Commitment to International Education

We recognize that the success, and value, of every CIEE program is contingent on its accessibility to participants – particularly those from nontraditional backgrounds. That’s why we’re committed to breaking down the three principal barriers to international education and exchange: cost, curriculum, and culture.

We do this by offering students, teachers, and young professionals million of dollars annually in financial support and by continuing to design curricula and pioneer diverse programming that is built around the needs and interests of all students. Through these efforts we're working to ensure that all students – regardless of socioeconomic background, culture, or major – have access to the highest-quality international exchange experience.​

Access to international education and exchange

Breaking Down Barriers

CIEE offers millions of dollars annually in financial support to make the exchange experience possible for more students.

Strategic Partnerships

We’re dedicated to sponsorship, outreach, and community projects centered on education, leadership, and access to transformative educational experiences for underrepresented groups.

To do this, we partner with a select group of organizations – locally, nationally, and internationally – that share our values and are dedicated to providing meaningful investments in the communities in which we live and operate.


Founded in 1919, Institute of International Education (IIE) is a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing international education and improving access to education around the world. In 2014, IIE challenged those involved in the field of international education to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad, bringing the number to 600,000 by the end of this decade. CIEE is proud to embrace this challenge and work with the IIE to support its Generation Study Abroad™ initiative.

As part of an exciting three-year partnership, CIEE is supporting the global social movement Girl Rising to raise awareness and create lasting change by eliminating the barriers to education for girls worldwide. As part of this effort, CIEE is:

  • Sponsoring 1,500 screenings of the film Girl Rising at CIEE study centers, partner organizations, member institutions, and more around the globe
  • Administering educational scholarships for girls to attend CIEE programs
  • Providing seed grants for community development projects that address educational barriers
  • Developing college curriculum around international development, education, and women’s rights

Each year, the Justice for Women Lecture Series and the University of Maine School of Law bring a distinguished speaker to the Greater Portland community to contribute to a global conversation about justice for women and girls in the developing world. CIEE is proud to have supported the Justice for Women Lecture Series since its founding. Past speakers include: Zainah Anwar from Malaysia (2017), Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda from Zimbabwe (2016), Ruchira Gupta from India (2015), Dr. Sima Samar from Afghanistan (2014), Leymah Gbowee from Liberia (2013), and The Honorable Unity Dow from Botswana (2012).

For nearly 20 years, CIEE and Mobility International USA (MIUSA) have partnered to advance disability rights and leadership globally by providing more opportunities for students with disabilities to take part in international exchange. CIEE has served as a member of the Roundtable Consortium, an advisory board to MIUSA’s National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, since 1996. In March 2015, the organizations announced a partnership to offer 25 scholarships to U.S. college students with disabilities to study abroad in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By encouraging people of every age to become global citizens, the nonprofit World Affairs Council of Maine helps connect Maine and the world, a mission shared by CIEE for 70 years. Since 2010, CIEE has been a proud sponsor of their Global Connections Lunchtime Series, which is hosted at our world headquarters and open to the public. Lectures have ranged from “Challenges to Women’s Empowerment in the Arab Awakening” to “Human Rights in Iran” and “Globalization 2.0.” CIEE is honored to help bring these discussions on important international issues to the Portland community.