About Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
CIEE, a Richmond affiliate program, is the leading U.S. non-governmental international education organization. CIEE has many programs available in Europe, but the only usual available sites for UR students are:
- "Business, Communications, and Culture" program in Belgium (Arts and Sciences/Jepson students only; not available for French majors/minors; B-school students by special permission only; other CIEE programs in Belgium are not available to UR students),
- "Film Studies" program in the Czech Republic (other CIEE programs in the Czech Republic are not available to UR students),
- "Critical and Francophone Studies" program in Paris, France (either track available to French majors/minors with equivalent of 6 semesters of college-level French, including two 300-level courses; non-majors/minors must have the equivalent of 5 semesters; other CIEE programs in Paris are not available to UR students),
- "Liberal Arts" program in Rennes, France (available to French majors/minors with equivalent of 6 semesters of college-level French, including two 300-level courses; non-majors/minors must have the equivalent of 4 semesters; other CIEE programs outside of Paris/Rennes are not available to UR students),
- St. Petersburg, Russia ("Area Studies" and "Russian Language" tracks are both available to UR students. "Area Studies" is for students of 0-4 semesters of Russian language and "Russian Language" is for students with 4+ semesters of Russian language prior to the start of the program).
NOTE: The CIEE Portugal program may also be available to UR students, but by special permission only. For more information, please see: http://www.ciee.org/study/index.aspx and contact the OIE at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your interest in applying.
Deadline Notes: The Czech Republic Film Program has a very early deadline for spring applicants, and the program can fill quickly, so be sure to apply early. The Czech Republic, Belgium, and Portugal sites have a somewhat early deadline for fall applicants. For all CIEE sites, see below for information about the dual application process.
- Eligibility for the various CIEE programs can vary. Check the CIEE website for the eligibility requirements and information specific to your program(s) of interest at http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/europe/. For example, the GPA minimum listed above (2.75) is the lowest common denominator among CIEE-Europe programs, but certain sites may require a higher GPA (3.0).
- Students interested in CIEE programs should have completed three semesters on campus prior to the period of study abroad. Transfer students must have completed at least three semesters of college or university study, one semester of which is to have been completed on campus at Richmond.
- Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) business course taken while enrolled on a CIEE program to count towards their business degree. Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cosse. RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
- Note: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.
Belgium: All students on the Brussels 'Business, Communications, & Culture' program take five courses including the CIEE core course, Contemporary Europe: The Belgian Experience, one required French or Dutch language course, and three Vesalius College courses taught in English. Students with adequate French or Dutch language skills may replace Vesalius courses with regular ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) or VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) courses for a maximum of two regular university courses per semester. Students with advanced language skills may replace the required language course with a regular university course taken for credit. Students chosen for the Vesalius internship may replace one Vesalius course with the internship.
Czech Republic: All students on the Prague 'Film Studies' program decide on a Production track or a Screenwriting track. Students on the Production track take Topics in Production, Filmmaking Practicum & Mentorship, and select two FAMU (The Prague Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts) 3-credit courses (see CIEE site for sample courses; at least one course must be from the Production track electives). Students on the Screenwriting track take Feature Screenwriting, Script Analysis, and select two FAMU 3-credit courses (see CIEE site for sample courses; at least one course must be from the Screenwriting track electives). All students (in either program) take Intensive Czech Language.
France (Paris): The Paris "Critical and Francophone Studies" program is meant for students at a high intermediate/advanced level of French, as all instruction is in French. Participants take some classes with CIEE but also enroll in regular university classes at Université de Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle ("Paris 3") or Université Paris Diderot ("Paris 7"). This program places a strong emphasis on French intellectual tradition and emergent global thought.
Students in film classes view films outside of normal class hours; other classes often include excursions and visits in addition to the usual amount of time spent in class. See CIEE site for details.
- The Critical Studies track offers courses in cinema and visual studies, text and language, intellectual history and critique. Applicants should have prior coursework in philosophy, semiotics, film studies, visual studies, gender studies, cultural studies, or comparative literature.
- The Francophone Studies track studies the complexity of contemporary France. This includes concepts such as diversity, multiculturalism, cultural mixing (métissage), and national identity, as well as religious diversity and secularism (laicité). Students analyze culture - art, architecture, literature, popular culture, film - in a social context.
Image: Rainbow over Rennes, France.
France (Rennes): The Rennes "Liberal Arts" program helps students develop proficiency in French and an understanding of French culture and society. Rennes is two hours west of Paris by train; the coast of Brittany, the beaches of Normandy, the Mont Saint-Michel, and the Loire Valley castles are within easy reach.
All instruction is in French. The program is based at the Université de Rennes II. There are six levels of French instruction, offered by an organization called CIREFE, to accommodate students' differing prior study of the language. Students with high skills in French take some regular university classes offered by Université de Rennes II. For-credit internships (teaching English) in local schools are available. See CIEE site for details.
Portugal: All students on the Portugal program enroll in an intensive language program prior to the start of the semester. Students continue their language study during the semester and choose three to four additional courses from a CIEE core curriculum taught in English and shared with other international and Portuguese students. Students with advanced Portuguese language skills may also choose from a large offering of courses in the humanities and social sciences taught in Portuguese. Undergraduate programs at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL) are academically rigorous and students should expect challenging coursework. The CIEE program is based at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (FCSH).
Russia: All students on the St. Petersburg 'Area Studies' program take Russian language at the elementary or intermediate level (based on placement exam; involves grammar and conversation). In addition, students select three area studies courses taught in English (see CIEE site for sample courses). All students on the 'Russian Language' program take Russian Grammar, Phonetics, and Conversation (at a level determined by placement test) and two elective courses (see CIEE site for sample courses).
For additional course details, go to http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/.
CREDIT TRANSFER: To determine the unit value of a CIEE course, the following formula will be used by the University of Richmond Registrar's Office: semester hours/3.5, round up to nearest tenth of a unit. A 3-semester credit course will be transferred back to Richmond as .9 units. A 4-semester course will be transferred back as 1.2 units.
Students on CIEE programs normally take 12-17 credit hours. Specific program restrictions, requirements, and recommendations, including the recommended credit for each course, is on the CIEE web site at http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/. All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Conversion to Units system.
Students are graded using the U.S. system.
Credit for grades lower than "C" will not be transferred back to the University of Richmond.
Housing arrangements vary depending on the program selected.
See the CIEE website for specific details: http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/.
Dates and Costs
Click on the link for information about Dates and Costs for CIEE.
Prague stained glass photo
by Catherine Bagwell
Students applying for CIEE programs will need to complete the online UR Office of Int'l Education (OIE) application (by clicking the "Apply Now" button). After receiving conditional acceptance by UR, students will also need to complete the CIEE application.
To make this dual-process easier, the OIE will allow students to submit the CIEE-format letter of recommendation rather than the OIE-format letter (so your faculty do not have to write a letter to each organization). Students should simply skip the recommendation portion of the OIE application process and should provide faculty with the CIEE Evaluation Form instead, instructing them to submit the completed letter of recommendation to the OIE.
Once the OIE has finished evaluating the letter, it will be forwarded to CIEE to be attached to your CIEE application. We will also forward to CIEE the official UR transcript you submit to the OIE. Questions? Email email@example.com.
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Students on most programs are required to apply for a student visa prior to departure. CIEE will assist students with this process.
Before applying to a CIEE program in France, students should contact Chris Klein about the time required to obtain a French visa.
For More Information
For additional information about the CIEE programs available, contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education. Contact Chris Klein for advising for the program options in France. Contact Michele Cox for additional advising regarding the Czech Republic or Russia options.
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This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.
Updated December 2015