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CIS Abroad


We provide innovative education programs that broaden academic perspectives, promote global awareness, and encourage personal development while laying the foundation for participants to become engaged world citizens. Our lives were transformed by international experiences. Every day we create a more connected and compassionate world, one person at a time.

We pitch in. From helping our colleagues with meals when a new baby is born, to working with students to make sure credit transfers back home, to consulting with US study abroad offices to help improve business processes, our staff go the extra mile for each other and for those we are serving. We have each others’ back.

More than 21,000 students have participated in our programs. They have come from all backgrounds and all types of institutions. It’s our job to expose students to amazing places, teach them new concepts and help them explore their boundaries. It’s their job to accept new ideas, change their perspective.


CISabroad Scholarships

CISabroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships, grants, or discounts to study abroad. We're unapologetically committed to increasing access to international education for all students.

$250 - $500


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Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Abroad in London, Fall 2022 at the University of Westminster

I studied abroad in London with CIS Abroad at the University of Westminster in Fall 2022. The program staff on-site was so amazing, warm, and welcoming. The academic and accommodation university staff was also friendly and helpful. The university accommodation was comfortable and very safe for being in Central London. The city is so walkable and there is never a shortage of things to do and see. I would recommend this program to any students looking for an affordable, exciting, and academically enriching experience in London.

  • Accessible, helpful, and welcoming support staff
  • Exciting and dynamic city environment
  • Safe accommodation
  • Potentially expensive cost of living (outside program dues)
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Abroad at the University of Westminster in London

My time abroad in London, England was one that I have not stopped thinking about after arriving back in America! At the University of Westminster I was able to take a course called "Photographing the City" which allowed for a fun and creative way to view the city. We were each given our own digital camera to use and had our professor be our own personal tour guide as we explored and photographed various different parts of the city. I really enjoyed how this program was not just in the classroom. During the school day the class was able to go out and indulge in all London had to offered as we learned techniques that would improve our photographing capabilities. I have never taken a class similar to this, and I would really recommend taking a course abroad that allows you to be out in the culture of the foreign country. From the academics to exploring the city, it was an overall memorable experience.

  • Easy Transportation!
  • So many things to do around the city and easy transportation out of the city to explore other cities in England
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Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in London

I am so glad that I made the decision to study abroad in London for a semester! I had the best 3 months of my life and made so many new friends. CIS Abroad was an amazing program to go through as they were super helpful and supportive from the beginning (before I left for London) and to the end. I learned so much more about myself and learned to step outside of my comfort zone. I will never forget the memories I made in London and I am so thankful for the experience and the friends that I made.

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Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience of my life!

I could not recommend Florence enough to any person looking to study abroad! I had the best semester of my entire life, and not a day passes that I don't wish I was there! The people at CIS and Florence University of the Arts were beyond supportive and helpful throughout the whole process, and I would pick up and move back right now if I could! Florence is the BEST study abroad city in the world in my opinion, and I am so so so grateful for this experience! It took me a long time to decide if I should go or not because I was so nervous about not knowing anyone, but I could not be happier with my decision, it has changed my entire life!

  • FOOD!
  • History
  • Ease of travel in Florence
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer of my Dreams

My summer in the Italian Coast in Sorrento, Italy with CIS Abroad was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Going into it, I was extremely nervous going overseas alone but this program did an amazing job at connecting me with students before the program even began. Once I arrived, there are so many different opportunities to get involved and meet people whether it is through classes, field trips, sponsored organized activities or through your housing accommodations. This is something that I will advocate for my kids to experience one day. It was truly a dream.

  • Surrounded by so much history
  • The views everywhere you go
  • Location and ease of transportation to other nearby cities
  • Lack of food diversity
  • High Tourism especially in mid-late summer
  • Extremely hot in late summer


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the CIS Abroad Newcastle program because, from the very beginning, it fits all of the things I was looking for in a study abroad program. I knew I wanted to be in Australia and, when I read the descriptions of Newcastle, I just knew it would be a place I could call home. I was close enough to big cities like Sydney and Melbourne that I could travel and experience the tourist attractions, while also creating a home for myself in the smaller community on and around campus.

CIS Abroad had preplanned excursions included in the program that allowed me to do even more traveling and check off some things that were already on my bucket list, without the hassle of planning more things by myself. Not to mention, the pre-departure support, day of traveling support, and on-site support allowed me to be confident in my safety and ability to endure so a large adventure all on my own!!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider was incredible at always answering any questions I could possibly have, and helping me navigate the extensive requirements for a travel endeavor as large as studying abroad.

She helped me to coordinate transportation to and from airports during my time abroad, understand and finding my housing, and even prepared in advance linens and kitchenware to make my transition easy. She also gave clear instructions on how to apply for a Visa, travel grants, advice for booking flights, and so much more.

I could not be more grateful for the CIS program providers and on-site guides.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My biggest piece of advice for someone who is going abroad through CIS is to make sure that you pay attention to all the documentation and instructions that the program providers give you. If you do everything they recommend before departing on your adventure, your travel experience and stay abroad will be so smooth!!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week for me consisted of going to class, building relationships with new friends both inside and outside of the CIS Abroad program, as well as attending frequent hangouts and excursions planned and organized by my CIS Abroad on-site director. A few of these included a day hike at a nearby mountain overlook, as well as a winery tour, and beach picnics.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Growing up so close to my home university, I never really had the chance to gain a large amount of independence away from home. My biggest fear about going abroad was that I would be so far away from all of my family, friends, and those who care about me. Once arriving in Australia, I realized how exciting and freeing it is to be able to completely take care of myself.

I loved that I had complete control over everything that I did. It allowed me to form many great friendships and go on many adventures that otherwise I may have been too afraid to endure.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Helena Henare Coolen

Job Title
New Zealand Site Director
Helena lives in the “Coolest Little Capital in the World”. She is passionate about ensuring every student has a safe life-transformative experience whilst soaking up the unique and diverse culture and environment New Zealand has to offer. Based in Wellington, she is very connected with many people and is able to ensure every student has access to people and experiences personalized to their area of interests. She prides herself on being your New Zealand Aunty who you can trust and feel safe knowing she is there for you.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Learning to say hello in 52 different languages. The laughter when you mispronounce it but the respect and kindness from them that at least you tried. I remember using a word completely out of context and the raucous outburst of laughter from a group of elderly ladies. I love going out of my comfort zone and experiencing different world views.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have been a student myself learning the diversity of cultures that come out of the United States of America. Learning all about life in the US College system which is very different to New Zealand. The accents of students from different states is often like listening to different languages. I have learned also from my colleagues about their experiences of what it takes to successfully study abroad.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Every student has told Helena they will return to New Zealand. One in particular said he would be returning with his future wife and children to introduce them to their Aunty Helena. Every student is captured by the natural beauty of the New Zealand environment and loves to go hiking and exploring all it has to offer.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose Thailand as I have never been there and I love Thai food and find the people so warm and kind. I think having the opportunity to live in a country and having the authentic local experience is always more rewarding than just being a tourist. Knowing there is a local Site Director is what would make me feel safe.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The commitment to inclusion, especially the rainbow community of which I belong. I love that we identify as a family and, whenever I am dealing with a tough situation, I know I have a large wealth of experience to draw upon. I love that student wellbeing is critical to CIS leadership and the focus on continual learning about how we can always be better at working together to put our students at the heart of our business.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Putting the safety and well-being of every student at the heart of each program. I think offering unique and culturally rich program in countries around the globe at an affordable cost is what sets CISABROAD apart. I am super proud to do my work and feel it’s a privilege to be instrumental in supporting the future global leaders.

Professional Associations

The Forum on Education Abroad Logo