The organisation has been cooperating with US colleges and universities to ensure their international students can continue experiencing and participating in unique study programs despite travel restrictions.

“We also recognise that this pandemic will leave us with permanent changes”

CIEE is currently running programs for more than 1,200 students in Shanghai, China and Seoul, South Korea, in addition a new centre in Legon, Ghana.

The organisation already stands to support over 300 partners from Spring 2021.

“Due to travel restrictions related to Covid-19, many of our university partners were concerned they would lose their relationships with international students who were unable to be on campus this fall in the United States,” said CIEE vice president of Global Enrolment, Seamus Harrys.

“We’re pleased we were able to help those partners maintain international student enrolment by creating cohort-based living and learning “American classroom” experiences in the students’ home countries.”

Via partnerships with institutions including Tulane, Rutgers, Penn State, and Syracuse University, “students have been able to establish or retain their sense of belonging and connection to their American home schools, while preparing for the eventual transition to their US campuses,” Harrys added.

The custom international programs are a “critical strategic solution” to help university leaders achieve academic and financial goals during unprecedented times, CIEE president and CEO James P. Pellow added.

“Each of these programs integrates the university’s particular enrolment goals, academic excellence, and unique student life program elements that support student development, student bonding, and student achievement,” Pellow stated.

First-year international students will be introduced to their American universities in a comfortable setting that “facilitates the building of strong inter-student bonds and the honing of critical academic skills”, he continued.

“While we join the world in hoping for a vaccine and effective treatments for Covid-19, we also recognise that this pandemic will leave us with permanent changes to the way we live our lives, and therefore, how international programs must be designed and delivered,” Pellow noted.

“We are creating in real time the ‘new normal’ of international study abroad programs and we look forward to helping our partners transition to these new approaches to the important work of international educators.”

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