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The benefits of travelling with CIEE

Written by Ruby Emery from the University of La Verne

Initially ‘CIEE’ was just an acronym on the headlines of my study abroad applications. However, fast forward to today, and those 4 little letters mean the world to me.

I can’t begin to stress the fact that going overseas with this organization has been the best decision of my life. You’ll never truly understand until you experience it firsthand, but here’s a glimpse as to why this agency is worth your time.

  1. The resident directors, Tonia and Wayne, do a wonderful job of making us feel at home. At first they were just friendly strangers with lovely accents, but it wasn’t long before they felt like family. They are here to help us adjust to life in Australia, get uni classes sorted out, and introduce us to vibrant culture Oz has to offer. They look after the group, but also enable us to be self-sufficient and find our wings to explore.
    Normally students who study abroad outside of CIEE don’t get this type of ‘mom and dad’ figure to help them through the process. It’s always been comforting having Tonia and Wayne just a phone call away, while my actual parents are an ocean away.
  2. CIEE includes a number of excursions that vary from session to session. Whether it’s climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge, abseiling in the Blue Mountains, or surfing on Seven Mile Beach, there’s never a dull moment on our trips.
    Had I not travelled abroad with CIEE, I never would have found myself sitting in a sea of thousands of people watching professional rugby at ANZ Stadium. Nor would I have witnessed dozens of kangaroos hoping along Merry Beach while I drank my morning coffee. CIEE takes us to some particular locations that public transportation doesn’t reach. You get a unique experience in places most tourists don’t even know exist.
  3. The fellow students you meet will most likely become lifelong friends. Through this organization, I’ve met people from all over the United States from a variety of backgrounds. You ultimately become a close-knit group that does a lot of traveling and adventuring together. I’ve personally met amazing people whom I know will stay in contact after the session is over. It’s been nice to have a few “partners in crime” to experience the foreign fun with as well.

Overall CIEE provides a really great support system, they take you to the most beautiful places, they feed you the yummiest food from the classiest restaurants, and you’ll get to experience it all with the sweetest group of people. This is my 2nd time abroad with CIEE and I genuinely couldn’t imagine my time down unda without them.

About to SurfRuby (on the left ) about to go surfing

Harbour Bridge ClimbCIEE Students on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

KangaroosWild kangaroos seen on the first CIEE field trip


Keep Tassie Wild

NewsletterBannerWollongong686x101By Hogan Reed, University of Vermont class of 2019

During my mid-session break, I traveled to Tasmania with my best friend from home. We both have an appetite for adventure and love hiking, so we were determined to leave our footprints all over the east coast of Tassie; an Australian State and island off the southern coast. By the end of the trip we had largely satisfied our hiking craving, along with our thirst for craft beer and coffee. 

HobartHogan in Hobart

Our first destination was Freycinet National Park, where we stayed in a small youth hostel close to the park entrance in the tiny town of Coles Bay. This park was full of white beaches and striking granite mountains that seemed to emerge right out of the clear water. We enjoyed hiking up and over The Hazards mountain range and along long stretches of beach. We also enjoyed coffee and beer at a local café and tavern in town. Other than the wildly gorgeous scenery, we were able to see many wild wallabies and even a Tasmanian devil at night!

  Look at The Hazards from a cafe in Coles BayThe Hazards, as seen from Coles Bay

We then traveled south and spent a day hiking in the Tasman National Park. We walked the Cape Raol track, which led us through beautiful bushland and along dramatic cliffs. We were surrounded by 360 degrees of stunning scenery and the only time we looked down was when a snake was blocking the trail. When we made it back to where we started, we were greeted by a family of wallabies! Let’s just say our day was made.

  Tasman National Park 1Tasman National Park

After two National Parks, we wanted to experience the Tasmanian ‘city’ life, so we explored Hobart. It was such a cute city and we loved walking along the waterfront and the Salamanca area, where old sandstone buildings are now home to many pubs, restaurants, and local artisan shops. We also drove to the top of Mt. Wellington, a mountain that hugs Hobart. The views were great, but the drive up was an adventure of its own! At the end of the trip, we both agreed we would happily live in Hobart as there is a great sense of community and Tasmanian pride. On the flight back to Sydney, we decided Tasmania must have a larger population of wallabies, sheep, and cows than humans and that we’d always remember our wild trip in Tassie.

Freycinet National Park 1Freycinet National Park