to have your acceptance be fast-tracked and reserve your spot on program. You’ll still receive a decision on your scholarship in late February.

If you have any questions, please contact your school or CIEE at hsabroad@ciee.org.

Every participant comes onboard with a unique set of questions: Will I be able to stick to my special diet while abroad? Will my homestay be accepting of me being gay?... etc.

The application process will give you countless opportunities to raise those questions. We strongly encourage you to be forthcoming early in the process, so we can answer your questions and ensure we can make appropriate arrangements to best support you while on the program. With that in mind, think about anything you feel could bear an impact on your experience abroad – whether medical, emotional, academic, or personal – and don’t hesitate to share with us. We treat application details with the utmost care and will only share relevant information with appropriate staff on a “need to know” basis.

Travel Documents

Yes, you need a passport!

If you already have a passport, make sure it will be valid for at least six months after your program ends. 

If you need a first-time passport or must renew your existing one, please visit the U.S. Department of State.

Do not wait until the last minute to apply for a passport! That process can take months and participants will not be refunded for their program if their passport does not arrive in time for their departure to the host country.  

For U.S. passport holders: Tourist visas are required in advance for participants traveling to Australia, China, and Ghana. CIEE will provide guidance on the visa process via Readings in your CIEE Accounts, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the participant to apply for their visa and allow sufficient processing time.  

For non-U.S. passport holders: You are responsible for researching and adhering to the tourist visa requirements to enter the host country. CIEE can provide non-U.S. passport holders with documents required for the visa application.

Please contact CIEE as soon as you know what is needed for the visa application so that CIEE has adequate time to gather the documents for you.  


No. Participants are responsible for booking and paying for roundtrip airfare.

Once confirmed for travel, students will receive additional information from CIEE via email and their My CIEE Account about how to book flights. There are multiple options to choose from, including chaperoned group flights. All students will book through our trusted third-party provider Flight Fox, to ensure you arrive and depart to/from the correct airport on the right day and time. A detailed reading with instructions will be provided in your My CIEE Account when it’s time book.

We will be in touch with you regarding flight bookings once you are confirmed on program. Please do not book tickets before that.

The date listed on the program page shows the first day of the program. That is the date you are expected to be in-country. Please note that many of our locations require overnight travel, so make sure you are making travel arrangements to arrive on that first day of the program. 

If you are traveling alone, not as part of our chaperoned group flights, you will need to meet the CIEE group at the airport within a specific “arrival window” (these details will be shared with you once you are confirmed on program).

Yes, but please note that CIEE is only able to support you within the program dates as listed on the website. If you choose to extend your stay, either before or after standard CIEE program dates, make sure to communicate your plans to our team, and understand you are responsible for yourself outside of CIEE program dates.

No. We want you to be fully immersed and focused on your programs and new friends!

If your family is interested in traveling with you before or after the program, that’s great. Just make sure you make personal travel plans outside of your CIEE program dates.

It is possible but unlikely. Whether you travel on a chaperoned group flight or solo, your flights will need to be booked through our travel agent and within specific arrival window times, making it hard to use miles, as these are typically limited to specific flights or routes. For more details on flight bookings make sure to refer to the reading in your my.ciee.org account when it's time for you to book.

Health, Safety, and Security

Given the changes to our world because of the coronavirus pandemic, your experience will be different than you may have imagined. CIEE’s proactive program modifications for academic year 2022 - 23 are designed to mitigate the risks of contracting (or passing) COVID-19 while providing cultural immersion as you discover once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Learn more about the student guidelines.

CIEE has been sending students overseas since 1947. Our international Study Centers have long standing relationships with community leaders and local populations all over the world. Our centers are staffed by knowledgeable professionals who have a passion for international education and are committed to helping students experience all the wonders of their local culture and customs. To learn more about our Health, Safety and Security team, please check ciee.org/safety.

Students who are U.S. residents are covered by iNext international travel insurance in addition to any coverage provided by their own primary insurance providers. The iNext policy is included in the cost of the program. It covers accidents or illnesses while abroad.

If students require medical attention, they’ll have to pay up-front and then contact the iNext Department at CIEE inext@ciee.org for instructions on how to submit a claim.

For those traveling to Ghana, the yellow fever vaccine is required.  

For other countries, please reference the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Search for the country you’ll be traveling to by entering the country name in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Please note that there are both suggested and mandatory vaccinations listed. You must have all mandatory vaccinations required by immigration to enter your host country before participating in CIEE High School Summer Abroad programs.

Yes, participants should pack enough medication to last the duration of their summer program. You will be responsible for managing your medication while on program. If you need an EpiPen, we ask that you bring two with you.

Once you are confirmed for your summer program, 2 health form tasks will become available in your CIEE account.

One form needs to be completed by a legal guardian and the other form needs to be completed by your primary physician. This may require scheduling an appointment with your physician. Please plan ahead to ensure you do not miss the May 1st deadline.

If your health forms are not submitted by the May 1 deadline, your application will be at risk of cancellation.

CIEE requires all participants to submit both provided health forms. You can’t submit a recent physical. We recommend you send the PDF to your doctor to see if an office visit is required.

Some doctors will complete the form if you have had a physical recently and will not require an additional appointment to complete the form. It should also be noted that this form can be completed by another doctor in the practice, a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.

If your doctor is unable to fill out CIEE’s health form or you cannot get an appointment before the deadline, we ask that your family completes CIEE’s health forms to the best of their ability.

If your health forms are not submitted by the May 1 deadline, your application will be at risk of cancellation.

Pre-Departure Process

For students confirmed to travel, a self-paced online pre-departure orientation course is offered and covers many important topics, such as safety, homestay expectations, program expectations and rules, culture shock, and program itinerary. This online orientation course is typically released by April.

Cultural differences are unique place to place and learning about these while traveling is often the greatest education someone studying abroad will receive. CIEE works with all of our participants to provide useful cultural information during pre-departure orientation and in-country orientation. We also strongly suggest all students independently research cultural differences before their designated travel date.

Our pre-departure course will help you get ready for your trip and cover most frequently asked questions about studying abroad. We typically cover key topics that help you get in the right frame of mind and make the best choices when considering packing (e.g., cultural norms for clothing) and making travel arrangements (e.g., visa requirements). The course is designed to help you connect with CIEE and your fellow participants, learn how to transition into everyday life in your host culture, prepare for the academic parts of your program, and learn all the logistical information you need to be ready to go. We also encourage all our participants to be curious about their future host countries and start researching them online as soon as they’re confirmed! P.S. Have you read our blogs? They are a mine of information and a great way to start projecting into your future experience.

Once you’re confirmed, you’ll fill in a form to communicate if you have dietary restrictions or allergies to make sure you are placed in a homestay that best suits your needs. 

We’ll typically let you know about your homestay placement the Monday or Tuesday before you travel, so that you have a chance to get in touch with them.

Our ‘Know Before You Go’ course will house a discussion section where you can reach out and connect with your peers. Closer to travel day, we will also hold a virtual orientation for students and guardians to meet our program site staff and each other. This will be a great opportunity to break the ice and ask any specific questions about the program.  

On Program Logistics/Experience

When participants arrive in the host country, there is a one- or two-day orientation conducted by local CIEE staff members and Program Leaders. This often includes a tour of the local area and addresses health and safety concerns, transportation, an itinerary overview, and cultural differences and etiquette – and can offer an opportunity to prepare for any upcoming service project.

Classes are held at the CIEE study center in each location. Our local staff hires local teachers and experts on your program’s topic.

CIEE study centers vary in sizes and amenities - from large buildings with offices, classroom space, student cafe and dorms, to smaller facilities with just offices and classrooms. What they all have in common is that they are staffed by our own permanent staff and conveniently located at the heart of each program location, so that our participants are within commuting distance of the main attractions and sights in the city. This makes our study center a fun place to hang out, but also ensures that all our participants can seamlessly learn inside and outside of the classroom everyday, and enjoy a fully integrated experience.

You will be placed at a carefully vetted homestay or in a dorm (depending on your program - check the “daily life” section of each program page to find out) within reasonable commuting distance of the CIEE study center. Typically less than an hour away on public transportation or a combination of walking and taking public transportation.

When you arrive, you will be given a full orientation on how the public transportation system works in your location and how you can safely commute between your homestay or dorm and the CIEE study center. After a couple of days, you’ll be commuting like a local! Please note costs for local public transportation are included in your program tuition, you will be provided with the right passes from the get go.

We offer two different types of housing, depending on the program.

On a Language & Culture program, we’ll always place you in a carefully vetted homestay so that you can soak in the local culture and live a real immersive experience. Our homestays are as diverse as our students! They could be a family with parents and small children or teens, an elderly couple or a single mom. You name it! What they all have in common is a shared interest in sharing their culture with you. You’ll share breakfast and dinner with them every day and share their daily routine. During your summer abroad experience, you’ll also spend at least one full weekend with them. On our Language & Culture programs, our homestays are invested in your language learning, and you’ll get to practice at home with them what you learned in class that day. Get ready for 24/7 immersion.

Depending on your location, you may be placed in a homestay with another CIEE student from your program. More details on your placement will come once you get closer to your departure date. Students are typically notified of the homestay placement the week of departure. 

Topic-based programs may use homestays or dormitories/hostels/hotels for accommodations. For programs using dormitories/hotels, Program Leaders reside at the same accommodations to provide supervision and support.

Every week day balances instruction with excursions and cultural activities.

These activities are chaperoned by our Program Leaders but could be led by one of our local coordinators or a local expert, depending on the needs.

Activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

For more details on the activities, you may do on program, check out the “Sample Activities” section of each program page. Make sure you check out our blogs too. These are written by Program Leaders and participants, so they’ll give you an authentic insight into what our students did on the program in prior summers.

We ask that all Language & Culture participants bring their own tablet or laptop. If they do not have one, participants will be provided with a tablet for required classwork. For Theme Based programs, depending on the location, we encourage a tablet or laptop for academic work. Once you are confirmed, there will be a task in your CIEE account where you can note which electronic devices you will bring with you and if your phone will be locked or unlocked.  

All participants may bring their personal cell phone for use on Wi-Fi in their downtime and for taking photos to document their experience.

We recommend disconnecting from technology whenever it is not required for classwork to ensure a fully present experience!

Participants should check with their banks to see what the policy is on withdrawing funds and using bank-issued debit/credit cards abroad. CIEE strongly encourages students to bring a debit card where they can get cash at the ATM in the country and/or credit card which is a payment method widely accepted throughout many countries.

In many places, the preferred means of payment is cash, so having access to it is important. We discourage participants from using traveler’s checks and personal checks while abroad. Students should have access to adequate funds while abroad and should never plan to borrow money from CIEE or homestays. There will be more information on money and what to bring in the pre-departure online course!

Discovering new foods is one of the best parts of traveling! So we encourage our students to be open minded about trying new and exotic foods, at least once!

While our programs vary in terms of daily meals, the cost of 3 meals a day are included in your program fees. This may be sit-down meals with your homestay, meal stipends handed out before exploring a new neighborhood with friends or cooking together in a shared kitchen at your study center. You will want to budget for any additional food you may wish to purchase while exploring, like snacks.

CIEE will provide more information about your specific program meals before you travel. 

You need to be explicit on your application when citing dietary restrictions so that CIEE can develop a plan to keep you healthy. CIEE will do its best to accommodate dietary restrictions. If the program includes group meals, all pre-ordered options will be specific based off how students responded in their application. Any life-threatening or severe allergies that may result in medical distress should be made explicitly clear to CIEE.

There are cultural differences in awareness and accommodations made for dietary restrictions or allergies that will vary widely across program locations. We recommend you do some of your own research on how the location you’re going to adapts to your specific dietary needs.

Yes, you can bring snacks. Three regular meals are included in your program fees, but you will want to budget for any additional food or snacks you may wish to purchase while exploring. 

Costs & Fees

Costs covered by your program tuition:

  • One or two-day in-country orientation
  • All transportation in-country during the program, including excursions 
  • Service-learning assignment (for service programs only)
  • All classes and activities
  • Homestay placement or dormitory accommodations
  • Three meals per day
  • For students traveling to programs outside of the U.S., optional flight supervision and support by a program leader is available — from the U.S. gateway airport to the program location as well as for their return flight to the gateway airport 
  • Additional supervision and support from CIEE Study Center staff members throughout the in-country program
  • International medical insurance and 24-hour, worldwide travel assistance (included for U.S. residents or U.S. based program students only) through iNext insurance 
  • 24/7 support services

Costs not covered by your tuition:

  • Domestic and international airfare and charges for overweight baggage
  • Passport and visa fees, if required
  • Personal items, phone charges, and spending allowance

View the Terms & Conditions for our full fee and cancellation policy, starting on page 12. 

  • $25 application fee: due upon submittal of application and non-refundable
  • $1,000 acceptance deposit: due within 7 days of acceptance and non-refundable
  • Full program balance due April 15. If you confirm on or after April 15, program fee balance is due 30 days before program departure.
  • Half of the program fee (amount varies for each program and excludes $1,000 deposit): non-refundable after May 1 (including if a participant withdraws or is dismissed from program)
  • Full program fee (amount varies for each program): non-refundable after May 25 (including if a participant withdraws or is dismissed from program)
  • $150 college credit option fee: due on April 15 (for Language & Culture programs only)
  • $25 is applied for a returned check

If you are planning on using a discount for a CIEE program, it will be applied to your account as a discount on your final payment.

If you have any further questions on discounts, contact us.


Most of the financial help we offer is through scholarships (see next FAQ), but we do offer discounts to a few select groups of students.

Only 1 of the discounts below can be combined with a Global Navigator scholarship. If you're applying for a scholarship and are eligible for 2 or more of the following discounts, choose the one that will give you the greater discount.

Alumni discount: 

If you or one of your direct family members completed a CIEE program in the past, you are eligible for a $500 alumni discount.

Referral discount:

If you are a past participant, you can earn a $200 cash reward for every friend that you refer and travels on a CIEE program. Your friend also earns a $200 discount toward the program when they travel! To learn more, visit our Refer-A-Friend Alumni Rewards page.

Sibling discount: 

If your sibling has already traveled on a CIEE program, you are eligible for a $500 sibling discount. If you and your sibling want to participate on a program during the same summer or academic year, one sibling will be eligible for a $500 sibling discount.

USA Hosting discount:

If your family has hosted in the past—or is currently hosting—a CIEE High School USA student, you are eligible for a $1,000 USA hosting discount.

There is another discount you may be eligible for if your school is granted a special award. This discount cannot be combined with any of the above discounts or with the Global Navigator scholarship.

GN Fellows Award discount:

If your school has been awarded a CIEE Global Navigator Fellows Award and you are within the first 10 students in your school to complete a high school summer abroad application, you are eligible for a $1,000 Fellows Award.

Generally speaking, these types of tuition savings plans are only allowed to distribute funds for eligible tuition costs billed by institutions with a US Department of Education (DOE) school code. Since CIEE is not eligible to apply for a DOE school code, you will likely be unable to use your tuition savings plan funds to pay for your program balance.

 However, the rules for each fund do vary from one sponsoring state/agency to another. We encourage you to talk to the savings fund agency to determine whether they will release the funds directly to you to pay your fees to CIEE. Please note CIEE cannot make these determinations for you, nor advise on that matter or coordinate with your financial advisor. We also cannot customize billing statements to show itemized program costs.

Unfortunately, no. Thank you for your interest in CIEE and supporting CIEE students! Per IRS rules, tuition and program fees for a specific student is not tax-deductible and cannot be made as a charitable contribution to CIEE. However, we do accept payments to program fee balances directly. The participant can assist you in making payments online through their My CIEE Account, or you may send a payment to CIEE, 600 Southborough Drive, Suite 104, South Portland, Maine 04106 Attn: Accounts Receivable. Please indicate the name of the student the payment is for and the payment will be credited to their account and an updated invoice sent to the student and family.

For further information on what is eligible as a tax-deductible donation, please visit the IRS website and reference Publication 526.

 We would be grateful for your support. As a nonprofit, CIEE accepts charitable contributions for scholarships that are made available to all students following the guidelines of CIEE’s scholarship distribution process.

View the Terms & Conditions for our full fee and cancellation policy, starting on page 12.

$25 application fee: non-refundable after submitting application.

$1,000 acceptance deposit: non-refundable.

Half of the program fee (amount varies for each program; half is calculated by total fee MINUS the $1,000 acceptance deposit which is non-refundable): non-refundable after May 1, 2024.

Full program fee (amount varies for each program): non-refundable after May 25, 2024 (including if a participant withdraws or is dismissed from program).

If program is cancelled by CIEE for any reason whatsoever (prior to Participant departure): CIEE will refund 100% of program fees and deposit paid.


Yes, students may apply for financial aid through the CIEE Global Navigator Scholarship fund. There are two types of scholarships available. The Academic Merit + Financial Need scholarship and the Merit Only scholarship. 

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are currently residing in the U.S. and in grades 9-11 may apply for our Academic Merit + Financial Need scholarship and Merit Only Scholarship. 

International students and U.S. 12th graders are only eligible to apply for our Academic Merit Only scholarship.

Head over to our scholarships page for full details. Our Scholarship FAQ is a great, printable resource for scholarship eligibility requirements and an overview of the process.

College Credits

Credits are an available option for our Language & Culture programs only. Interested high school students should follow these steps:

Step 1: In the spring, those confirmed to travel on a Global Navigator Language & Culture summer abroad program will be able to elect to earn college credit within their My CIEE Account application.

Step 2: Pay the $150 non-refundable transcript fee to CIEE, sign two School of Record Waivers, and upload your most recent high school transcripts before May 1, 2024.

Step 3: Complete your program and receive your grade.

Step 4: CIEE's School of Record, Tulane University, will award and issue your transcripts (two official, sealed transcripts) during the winter after your program, usually by December 31. 

Step 5: Submit your official transcripts to the college of your choice (college credit transfers are contingent upon the policies of the college in which you enroll) and if you need additional transcripts, they can be ordered here.

For more information, read our Turn Your Summer Abroad Into College Credits FAQs.

For Parents

Summer abroad applications need to be opened in the name and email of the traveling student. Parents/legal guardians, please do not start applications in your name!

As a parent or legal guardian, you will get your own unique login to be able to see your student’s application.

That access is given to the person listed as “Primary Emergency Contact” in the application, so if you and another parent or legal guardian are involved, make sure you agree on who will be listed as “Primary Emergency Contact”.  

That person will be responsible for logging into the application for key tasks on the application (reading and signing documents or sharing tax information if your student applies to a scholarship) and going over important pre-departure readings.

Having access to your student’s application will also allow you to check on your student’s progress and help them as needed.

If you already have a login, you can connect here!

If you have trouble accessing your parent portal please email hsabroad@ciee.org.

Setting expectations starts at home before any of our programs begin, so we need your help with this!

Traveling internationally is a big deal for anyone, with all the highs and lows that come with it.

  • Support them before they depart for the program by speaking to them about how they will handle those highs and lows.
  • Talk to them about following rules outlined by CIEE and help them understand that they will work with CIEE staff and Program Leaders directly to address any concerns while on program. 

Additionally, create a plan with your student about how and when you will communicate with them during their program. This might look like: a check in when they arrive at their final destination and then weekly calls or emails throughout their time abroad. 

This will help set everyone up for success once they start traveling!

Want to schedule a call? Head to our bookings page to find a time that works for you! Feel free to contact us with any questions, or tune into our weekly Virtual Webinars

Our Application Support page will walk you through the application task by task and is a great resource to have bookmarked as you work on your application.

Preparing for a safe experience starts at home.

Talk to your student about following CIEE rules and staying healthy and safe while abroad. CIEE is dedicated to providing all participants and parents/legal guardians with comprehensive support throughout the program.

Program Leaders are the first resource locally. They’re with students throughout the day and are there to support them through any concerns or issues. The U.S. based Support Team is available as a resource for you at all times, too. The team is trained and experienced in managing conflict, assisting with cultural-adjustment issues, and providing support for emergency situations.

Our staff is knowledgeable and experienced and happy to answer questions, provide assistance, or discuss concerns. The CIEE Support Team is available 24/7 for true emergencies.

For more information watch our Health, Safety, and Security webinar.


We ask that all Language & Culture participants bring their own tablet or laptop. If they do not have one, participants will be provided with a tablet for required classwork. For topic programs, depending on the location, we encourage a tablet or laptop for academic work. Once you are confirmed, there will be a task in your CIEE account where you can note which electronic devices you will bring with you and if your phone will be locked or unlocked.

All participants may bring their personal cell phone for use on Wi-Fi in their downtime and for taking photos to document their experience.

We recommend disconnecting from technology whenever it is not required for classwork to ensure a fully present experience!  

Yes, participants should pack both an adapter and a converter. The adapter simply allows the plugs on your electronics to fit into wall outlets and the converter changes the voltage in the outlet to match that of your devices.

Participants can use Google to determine the type of adapter and converter that is needed for the host country.

During the first week of the program, you will be provided with either a basic loaner phone or a SIM card (for unlocked smart phones) so that you can text and call locally. Neither option provides data.

You can also contact your cell phone provider about paying for an international phone plan that will allow your smartphone to work locally.  

You will be able to use your cell phone on Wi-Fi to stay in contact with family and friends back home. While on Wi-Fi, participants can call, video call, and text using iMessage or other apps, such as WhatsApp. 

To ensure a fully present experience, we recommend contacting family and friends back home no more than 1-2 times per week.

WhatsApp is an app widely used around the world for calling, texting, and video calling. CIEE recommends participants download WhatsApp on their smartphone prior to arrival. All participants who are booked on the group flight to and from the host country will need to have WhatsApp so they can stay in contact with the flight chaperone and their peers on travel day.  

Some countries in Asia use the app LINE instead of WhatsApp. We’ll let you know prior to departure which app will be used on your program.