Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)

About Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)

Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) was founded in 1996 to provide international education opportunities for U.S. and Canadian college students of all language levels and majors. Today, CEA sends thousands of students on study abroad programs at multiple universities in 15 countries including Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Spain.

The mission of CEA is to create and facilitate opportunities for personal growth and global understanding through quality international education and cultural experiences. To do this, CEA focuses on the 'service first' experience, which includes providing personal attention to students before, during and after their experience abroad.

Working closely with study abroad offices and international programs departments, CEA has also successfully established 125+ affiliate relationships with colleges and universities around the country, providing more options and greater access for students to study abroad.

For the second year in a row, CEA has been ranked as one of the fastest growing organizations in the U.S. on the prestigious Inc. 500 Award List, published by Inc. Magazine. CEA was also the recipient of the ACE Award, recognized as the 13th fastest growing organization in Arizona, and has twice been presented with the American Marketing Association Award for "Best Printed Collateral" for the Academic Program Catalog.

In a span of ten years, CEA has emerged as a leader in the field of study abroad, recognized for offering superior service and quality programs to students, parents and university advisors. With a proven method, CEA has grown to over 80 staff worldwide to service the needs of enrollment growth, exceeding 30% each year. CEA is excited to be a part of making study abroad more accessible to students.

Professional Associations

To maintain our standard of excellence, we are also members of the following organizations:

AAPLAC - Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean
AASAP/UK - Association of American Study Abroad Programs/United Kingdom
BABC - British American Business Counsel
AIEA - Association of International Education Administrators
BBB - Better Business Bureau
NAFSA - Association of International Educators
EAIE - European Association of International Education
French American Chamber of Commerce
The Forum on Education Abroad

The CEA Difference

At CEA, they believe in making study abroad accessible to ALL students. When you choose them, they are with you every step to make sure you have a great experience, from the moment you apply to your return home from your program.

Academic Services

Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) understands the need to stay on track academically while abroad. They proactively work with colleges and universities across the United States and Canada to make it possible and easy for you to study abroad with CEA. From offering quality academics to assisting in transfer credits, they will be your guide.

Quality Academic Programs in a Variety of Course and Term Options

Their programs are developed with strong academics and are taught at some of the most prestigious universities and institutes around the world. To ensure academic quality, they partner with academic institutions that are recognized either in their host country or in the US. Working with strong international partners gives leverage when submitting your courses for pre-approval and can make the transfer credit process easier.

Smooth Credit Transfer Process

When you have chosen a program, they will help you facilitate course approval and transfer credit by providing your home institution with important information, such as sample transcripts, course descriptions, contact hours, recommended credits and course syllabi, as available. Having worked with over 1,000 colleges and universities across North America, Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) knows what it takes to make the credit transfer process a smooth one.

University Relations Advocates

To ensure that they open the door for more students to study abroad have a University Relations team who establishes relationships with schools and university across the country. They will actively work with your school's faculty and advisors on your behalf to facilitate credit transfer and financial aid processing.

Cultural Immersion

Study abroad is unique to any other academic experience because of the opportunities for cultural immersion. CEA recognizes the importance of combining academics with hands-on cultural experiences, as the interaction between the two helps to reinforce your learning.

Immersion and Social Activities

Each city has its own unique qualities. They offer a variety of local immersion activities to match your interests - cooking classes, language exchanges, volunteer opportunities and a wide variety of other activities are at your fingertips, all of which enable you to interact with locals and delve deeper into the culture. Their international staff is a great resource that can help find the right activities for you.

Cultural Excursions

One of the most unique and exciting aspects of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel. Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) realizes you may not have the time or resources to plan your own travel excursions, which is why they include organized excursions as part of your program. More than a field trip, their excursions let you expand, explore, and experience the natural beauty and rich history of the surrounding region.

Integrate into the Community with CEA Housing

Your living arrangements abroad will provide one of the greatest opportunities for cultural immersion. Housing is an integral part of your study abroad experience and CEA provides a variety of different housing accommodations. Their housing is designed to enhance your experience, maximize your exposure to the local way of life, and help you integrate into your new community.

Responsive Customer Service

Your Personal Advisory Team

When you study with CEA, you will have a team of experienced advisors who will be your study abroad advocates. Your first advisor will help you choose a program and assist you with the application process. Your second advisor will step in once you've made a selection and help you prepare for your program by providing insight into your destination, academics, housing, and more. In addition, they also have a Student Finance Coordinator, as well as an Academic Relations Manager on staff to facilitate financing and credit transfer with your school. Their advisors are specialists in their fields and each have studied abroad themselves; they understand first-hand the unique requirements and needs of being an international student. Best of all, you can always pick up the phone and ask for your advisor by name.

Comprehensive Pre-departure Planning

They understand planning your study abroad program can be an exercise of time management, especially when you're juggling classes and studying for exams. Cultural Experiences Abroad keeps you on track with MyCEA Account®, a smart and dynamic online tool for pre-departure planning. It's personalized and specific to your program, so you'll know exactly what you need to do and when to prepare for departure. Deadline dates, important documents, passport and visa processing, helpful links and more are right at your fingertips that you can access anytime, anywhere.

Experienced Overseas Staff

Your support continues while you're abroad with a full staff of experienced professionals onsite to help you throughout your study abroad experience. The onsite staff will organize airport pick-up and transportation to your new home, serve as academic advisors, cross-cultural counselors and excursion coordinators. More importantly, they are there to ensure your well-being and make sure you have a safe and positive study abroad experience.

Dedication to Ensuring Your Well-Being

Your well-being is paramount to CEA. The staff at their headquarters is in constant contact with our onsite staff to ensure you are safe and well at all times. They are committed to your health and safety abroad.

Onsite Orientation

Cultural Experiences Abroad will help you make a smooth transition from home to your life abroad. Upon arrival in your host city, you will receive an extensive orientation, including a tour of your new city and academic institution, as well as review local customs and laws. They will introduce you to onsite resources, from banking and local transportation to immersion activities, so you can get familiar with your new environment and manage your new independence with confidence.

Health and Safety Committee

CEA takes your health and safety very seriously and has formed a committee to ensure your well-being. They have an Emergency Response Plan to make sure our offices, both in the US and onsite have clear channels of communication with students, their families, universities and embassies in times of emergency. They monitor the political climate of all their locations and are in constant contact with their onsite staff to touch base on any local developments. They also provide a 24-hour emergency phone number in the US that gives students, parents and universities direct contact to a CEA staff member at all times.

Quality Medical Coverage

CEA has partnered with HTH Worldwide Insurance, a leader in travel insurance, to provide you quality medical insurance while you are abroad. Coverage includes most medical expenses, emergency evacuation and a full range of medical assistance available 24-hours a day. The comprehensive coverage for any illness or accident abroad does not carry a deductible and the benefits of HTH Worldwide begin even before you leave home with password secured access to your insurance records online. In addition, you can search online for medical providers in your host city, read city health profiles and download translations of key medical terms. CEA and HTH enable you to have peace of mind while abroad.

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