CIS Abroad

Program Reviews

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Angelica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida Living

Costa Rica was truly the experience of a lifetime for me. I made some of the most amazing friends and got to learn from such incredible professors at Veritas. As someone who is an environmental science major, this country spoke so near and dear to my heart as they are very environmentally oriented overall and really are striving to keep their forests thriving. I had the sweetest host mom, an absolutely amazing site director, great university staff and I made some of the greatest friends on my trip, not to mention the vast number of breathtaking places I got to visit during my summer in Costa Rica. I have such an appreciation for the spanish language, the Costa Rican culture and the world! Pura Vida!

What was your funniest moment?
On one of the weekend excursions I went on with my CIS group and a few other friends who joined us, we got to do karaoke on the bus for hours and we had so much fun and sang so many songs with all the gusto we had! It was hilarious to watch everyone put on a show while traveling!
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Mabel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Abroad In Florence, IT during a Pandemic

This experience was amazing as a junior psychology major from Massachusetts. I have been to China and Canada but I have never been to Italy and I am so happy and lucky that I was able to go, even though it was during peak pandemic. My program did its absolute best to provide all the could during this really tough time when a lot of places were closed. I was able to travel throughout Italy, go to Capri, museums, cities, countrysides, and it was all equally as beautiful no matter where I went. If you're going to go abroad definitely use CIS!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When I came down with COVID while in Florence, I found out that the rules with quarantine are much different than here in the US. CisAbroad helped me so much through my 25 day quarantine process. Though it was very hard, but they helped me communicate with health care professionals, my school, and clarify much needed information. (as well as giving me a get well care package!)
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Jack
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience

In the midst of a pandemic, Connect-123 was able to pair me with valuable work experience across the world. I am working for a nanotechnology company in Barcelona, and the experience learning how nanotechnology reactors work and how a start-up technology company functions has been invaluable. I have been a part of a vital process in growing their company, and with the wonderful advisors in Connect-123, I have been able to make the most of it. I have been able to make a productive use of my time as well as learn and grow in a field I’m interested in. Apply now!

What would you improve about this program?
It's tough being online, but I think everyone made the most of the experience. There was a lot of support and help through every step. I'm not sure what I would change, but I do feel very unaccountable for my actions since there aren't many consequences between me and the screen.
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Nia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best semester I every had in London! (CIS Abroad - Semester in London - University of Roehampton)

This program was amazing! The advisors from CisAbroad and University of Roehampton help you with anything you need! There are many excursions that come with the program, which is also a plus! During my time abroad, I felt very welcomed and made life long friends with not only other study abroad students, but with locals that attended the University. I got to travel to surrounding countries and emerge into the different cultures. Seeking Discomfort was my motto when I embarked on this journey, it was the best thing I ever did. Now I am more outgoing and confident with everything I do! London is a place that will always be special in my heart and I can't wait to return in the near future!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wouldn't change anything. Even though covid-19 had put an end to my semester abroad earlier than expected, I loved everything about my experience and would not change it one bit. I would totally do it all again!
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Cassandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Cusco, Peru

During my four months in Cusco, Peru, I was able to gain experiences and memories I never thought possible. I studied abroad with CISabroad as my program, and the support I received was amazing. Every question I had before leaving for my trip was thoroughly answered, and I felt more than prepared. While in Peru, I loved being able to take courses that were drastically different from those that are traditionally offered here in the U.S., such as Healing and Shamanism. I was able to travel all over the country and experience different ecosystems including the desert in Huacachina, the Amazon rain forest in Puerto Maldonado, the coast in Paracas, the cloud forest at Machu Picchu, and various Incan ruins throughout the country. We also hiked (all the way up to 14,000 feet!), went horseback riding, and volunteered at schools, an animal shelter and an orphanage. I think the best part about studying abroad is learning to love the culture shock and being in new situations you may never have thought you’d be in but are so glad you had the privilege to experience. Overall, studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I were to do this all over again, I would spend more time truly experiencing moments rather than taking photos. I feel as though we are sometimes overly concerned about taking pictures so we can remember our travels, but I think there is also something to be said about looking around, without a phone in our hands, and thinking about where we are and why we are there.
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Tara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Limerick

I did the CISabroad Semester in Limerick program during the Fall 2019 semester. It was an incredible experience and I loved it so much that I am hoping to go back for graduate school. Some of the positive aspects of going to the University of Limerick through CISabroad was the assistance with pre-departure stuff, advising throughout the semester and after, and having a separate orientation with just CISabroad students. CISabroad made preparing to leave for Ireland so easy. They emailed you many times with detailed instructions and made sure you understood everything that was required before leaving to study abroad. They gave you specific times to book flights, took care of health insurance, paid your deposit, and got on campus housing for you. This was all so helpful and I felt like it made departure a lot less stressful and allowed me to worry less about leaving my home country. They even arranged for a bus to pick us up from Shannon airport and drop us off at our accommodation. I am thankful that we had CISabroad staff available for help throughout the semester as well to help with any questions. It was nice to know I always had a point of contact. The separate orientation was helpful as well, because although it felt like we had learned most of the information at University of Limerick's orientation, it was nice to hear it again in a smaller group setting. Meeting with other CISabroad students also allowed me to quickly find friends and to have more people to contact if I had questions. Where I felt CISabroad fell flat was with the planned excursions. Although the program did provide us with a few free meals and CISabroad dinners, the students in my program were under the impression that CISabroad would plan trips for us. We were told that there were 2 students in Dublin who would come on these trips with us, but that never happened. Granted, our on site advisor got another job, and we can't blame her for accepting a great opportunity, we felt that CISabroad didn't offer a good solution to this. We were provided a new advisor, however, they did not work for CISabroad and were instead a member of the University of Limerick staff. There solution for providing trips for us, was to cover the cost of any trips we went on through the University of Limerick's Student Life. While it was nice that these costs were being covered, it didn't add up to much. Trips typically were around 30 euros and we usually had to pay for our own meals while on these trips. The cost of food wasn't covered so, overall, we didn't feel we got our money's worth. Plus, these trips were open to the entire school, so we didn't feel like CISabroad followed through with planning trips just for us. Aside from the planned excursions, I feel CISabroad did their best in trying to come up with a solution to a problem that arose so quickly. It was an unfortunate situation, and we felt a little cheated out of excursions. That being said, I still was able to travel a lot and saw plenty of places on my own. The planned excursions would've been nice, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and adapt. Me and a few CISabroad students ended up planning trips amongst ourselves. It wasn't ideal but it turned out to be very fun. I will always be grateful for my time abroad and I have found a new love for travel. There are so many more countries I want to go to and I don't think I'll want to ever want to stop seeing new places. I didn't get everything I wanted out of CISabroad, but I do think it is a great program. They help a lot with advising, planning, and answering questions. I felt much more comfortable using a third party program than planning on my own. I'm sure excursions have been better in the past and will be better in the future. CISabroad did what they could given the challenges of trying to find a new advisor last minute. Things happen and they tried to offer a solution. I would recommend CISabroad for someone looking to study abroad because of how helpful they were and how easy they made transitioning into life in Ireland. Overall, whatever way you end up studying abroad, you'll have an amazing experience regardless.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Get phone plan in Ireland, it's cheaper than an international plan.
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Krista
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This changed my life!

My study abroad experience was more than I could have ever hoped for. It really challenged me and taught me to be independent, while allowing me to see so much of Australia and form so many lifelong friendships. CIS Abroad made everything so easy and stress free. The pre-planned excursions gave me something to look forward too and allowed me to truly experience Australia without all the stress of planning every single thing I wanted to do. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the CIS Abroad staff and for the program as a whole for facilitating so many incredible friendships and memories. Newcastle itself was a dream and being only a short train ride from Sydney, I was never bored. Now i'm just trying to figure out how I can get myself back there!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
My roomates had me try Australian "fairy bread" which is essentially an untoasted piece of bread with butter and sprinkles on it... lets just say it wasn't my favorite meal while abroad. hahahaha
Read my full story
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Brooke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience

Going abroad in Scotland was the time of my life. I was so nervous to leave the normalcy of my life, but I am glad that I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone and go for it. I was able to have amazing experiences that I could never have dreamed of doing, and was able to travel all over Europe, even on a college student budget. I felt safe and comfortable in Edinburgh, and was able to navigate the city very easily even though I am not used to being in cities. I made amazing friends that will last a lifetime. I hope that everyone takes the opportunity to go abroad as it was the most amazing time of my life!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that will be thrown your way and step out of your comfort zone whenever possible!
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You won't get an experience like this again

This experience was unique because of the location. Sorrento is a small town unlike any other with the breathtaking views, and the community is supportive. I could walk to the beach every day before or after class and easily walk to the grocery store. It was my best pick to have the easiest transition from home to abroad. I felt safe as a woman even walking alone at night. The professors loved the classes they taught, and I got to take an Elementary Italian course which really helped me learn more of the language. One of the best moments of the semester was finally learning enough Italian to be able to order at a restaurant. I could tell the locals were happy that I was trying to fit into their culture. It was AWESOME! This program is great because it checked off all of my boxes. It is very easy to get around and had all the benefits of a big school with a small town authentic Italian feel.

What would you improve about this program?
More (diverse) students attending the school. There were only Americans at the Sant'Anna Institute and I wish there were more international students. In addition, there were only 28 students at the school in total. I wish there were more people from different cultures and more students in general. This would lead to a greater sense of community and allowing for different cultural perspectives. There were few people and this created a sense of loneliness at times.
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Alayna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Bangkok, Thailand

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.