The Solstice story begins amongst the karst mountains of Guilin, China. After studying and working in China for a combined ten years—and after experiencing study abroad programs that fell short of their potential—Solstice founders Robert and Bradford Fried established the Chinese Language Institute
(CLI) in 2009.
It took the Virginia brothers six months to enroll their first student—万事开头难!
—and the institute hosted a resounding four students on the year. In 2010, the number reached 40, then over 150 in year three, and word continued to spread. Now in its 14th year, CLI hosts more than 500 students
and 20 faculty-led groups in China per year. The organization remains true to its core values
and aims to exist indefinitely.
After leading three annual Global Studies
in China on behalf of Virginia Tech's Executive Masters in Natural Resources, our VT faculty partners informed CLI that the subsequent year’s program would be in Turkey and Morocco.
Our team expressed interest in facilitating the program, we submitted our proposal, and we were granted the opportunity. Thus CLI expanded its distinct approach to faculty-led programs beyond China and the Solstice effort was born.
In the decade-plus since, Solstice has grown to design and deliver custom faculty-led programs in 24 countries on behalf of around 20 US-based institutions. We encourage you to contact us
to discuss opportunities for your global program.
Our approach is simple: understand the faculty leader’s vision for his or her global program; be a fully committed steward of that vision; share our resources, best practices, and extensive experience in global education; and deliver a safe, seamless, and enriching in-country experience for everyone involved.
Our job is to make all aspects of leading students abroad—developing in-country resources, overseeing student enrollment, managing program finances, ensuring student health and safety, managing risk, and planning and implementing logistics—as simple and straightforward as possible.