Our organization came into existence in China and has since expanded to facilitate faculty-led programs worldwide.

Guilin beginnings

The Solstice story begins amongst the karst mountains of Guilin, China. After studying, working, and living 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 the spring of 2009.

It took the Virginia brothers six months to sign up 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 11th year, CLI hosts around 400 students and 25 faculty-led groups in China per year. The organization remains true to its core values and intends to exist indefinitely.

expanding Globally

After leading three annual International Residencies 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—in 2013—would be held 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 launched the Solstice Education effort.

Solstice now designs and delivers custom faculty-led programs in 18 countries on behalf of around 20 US-based institutions. We encourage you to contact us to chat specifically about your global program. We're happy to introduce you to our institutional partners so that you may gain direct insight into our team’s dedication and quality of service.

The Solstice Approach

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 highly enriching in-country experience to everyone involved.

Our job is to make all aspects of leading your students abroad—developing in-country resources, processing student enrollment, managing program finances, ensuring student health and safety, managing risk, and planning and implementing logistics—as simple and seamless as possible for you.

Meet The Team