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CIS Abroad


At CIS Abroad, we're committed to providing the best overall value in study and internship abroad opportunities for every student! CIS Abroad programs are affordable and specialize in providing quality education and support throughout your study or internship abroad experience. Experiences are innovative and focused on cultural immersion through our La Vida Local activities.

All of the CIS Abroad staff members have studied and lived abroad. They provide first-hand insight and feedback so that you are fully prepared for your trip overseas! Browse the program listings below to find one that fits you best. We're here to answer ALL of your questions!


17 New South St
Northampton, MA 01060
United States


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

A semester in Thailand was an incredible experience. From the cultural immersion to the nearly-every-weekend travels, I learned so much and worked past challenges that led me to grow as an individual tremendously. If I had never studied abroad in Asia with a program then I am not sure if I ever would have discovered all of the countries and activities that I have after college. CIS Abroad was visibly the best program to be a part of during the semester with the planned trips and amazing staff. I would do another semester abroad if I could!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be aware of the challenges that are common with tourists. Things WILL happen but it is unstoppable and what matters is how you deal with it. Some things that happened to me that I was able to learn from were people will try and get more money out of you. When paying a bill and you need change, try and give as close to the payment as possible. Do not give your big bills here for change, just go to 7/11. Taxi drivers may try and charge you more halfway through the ride. Just stick with the original agreement and have the tourist police number handy in case the driver makes a scene which will usually only happen when nobody else is around. Use as much of the language as possible as locals will appreciate it and will be more willing to help you. Know that issues will arise and be confident you can work past them.
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Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Abroad made my experience incredible. From a few days after we arrived abroad, we had an orientation before classes started where the taught us some of the local culture and language, brought us to the mall to explore and purchase cell phone plans, as well as assisting us with any questions we had right off the bat. Throughout the program as well, staff were always willing to answer questions and were available to help most of the time. They helped organize various tours and programs during our time abroad which was a great way for us to enjoy the experience even more without being burdened by the pressure of planning all o f our own trips. I would highly recommend CIS abroad to anyone looking to study abroad especially in Thailand. They really made our experience great.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We were able to try everything from Scorpions to Spiders at the local market street Called Khao San Road. One of my favorite places to spend nights out.
Response from CIS Abroad

Thank you for your review, Jeremy! It's so good to know that our on-site staff were so helpful during your arrival and throughout your time abroad. We're so glad you enjoyed the excursions and you had such a great experience in Thailand. We appreciate your recommendation!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Sorrento was one of the most beautiful and amazing places I have ever been. I am so happy that I decided to go there because it was a small, immersive town, where we knew all the locals, could practice Italian comfortably and got treated like family there. Sorrento was unique because a lot of people don't know it exist! A lot of my friends who studied abroad picked big cities like Rome or Florence but I think Sorrento was perfect for me because it made me feel safe and comfortable. The view outside your window is a million dollar view and makes you never want to leave. CISabroad was a very good partner program that provided me with a lot of support, especially being someone who has never left the country before and who has a lot of traveling anxiety. They were a great support system and guided me through my journey in Sorrento without being overbearing.

What would you improve about this program?
To improve the program, I suggest better communication about all processes involved in order to actually physically get abroad. The visa process was a pain and we had no warning going into this that it would be that much of a struggle just to get one.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Not only do the program coordinators make you feel comfortable, the people that assisted me from day one to even today, several months after leaving Ireland, make it their priority to help each and every student so they have the best time abroad. The academics at UL were top notch and it felt like there were hundreds of clubs and organizations on campus to join! I ended up playing rugby for UL and my previous experience playing didn't matter, they want everyone to play, no matter their skill set! Regardless of the anxiety I felt before leaving for Ireland and coming home, I knew I was in good hands. The onsite coordinator, John, is the BEST person for the job. He is absolutely delightful and has so much knowledge about traveling to other countries in Europe and throughout Ireland. I honestly was worried about studying abroad because of my financial situation, however, the staff at CIS Abroad assisted me in figuring out how to fund my study abroad experience. AND!!! I was able to receive scholarships from them!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
There was one beach that I went to with some friends where I was able to walk across the ocean floor! The tide was so low and I saw two crabs! We were able to walk to an island that was a mile or so away. We eventually had to run back because we got so caught up in the beauty of the island and surrounding environment! I will always remember this experience!
Response from CIS Abroad

Hi Abigale! It's great to hear that you had such a wonderful experience with your program coordinator and our on-site staff in Ireland! So glad that you felt comfortable and supported through the whole process, and that we could help you figure out how to fund your program. We’re happy to hear that you felt right at home and were able get involved on campus, as well. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Yes, I recommend this program

If you are considering studying abroad through CISabroad, do it! I went to Edinburgh from early January to late May of 2019 and it was the best decision I have ever made. CISabroad is an amazing program and we had all the support we needed throughout the entire process, and even now as CIS alumni. Edinburgh has SO much to offer and it is a great location nearby the airport, main train stations, and has a really amazing bus transportation system to help you get around. If we needed anything, CISabroad staff were more than willing to help in any way possible! This program really makes you feel comfortable wherever you go. With a director on-site, we had easy access to assistance and we always knew we had someone to go to when our families were often across the ocean.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that selecting our courses was a bit simpler and that our schedules would be known before arrival however, I feel this is more of an issue with Edinburgh Napier University rather than CISabroad.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Gabriella Swartz

Gabby is a senior at Valparaiso University majoring in Spanish and Secondary Education.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose CISAbroad because it was recommended to me at my Study Abroad office on my campus. I decided to do a program outside of my university because I knew I wanted to go to Spain and my university didn't have an option to Spain, so I went through CISAbroad instead.

After applying for the program, I had no help from my university office, but the CISAbroad staff were so helpful and supportive, I'm so glad we were able to go through CIS.

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

The only things I needed to organize were my flight to Spain and my transportation to the airport to leave and my flight home. When I arrived, there was a driver waiting to take me to my homestay. CISAbroad organized my homestay and university enrollment.

Once I arrived, I was more in control. I did change my classes and decided what included excursions I wanted to go, but nothing was required.

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

The biggest thing for me is that they do NOT split checks. If you ask your server nicely, they may try and accommodate you, but typically they do not split checks. It is a cultural thing for them. I know it's small, but that is the one thing that shocked me the most and caused the most shock because you are going to be mostly eating with others if you go out to eat.

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

In the summer program, a typical week included daily class which depends on your schedule. For me, I had class from 8:30-1:15 Monday-Thursday and on Friday classes were from 8:30-11:15 for everyone. After class, you were free to do as you wish! The university I attended offered excursions and visits to the big museums and sites in Madrid that were free for students, those were typically on Wednesdays.

On the weekends, you were free to do as you wished. The program I was in included 2 of the weekend excursion trips to other cities in Spain outside of Madrid on Saturdays. These trips were day trips leaving around 8:30 AM and returning about 5/6 PM.

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

My biggest fear was going alone. Since I went through a non-university program, I did not know anyone else going to Madrid. I wouldn't say there's a way to get over going alone other than just having faith in yourself and being confident. You will meet people and you will make friends!

My view on going abroad alone now is DO IT! It is so much fun and you learn so much about yourself that you may not have learned if you weren't put in that situation.

What is your favorite memory of this trip?

My favorite memory abroad was my last weekend in Madrid. I decided to stay in Madrid and not travel because there were still things I hadn't done that I wanted to in the city. That weekend, I went to the amusement park in Madrid (Parque de Atracciones) with some friends. We had a blast!

The next day, I went to the Madrid Zoo by myself for the day. Going alone was awesome! I could take my time looking at all the animals and seeing all of the shows offered. It was great last weekend!

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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