Since 1997, CEA has maintained one simple philosophy: To provide high-quality international academic programs and services. For you, that means support through each step of your study abroad experience, from the moment you apply to the day you return home again. Along the way, you’ll learn to adapt and communicate across cultures. You’ll earn credits toward graduation while gaining skills that enhance your employability. And you’ll discover more about yourself than you ever thought possible.
Studying abroad is more than just an academic experience — it’s a life experience. A CEA education abroad expands the boundaries of your education and transforms the world into your classroom. With destinations in 21 cities across 12 countries, CEA offers a balance of academics and adventure to thousands of students each year. Where will your learning take you?
Brian Boubek’s undergraduate study abroad program in France changed his life… but he also knew the experience could have been better. That’s why Brian created CEA: to ensure that students enjoy seamless support, from the moment they first consider studying abroad to the day they return home again (and beyond!) Almost 20 years later, Brian’s goals—creating a simple pre-departure process, facilitating high-quality academic programs, offering opportunities for meaningful cultural engagement, and preparing students for a global workplace—still inform everything we do at CEA.READ MORE ABOUT BRIAN
Brian is an entrepreneur and leader in global education who has built his career helping today's student become globally competitive. In 1997, Brian founded CEA Study Abroad after a life-changing study abroad experience in Dijon, France. Brian felt that his time in France was so empowering and insightful that he wanted to provide the same opportunity to everyone.
"CEA's success is built on our ability to design and implement innovative, high-quality academic programs that meet the needs of today's university student. In the current higher education environment, global competency is no longer a luxury. CEA is meeting that challenge by providing the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the global economy."
Since its beginning as a study abroad provider, Brian has led CEA as the company grew to become one of the largest for-profit international education companies in the U.S with operations throughout the world and more-than 170 employees worldwide. CEA enrolls more than 4,000 U.S. university students annually in over 100 academic programs.
Brian earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Commerce (BSC) degree in both Marketing and Finance from DePaul University (Ill.). He studied French language at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France and the Alliance Française in Paris. In addition, he is also a graduate of the "Birthing of Giants" Executive Education program hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum and Inc. Magazine.
A resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Brian is married with two children. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, worldwide travel, new business start-ups, and anything related to food and wine.
José B. Alvarez, Ph.D., serves as CEA’s senior academic leader and member of the CEA Executive Team. José sets CEA’s academic vision, ensuring the alignment of all academic offering and projects with CEA's School of Record and university partners. In addition, he is responsible for establishing and managing CEA’s external Advisory Board, in order to further innovate our curriculum and increase the diversity of our academic offerings. José also plays a strong collaborative role in CEA's U.S. university engagement initiatives to support the alignment of our messaging and training regarding CEA’s academic programs and expertise.
José holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. Prior to working with CEA, José was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia for 12 years, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. His research emphasis focused on the analysis of the cultural production of Latin America, more specifically the study of films and literary texts produced in Cuba from the inception of the Revolution until the early 1990's. He directed more than 25 master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.
While at UGA, he created and directed UGA en España, a comprehensive set of study abroad programs with four sites in Spain, which was later expanded to Cuba, Venezuela and Peru. Prior to his time teaching, José was an Academic Dean for Latin American, Caribbean, and Europe programs for SIT Study Abroad, where he was responsible for more than 30 programs in multiple locations on two continents.
José has lived in Switzerland, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain, and Italy, and has traveled extensively across the globe. He wants to tell students to explore, live, struggle, and ultimately conquer foreign culture to the point of making it their own: "Embracing differences will only make them stronger. It is not an easy task, as being in someone's comfort zone is the easiest path, however going beyond it will enrich the experience, promote growth, and equip them with language skills and intercultural understanding that will last a lifetime and influence their perspective forever."
PAPERS AND ACADEMIC LECTURES PRESENTED
Caroline Walsh is responsible for the alignment and growth of CEA’s current product portfolio and expansion into new markets. She works closely with leadership within University Relations to identify university needs and trends and collaborates with Academic Affairs and CEA staff worldwide to design and deliver new programs and academic partnerships that are best suited to meet the needs of our U.S. university partners.
Prior to joining CEA, Caroline worked in the Public Information Office for the Santa Clara Water District, at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, and at the Office of International Student Scholars at UW-Madison. She has a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from UW-Madison (Wisc.), a certificate of global leadership from the Thunderbird School of Management (Ariz.) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Santa Clara University (Calif.).
While living for a year in Madrid, Spain, Caroline used her school breaks and weekends to travel throughout Spain and many other countries within Europe. She also lived in Bolivia and Brazil, and traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Caroline thinks it's OK for students to be uncomfortable when traveling abroad: "It is in these moments we learn about ourselves and the new culture we are visiting. When you leave your comfort zone, you grow. You'll feel awkward and out of place many times, but that's OK. Don't shy away from difficult moments or stay where you are comfortable, you may be surprised at how strong you are."
Lee Sutherlin is CEA’s Senior Vice President of University Relations and Marketing. As SVP, Lee leads all aspects of revenue generation within the University Relations, Enrollment and Marketing departments and partners with colleges and universities to provide high quality international education opportunities to their students.
Lee brings strong sales and marketing leadership cultivated during her 31 years at Cengage Learning, the education content provider. Most recently, in the position of Vice President of Sales, West Region, she led a sales team of 150 people and was responsible for over $285 million in revenue.
Over her career, Lee’s passion for education, coupled with her intellectual curiosity, has driven her to coaching and mentoring successful professionals. She enjoys working alongside her team on university campuses and has visited more than 2,000 higher education institutions and met with countless professors, department chairs, deans, and other university officials.
Tim Boubek is the Vice President of University Relations. CEA established its University Relations department to serve as a vital resource to enhance university outreach efforts throughout the U.S. Tim leads the team of CEA Regional Consultants to foster collaborative relationships with university partners, and provides U.S. institutions with a keen knowledge of CEA operations, from student recruitment, admissions, and planning through their time abroad and return to their U.S. campus.
Tim brings many years of study abroad experience to the position, having served previously in several operational capacities at CEA. A current member of NAFSA, he graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement - Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration. He earned a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.
Eric has managed the reorganization and expansion of international operations at four higher educational institutions. His work focuses on effective and efficient enhancements that meet diverse internal and external client needs in a continually changing international education landscape, improve organizational systems and structures for clarity, and streamline communication and data-flow processes. He received his BFA and MA from New York University and his doctorate from the University of Southern California.
Eric has 21 years of experience in educational policy and programming, academic curriculum development and accreditation, admissions, risk assessment and crisis management, student and staff development, and non-profit event management. He’s currently focused on developing cutting-edge student learning outcomes assessment models, both in and outside of the classroom setting, that utilize databases linked to student assessment to track learning outcomes longitudinally and multi-dimensionally across an institution.
Eric has authored articles on various international education issues, including a chapter in NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad, Fourth Edition. He presents globally on topics relating to international education and diversity; risk assessment and mitigation; and the deployment of technology in global operations of higher educational institutions, with a particular focus on the specific needs of global processes while integrating with other systems.
He is a faculty member at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, where he teaches on effectively leading organizational change, combining theory with real-life application, in USC’s doctoral program for education leaders. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors for various international foundations focused on sustainable change and innovation in a wide range of policy areas including: education, environment, health, diversity, religion, gender, and economic equality.
Previously, Eric served as the Director of Student Services for the world’s largest study abroad program, annually managing all aspects of student well-being and crisis management for 4,000 students in 10 countries. Eric was team-lead for opening U.S. higher educational institutions in Argentina, China, Costa Rica, France, Ghana, and the United Kingdom, and for expanding existing programs in Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Spain, Thailand, and other countries. Eric has traveled to more than 55 countries.
At CEA, we strive to increase students’ access to the life-changing benefits of study abroad. Through scholarship funding, partnerships, academic and non-academic programming, and student advising, we help students from underrepresented groups take their education global.
We commit more than $2 million to our scholarship and grant programs each year, including a CEA Diversity scholarship that awards students up to $2,000 toward study abroad costs.
Strategic partnerships within higher education help us reach a broader student population, often by utilizing non-traditional channels. For instance, we’ve developed a program that provides first-generation students with grants and awards to cover the cost of obtaining their first passport. We also connect with students through our partnership with Sigma Lambda Beta, a traditionally Hispanic fraternity.
We partner with faculty to create short-term, faculty-led programs that resonate with a broad spectrum of diverse students. Examples include programs for first-generation students to San José, Costa Rica and Rome, Italy; a program that explores Paris’ LGBT culture; and programs designed specifically for STEM students.
Our Mobile Journalist (MOJO) and Alumni Ambassador programs allow students to connect with their peers while they’re abroad and when they return to their home campuses. Both programs allow prospective students to reach out to a familiar face and ask questions about the realities of life abroad.
Our initiative to train U.S. and international staff through the Safe Zone Program helps ensure that students feel comfortable asking CEA staff anything…even the difficult questions. For instance, if a student needs to know about gender-neutral housing options, Safe Zone training empowers CEA sta-to provide answers within a safe space, making that student’s study abroad experience more inclusive, comfortable, and enriching.
The mission of CEA is to create and facilitate opportunities for academic achievement, global competence and personal growth through quality international education.
We facilitate learning experiences that challenge intellectual and cultural paradigms
We develop and enhance partnerships to achieve mutual goals
We innovate through dynamic thought and creative ingenuity
We commit to investing in people
We create a meaningful difference within our organization and communities
We recognize, welcome, and value uniqueness