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The end of the school year is approaching and your prom, or other end of year celebrations, may be coming up soon! Here are a few things that we want you to remember when preparing for your prom and other gatherings:

  • Remember to obey local, state and federal laws, as well as CIEE program rules and your host family’s rules. Remember the 3 D’s - No drinking of alcohol, no driving any type of motorized vehicle, and no drug use while you are on the program. CIEE has a no tolerance policy for this behavior. Please keep this in mind during your end of year parties, as you may experience some peer pressure to engage in some of this behavior. If you are ever in a situation where you feel unsafe, please call your host family, Local Coordinator, CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 so that we can help you.
  • Remember to budget wisely to ensure that you have saved enough money to spend on a prom dress and ticket, tuxedo, corsage, dinner, a yearbook, etc.
  • Take lots of photos. Things end, but memories last forever! Having photos to share with yourfriends and family back home, as well as to look back on, will be nice keepsakes to treasure for years to come. If you have Instagram, be sure to hashtag #cieehighschool so that we can see your fun photos as well!
  • Have fun! This is a wonderful time of year when you get to celebrate your achievements and successes throughout the past year!


The Community Service Project is a program requirement for all grants and J-1 students. CIEE strongly encourages High School PLUS students to take part in community service as well!

Community service deadlines are approaching! If you are grants students, the deadline to submit your Community Service Project April 30thMake sure to submit all 20 hours (30 hours if you are an SAM student) and the one page essay.

If you are a non-grants student, June 1st is your deadline 
to submit your 16 hours of community service and one page essay.

April is a great time to get involved! If you have passion to protect the environment, we encourage you to get involved on Earth Day which is April 22nd to help make your community a greener place. Or, join in a network of students worldwide who are completing service projects during the weekend of April 15-17 for Global Youth Service Day.

All students should send their essays and evaluation forms to communityproject@ciee.org. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 so that we can help you! Happy volunteering!


St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, March 17, 2016 - celebrate by wearing green all day to show respect for the glorious country of Ireland!

Who is St. Patrick, and why do we celebrate him? Watch the video below to hear a humorous retelling of the legend of St. Patrick and the snakes of Ireland.

The Legend of St. Patrick - Brought to you by CIEE from CIEE Support on Vimeo.



It’s February, and that means that your Spring Break is just around the corner! Some families in the U.S make plans to travel during their Spring Break. Some families that live in colder climates around the U.S may travel to a warmer place to escape the winter while others take trips to the mountains to take part in snow sports, like skiing or snowboarding, before all of the snow melts away. Some families stay in their hometown and spend time with their friends. Spring Break is also a wonderful time for you to explore ways to get involved in your community and complete your Community Service Project! What will you do during yourSpring Break?

Remember, traveling is a privilege, not a right. Please note the following important CIEE rules regarding travel:

  • All travel must be approved by CIEE
  • At least two weeks prior to your trip, contact your Local Coordinator to fill out a Travel Request Form to send to your Support Coordinator at CIEE
  • Natural Parents visits must be approved by CIEE
  • CIEE has a right to approve or deny travel requests

If you will be traveling with your host family, be sure to notify your Local Coordinator as soon as possible so that they can help you fill out and submit your Travel Request Form if necessary.

Are you interested in traveling to a different area in the U.S? Check out the Belo USA for more information about their trips for CIEE students. These trips are a lot of fun! Belo offers trips to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Hawaii, California and East Coast and West Coast adventures! For more information please visit Belo’s website and enter the log-in information below:


LOGIN:               CIEE


Do not hesitate to call CIEE at 1-800-448-9944 if you have any questions regarding travel! As always, travel safely and have fun!  


Well, actually, it’s SAINT Valentine’s Day.

The holiday was originally (sort of) in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome (supposedly), who once wrote a letter (possibly) to a woman signed “Your Valentine” (maybe). The origins of the holiday are fairly vague, but the tradition has continued as a celebration of love.

You’ve already experienced what Valentine’s Day in the U.S. is like – in schools, students in middle school and younger often pass out valentines (little notes saying nice things) to their classmates as a sign of friendship. Some older students do this, too. It’s also a day when couples celebrate how much they care about each other.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your home country? What did you notice about how the U.S. celebrates Valentine’s Day that might be different from how you usually celebrate? Head on over to our facebook page and tell us all about it!

We hope you had a fun Valentine’s Day!

New Contest in February: Share the Love!

Share the Love photo

The annual CIEE Share the Love Contest is a favorite among students and families alike! Students can express what they love about their host family and the exchange experience, while host families do the same for their students! To enter, Students and host families simply pose for a group photo with a CIEE Share the Love graphic (which we will send to you in advance), and submit their photos as contest entries on our Facebook Page! We always run the contest in mid-February, around Valentine's day, when "sharing the love" is a relevant theme, so mark it on your calendar now!

If you and your student(s) would like to participate in this contest, stay tuned for additional details in the next few weeks. We will announce the contest dates along with guidelines for entering on the CIEE USA High School Facebook Page as well as in a separate e-mail to host families and students. 

In the meantime, start getting some inspiration by checking out the wonderful photos and entries we received in previous years, via the links below!

2015 Share the Love Contest Entries

2014 Share the Love Contest Entries

January Student of the Month: Carl from Germany!

Meet Carl from Germany!

Carl 1

Above: Carl is an exchange student from Germany who is currently living in Texas

CIEE: What is your favorite part of your typical day in the U.S.?

Carl: That really is a hard question, but I came to an answer:

I really do love school and also the club activities after school!

Due to all the different classes to choose from, which German schools don't offer, it makes learning in school a lot of fun! The way the teachers interact with their students is also different from what I was used to: they are way nicer and help you in many ways.

Also important is, that it is the only place where I can see all my friends during the week, because they do sports or work after school and so we can only meet on weekends... Talking to so many different people is just enjoyable and lets me embrace the American culture/ life. 

CIEE: What is your favorite American food?

Carl: It is nothing really special, but I never heard of it before until I came here: Chili Dogs!

It is like a hot dog bun + the sausage with chili and cheese on it - the best thing ever!

I eat it whenever I can and I definitely recommend trying it out!

CIEE: What has been the most surprising thing about America or your new host city?

Carl: There wasn't really anything that really surprised me because of all the preparations we had with travel works, but one thing really is something which kind of surprised me: how kind and polite everyone is and how they act and welcome new people as their friends!

CIEE: What have you shared about your own home country/culture since you’ve been in the U.S.?

Carl: Oh - I don't know if I remember anything from what I have shared with the people, excuse in the first months, people used to ask me tons of question about what Germany is like and how it is different from the United States. 

 CIEE: What have you learned about yourself so far?

Carl: I think that I turned out to be exactly the person I thought I would be: a quiet one who doesn't act up or try's to drag attention on to me.

I also noticed that I feel comfortable being in a new family really fast and that I get along with people easily!

Carl 2

Above: Carl and some of the other exchange students in Texas


Many of you will be starting a new semester at school! This is a wonderful time for you to start thinking about completing your Community Service Project, if you haven’t already. Successful completion of your Community Service Project is necessary to receive your Certificate of Completion for the CIEE USA High School Program. If you are an F1 student, completion of the community service project does not apply to you. However, CIEE always encourages our students to become involved; and participating in community service is a great way to contribute to your community and help others!

Community service can be really fun, and is an important part USA High School Program. Through community service, you have the opportunity to directly impact your town or city while exchanging your unique culture with your community. 

If you need assistance with coming up with ideas for your community service project, ask your Local Coordinator, host family, teachers, friends, or call CIEE so that we can help you! We hope that the community service project enables you to immerse yourself in American culture and form meaningful connections with those around you.

Please see the list below of different community service activities, or places that you may be able to volunteer your time, energy and skills.

- Nursing Homes

- Animal Shelters

- Sports Camps

- Local Cleanup Projects

- Soup Kitchens

- Museums

- Churches

- Libraries

- After School Programs

- Tutoring

- Elementary or Middle Schools

Please visit the community service information tab on our exchange student rules and regulations page:


Congrats - A Taste of Culture Winners!

 Congratulations to Kiko from Japan, Michelle from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Leonardo from Brazil for their winning recipes & photos! Their recipes were selected from over 100 entries from students around the country representing meals from home.



Thank you to everyone who participated in the Taste of Culture recipe contest. It was so great to see all the traditional meals, outfits, and fun families times happening over delicious food. We look forward to trying some of your recipes and hearing more about your adventures on your #CIEEBestYearEver!

Catch all the photo submissions in the CIEE USA High School Class of 2015 - 2016 Facebook Group!

P.S. If you missed the chance to enter for a chance to win big this time, be on the look out for the Share the Love Valentine's Day contest launching in February!

December Student of the Month: Ming from China

Meet Ming, our student of the month from China!


CIEE: What is your favorite part of your typical day in the U.S.?

Ming: My favorite part of my typical day is my Ceramics class.  I like to create things and I can make whatever I want.

CIEE: What is your favorite American food?

Ming: My  host mom and I make a very delicious zucchini bread and I also love smoothies - made with lots of fruit!

CIEE: What has been the most surprising thing about America or your new host city?

Ming: I didn't know about the Metroparks - I loved running Cross Country thru the park and also bike riding in the park.  I was surprised about the beauty of the leaves changing colors.

CIEE: What have you shared about your own home country/culture since you’ve been in the U.S.?

Ming: There is a big difference in the typical school day so I have shared that with people - they are surprised at how hard we study.  I also have shared spicy Chinese recipes with my host family and cooked it for them.

 CIEE: What have you learned about yourself so far?

Ming: I have learned so many different ways to exercise - Cross Country, yoga class on Sunday morning, tennis lessons and now I am on the swim team.  I can try anything and do my best at sports!

  Ming 2 (2)

Above: Ming had a successful Halloween in Ohio!