As the education abroad field emerges from lockdown and we look forward to 2021, it is important to be purposeful in selecting study abroad partner organizations. Choosing a partner that is mission-driven, focused on student success, and keenly aware of their responsibility to ensure student safety abroad is vital to the successful relaunch of a university’s internationalization efforts. Who you choose to collaborate with moving forward will help shape our field for years to come.
At CEA Study Abroad, we pride ourselves on being an innovative partner who provides programming to meet our university partners’ academic needs. Our teams in the U.S. and abroad are made up of career study abroad professionals who have molded CEA Study Abroad into the mission-driven organization it is today. From our executive leadership to our entry-level interns, we all believe in and live the organization’s core values every day.
As we look to 2021, we asked our teams what they think sets CEA apart as a study abroad partner. Here are our reasons:
21 Reasons to Partner with CEA Study Abroad in 2021
CEA Core Values:
At CEA, our Core Values are more than just a list we pulled together -- it’s our way of life and a fundamental component of our culture. When we discuss our Values internally, it’s always followed by a reference to “Who We Are and What We Do,” because they guide every decision we make.
1. Inspire Academic Excellence:
CEA’s goal and mission is to facilitate learning experiences that challenge intellectual and cultural paradigms. We apply this to our course designs, the locations and programs we launch, and most importantly, the staff and faculty we hire. Inspiring Academic Excellence permeates our daily operations, from setting budgets, designing extra and co-curricular activities, and ultimately our hands-on work to ensure student success.
2. Think Forward:
We innovate through dynamic thought and creative ingenuity. We strive to perfect our programs, provide better services to our university partners and students, and continue to innovate in our offerings and within the field at large.
3. Put People First:
We commit to investing in people, and have been doing so since our inception in 1997. We take great care in investing in our staff and faculty, and this shows in the long tenure of our teams. Our staff are the pillars that support our students, university partners, both in the U.S. and abroad, and make CEA a valued organization in the field.
4. Make a Positive Impact:
Study abroad is not just a job, but a calling to make a difference in the lives of others. CEA staff believes in our responsibility to make a positive difference beyond our day-to-day work. Our teams benefit from time off opportunities specifically for volunteering and engaging in community projects. This core value reaches our students through our carefully planned extra and co-curricular activities, including volunteer and service learning opportunities that are designed to foster a strong relationship with the local host communities.
5. Be One Team:
It takes a village to put together meaningful and impactful study abroad programs. This collaboration spans across our teams in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to our university partners in the study abroad office, career services, admissions, and the many faculty and departments across campus. We believe in working together to ensure students benefit from academically and culturally meaningful experiences across all our programs.
6. Embrace Differences:
We recognize, welcome, and value uniqueness. Our workforce in the U.S. and around the world is comprised of individuals with a variety of identities that reflects our students. We strive for equity by including those of racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse backgrounds; varying socio-economic statuses, abilities, and age ranges; first-generation college students; and LBGTQIA+. As an international organization dedicated to global education, CEA embraces diversity to cultivate respect, inclusion, and academic excellence. We believe that exposing students to a diverse set of cultures, ideas, and people will prepare them to be thoughtful global citizens.
7. QUIP Recognition:
CEA successfully completed the Forum on Education Abroad's Quality Improvement Program (QUIP), as such all CEA programs are QUIP-recognized. As the only independent review system in education abroad, QUIP recognizes CEA’s commitment to high quality education abroad programs, which means: ensuring academic integrity, improving local operations and international programming, maintaining compliance through regular reviews, and evaluating policies and procedures continually.
8. Our School of Record:
The QUIP review panel described the relationship between CEA and our School of Record, University of New Haven (UNH), as the strongest such relationship they’ve ever seen. And, we couldn’t agree more! We value the guidance and support that UNH provides as we develop course syllabi, academic programs, and hire our academic staff and instructors. They also share our commitment to continuous improvement, which includes annual Academic Performance Reviews of our study centers.
9. CEA Study Centers:
With eight Study Centers around the world, you’ll find a student-centered academic model that focuses on discipline-based learning, fostering intercultural competence, and providing numerous opportunities for personal development. Located in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Seville, CEA Study Centers also offer unique opportunities for U.S. faculty to develop customized programs in collaboration with our skilled onsite staff. Faculty will receive expert support in identifying co-curricular activities, CEA-taught courses, housing, classroom space, excursions, cultural and social activities, as well as health, safety, and risk management.
10. Course Development:
We pride ourselves on being a partner to our U.S. universities. One of the many ways in which we do this is through course development. CEA has developed numerous courses at our Study Center locations, including virtual course options in response to university needs and requests. Examples include: Electrical Circuits in Paris and Supply Chain Management in Dublin. We are always open to conversations about course development.
11. Business Curriculum:
CEA offers business programs with multiple concentrations in 16 locations around the world, with seven university partners holding AACSB accreditation. This, combined with ample networking opportunities through CEA’s access to local industry leaders, provides students with a robust study abroad experience that deepens their understanding of comparative and global business practices.
12. STEM Curricula:
CEA helps make study abroad possible for STEM majors by offering courses such as Calculus III, Physics II (with a lab!), and Plant Biodiversity during terms that work well for a highly sequenced curricula. Additionally, more than half of CEA’s program destinations offer courses suitable for Engineering and Computer Science majors. New to the lineup is a summer Engineering & Math program at our Prague Study Center, which features upper level math courses suitable for most engineering majors, and even math majors.
13. Virtual Programming:
This summer, CEA launched its portfolio of virtual programming, including study and internship options. Our Virtual Internships Program provides students with an international professional experience -- from home. Virtual programming is here to stay, and as we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, we’re excited to collaborate with our U.S. university partners on innovative and outside-the-box, academically enriching programming for students.
14. Custom Courses:
CEA’s university partners and their faculty can design courses specifically for their student cohort. By partnering with CEA, you’ll have access to our team of Academic Directors and international faculty with decades of experience in course design for U.S. study abroad students. Courses can be strictly reserved to the university’s cohort, or open for enrollment to other CEA students, depending on course timing and location.
15. Holistic Journey to Career Readiness:
CEA’s internship abroad programs do more than place students in an internship. We engage with them on a 3-part journey toward career readiness. The journey starts with a career exploration program led by certified career coaches. This is followed by a uniquely selected internship placement interconnected with a course that focuses on the development of 8 core career readiness competencies as designated by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers). The journey concludes with a customized career assessment that both the student and the university receive to continue their career trajectory.
Commitment to Excellence:
16. Health, Safety, and Student Support:
The health and safety of students is our top priority. It informs how we prepare for our programs on the ground, and how we prepare students to go abroad. This is true now more than ever as we work with our university partners both in the U.S. and abroad, and our onsite staff to implement protocols that will safeguard student health. From pre-departure to arrival and while onsite, our CEA staff is ready to support students, and educate them on how to stay healthy and mitigate unnecessary risk during their program.
17. Focus on Career Readiness:
Our vision is to enhance the employability of students, and this guides us in everything we do. Since Spring 2018, CEA has partnered with NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) and SkillSurvey to develop an assessment tool for student career readiness, and the NACE Core Competencies serve as the foundation for our internship program. Additionally, students learn how to leverage their abroad experience in the job market through career readiness workshops onsite. Beyond their program, students can join our Alumni Ambassador program, which helps students hone their networking and interpersonal skills.
18. Dedication to the Student Experience:
CEA subscribes to an active learning pedagogy through our Academic Integrated Cultural Activities Program (AICAP). This program takes advantage of the city as an extension of the classroom for hands-on learning, and drawing connections between firsthand observations and the subject being studied. In addition to AICAP, students experience structured co-curricular activities providing avenues to learn more about the host culture and engage in meaningful ways within the host community.
19. Custom & Faculty-Led Programs:
CEA has extensive experience supporting custom and faculty-led programs in our host cities abroad. We specialize in academically-focused programs that are at least three weeks in length, where we can draw upon our local expertise to facilitate immersive educational experiences such as site visits, guest lectures, cultural and social activities, and excursions. Of course, we also provide housing, transportation, medical and liability insurance, and 24/7 student services and support. CEA’s university partners and faculty will benefit from our robust support at every stage of the program lifecycle.
20. CEA Support for Signature Programs:
With CEA’s program development experience and local expertise, together we can create a distinctive program that integrates into your university’s curricula and helps increase student retention. You can: develop sustainable programming that doesn’t rely on a specific faculty leader, provide opportunities for underrepresented groups, or even develop customized curricula for Honors or First Year students. The possibilities are endless, and each signature program will be unique to your university’s needs.
21. Commitment to our Field:
CEA is committed to education abroad, and to our university partners and students. Through consistent communication, engaging webinar series, frequently presenting at conferences, and our CEA Advisory Board, we strive to give back to the field we all hold dear. Moreover, we commit to providing the highest quality academic and culturally focused programs to our students. It is our goal to continue to partner with you to make 2021 the most innovative year yet!
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