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CIS Abroad

Why choose 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 22,000 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- Barcelona

10/10 would recommend this program. Looking back, I have realized I loved every moment while studying abroad through CIS Abroad Program. The CIS Abroad program made my stay in Barcelona so worth it. I felt super comfortable and safe living in a country I have never been to. The CIS on-site program director was/ is super helpful, she gave me tips on where to eat, places to shop, and sights to see. The program trips were really fun and allowed me to get to know a lot of other students with in the program.

  • Comfortable living
  • Travelled to new places
  • Made so many close friends
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Yes, I recommend this program

Spring Semester at Sogang University, South Korea

There are no words to describe how amazing my time in South Korea was. Prior to going, I had never been away from home with people I never met, and was very nervous about whether I would make friends or have a good time. But within a week, I was having the time of my life! I was making friends, going out, and experiencing the college experience I never had. Although Sogang was not my first choice, I will say in the end it was the best for more. Coming from a small college, the size of Sogang was perfect. I was able to have a larger campus without feeling overwhelmed. And the location of the school is amazing. In the heart of Sinchon, and only a few subway stops from Hongdae, it was the perfect school for me. 2 of the biggest factors for my successful study abroad were CISAbroad and Sogang's HUG program. CISAbroad was there for me every step of the way, providing me with a welcoming experience as well as excursions to immerse yourself in the culture. Through the program, I made friends and was able to try activities I would have never thought to do. I am very thankful for the entire team who helped me throughout my time in Korea. HUG was a school club led by Korean students who wanted to share their culture with foreigners, as well as learn about outside cultures. Through this club, I was able to meet new friends and experience traditional Korean college events. Although I was only there for 4 months, I was able to make a lifetime of memories. All of the wonderful people I met and experiences I had, I would never trade it for anything.

  • Sogang is in a prime location, with always something to do - shopping, eating, partying, etc.
  • The city is very safe
  • Most people are polite and willing to help if you ask
  • If you do not have a Korean phone number or bank account some things are very difficult.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Abroad in Costa Rica: Best Trip Ever!

Studying abroad in Costa Rica with CIS was incredible. I had the most eye opening expereince and highly recommend this program. The on-site staff were extremely helpful and caring. My host family was welcoming and supportive. This made it easier to be away from home.Transportation was acessible and easy to use.The weekend excursions were amazing. I visitied beaches, waterfalls, and animal sanctuaries. On top of all that, the food was delicious. CIS did everything to ensure I had the best time. I am forever grateful for this trip.

  • Weekend excursions
  • Included homestay
  • Amazing on site staff
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer On the Italian Coast

Without CIS Abroad I would have had a difficult time adjusting to life in Europe. Their transportation and wonderful team helped me adjust and explore the country in a way that I would have never imagined. They made my first study abroad experience wonderful and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a program overseas! Every encounter I had with my site supervisor was informational and supportive wether it was for travel or education. I left with education about a new city as well as inside the classroom that I applied to my life back at my home University.

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Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Abroad: Summer on The Italian Coast Review

I absolutely loved my time at the CIS Summer on the Italian Coast program. Sorrento is a beautiful town and we really got to know the locals over the two months. Sorrento is a short train ride away from Pompeii where you can really dive into the history and walk through the ancient city. I was able to travel around Europe while maintaining good standing in my courses. Sorrento has fabulous restaurants and is a short walk from the Bagni Regina Giovanna. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again I would!

  • Amazing town
  • Interactive classes
  • Long travel to the airport


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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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