CEA's Story

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CEA Advantage

As students and universities grow ever more cognizant of the key role study abroad plays in gaining the knowledge, skills, and experience that characterize globally competent and employable graduates, CEA is positioned to support these needs. We’re here to help universities internationalize their institution, education, students, and faculty through a range of academic programs and services. We pride ourselves on offering exemplary service to students throughout the study abroad experience, from our attentive Admissions Counselors and Site Specialists to our innovative implementation of instructional technology and local knowledge on-site.

We integrate a rigorous process of internal and external quality review into our academic programming, and provide professional development opportunities for our faculty. By choosing CEA, you gain an experienced partner in study abroad who provides you with the value-added toolbox you need to support your internationalization efforts. As our global network grows, we look forward to collaborating with you and your team to advance the future of study abroad.

To request more information, contact your Regional Director or call 1-877.449.2775.

CEA provides life changing academic experiences


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 26 cities across 15 countries, CEA offers a balance of academics and adventure to thousands of students each year. Where will your learning take you?

Founded on a Promise

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

Our Philosophy

Since 1997, CEA has maintained one simple philosophy: To provide high-quality international academic programs and services. For students and universities, that means support through each step of the study abroad experience, from start to finish. Along the way, students learn to adapt and communicate across cultures. They earn credits toward graduation while gaining skills that enhance their employability.



Our Vision

Enhance the Employability of 35,000 CEA Students by 2025.

Our Mission & Values

Increasing Access to Study Abroad

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.

Increasing Access Through Funding

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.

Increasing Access through Partnerships

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.

Increasing Access through Custom & Faculty-led Programs

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.

Increasing Access through Peer Advising

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.

Increasing Access through Safe Zones

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.

Our Leadership

Brian J. Boubek

CEO & Chairman

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.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Forum on Education Abroad
  • American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • Young President's Organization (YPO)

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Excellence in International Business Award, Arizona District Export Council in cooperation with the Phoenix Council on Foreign Relations
  • Spirit of Enterprise Center, W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Global Impact Symposium Award Finalist, Eller College of Management
  • Two years on the Inc. 500 list as one of the nation's fastest growing private companies
  • Arizona Corporate Excellence Award as the 13th fastest growing organization in Arizona
  • BizAZ Hot Growth Award as the Top 10 fastest growing company in Arizona
  • Small Business Association Exporter of the Year
  • Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Arizona Republic, BizAZ, Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Business Gazette, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education
...

Deborah Keeley

Senior Vice President - Finance & Operations
Deborah Keeley joins CEA most recently as the Chief Accounting Officer for Mobile Mini Inc., a container leasing company with significant operations in the U.S. and United Kingdom. She spent 18 years at Mobile Mini, and in her time saw the company grow financially 20-fold. She completed 50 acquisitions for Mobile Mini, expanded from eight to 130 locations, and took the company international during her tenure. Deborah is a hands-on leader who seeks to make a difference.
...

Caroline Walsh

Senior Vice President - Program Development

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."

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS

  • "Planning Quality Short-Term Study Abroad Programs," Co-Presented at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II and III, Bi-Regional Conference 2005, Colorado Springs
  • "Crisis Management in Study Abroad," Co-Presented at Arizona International Educators Conference 2002, Tucson

HONORS/AWARDS

  • Recipient of a University Fellowship as well as the Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship from University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Recipient of an Intensive Foreign Language HEA Title VI Fellowship (Portuguese)
...

Lee Sutherlin

Senior Vice President - University Relations & Marketing

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

Vice President - Strategic University Partnerships

Tim Boubek is the Vice President of Strategic University Partnerships. 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.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators

EDUCATION

  • BS, Law Enforcement – Criminal Justice, Western Illinois University
  • Minor, Business Administration, Western Illinois University
  • Certificate in Human Resources Management, University of Phoenix
...
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