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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

Pura Vida Living

Costa Rica was truly the experience of a lifetime for me. I made some of the most amazing friends and got to learn from such incredible professors at Veritas. As someone who is an environmental science major, this country spoke so near and dear to my heart as they are very environmentally oriented overall and really are striving to keep their forests thriving. I had the sweetest host mom, an absolutely amazing site director, great university staff and I made some of the greatest friends on my trip, not to mention the vast number of breathtaking places I got to visit during my summer in Costa Rica. I have such an appreciation for the spanish language, the Costa Rican culture and the world! Pura Vida!

What was your funniest moment?
On one of the weekend excursions I went on with my CIS group and a few other friends who joined us, we got to do karaoke on the bus for hours and we had so much fun and sang so many songs with all the gusto we had! It was hilarious to watch everyone put on a show while traveling!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Abroad In Florence, IT during a Pandemic

This experience was amazing as a junior psychology major from Massachusetts. I have been to China and Canada but I have never been to Italy and I am so happy and lucky that I was able to go, even though it was during peak pandemic. My program did its absolute best to provide all the could during this really tough time when a lot of places were closed. I was able to travel throughout Italy, go to Capri, museums, cities, countrysides, and it was all equally as beautiful no matter where I went. If you're going to go abroad definitely use CIS!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When I came down with COVID while in Florence, I found out that the rules with quarantine are much different than here in the US. CisAbroad helped me so much through my 25 day quarantine process. Though it was very hard, but they helped me communicate with health care professionals, my school, and clarify much needed information. (as well as giving me a get well care package!)
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Yes, I recommend this program

My experience

In the midst of a pandemic, Connect-123 was able to pair me with valuable work experience across the world. I am working for a nanotechnology company in Barcelona, and the experience learning how nanotechnology reactors work and how a start-up technology company functions has been invaluable. I have been a part of a vital process in growing their company, and with the wonderful advisors in Connect-123, I have been able to make the most of it. I have been able to make a productive use of my time as well as learn and grow in a field I’m interested in. Apply now!

What would you improve about this program?
It's tough being online, but I think everyone made the most of the experience. There was a lot of support and help through every step. I'm not sure what I would change, but I do feel very unaccountable for my actions since there aren't many consequences between me and the screen.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best semester I every had in London! (CIS Abroad - Semester in London - University of Roehampton)

This program was amazing! The advisors from CisAbroad and University of Roehampton help you with anything you need! There are many excursions that come with the program, which is also a plus! During my time abroad, I felt very welcomed and made life long friends with not only other study abroad students, but with locals that attended the University. I got to travel to surrounding countries and emerge into the different cultures. Seeking Discomfort was my motto when I embarked on this journey, it was the best thing I ever did. Now I am more outgoing and confident with everything I do! London is a place that will always be special in my heart and I can't wait to return in the near future!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wouldn't change anything. Even though covid-19 had put an end to my semester abroad earlier than expected, I loved everything about my experience and would not change it one bit. I would totally do it all again!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Cusco, Peru

During my four months in Cusco, Peru, I was able to gain experiences and memories I never thought possible. I studied abroad with CISabroad as my program, and the support I received was amazing. Every question I had before leaving for my trip was thoroughly answered, and I felt more than prepared. While in Peru, I loved being able to take courses that were drastically different from those that are traditionally offered here in the U.S., such as Healing and Shamanism. I was able to travel all over the country and experience different ecosystems including the desert in Huacachina, the Amazon rain forest in Puerto Maldonado, the coast in Paracas, the cloud forest at Machu Picchu, and various Incan ruins throughout the country. We also hiked (all the way up to 14,000 feet!), went horseback riding, and volunteered at schools, an animal shelter and an orphanage. I think the best part about studying abroad is learning to love the culture shock and being in new situations you may never have thought you’d be in but are so glad you had the privilege to experience. Overall, studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I were to do this all over again, I would spend more time truly experiencing moments rather than taking photos. I feel as though we are sometimes overly concerned about taking pictures so we can remember our travels, but I think there is also something to be said about looking around, without a phone in our hands, and thinking about where we are and why we are there.


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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

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