CIEE Celebrates 50 Years of Study Abroad Partnership with Japan Innovating Cultural and Educational Exchange

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Establishes scholarship to enable Japanese students to explore other cultures through study abroad

CIEE Japan 50th Celebration

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy (3rd from left), CIEE President & CEO James Pellow (6th from left), and CIEE Japan staff participate in a traditional Japanese sake barrel breaking.

We honor the first steps that Japan’s students took in 1965. They are the inspiration for the CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarship, which seeks to help Japanese students overcome the main barriers to study abroad.

To commemorate 50 years of partnership with Japanese educators and students, CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange today announced the CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarship: Summer Study Around the World before an assembly of international dignitaries that included heads of Japan’s top academic institutions, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

The newly created scholarships will be awarded to 50 promising young Japanese students to study abroad on CIEE summer programs in more than 40 different countries. CIEE will award 10 scholarships in 2016, followed by 20 more in 2017, and another 20 in 2018. Scholars from a range of disciplines – language, business, culture, marine science, public health, engineering, art, and more – will see their tuition waived for courses offered at CIEE Study Centers around the globe, including in Argentina, Bonaire, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, and the United States.

The scholarships were announced by James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and chief executive officer of CIEE, who said, “We honor the first steps that Japan’s students took in 1965, which broke cultural and logistical barriers, and encouraged mutual understanding and friendship between our nations. They are the inspiration for the CIEE Japan 50-Year Anniversary Scholarship, which seeks to help Japanese students overcome the main barriers to study abroad – cost, curriculum, and culture. This scholarship program will allow Japanese students to join Americans and other international students in study programs around the world.”

Since CIEE opened its office in Tokyo in 1965, it has provided scores of educational exchange programs to more than 60,000 Japanese and international students and educators who have gone on to serve as leaders in business, education, the arts, and public service. The experience they’ve had on CIEE programs has opened the door for alumni to work across cultures as global citizens, helping to bridge cultural differences and encourage warm relationships between nations, businesses, and people.

“Over the past 50 years, more than 60,000 people have participated in CIEE’s international exchange programs. And each one of them has a story of how the CIEE experience was life changing. My former assistant, for example, participated in CIEE Japan’s study abroad program when she was an exchange student here in Tokyo. This is just one example of how CIEE programs have brought us closer together,” said Ambassador Kennedy. “I would like to extend my deep appreciation for your dedication to international education and friendship between our two countries. I would also like to thank CIEE for its support of the TeamUp campaign to increase the number of American and Japanese students studying in each other’s countries, and for its spectacular new scholarships for Japanese students to study around the world. You truly are cultivating a new generation of leaders for the United States and Japan.”

The variety of programs led by CIEE Japan has been diverse over the last five decades and includes initiatives which, at the time of their inception, were considered groundbreaking. Today they have become integral to Japanese culture and its education system. It all began in 1965 with a dramatic chartered flight that departed Haneda International Airport for America with 102 young and excited Japanese students aboard. Those pioneers broke a key societal barrier among citizens of both nations, paving the way for future generations to explore other nations.

“Knowing that we have had a hand in nurturing so many global citizens, especially between our two countries, is a point of pride that humbles and inspires me,” said Robert E. Fallon, chairman of the CIEE Board of Directors. “Our collaborative work has opened the hearts and minds of Japanese and American students who have studied abroad and experienced life in other cultures. Indeed we have made great progress toward the founding mission of CIEE: to foster world peace and greater understanding between nations. Thank you to the Japanese people and our institutional partners who have contributed to 50 years of CIEE’s success in Japan.”

Over the years, the programs managed by CIEE Japan have steadily expanded, with help and collaboration from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and partner universities. Programs include:

  •     Providing the first-ever in-service training for Japanese teachers of English;
  •     Administration/representative of the TOEFL® Test products;
  •     Management of International Volunteer Projects abroad;
  •     Study and work abroad opportunities for Japanese students;
  •     Japanese host programs for American educators and students;
  •     Hosting programs for international students and volunteers in Japan.

For more information about the experiences of CIEE Japan alumni and partners, and to read notes of congratulations on 50 years, visit

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 350 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and more than 35,000 international exchange students each year. CIEE operates 61 study centers in 43 countries, and sponsors international faculty training programs, teach abroad programs, and various specialty and custom programs for secondary, post-secondary, and international students. Visit

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