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CIS Abroad

About

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.

Scholarships

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.

Value
$250 - $500

Reviews

Default avatar
Olivia
10/10
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!

Pros
  • FOOD!
  • History
  • Ease of travel in Florence
Default avatar
Serenah
10/10
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.

Pros
  • Surrounded by so much history
  • The views everywhere you go
  • Location and ease of transportation to other nearby cities
Cons
  • Lack of food diversity
  • High Tourism especially in mid-late summer
  • Extremely hot in late summer
Default avatar
Kaitlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester On the Italian Coast: Sorrento

I studied abroad at Sant'Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy for the spring semester! I didn't know anyone else going and was very nervous about making friends and moving to another country I wasn't familiar with and couldn't speak the local language. CIS abroad was more than amazing at making sure every question I had was answered and set me up with support systems both abroad and at home before I even left. They helped me feel prepared and confident I would succeed abroad despite my many concerns. Once on site, the staff at Sant'Anna was also amazing at helping everyone adjust to the Italian lifestyle and learn the differences between Italian and American culture. The school also hosted events to help students get to know each other like cooking classes, guided hikes, movie nights etc. All of the classes were taught in english and the professors wanted to see you suceed. The class schedule was also designed to give students the opportunity to travel on weekends. Sorrento was also an ideal location; it was a small town so the experience was more personable, and less overwhelming for me than living in one of the larger cities. My experience was filled with adventures, new friendships, good food, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Pros
  • Easy to communicate with locals in English (and become friends with them)
  • Small and very safe town
  • Proximity to Positano and the rest of the Amalfi coast
Cons
  • Sorrento's shops were closed for January and most of February; very quiet
  • limited classes to choose from
Default avatar
Nagib
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I spent the summer being an intern in Barcelona and it was the best time of my life. There was a huge support network available to me and everyone from CIS was very helpful with everything I needed, from housing problems to cultural shock, there was someone who was always willing to help. I also enjoyed the day trips and activities that they had planned for us, it helped me connect with more people from the program which helped me get to know people very fast and my experience more enjoyable.
They met my needs when it came to the internship, I was paired with a company that was in the industry that I was interested in. They checked in regularly and made sure I had a great experience.

Pros
  • Beautiful City
  • Nature
Default avatar
Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Ever

I went to Italy through CIS Abroad's spring semester in Florence program and I am going to talk about it for the rest of my life :) Since returning home a few months ago, I've been thinking about going back almost every single day- it was quite literally the best four months of my life. Romina, the CIS on-site director, was a huge help throughout the entire semester as she was always available to talk and even planned numerous fun events for CIS students. When I got COVID halfway through the semester, she helped me in finding a doctor as well as a good place to quarantine. I can't imagine someone more qualified to do her job- she's the BEST. Overall, I recommend going to study in Italy through CIS as they're very organized, helpful, and responsive.

Pros
  • Good housing
  • Pre-departure support as well as on-site support
  • I strongly believe Florence is the best place to study abroad :D

Programs

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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
NAFSA Logo