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Here are answers to questions most frequently asked about our Custom Programs. If you have a question that's not answered here, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email or call 1-855-214-9559.

Every program is tailored to suit the needs of your academic goals – so every program is unique. But all programs include on-site orientation, 24/7 emergency support, in-country transportation, accommodations, some meals, classroom space, cultural and theme-related site visits, guest lectures, comprehensive insurance coverage and logistical support from our on-site CIEE staff. 

Many of our custom internship programs are built in 8- or 12-week formats and are centered on a full-time internship placement (approximately 30 hours per week). From there students attend weekly workshops and oftentimes complete online coursework at their home institution. CIEE offers robust placement support throughout the program for both the student and the employer. Interested in part-time internships or service-learning opportunities? No problem!

Airfare to and from the United States is not included in your program fee, but flights within your host country and ground transportation are included. Your program fee covers expenses from the time you land at the airport in-country to the time you are dropped off at the airport to fly home.

CIEE Custom Programs do not process visas, but we can help students and faculty members obtain invitation letters or other such documentation for countries where visas are needed. We recommend the company Travisa for securing visas.

CIEE’s goal for predeparture orientation is simple – to help students understand more about the program and location and the goals for the program, so they can make the most of their time overseas. During this session, we’ll outline expectations, brief students on safety and health protocols, and answer questions about gear, packing, and more. It’s ideal to hold this orientation within four weeks of departure.

You may bring as many faculty members as necessary, or we can provide expert faculty to support you. Generally, programs are led by one or two professors from a college or university, with supplemental classes or lectures taught by CIEE resident staff members.

Our faculty members are ready to share their expertise in a range of fields and are ready to teach language and culture courses to help your students optimize their international experience. All of these components can be customized to suit your needs.

We suggest at least 10 students. In our experience, fewer than 10 can make the program cost-prohibitive because of fixed expenses. We also can accommodate much larger groups.

The vast majority – 90 percent – of our programs are led and taught by an accompanying faculty member from the home institution. Institutions that send students without accompanying faculty are welcome to have our expert CIEE staff members teach courses designed either by the home institution, or CIEE.

This depends on the institution, but typically, yes. If your institution is sending a faculty member to teach the course, then your institution can transfer the credits. If CIEE staff members are teaching the course, we’ll provide a top-quality, rigorous academic and cultural experience for every student, and we’ll collaborate to design one that meets your institution’s requirements for time spent abroad.

Every location is different. Depending on the location, we offer hotel, hostel, homestay, furnished apartments and/or dorm accommodations, or a combination of a few different kinds of accommodations based on the goals of your program.

Our ability to provide homestays in many locations sets us apart from other providers. We believe this is a key part of effective cultural immersion, and we’d love to help you make this part of your students’ experience when possible.

Faculty members can travel with their students to several cities, but we can only support programs in cities with CIEE Sites and cities that are part of the itinerary of our semester study abroad programs.

With programs in more than 30 cities, CIEE offers more choices than other provider. So, finding the perfect location is not likely to be a problem. Your program manager will help identify locations and ways we can support you in multiple destinations.

It’s important to consider that the cost of multiple transfers during your program may significantly increase the program fee for students.

This depends on your university’s policies for bringing guests on custom programs.

If allowed, guests will be treated as full-paying program participants. If guests are minors (under age 18), CIEE requires that a co-leader accompany the group or an additional adult participant supervises minors. Costs incurred by your guest(s) are typically the faculty leader’s responsibility. 

CIEE must be informed of any guests at the time the university submits student participant information.

Our No. 1 priority is keeping you and your students safe. With more than 70 years of experience creating safe, reliable, study abroad programs around the world, we have an excellent safety record. Each of our sites is regularly assessed using international risk management standards to make certain our programs can be safely and successfully run. In addition, your program includes the peace of mind of iNext medical insurance, the support of the CIEE staff members who are experts in international safety and security, and 24/7 emergency support in-country.

 View our Covid-19 Guidelines for best practices on mitigating conceivable risks of acquiring and/or transmitting Covid-19.

View our Covid Vaccination FAQs for answers to commonly asked vaccine questions.

Contact Us

If you have a question that’s not answered here, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email or call 1-855-214-9559.


What People are Saying

  • CIEE has proven to be flexible without compromising the academic standards required by our university. The CIEE staff is top-notch and works tirelessly to take your ideas and goals for the program and make them a reality.

    Lynn University study abroad director who collaborated with CIEE to create five successful international programs in 2014

  • The guest lectures were amazing. Thought-provoking and inspiring. I have never before been so engaged in the classroom setting.

    Student participant, University of Tulsa