CISabroad

Program Reviews

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Peri
10/10

Interning abroad in Wellington NZ was the best decision I've ever made! I fell in love with the city and my job and really didn't want to go home! This experience was so eye opening and I can't wait to go back to Wellington! I will never forget all of the benefits that my internship opportunity provided me! I still have kept in touch with those who I met in New Zealand and will actually be going to Scotland with a girl I met from England in the spring!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Grace
10/10

I spent 3 months interning in Sydney, Australia and within the first few weeks it felt like home! I knew every nook and cranny of that city! After working my Internship hours for the day I would make sure to schedule adventure days around the city via Public Transportation. I felt like a local by the first week! I felt safe no matter what time of the day it was. Not only did I get to know the city, but I also made incredible life long friendships. To this day - a year after my journey - I still talk to my foreign friends! I feel like I've been spoiled because my internship fit my needs perfectly and the company supported me through one on one training. CISabroad is awesome!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kerry
10/10

This experience was one I will never forget! CISabroad was amazing in the application process, and went above and beyond while I was overseas. There were excursions included in the tuition, and the small group of CIS students became a small family. I had the privilege of traveling to 8 different countries in a short 5 month period, and was immersed in culture. I made friends that will last a lifetime, was able to live on my own in a foreign setting, and was constantly pushed out of my comfort zone in the best way possible.

How can this program be improved?
I know there is always room for improvement, but I cannot think of anything I would change about the program. It was fun, the people were helpful and easy to contact, and the experience was life changing!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katherine
10/10

I wish I could go back. I loved JCU so much and going with CIS Abroad was the best decision I've ever made. My favorite part was that JCU Townsville was a pretty Aussie school so I wasn't just a tourist. Another thing that I loved was that excursions and some meals were covered by my program fees so I didn't have to worry about not being able to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef because I ran out of money.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Steph
10/10

This trip was easily the best experience I've ever had. Right before writing this review I was going through my old pictures from the trip reminiscing, as I have done every single day since I got back. Not only did CIS go above and beyond while abroad, but they made sure we were all prepared before even stepping foot on the airplane. While applying, I was wary of whether or not my summer work schedule would allow me to go on the six week program, or the three week program. My program advisor reassured me that once I have my application in they can always switch it over–which took a complete weight off of my shoulders. Once accepted into our programs, CIS had an orientation meeting via video chat. This orientation meeting provided me with all of the information I could've asked for pre-departure, and I felt as if I knew everything about the city of Florence before even getting there. This definitely helped ease me into the culture, and mitigated any potential culture shock. I wound up doing the three week program, but I wish I could've stayed for an entire semester. Additionally, we had an orientation once we were settled in to our places as well. The orientation was long, but I don't know what I would have done without it. They described at length what to do, what not to do, which places to avoid, cultural norms we should respect, and even where to get the best mosquito repellant (which was VERY life changing). Once we arrived in Florence, I knew I was in the right place. The city itself is so utterly beautiful and rich in culture and history. Aside from the true magnificence of the city and the country, CIS provided us with numerous opportunities to truly dive into the culture and experience local life outside of the tourist realm. One of my favorite experiences was the gelato tour–where we toured around the city and tried two of the best gelato places in Florence, the kind you only find if you wander far off the beaten path and have a local to help you find it! My other favorite experience was the pasta making night. We all contributed to make a traditional Italian meal from scratch–including making home made pasta. These are only two of so many experiences I enjoyed and that truly made my time abroad feel like I was at home. Our site leaders, Peggy and Alessandro also had a huge impact on our trip. Not only were they there for us if we had any issues or concerns, but they helped to guide us whether we were looking for local spots to explore or needed to figure out how to use public transportation. This totally changed our experience, because we basically had locals we could text and ask any questions! We were able to explore so many cool places that we wouldn't have had the opportunity to had we not been able to reach out to Peggy and Alessandro. In addition, the institution where we studied could not have been more perfect. Florence University of the Arts offered numerous academic subjects to explore, and went above and beyond in ensuring that students got the most out of their experience. What is unique about FUA, is that they offer mandatory excursion trips as part of each course, where you get to travel outside of Florence and take part in activities pertaining to your class. For example, for my Italian class we visited Orvieto, a small town with a bit of a large secret–an entire community of caves under the city that were once occupied years before. We got to tour the caves and learned about the cities' history and why the caves were created. This was definitely one of my most memorable experiences, it was so unique and I would have never visited or even known about that town on my own. Overall, I could write an entire book about how great my experience was. CIS does it best, and they offer everything you could ask for! As a last point, I would like to mention that CIS has included health care while you are abroad. If we ever got sick or had any emergency, we had a doctor available to us that was free to visit, which really made a huge difference for me. Although I never needed to visit the doctor, I had a friend who broke her tail bone cliff jumping and was able to visit a doctor immediately because of this. It eased the students' minds knowing we had somewhere to go if anything happened to us, which really matters especially in a foreign country.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would say about this program is that the housing in our specific program could have been better. We did not have the best housing, although everyone else on our trip had good apartments. We must have gotten a bad luck of the draw–but listening to the students and their housing complaints is necessary and not to be taken lightly. I would suggest if possible a back up apartment kept open should any of the students have any serious problems with their housing–that would have really helped my roommates and I.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Linden
10/10

CISabroad coordinated airport picks up, which trust me, after coming off from a 17.5-hour flight from China, and another 2-hour flight to Bangkok was NECESSARY. Getting to the housing to the airport was very easy. It struck me on my first night there, after I had walked to 7/11, how natural I felt there. A the pre-departure orientation at my university a representative from CIS came who has been to the university in Thailand. She was able to outline for me what just some day to day things I could expect are. Like wearing a uniform, eating at 7/11 and the importance of carrying cash (fun fact! many places in Thailand don't take credit card). I felt supported when I was there enough so that I could live my life in the way that I wanted to abroad. I couldn't have done it without CIS!

How can this program be improved?
I think that CIS should offer more support in obtaining the student visa. And I don't think they should list the Mahidol program as being in Bangkok! In reality, students live and go to school about 30 minutes from the outskirts of Bangkok. This wasn't a bad thing AT ALL! It was so much more of local life. Not a lot of the business spoke English and things are a lot cheaper outside of the city.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jorge
10/10

I never expected to get the chance to study abroad since I never had to funds or the know-how of the application process. Yet, I had to tell myself that this time in college would be the only time I would get to do so. CISAbroad was the first program that was recommended to me and I have never regretted taking that first choice. In fact, I was beyond ecstatic that I did because I got to go see and explore a new part of the world I never thought I would get the chance to. The staff was helpful in preparing activities for the student and made the get along since there was a high chance that not everyone knew each other at the start. Additionally, learning Japanese was not that difficult since the staff was knowledgeable and had an easy to understand curriculum. I had some many fond and wonderful memories there and will not soon forget them. This experience made me feel full of confidence to travel again and see the rest of the world possibly. Hopefully, it will be soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Claire
10/10

I always knew that I wanted to travel to Barcelona, so I was excited when I made the decision to do an internship through CISabroad. My experience ended up being the absolute best that it could have been. I am an international business major worked for a company that worked with solar energy technology, and it was a great experience because the company I worked for had partnerships with companies in many different countries. I was able to learn a lot about an industry I had not considered before which was really enjoyable. I enjoyed my internship experience very much.
The CIS onsite staff provided support for all of the students in case we ever needed help with something or had an emergency. They were also really great about letting us know about different events going on in the city - we received a weekly cultural agenda with different activities to do every weekend in the city. There were also multiple day trips outside of Barcelona included in the program, as well as a week of intensive Spanish classes.
Overall, my experience in Barcelona was absolutely incredible, and I hope that I can go back again someday. I would recommend this program to anyone!

Yes, I recommend this program
This photo was taken in Scotland, and it just shows how happy I was throughout my entire time there
Laura
10/10

I picked Scotland for many reasons, but the main one was because of the beautiful landscapes and culture. Because of CIS and the ISS program at University of Stirling I was able to see Glasgow, St. Andrews and Edinburgh. On my free time I was able to travel outside of the country to Belfast, Northern Ireland and Nice, France with people I met through the international program. I will recommend CISabroad Scotland to anyone whose a first time traveler!

How can this program be improved?
I was only there for a month for the first session, so the only thing I would change is if the sessions were longer than a month.
Yes, I recommend this program
Park Guell
Jamie
10/10

The School for International Studies through CIS abroad was the most perfect program for me. The program is three months long which is a little shorter than most programs however it is great for someone who is on trimesters, is nervous about getting homesick, or like myself- wants to travel for a while before their summer job starts.
The academic coursework was challenging in a way that was incredibly rewarding. The professors don't give you hours of studying and homework to do because they understand that you are there to travel just as much as you are to take classes. I took several classes on the history of Spain and Barcelona and I learned more than I have from any professor or school because after learning about things like Gaudi's style of architecture we went out into the city and got a first hand experience by seeing things like casa batllo. My professors were so engaging, entertaining, and helpful, I still keep in contact with many of them today. They helped me to learn the rich and diverse history and context of the city I was living in.
The CIS staff on sight at SIS was incredibly helpful in getting students involved in the Catalan culture and making us feel comfortable. It can be frustrating trying to get a hold of them before you go abroad for questions but as soon as you step foot in Barcelona the staff is ready to help out any time of the day. Whether it is a safety concern, you are sick and don't know where to go, or you are struggling in your classes the staff at CIS can help put you on the right track.
The trips and activities (which are included in the cost of your tuition) are absolutely amazing and everything is paid for. My semester we went on two overnight trips, Sevilla and Zaragoza, where the food, accommodations, and planned activities were all paid for. We also went to the Dali museum, took a cooking class, and went out to dinner with our CIS mentor- all completely paid for by the initial cost of your program. This was absolutely amazing, especially for someone who wanted to experience Spain on a tight budget.
As far as housing, I stayed in a shared room/ shared apartment with American students from other programs. This gave me the opportunity to get to know people outside of just the school I was studying at. The apartment I stayed in was in an amazing location and we had everything we needed (washing machine, dishes, bedding, towels). Our apartment was very close to a metro stop however most days I walked about 15 minutes to class to get to know my way around the city better.
The CIS on site coordinators were available 24/7 through a cell phone in case of any emergency. I never felt unsafe in my apartment or walking around the city. I also purchased the international health insurance both through my home university and through CIS. I never thought I would need it but when I got sick while traveling outside of Spain, I was happy that I had insurance. The appointments, tests, and medication I received were completely free of charge and I visited a private travelers clinic where they spoke english and I had absolutely no wait time.
Overall I think the CIS School for International Studies program in Barcelona is amazing for anyone who wants to travel a ton and get the most out of what you pay for.

How can this program be improved?
The only suggestion I would make is that about 2-3 times throughout the semester we had class on Friday. I had wished that our overnight trips were on the weeks where we had class on Friday because it was kind of difficult to travel out of the country on those weekends with Friday class. I ended up staying in Barcelona those weekends though which was a great decision so that I could take some time to get to know the city I was staying in and experience the weekend night life in Barna.
Yes, I recommend this program