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Council on International Educational Exchange

Council on International Educational Exchange

A nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. Since 1947, CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available.

 

We began nearly 70 years ago with a mission: to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. It’s an undertaking we’ve been proud to pursue for seven decades.

 

Today, we serve more than 340 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and 35,000-plus international exchange students each year.

 

We change lives; our alumni change the world.

 

Our Story

This is our story, one of transformation and expanding horizons.

 

Since the late 1940s we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing educational experiences that transform the lives of all they touch and to transforming our organization to meet the changing needs of both the times and our participants.

It’s more than a collection of events and milestones; it’s a story of how we’ve shifted focus from one critical issue to the next while never losing sight of our mission. We’ve boldly taken the lead in the past, and we’re honored by the opportunity to lead the way into the future.

 

This is our history. And we’re proud of it.


In the years immediately following World War II, a number of organizations and institutions emerged in the U.S. and abroad that were dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence and respect between nations through student and teacher exchange programs. It soon became clear that these organizations needed expert assistance in coordinating their efforts.


To fulfill that need, CIEE (or the Council on Student Travel, as it was then known) was founded in 1947 and, in its first year of operation, attracted the participation of 32 member organizations. These were primarily U.S. nonprofits and cultural agencies that were engaged in sponsoring groups of students who wanted to travel to Europe for educational purposes.

 

By the mid-1950s, the Council on Student Travel (CST) was facilitating travel by U.S. students to study in Europe and bringing international students to the U.S. At the same time, CST established operations abroad and began sponsoring conferences on student travel for administrators, educators, and teachers.

 

In the 1960s, CST emerged as the locus of strategic and policy discussions on the future direction of intercultural education. In recognition of this strategic shift, in 1967 the Council on Student Travel changed its name to the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).

 

Over the past seven decades, CIEE has continually redefined its focus to meet the changing needs and expectations of students, faculty, staff, and institutions, solidifying its leadership as the world’s premier international educational organization.

 

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