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CISabroad

About

CIS Abroad is committed to providing the best overall value in study and internship abroad opportunities. 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.

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! Scroll through the program listings below to find one that fits you best!

Founded
1999
Headquarters

17 New South St
#301
Northampton, MA 01060
United States

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

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Andrea
9/10
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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Abigale
10/10
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!
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Erin
10/10
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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Peyton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This summer I spent eight weeks participating in a Public Health Internship. I was able to get hands-on experience in my career field. In addition to shadowing and observing, I was taught how to give physical exams and was even able to assist! This hands-on experience in the medical field is unparalleled to my participation in the US! I was able to do things I didn't think possible.

I was also able to travel on the weekends and experience things I have never done before! I went scuba diving, visited temples and tried new food all while challenging myself and learning so much about not only my host country, but myself as well! My host family allowed me to have the ultimate cultural immersion. At the end of the summer, I wasn't homesick! I got everything and more out of my abroad experience.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tried a local soup with chicken feet and blood... it's a delicacy in Thailand!
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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I cannot say enough good things about this experience and this program! CIS Abroad was the perfect fit for me and what I wanted out of my study abroad experience. I made the decision to study abroad on a bit of a whim, and CIS Abroad was there every step of the way to help me along. First, the staff at CIS Abroad's home office in Northampton, MA is absolutely amazing. The people there who helped me were there for me for the entire thing - beginning the process of applying, getting accepted, and all the steps of preparation up until going to the airport and arriving in London! The on-site CIS Abroad staff were amazing, as well. Everyone at CIS Abroad was there to support me, and they all were so genuinely excited to help me on my journey! They even reached out to me multiple times during my program, and even after my program ended, just to chat and hear all about my experiences and see if I needed anything. The University of Westminster was also amazing. The opportunities I had in my classes there were unlike anything I have at my home university. I actually still keep in contact with some of the professors I had abroad (one is even writing a recommendation letter for me!). I stayed at the Marylebone residence hall, and it was amazing! It couldn't have been more perfect for what I wanted. It was right in the heart of London, within walking distance to all of my classes, and the nearest tube station was right across the street! Not only did I have a great experience due to the CIS Abroad staff and the University of Westminster, I also made amazing life-long friends and made irreplaceable memories - and you will too! I cannot express enough how thankful I am to this study abroad program for shaping me into the person I am today. I always thought I knew who I was as a person pretty well, but studying and living abroad taught me things about myself that I never would have discovered had I not gone abroad! So, get excited!!!! By picking this specific program, or another CIS Abroad program, I can guarantee you will have one of the best experiences of your life. :)

What was your funniest moment?
This is a bit embarrassing, honestly, but this is the story of the time I got locked in a stairwell and had to call for rescue -

It was the first day of one of my classes at the University of Westminster. My class was in a different building than CIS Abroad's welcome orientation was in. I thought I knew where I was going, but turns out I was wrong! The classroom number was in the 300s, so I assumed that meant it would be on the third floor. There was a person at the front desk of the building that I could have asked for help in guiding me to where my class was located, but I assumed I was okay and knew where I was going. I took the elevator to the third floor. It seemed a bit off. It was primarily offices, and I thought it seemed like a weird place for a class. So, I decided I would go back down to the ground floor and ask for help. I decided to take the stairs (which were right by where I was), instead of finding my way back to the elevator. BIG MISTAKE! As it turns out, that was an employee-only stairwell, and you needed to swipe your employee ID in order for the doors to open. I have no idea how I got into the stiarwell, but somehow I did, and I quickly realized I couldnt get out. I walked up and down all the flights of stairs, trying my student ID card at every door, to no avail. I finally realized that I had two options. One, stay in the stairwell and wait for someone to open one of the doors, and sneak out. Two, go out the fire door in the basement, sounding an alarm, and getting out of there! The logic part of my brain kicked in, and I realized neither of these two options were smart. I had two minutes until the class I was trying to go to started, and I didn't want to be late on my first day! So, here was my solution. The building I was stuck in was the place that the University of Westminster's Education Abroad office was located. So, I called their number, and told them my embarassing story, and how I was locked in the stairwell in the building. Sure enough, they rushed to my rescue and found me - LOL! They were so kind and we were all laughing and joking about the whole thing.

Moral of the story - always ask questions when you're unsure of something, it'll save you a lot of time! Also, everyone involved in the study abroad process is there for you!!! They see you at your best, and sometimes your worst, but there are always just a call away for help, even if it is something actually serious (unlike being stuck in the stairwell). LOL!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 94

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!

More Interviews

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.

More Interviews

Professional Associations

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