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5 posts from September 2016

CIEE's Interns in Boston & Beyond: A Summer in Review


0804 Boston Lunch
Several CIEE interns enjoy lunch with Boston-based CIEE staff.

CIEE is all over the world, but did you know that we’re in Boston too? As you’ve seen on the blog and social media, we had a great group of interns working for CIEE in our Boston office this summer in addition to our alumni intern group in Portland. They spent the summer exploring digital assets and brand management at CIEE study centers around the globe, working with an international taskforce of CIEE staff to have meaningful conversations about digital strategy. Part of the international team was another intern, Cameron Masters, based at CIEE Global Institute – Berlin in Germany. The dynamic group of interns, both alumni and newcomers to CIEE, worked across time zones to complete the extensive project, resulting in a final presentation at CIEE’s headquarters in Portland, Maine.

Here are some fun facts about our digital strategy and brand management interns from this past summer:

Boston intern feature

What was it like to intern at CIEE Global Institute – Berlin? Cameron gives us the inside scoop:

“I am very fortunate to have worked as an intern on CIEE's digital marketing taskforce, while staying on site at CIEE Global Institute – Berlin in Kreuzberg. Revisiting Berlin, where I spent a year abroad in high school, was absorbing, and working with both the team of interns in Boston and the staff and faculty at CIEE Global Institute – Berlin was very rewarding and productive. By the end of the two months in Berlin, our team produced a series of social media guidelines for CIEE that are now beginning to be implemented on the ground. I am incredibly appreciative of my Boston teammates' hard work, and by the professionalism and support of the faculty and staff at both CIEE Global Institute – Berlin and Portland.”

What was a summer in Boston with CIEE like? (Hint: there was a lot of Skype!) Kerry put together this video of snapshots from the interns’ summer together, working hard in the Boston office, exploring the city, and visiting global headquarters in Portland, Maine:

Alumni Update - September 2016



Newsmakers: Alumni Featured in The Huffington Post 

Three CIEE Study Abroad alumni were recently featured in a Huffington Post article titled "Jobs Requiring Chinese: So You Want To Work In Chinese?" In the article, the author interviews ten early-career professionals who've built careers using their Chinese language skills, giving readers an idea of how they can turn Chinese language skills into a career for themselves. The CIEE alumni featured are John Urban (CIEE Study Abroad, Beijing), who coordinates academic affairs at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Nicholas Clark (CIEE Study Abroad, Beijing), college admissions counselor at Tiandao Education, and Azuraye Wycoff (CIEE Study Abroad, Nanjing), who manages U.S. business school trips to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Read the full article here.

Have you been featured in the news? We'd love to hear about it! Email

Join CIEE as a Global Navigator High School Program Leader

Do you have a passion for supporting high school students in their pursuit to study abroad? CIEE is hiring Program Leaders committed to the process of education, cross-cultural learning, and leadership development for the Global Navigator High School Summer programs in summer 2017. Apply to be based in one of over 20 countries where you will facilitate intercultural, experiential opportunities for high school students visiting the host country. This job is perfect for alumni of CIEE Study Abroad programs or full-time high school teachers looking for a meaningful way to spend their summer. Apply online today.

Congratulations to our Alumni Summer Interns

The alumni summer internship session is officially over and we've said goodbye to a talented group of ten interns as they made their way back to their colleges for senior year. The group worked hard on their projects in collaboration with a variety of departments at CIEE's global headquarters in Portland, Maine. As a part of the internship program, interns also enjoyed weekly professional development seminars as well as bonding activities like kayaking, The Escape Room, a Portland Sea Dogs Baseball game, and more. View the summer internship recap on the blog to learn more about these interns' hard work and fun-filled summer.

I-LEAD Brought Interns to Seattle this August

The Intern Leadership Enrichment and Development (I-LEAD) program, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is an all expenses-paid, six-day program that offers 60 delegates selected from the J-1 intern program an opportunity to refine and enhance their leadership skills through dynamic workshops. This years' delegates learned about leadership, entrepreneurship, and community impact while in Seattle. Participants had a great time networking and learning together. Check out a few of our favorite Instagram posts from the 2016 I-LEAD program:



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Read about the most recent CIEE Local Chapter events on the blog.






Our September Alum of the Month is Ria Jagasia, who studied abroad with CIEE in Tokyo, Japan this past spring. Now in her junior year at Vanderbilt University, Ria studies human and organizational development with an international leadership and development track and an Asian studies double major. After studying Japanese language in school, Ria was inspired to go to Japan for a semester abroad, where she immersed herself in Japanese culture while living with a host family. As a guest blogger for the CIEE Alumni blog, Ria will be posting a series of articles related to traveling and living abroad in Japan. Be sure to check the blog frequently for new articles! 

Read her first article today: "Top 3 Foods for a Summer in Tokyo"

Do you have your own story to share? Email us:


Are You Considering Doing CIEE Teach Abroad or TEFL Certification Courses? Hear About Program Experiences from Participants Themselves

“The course has taught me so much, both about the technical aspects of teaching like classroom management and lesson planning, and about the cultural and emotional elements – the ways in which teachers may have to adjust to unusual circumstances or teaching environments. I feel way more prepared and at ease having taken it.” –Chauncey Grossley (CIEE TEFL Certification) on preparing to teach in South Korea

"As I approached the end of my college career I lacked clarity with my long-term career goals. However, there were a few things I knew for certain: I love to travel, I have a passion for languages and Spain stole my heart during my semester abroad. I realized teaching English abroad would be a great way to combine these three certainties after graduating! However, the idea of moving my life back to Spain was beyond daunting. Where would I even begin?! That's where CIEE came in. I chose to teach in Spain with CIEE because they put my mind at ease. They provided the support, guidance, and assistance I needed to take the leap to teach English abroad. If you are thinking about teaching in Spain, but feel overwhelmed with where to begin, consider beginning with CIEE." -Sarah Kelly (CIEE Teach Abroad in Spain)

Visit the CIEE Teach Abroad and CIEE TEFL pages to learn more. 



From left: The CIEE Alumni New York City Chapter hosts a networking happy hour at B Bar and Grill; the CIEE Alumni Boston Chapter has an event at Legal Sea Foods; and CIEE's Alumni Engagement Coordinator volunteers at one of USA High School's orientation weeks in NYC, meeting many high school exchange students that are excited for their #bestyearever.

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Meet Ria Jagasia: Blog Contributor, Study Alum, and September's Alum of the Month

Our Alum of the Month for September is Ria Jagasia, who studied abroad with CIEE in Tokyo, Japan this past spring. Now in her junior year at Vanderbilt University, Ria studies human and organizational development with an international leadership and development track and an Asian studies double major. At Vanderbilt, Ria works with the International Student and Scholars Services office in a program called International Learning, Empowering, Advising, and Developing (iLEAD), where current students lead a group of eight new international students through orientation and their first semester on campus. iLEAD involves seminars on college-relevant topics such as mental health, safety, and academics in the U.S. classroom, as well as fun social events organized by mentors like Ria. Another activity that this Alum of the Month is involved in is the Diwali showcase, which celebrates the Hindu holiday on campus. Since she was little, Ria has learned a traditional Indian dance form called Kathak and gets to share her talents at the Diwali cultural performance, which has been on of her biggest highlights of life on campus.

Ria (middle) wearing a yukata with friends in Japan.

When we asked Ria why she decided to study abroad in Japan, she replied, "As an Asian studies major, I decided to study Japanese during my freshman year and loved the language and what we learned about Japanese culture. I have always loved traveling, especially in Asia, and the new experiences it brings, so I thought study abroad would be a perfect fit for me. I really hope I get to go back to Tokyo soon!"

While abroad, Ria blogged about her journey through a Wordpress site she created called Jochi Journeys. Blogging was a great way for Ria to reflect on her experience and share insights with prospective students who are considering study abroad in Japan. We're excited to have Ria join CIEE Alumni as a guest blogger and to learn more about life as a CIEE Study Abroad student in Tokyo, Japan. Be sure to visit the CIEE Alumni blog weekly and read her stories. Her first post is about Japanese food - something you won't want to miss!

To see more photos from Ria's study abroad semester, check out her Instagram account: @jochijourneys


Are you interested in guest blogging for the CIEE Alumni blog? Send us an email with information on when/where you went abroad with CIEE to get started. Alumni from any and all of CIEE's programs are welcome! 

Top 3 Foods for a Summer in Tokyo

Tokyo is a wonderful city for a foodie, and even more so during the summer when the best way to escape the heat is through food. There are a multitude of foods that I enjoyed during my stay, but my top three during the summer were cold soba, kakigori, and ume juice.

1. Soba


While ramen tends to come to people’s minds first when thinking of Japanese cuisine, soba is equally as popular. Soba, or buckwheat noodles, can be served cold or hot, cold being preferred in the summer. My favorite soba experience was in Ginza, the high-end shopping district in Tokyo. Since my friend from out-of-town was visiting, I wanted to take her for a traditional Japanese meal and found a restaurant in the Edo-Tokyo museum that we were exploring. I ordered zaru soba which came in a platter with a mentsuyu (dipping sauce) and some sliced green onions. Atop the zaru soba is some shredded nori, which is a popular seaweed. The combination of the crispy nori, smooth noodles dipped in mentsuyu, and the crunch of the green onions makes for an amazing lunch. While food in Ginza tends to be priced higher, there are many noodle shops around Tokyo that provide a filling meal for a couple of dollars.

2. Kakigori


Kakigori is another popular summer go-to. While the Japanese name may seem unfamiliar, it is known to many as ‘shaved ice’. Those living in the United States may think of shaved ice as a carnival food served in a cup or cone drizzled with a sweet flavored syrup. People living in East Asia may think of the larger Korean patbinsgu, meaning ‘red beans with ice’, usually decorated with a variety of fresh fruits, sweet rice cakes, and condensed milk. Kakigori finds a middle ground between these two by adopting the shape of the classic American round shaved ice while incorporating flavors and toppings found in patbingsu, those familiar to the Asian palate. My favorite kakigori was actually in an okonomiyaki (savory pancakes filled with cabbage and meat) shop in Asakusa, Tokyo called Sometaro. Okonomiyaki are these delicious savory pancakes filled with cabbage and meat. I visited Sometaro a handful of times and could not leave without having one of their kakigori. While these may not be the most elaborate kakigori you could find in Tokyo, it was just as delicious. They had two popular varieties, one topped with anko (sweetened red beans) and another topped with green tea syrup. Both include a sweet condensed milk and are served in small bowls.

3. Ume Juice

Ume juice

Lastly, ume (plum) juice had to be one of the most memorable drinks I tried while staying in Japan. During the rainy season in the summer, ume-flavored foods are found everywhere as this is the time of the year when they are ripe. Ume juice is made by placing unripe ume and sugar together in a jar, allowing for the extraction of the plum juice. My host mom made her own plum juice and I had no idea what to expect when I tried it, but a little bit of the juice packs a punch! It is highly concentrated but very smooth and sweet. Mixing in a few cubes of ice makes it the perfect drink for the summer and something I wish I could make here in the U.S., but I am sure no plum I could find back home would match the flavor of the Japanese variety. Another widespread use of ume is in alcohol. Umeshu, or a plum liqueur, can be found in the city’s izakayas (bars) and is readily consumed during the peak of the rainy season. Like the juice, it is heavily concentrated and full of flavor.

These are only a few of the many amazing delicacies found in Tokyo. With a plethora of restaurants serving both traditional Japanese food and food from around the world, it was impossible to see, let alone eat, everything in four months! I hope that my next trip back will allow for new dining experiences and tasting more of the food that defines Japan.

By: Ria Jagasia (CIEE Study Abroad, Tokyo, Japan, 2016)

Congratulations to our Alumni Summer Interns