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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question doesn’t appear below, call our helpful team at 1-800-40-STUDY, or send us an email at We’re happy to help!

1. What are the CIEE High School Summer Abroad programs?

They’re three- and four-week programs conducted at CIEE Study Centers in 27 different locations. As a participant, you’ll join other high school students to discover a new culture and country, and develop your knowledge about a particular subject.

2. What types of programs are offered?

CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs includes three program types: Language & Culture, Service & Leadership, and Global Discovery.

Language & Culture programs include:

Pre- and post-testing through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), 60 hours language learning, at least four hours per week of peer work, five language-based afternoon activities, cultural activities, at least one daylong excursion, and at least one multiday excursion. Applicants may elect the option to earn 4 college credits. See details in question 19. Learn more.

Service & Leadership programs include:

45 hours of meaningful service, at least four hours per week of peer work, survival language class, cultural activities, at least one daylong excursion, and at least one multiday excursion. Learn more.

Global Discovery programs include:

At least 10 hours of classroom study per week culminating in either a certificate, portfolio, or final project; at least four hours per week of peer work; survival language class; cultural activities; at least one daylong excursion; and at least one multiday excursion. Learn more.

3. What is the application deadline and how long does the acceptance process take?

The early application deadline is December 1, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.

75% of funds are awarded are that date, so we encourage you to meet that deadline to increase your chances of being considered for a scholarship and securing a spot in your favorite program.

If you miss the early application deadline, you have until February 17, 2017, 12:00 PM EST. Scholarship applications will not be reviewed if completed after this time.

If you are not planning to apply for a scholarship, admissions are rolling.

If you have any questions, please contact your school or CIEE.

4. What’s included in tuition? What’s not?

Costs covered by CIEE:

  • Two-day in-country orientation
  • All transportation in-country during the program, including excursions and post-program tour
  • Service-learning assignment (for service programs only)
  • All classes and activities
  • Host-family placement or dormitory accommodations
  • Three meals per day
  • For students traveling to programs outside of the U.S., optional supervision and support by a program leader is available – from departure through return to the U.S. gateway airport
  • Additional supervision 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 US-based program participants only)
  • 24/7 support services

Costs covered by participant:

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

5. Are there specific vaccinations I must have before traveling?

Please reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, 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 before participating in CIEE High School Summer Abroad programs.

6. What experience does CIEE have in host countries?

CIEE has been sending students overseas since 1947. Our international Study Centers have longstanding 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.

7. Who are the program leaders?

All program leaders are U.S. high school teachers focused on the program subject-matter or CIEE alumni. They’re carefully chosen through a highly selective review process. They’re proficient in the native language, familiar with the host city and country, and very excited to work with high school students. In addition, all leaders go through intensive training.

8. What cultural differences should I know about before I apply/travel?

CIEE provides useful cultural information during an online pre-departure course. We also strongly suggest all students independently research cultural differences before their designated travel date.

9. What electronics may I bring with me?

We strongly discourage students from bringing electronic devices except for a cell phone to use in case of flight delays or cancellations. While on-site, participants will all be provided a local cell phone for emergencies and have access to a computer lab at the Study Center, where they can use Skype to call home. Among other reasons, we hold this view because frequent communication with friends and family at home can minimize the cultural experience.

For participants in all Language & Culture programs, a tablet will be provided to use in class and for assignments.

10. How do I get a passport and visa?

If you already have a passport, make sure it won’t expire before your return date. Typically, your passport must be valid for 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 website.

For U.S Passport holders, visas are required in advance for participants traveling to China, Ghana, Thailand, and South Africa. CIEE will provide guidance on the visa process, but it is the responsibility of the student to apply for their visa and allow sufficient processing time.

11. When should we expect to hear from CIEE?

Soon after you are accepted into the program, you will join your online pre-departure orientation course. This course will provide information on the program and help you to prepare. Plan to visit your course and your MyCIEE account frequently to keep up-to-date.

12. Is there any financial aid for programs?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for financial aid through the Global Navigator Scholarship fund, available exclusively through CIEE.

13. When and where is the orientation?

A self-paced online pre-departure orientation course is offered to cover many important topics, such as safety, host-family expectations, program expectations and rules, culture shock, and the program itinerary.

U.S. citizens and permanent resident program participants have the option to depart together from a gateway city. While at the airport, their program leader will answer last-minute questions.

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

14. How do I book domestic and international travel?

Upon acceptance, U.S. citizens and permanent resident students will receive information from CIEE about how to book flights.

International students traveling to the U.S. for their programs will receive information from CIEE upon acceptance to the program. CIEE will provide students with any information they need to book travel.

15. How will my son/daughter get money while abroad?

Participants should check with their banks to see what the policy is on withdrawing funds and using bank-issued debit/credit cards abroad. In many countries, 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 not plan to borrow money from CIEE or host families.

16. Will my son/daughter be covered by insurance while participating in a program?

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 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 for instructions on how to submit a claim.

International students traveling to the United States for their programs will be covered by travel insurance in addition to any coverage provided by their own primary insurance providers. The policy covers accidents or illnesses while abroad. It is a supplemental policy and is included in the cost of the program. Students will receive information on how to use this insurance and how to submit a claim should they become ill or injured.

17. How will I ensure that my child is safe overseas? What if I have a specific concern?

CIEE is dedicated to providing all participants and parents with comprehensive support throughout the program. CIEE’s Support Team maintains close communication with CIEE Study Centers and regularly receives updates on students. While the program leader is the first source of assistance locally, the Support Team is available as a resource 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 is happy to answer questions, provide assistance, or discuss concerns. The CIEE Support Team is available 24/7 via phone and by email or Skype.

18. What are the program locations and terms?

Using the Program Overview page you can search all currently offered programs and program locations and terms then individual terms can be found on program pages.

19. How can I earn college credit through CIEE’s High School Summer Abroad Programs?

College credits may be used to apply towards your future college degree, to demonstrate your ability to do college-level work, or to test out of a language level in college. Interested high school students should follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Pick your favorite Global Navigator Language & Culture summer abroad program and elect the "college credit" option in your completed application.
  • Step 2: Pay the $100 non-refundable transcript fee to CIEE and sign the School of Record waiver before 04/13/17.
  • Step 3: Complete your program and receive your grade.
  • Step 4: CIEE/Tulane will award your official transcripts at the end of your program (all grades and credits for students selecting this option are transcripted by Tulane University).
  • 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).

20. When are program fees due?

  • $25 application fee: due upon submittal of application and non-refundable
  • $1,000 acceptance deposit: due within 15 days of acceptance and non-refundable
  • Program fee balance (amount varies for each program): due April 13, 2017 - for cancellation and refund policy, see question 21.
  • $100 college credit option fee:due on April 13, 2017 (for Language & Culture programs only)
  • $25 is applied for a returned check

21. What is the cancellation and refund policy?

  • $25 application fee: non-refundable after submitting application
  • $1,000 acceptance deposit: non-refundable after payment (due 15 days after acceptance)
  • $1,000 of the program balance (due on April 13, 2017): non-refundable after April 13, 2017
  • Half of the Program Fee (amount varies for each program): non-refundable after May 11, 2017
  • Entire Program Fee (amount varies for each program): non-refundable after the Program departure date (including if a participant withdraws or is dismissed)
  • If a Program is cancelled by CIEE for any reason whatsoever (prior to Participant departure): CIEE will refund 100% of Program fees and deposit paid (less the $25 Application Fee)

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