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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 many destinations around the world, 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
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.
Enhance the Employability of 35,000 CEA Students by 2025.
Our Mission & Values
The mission of CEA is to create and facilitate opportunities for academic achievement, global competence, and personal growth through quality international education.
Brian J. Boubek
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.
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- Forum on Education Abroad
- American Marketing Association (AMA)
- Young President's Organization (YPO)
- 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
Dr. Louis Berends
Dr. Louis “Lou” Berends comes to CEA from Syracuse University where he most recently held positions as Director of Strategic and International Partnerships, and Director of Academic Programs under the Provost’s Office. Under Lou's leadership, Syracuse Abroad increased study abroad participation and is ranked highly as a national leader in study abroad. Lou has worked extensively in international education at U.S. universities and providers of global education since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in cultural and educational policy studies with a concentration in comparative and international education.
Additionally, Lou studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, UK), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), as well as in Rome, Italy, and has visited and conducted research in numerous countries. Furthermore, Lou has presented many papers in various settings including Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the Forum on Education Abroad, and NAFSA (among others). Lou’s most recent publication, co-edited with Dr. Kate Patch, SIO at Grinnell College, is a book on high-impact educational practices entitled, Undergraduate Research Abroad: Approaches, Models and Challenges (2020). Lou currently serves on the 9th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference Planning Committee to be held in October 2021.
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.
- AIEA: Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- BS, Law Enforcement – Criminal Justice, Western Illinois University
- Minor, Business Administration, Western Illinois University
- Certificate in Human Resources Management, University of Phoenix
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."
- Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- "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
- 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)
Shawn Coover is the Vice President of Global Operations and Human Resources. In this role, he oversees the development and implementations of policies, processes, and best practices to ensure CEA continues to be a great place to work. This includes consultation on strategic business initiatives, employee relations, staffing plans and recruitment, compensation and benefits, communications, training and development, and legal compliance. Most importantly, Shawn and his team work diligently to make sure that everything we do is true to the organization’s Core Values, Mission, and Vision.
Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and MBA from Northern Arizona University. He joined CEA in 2018 and brought with him 19 years of international leadership experience, including 8 years in Human Resources. His professional background also includes leadership experience in operations, project management, development, customer service, and purchasing with Honeywell, AT&T, and Belden Wire and Cable.
An avid traveler, Shawn has traveled to over 30 countries.