Studying abroad with CIS was the best decision I have ever made. From the moment I applied, their program was thorough, clear, and simple, and their team is responsive, passionate, and caring. Over a year ago, I showed interest in studying with CISAbroad. I was almost immediately contacted by the representative that specialized in the area I was interested in to introduce herself, see if I had any questions, and invite me to phone call conversation to discuss my options. She was so personable, caring, and patient, and had a clear answer to every question I asked. I immediately knew that this was the company I wanted to study with, and now only had to choose my location. This representative was happy to engage in another phone call and help me decide on the program best for me, after weighing my options, we decided Edinburgh was the place for me. From then on, the process only got less stressful. Their team members were welcoming and enthusiastic and made me feel as if I was a part of a community before even setting foot on the airplane. Their information packets were thorough, comprehensive, and detailed. I knew exactly what needed to be done, by when, and how. Any questions that popped up were answered in a timely, professional, and enthusiastic manner. Then, the pre-departure orientation explained nearly every detail of what to pack, what to do, and what to expect. It also introduced us to our wonderful program coordinator Jeanna. If I could write an entire review on how incredible Jeanna was, I absolutely would. She was so caring, kind, and motherly. Every person in our program cherished her and agreed that she helped us to feel at home in such a new country. Maggie, our program coordinator in the states was in frequent and personal contact with us to make sure that we were adjusting well and enjoying our experience. When we arrived in Edinburgh, we were instantly taken care of, with rides from the airport provided, on-site orientations, and recommendations about where to buy necessities, I never once felt lost or overwhelmed during my first week in Scotland. Jeanna brought us out for dinner that night to help us get to know one another and discuss what we should expect coming up, and then took us for a walking tour of the city. I can still remember the things I learned on that tour because of how personable, knowledgeable, and kind Jeanna is. I felt as if I was moving into my new home. Jeanna made sure to meet with us often and check in frequently, from coffees to Facebook messages, she went far above and beyond to help us have the best semester possible. I genuinely believe that she is the reason I did not feel homesick, and I could never have enough words to thank her.
The best part of my study abroad experience by far was the infamous CIS Scotland Highland Tour! This excursion, covered in our tuition and fees, took us on a tour of the highland to see the most beautiful, memorable, and incredible views I have ever seen. I will never, ever forget the experiences I saw on this trip from famous landscapes (including the Harry Potter Bridge), bonding with my fellow students, and, of course, eating Haggis!
CIS was not only affordable, but so beyond worth the money spent on the program. For less than I pay a semester at my home institution, we were provided extremely comfortable student accommodation, a fantastic education at a Scottish Institution, and experiences that I will never in my life forget. I absolutely loved my classes at the institution. I learned so many interesting things from extremely knowledgeable professors and was both intrigued and challenged by the subject matter. Likewise, there were so many course options to choose from that it was nearly impossible for someone to not find something they were interested in. I loved collaborating with Scottish students, and creating bonds with people from the institution on group projects and outside of class time.
To CIS, I can only say “thank you” for giving me the semester of a lifetime.