I’ve had a life-long fascination with the paranormal. Just ask my family members or friends. When I arrived in Florence, one of the first things I searched up was if the city had any reported haunted sites that I could visit. With Florence being ancient and enriched with history, of course I wasn’t let down.
The fall season has descended upon us. And with the temperatures dropping, what better way to spend your nights than reading scary stories and strolling through the streets to check out some of Florence’s darkest legends and mysteries?
Here are my top 3 ghostly destinations in Florence:
1. Palazzo Budini-Gattai
If you’ve been to the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, you’ve seen the Palazzo Budini-Gattai. A red brick building with three floors, it was constructed in the 16th century by the Grifoni family and eventually came under the ownership of the Budini-Gattai family.
The legend attached to this placeis in the far right window on the top floor. It’s always open, even when it rains, because the ghost of a noblewoman is still waiting for her husband to return from war. They had just married when he was called for battle. The young lady waited by the window so she could see him return. He never did. Heartbroken, the woman became attached to the room and the window until she died. When the shutters were finally closed, an unnatural force moved the furniture and threw books off the shelves. The chaos didn’t stop until relatives reopened the window. And so it has stayed open, never to close, lest someone wants to risk angering the ghost.
Located in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, on Via dei Servi, 51.
2. Pensione Burchianti
Located less than a 10-minute walk from the Duomo, the Santa Maria Novella train station and the basilica it is named after, Pensione Burchianti is a 3-star hotel that is situated perfectly for tourists. Open since 1919, the hotel has garnered a quality reputation for housing celebrities, politicians, and poets over the years. (Including an alleged visit by Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.)
However, guests might find themselves not the only ones residing in their suites. The reports of unexplained events include paranormal stories of patrons hearing children skip down the hallways, feeling watched, shivering from icy cold breath on their faces, and sensing the mattress dip as if someone was sitting on it. If that doesn’t scare you, there is also the Fresco Room where people have seen a pink, translucent figure. The owner of the hotel refuses to stay overnight. So if you’re brave enough to do it, make sure to record your stay. You might capture something!
Located on Via del Giglio, 8.
3. Palazzo Vecchio
Find yourself wandering by one of Florence’s most recognizable landmarks at night? Here are a couple words of advice: don’t yell out Baldaccio d’Anghiari’s name.
Palazzo Vecchio, and the Piazza della Signoria in general, have witnessed so much blood spilled on its pavement over the last 600 years. For example, the hanging and burning of Friar Girolamo Savonarola in 1498 is an event that is commemorated in a plaque positioned on the exact place where he was executed.
But did you know the violent tale of the mercenary Baldaccio d’Anghiari? In 1441, he was wrongly accused of treason and killed in the Palazzo Vecchio. His body was thrown out of a window and dragged across the Piazza, where his severed head was put on display. It’s now said that his ghost roams the premises of the Palazzo; sounds of footsteps can be heard when it closes for the day and all the tourists have left.
Don’t yell his name and avoid saying it out loud for no reason. If you decide to address him, you must speak respectfully in a low voice.
Located in Piazza della Signoria.
Opening hours 9am-7pm Monday-Sunday, 9am-2 pm on Thursdays.
Intrigued by these Florence ghost stories? Do you have any international ghost stories of your own? Share this post on social media with #CISghoststories and regale us with your ghostly encounters!
Today, in honor of National Coming Out Day, we present to you this video of CISabroad rocking it out at the 2018 Pride Parade in Northampton, MA and a bunch of LGBTQIA+ study abroad resources. CISabroad is committed to ensuringaccess & inclusionto education abroad for ALL students, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
National Coming Out Day means a lot of things to a lot of different people. And, while there may be calls to end this yearly holidayto dispel the narrative that “coming out” is the most important thing in a queer person’s life, we think that LGBTQIA+ students should embark on their international programs with as much information as possible about what it might be like to be out (or not) in their destination country.
We recognize that going abroad as an LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming student brings an additional set of challenges and options to consider. That’s why for National Coming Out Day we’ve put together this master post of resources for LGBTQIA+ students looking to study or intern abroad.
SKIP TO WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW
This is a master post (aka reeeeeeaaaally long) and we don’t want you to have to scroll all the way through. Utilize this handy outline to jump right to the LGBTQIA+ study abroad resources you’re interested in.
There are some questions you may want to ask yourself, and research to be done, before choosing a study abroad location. Being safe and comfortable is important to any study abroad adventure, and CISabroad wants to ensure both of those for our students. As a proud supporter of Generation Study Abroad, we have focused on LGBTQIA+ students in an effort to not only increase students’ knowledge about and access to education abroad, but to also better serve those students as Ally Advisors.
Some questions to ask yourself before studying abroad:
How “out” do I want to be to my host family or roommates?
Is it important for me to participate in LGBTQIA+ activities and events while abroad?
Is discussing my sexual orientation or gender identity something that is important to me?
What are the social attitudes towards being LGBTQIA+ in my host country?
Are there resources for LGBTQIA+ students in my host country or at my place of study?
Are there any LGBTQIA+ groups or LGBTQIA+-friendly establishments in my area?
Are sexual orientation and gender identity openly discussed and accepted, or more taboo in my host country?
Will I be staying with a host family or roommates who will be accepting of me if I choose to come out?
Are there safety and legal issues for LGBTQIA+ individuals in this area?
If you need help figuring out where to go based on your answers to these questions, check out the list of LGBTQIA+ friendly countries below, or feel free to ask our friendly staff in the Global Advising Center for their advice.
If you’ve already applied for your program and want to talk about how we can support you when you go abroad, your program coordinator is a good resource to reach out to.
LGBTQIA+ Friendly Countries Project
In 2016, we sent an in-depth survey to our program partners, and combined with positive feedback from students, the following have made the list. We acknowledge that not everyone will have the same experience in every location, but research and expectations are key. Find out more info (like prices, dates, and application deadlines) on each of these programs at www.cisabroad.com.
Your safety is our first concern when you’re abroad. No matter where you study or intern with CISabroad you’ll have an on-site staff member dedicated to supporting you during your time abroad. That said, it is always good to be prepared with knowledge about how your identities could affect your experience in your host country. Check out these resources below for more info specific to your identities.
The Department of State’s US Passports and International Travel Department hasLGBT Travel Informationfor LGBT individuals going abroad
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) offersLesbian and Gay Rights Maps that detail legal climate
Featured on AIG’s LGBTQ Travel Safety website, Man About World has a LGBTQ Travel Safety Guidedesigned to help LGBTQ travelers navigate the complexity of traveling with some of these identities, including some that are specific to lesbians, gay men and/or transgender and non-binary travelers
WHAT DO OTHER LGBTQIA+ STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH CISabroad?
We did a survey of our LGBTQIA+ identified students in 2016 to ask them if they had any advice for LGBTQIA+ students looking to study or intern abroad. Here is some of their advice:
“Fortunately my identity did not impact my experience abroad, despite Ecuador having a notoriously negative view on homosexuality. For the month that I was abroad, I simply “re-closeted” myself, and only revealed my sexuality to those I trusted. As unfortunate as that may sound, it seemed necessary at the time and was probably the safest option when traveling to a new place. Because of this, I was not treated any differently in the country. To future students, I would recommend doing your research about the country you want to visit. And remember, even when traveling to an LGBT friendly place such at Canada or the U.S., always value safety above all else.”
– Carson P., Intern in Ecuador
“I identify as a gay/bisexual woman, and I studied in Reutlingen, Germany from January to May. It didn’t impact it at all really, I feel very comfortable with who I am and my friends and family support me, so I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t run into any problems. I had such an amazing time abroad, and I would strongly encourage anybody who’s interested, to definitely spend some time abroad, you may discover something else about yourself!”
– Anonymous, Semester in Germany – Business, Engineering, & Culture at the University of Reutlingen
“I went abroad to Italy. It was perhaps the best experience of my life. The people were incredibly friendly and kind there. I learned a lot and traveled a lot, and made so many new friends. However, I never came out and told anyone that I am gay. I hid that fact from everyone there. I did not want to be judged based upon my sexual orientation. Also from what I learned in the first few weeks was that Italians were not the most accepting of being gay. I mean they were not outwardly hostile or prejudice toward people who were gay or lesbian. They had more of an attitude of if you are fine that is okay, just keep it to yourself and don’t show it around us. It is a little hard to describe how I felt about it or how it impacted me as I kept this to myself. Perhaps I was a little afraid that if I did come out abroad then I would have been alienated by some in the community and those in the abroad group as well. I just went about my days like I always would and lived life to the fullest while there.”
– Anonymous, Semester in Italy
London & Scotland
“I am a young bisexual woman who has been out to my friends and family for a couple of years now. Right at the end of my stay in London, America legalized gay marriage throughout the country. I was ecstatic and so were my new friends. We decided to all go out to the pub that night to celebrate the incredible news. I found London to be a pretty safe space for LGBT+ people, and I observed signs of support for my community through the city. London let me be proud of who I am, and supported me as I celebrated the amazing changes taking place in America.”
– Jennifer W., Summer in London
“Being in London for four months was great because I wasn’t just getting a small taste of gay life in London. I lived it the entire time I was there and loved every second. Being in such an accepting atmosphere helped me to realize that I’m more than some gay athlete (yeah, I play sports at college and that’s not always so accepted as we know). In general, it was such a great experience because if anything else it made me even prouder to be gay. Every last second was perfect to me and my sexual orientation did nothing to cause problems.”
– Nick M., Summer in London
“The summer I went to London, I came to terms with the fact that I was pansexual, not bisexual. That same summer, I went to my first pride parade in London. It was the typical rainy day and all the rainbow confetti and glitter was sticking to everything! I’ve never felt happier or more accepted. It was life-changing to attend such an incredible event after I had just come to better understand my own sexuality.”
– Sally S., Summer in London
“In London, my identity as a gay man did not affect how people treated me. Being Mexican-American definitely had an effect, but not being gay. It was surprising for me personally, being in a space where I did not fear being/coming out. It has helped me in being me. London is such an open city. Yes there is the rare homophobic slur, but it literally only happened once, The rest of the time people simply didn’t care. For future students I would say, do research on the country that you are going to. Find out how it treats its own LGBTQIA+ citizens. You will have to live in that space as either out or not. But it will help knowing what to expect in before going.”
– David O., Intern in London
“Advice to future LGBTQ+ students: If you’re out and going abroad and are shy to tell people like I usually am or if you’re not out but think abroad you want to be (I know a few people who came out abroad) I say just do you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”
– Marissa B., Semester in London – University of Roehampton
“I identify as queer, and I went to Edinburgh with CISabroad. Everyone I met was very open and accepting, and most of the girls on both my football and rugby teams were out and proud lesbians. My decision to go the UK was based on that it was an English speaking country and that it was (relatively) liberal compared to the other countries I was looking at, such as Italy and Cuba. If you identify as a girl, I especially advise you to join a rugby team since girls’ rugby seems to attract a lot of queer people. I do wish that before I had gone abroad that someone had told me that the UK is NOT as conservative as I originally thought.”
– Anonymous, Semester in Edinburgh
“I went to Madrid, and I had no idea it was such a gay-friendly city. I wish I had known sooner I would have done a whole year rather than just a semester.”
– Anonymous, Semester in Madrid – Universidad Antonio de Nebrija
WHAT OTHER RESOURCES ARE OUT THERE FOR ME?
One of the missions of the Association of International Educators’ Rainbow special interest group is to provide resources for students studying abroadwho identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+).
The Diversity Abroad communityinspires, connects, and assists you in reaching your academic and career potential in our increasingly interconnected world. Plus they have an AMAZING set of guidesto help you leverage your intersectional set identities to get the most out of your time abroad.
Equaldexis a community-built database of laws affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals around the world.
Are you thinking about where to study abroad next semester or summer? Do you like tasty cheap food, modern luxuries, and the trendiest media and fashion? If so, study abroad in South Korea might be for you!
Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons South Korea should be at the top of your list!
1. South Korean Media
K-pop has become a 5 billion dollar global industry in recent years. Living in Seoul opens up countless opportunities to support your favorite groups. You can see them live at concerts, participate in fan signing events, visit the biggest entertainment companies (such as SM, YG, Cube, etc.), purchase albums and fan merch in the numerous stores in Myeongdong, and maybe even cross paths with your favorite idol on the streets of Seoul!
Also, for fans of k-drama you will have the chance to visit filming locations across the country like N Seoul Tower and Naminara Republic Island.
2. Beautiful Scenery
South Korea is home to an impressive 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites! These include the traditional Hahoe Folk Village, Changdeok Palace right in the heart of Seoul, and the breathtaking southern island of Jeju. From green countryside to wild mountains, beautiful beaches to concrete jungles- in terms of scenery South Korea has it all!
3. It’s the Height of Modern Luxury
With the fastest internet speed in the world, you won’t have to worry about catching the latest episode of your favorite k-drama or binge-watching movies on Netflix!
Life in Seoul is one of luxury. The metro is fast, cheap, and reliable, which makes it fun and easy to explore the city and get out into the countryside. Not mention the largest indoor amusement park in the world is located right in Seoul.
Shopping is abundant in several districts around town. Pick out a whole new wardrobe in the stores around Ehwa, Hongdae, Dongdaemun, and Myeongdong. And new clothes won’t be complete without the newest makeup to go with it! Countless beauty stores adorn the streets: pop in to a Nature Republic, Missha, Etude House, innisfree, or Skinfood to stock up on face masks and get free samples of your favorite products (or get addicted to new ones!)
South Korea has a rich culture, which the locals will be more than happy to share with you! Get away from the city and find serenity in a Buddhist temple stay. You can experience a performance of local instruments and dances, or try on a hanbok at the city cultural center. For a truly unique experience spend a night at a jimjilbang: ranging from only $7-$20USD a night, you can enjoy karaoke, a food court, spa treatments, a sauna, and a luxurious soak in herbal baths all under the same roof!
5. FOOD 😋
Food in Seoul is both cheap and delicious! Show off your cooking skills (or learn from the locals!) and try your hand at grilling meat at your own table at Korean BBQ. Try food from street vendors in Hongdae, or enjoy a cup of tea at one of the numerous cat or dog cafes in Seoul.
We have a semester and summer program at Sogang University, one of the leading research and liberal arts universities in South Korea. Students in the second summer in South Korea program, which focuses on politics and international relations, take classes at Kyung Hee University, a university with an archive full of documents published in North Korea (and by the pro-North Korean residents’ league) and a serene park-like campus in the heart of Seoul.
Our global advisors talk to students like you all day about going abroad. They’ve learned a thing or two about the misconceptions people have about the application process. And lucky for you, they’ve put together a list of their Top 5 Myths About Applying to Study or Intern Abroad. Read on to become wiser!
1. MYTH: “It’ll take forever to apply”
FALSE: Applying for CISabroad’s programs is so easy you can do it in 10 minutes. Just fill out theone-page application on our website.
Info you’ve already got stored in your brain:
Your name, address, & contact info
Your home university, major, and GPA
Demographic information about yourself (all optional questions so we can know more about who applies and how to help more students go abroad with us)
FALSE:Though it might feel like it, applying to study abroad isn’t the same as applying for college. We know you’ve got enough essays to write for your classes, so we’re giving you a break. NO ESSAY!! You’re welcome 😄
3. MYTH: “Studying abroad is too expensive”
FALSE: At CISabroad, we work to make sure studying or interning abroad is as inexpensive as possible for you. And while our program prices are some of the most affordable you’ll find, we want to help you find even more ways to reduce your costs. Whether or not studying abroad is within financial reach is one of the most harmful myths about applying to study or intern abroad.
Here are 4 reasons you CAN afford to study or intern abroad:
FALSE: At CISabroad, we want to help as many students as possible get abroad. And not only the ones with 4.0s. In fact, most of our programs (and ALL of our Scholarships and Grants) have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5. You can see GPA requirements for individual programs in the top left side of program pages on our website.
5. MYTH: “It’s no fun”
FALSE: Applying to study or intern abroad is quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s the first step toward actually going abroad (a.k.a. the best part).
Now that we’ve busted all these myths about applying to study or intern abroad, we hope you’re ready to apply!
We are ready to design the program that helps meet your institutional or academic goals. Whether it’s a custom program in Scandinavia, a faculty-led program in Paris, or a study-intern combination program in Florence, our team can design the program that best suits your needs. Within every model, CISabroad guarantees consistency in communication, logistical expertise, 24/7 onsite support, diligent planning, and professional execution.
Through CISabroad, Dr. Reed leads a custom program in Scandinavia. He takes his students to Denmark and Sweden to visit other universities, technology suppliers, and site installations of key technology applications, in order to compare and contrast the Pittsburgh region and the U.S. to part of Europe’s efforts in clean energy development and the application of power grid technologies to accomplish certain goals.
Why go to Scandinavia?
Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Sweden have paved the pathway toward making renewable energy sources a large part of their energy usage. Sweden managed to reach its goal of a 50 percent renewable energy share and Denmark reported that it met 42.1 percent of its energy needs in 2015 using wind power, according to the state-owned energy company.
Sweden reached its 2020 goal of a 50% renewable energy share and Denmark reported that it met 42.1% of its energy needs in 2015 using wind power, according to the state-owned energy company.
Clean Power Grid Engineering: Scandanavia Program Info
This program introduces students to electric power transmission and distribution grid technologies dedicated to reliably, efficiently, economically, and safely managing electric power across utility networks in the U.S. and internationally. The course covers the application of various grid technologies from power generation through power consumption including transmission networks, grid automation, power electronics systems, communications and control, protection, grid operations, grid connectivity, renewable energy resource integration, cybersecurity, microgrids, DC technologies, and other emerging areas, as well as a brief introduction to power utility markets, business processes, and policy/regulation.
This two-week, 3 credit course, is available to both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh.
Through a combination of classroom lectures and site visits, students gain an understanding of:
A broad spectrum of power grid technologies and how they are applied in the electrical energy industry
Transmission and distribution systems at the electric utility level and how it relates to clean energy integration
Historic and current energy policies
Meet Dr. Reed, Program Course Instructor
Dr. Gregory Reedis the Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Energy and the Energy GRID Institute; Director of the Electric Power Systems Laboratory in the Swanson School of Engineering at Pitt; and Professor of Electric Power Engineering in the Swanson School’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department.
He is also the Director of the Grid Technologies Collaborative for the U.S. Department of Energy; and an inaugural member of the National Academies of Science and Engineering’s Energy Ambassador Program. In addition to these roles, he is the owner and principal consultant of Power Grid Technology Consulting, LLC, and serves as Chief Science Advisor on the Board of Directors for the E-Merge DC Alliance.
His research interests, teaching activities, and related pursuits include advanced electric power grid and energy generation, transmission, and distribution system technologies; power electronics and control technologies (FACTS, HVDC, and MVDC systems); micro-grids and DC infrastructure development, renewable energy systems and integration; smart grid technologies and applications; and energy storage.
Looking for a student perspective? Summer 2017 student Sarah reflects:
“Overall, this study abroad program was an epic two weeks. One thing that really enhanced my learning experience was the energy from my peers and especially how excited Dr. Reed was always. ‘Watch your step’!”
Dr. Reed says the program has had: “a tremendous impact on our students and faculty… and has also led to a groundbreaking international partnership. Our students have been able to gain a directhands-on understanding of grid technologies and infrastructure, renewable and distributed energy resource developments, and community-based district energy project initiatives both here in the U.S. and in Denmark and Sweden through the study abroad immersion period.”
Furthermore, “The course experiences and much of the student reporting from the program have been incorporated by the faculty into other courses, seminars, and training programs related to the subject matter and have been a catalyst for broader understanding and regional implementations of clean energy engineering practices, taking into consideration a true global perspective. Many of these practices are now being integrated through faculty research efforts into microgrid and renewable energy project developments in the Pittsburgh region through our District Energy Initiative with the local utility, as well as at local industry and community partner site installations.”
Like our partners, CISabroad believes international education is for all students – and access and inclusion scholarships can really help. It’s about where they’re going, not where they came from!
Because we’re unapologetically committed to increasing access to study and intern abroad programs for all students, we’vejust re-vamped our scholarship offerings! Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad participants receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad?
Scholarship + Grant Application Deadlines
Spring Semester Programs: OCTOBER 1
Summer Programs: MARCH 1
Fall Semester Programs: APRIL 7
NEW Access & Inclusion Scholarships:
*Academic Merit Scholarship – $250
*First-Generation Student Scholarship – up to $500 (Did you know two of CISabroad’s company leadership are First Gen?)
*Student of Color Scholarship – up to $500
*Rainbow Scholarship – up to $500
*Greek Life Scholarship – up to $500
*Passport Grant – $145
*TRIO Student Grant – flight voucher for up to $750
*Gilman Grant – flight voucher for up to $750
CISabroad’s grants are designed to help your students navigate some of the financial barriers on the front end of their study or intern abroad process that often keep them grounded: getting a passport and a flight!
Because these tasks are time sensitive, our grants function on a “first-come-first-serve” basis. There are limited spaces for each grant and we announce awards on a rolling basis, so make sure your students know to apply early. Here’s a list of our Program Application Deadlines.
Applying is Easy
After students complete their CISabroad application, they can find scholarships and grants application forms in their online student portal. They’ll write a little bit about themselves, why they feel they’re a good candidate, and send it off for us to review.
Our Scholarships & Grants Committee checks out applications from all eligible candidates. They’re a great team who reviews all applications through the lens of student need, academic merit, and written responses. They’ll hear from us via email bythese dates.
If a student receives one of our scholarships, they’ll work with our team on fun scholarship content deliverables (i.e. photos, videos, blogs, etc.) during their time abroad.
Please share CISabroad’s Scholarships and Grants page with your students to provide them more detailed information on eligibility and application requirements.
What? 8 new study abroad scholarships and grants?! You heard right. Here at CISabroad, we believe that study and intern abroad experiences are for ALL students. After all, it’s not about where you’ve come from – it’s where you’re going! (And you’re going places, believe us.)
In fact, many of our leaders are first-generation college students themselves. And we’ve heard from more students than ever how scholarships and grants have helped them learn new things abroad. So, this year, we’re offering 8 new study abroad scholarships and grants! Keep scrolling to see what you qualify for and start saving money.
All the Scholarships
CISabroad Academic Merit Scholarship – $250
The CISabroad Academic Merit Scholarship is for students who demonstrate excellence in their academic major. If you get it, you’ll make videos, blog, and share photos that show how your experience enriches your academic or professional career.
CISabroad First-Generation Student Scholarship – up to $500
We understand first-generation students face additional barriers to studying and interning abroad. In fact, many CISabroad staff members are first-generation students themselves. The CISabroad First-Generation Student Scholarship will help with the costs of international education for first-generation students. If you get it, you’ll share your story of learning and exploration with a photo gallery and your choice of travel vlog, blogging, or an Instagram takeover.
CISabroad Student of Color Scholarship – up to $500
Students of color are underrepresented in study abroad. That’s why CISabroad founded the CISabroad Student of Color Scholarship. If you identify as biracial, multiracial, Black, African & African American, Caribbean American, Latinx / Chican@ / Hispanic, Asian & Asian American, Native, Pacific Islander, or another minoritized racial/ethnic identity not listed, we invite you to apply. In your application, tell us about how your identity will impact your experience abroad. If you get it, you’ll select from a variety of mediums to share your story while abroad.
CISabroad Rainbow Scholarship – up to $500
We made a commitment, as part ofGeneration Study Abroad, to increase the number of queer students studying and interning abroad. And we mean business. If you identify as LGBTQIA+, CISabroad’s Rainbow Scholarship is for YOU.
Studying abroad as an LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming student brings an additional set of challenges and options to consider. You may want to ask yourself some questions about what you’re looking for in your experienceand do some research before choosing a study abroad program – but our LGBTQIA+ students have amazing experiences abroad and often find local LGBTQIA+ communities to be a part of. Recipients will select from a variety of mediums to share their story while abroad, in addition to submitting a photo testimonial.
CISabroad Greek Life Scholarship – up to $500
CISabroad’s Greek Life Scholarship benefits students in Greek Life organizations who need help covering the cost of membership dues while abroad. If you get it, in keeping with the philanthropic values of Greek Life organizations, plan to participate in at least one self-directed volunteer opportunity while abroad and create something (ex. a blog post or video) related to that experience.
It’s Raining Grants!
CISabroad’s grants are designed to help you navigate some of the financial barriers on the front end of your study or intern abroad process: getting a passport and a flight!
Because these tasks are time sensitive, our grants function on a “first-come-first-serve” basis. There are limited spaces for each grant and we announce awards on a rolling basis, so apply early! Find the grant application in your portal.
CISabroad Passport Grant – $145
Are you dreaming of going abroad, but still without a passport? Never fear! CISabroad has you covered. Our Passport Grant helps cover the cost of your passport application. Passport in hand, the world will be yours to explore!
CISabroad TRIO Student Grant – Flight Voucher for up to $750
If you’re are currently or have ever been a part of a TRIO program, you’re eligible to apply for our TRIO Student Grant, a flight voucher worth up to $750, to help you get abroad!
CISabroad Gilman Grant – Flight Voucher for up to $750
Jada got to Florence just over a month ago and is sharing her experience with all of us! Read on to hear about Jada’s process of adjusting to life abroad:
👋, I’m Jada Choate, a college junior from Winthrop, Maine. I am a vegan and proud sister of Alpha Chi Omega. I’m currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Just a small town girl with a passion for travel and a fervor for experiences.
CISabroad has been a key component of my experience.
My site director has helped me transition to life in Florence. He has shown me the ins and out of the city, opening me up to the world of pasta and gelato! I feel that CISabroad has offered me a reference point and go-to for any questions I have in this new environment. I have also had the opportunity to connect with students from other universities! My site director even brings along his dog, how cool is that?!
There is so much out there.
This revolutionary realization hit me in full force shortly after my arrival in Florence, Italy. I am a twenty-year-old female from an exceedingly ordinary town in rural Maine. I have always considered myself an “aspiring world-traveler.” For as long as I can remember, I have been consumed by an overwhelming desire to experience the world. I have dreamed of places and people beyond the trees and backroads that surrounded me. I have imagined myself immersed in other cultures, being enriched by all they had to offer. I have always felt ready to simply “go.” However, something seemed to always be standing in the way.
I was constantly obsessed by the rules I thought western society expected me to follow. I was busy being “the good student,” preoccupied being “the good daughter.” I thought getting into the “right college” was the end-goal and that if I could just do that, then everything else would work itself out. Maybe it’s simply American arrogance, but I thought my hard work would pay off. I thought I knew who I was, but somehow that was so different than what I wanted to be. I had been stuck in a perpetual wait for the life I dreamed of. I accrued academic accolades, leadership positions, club memberships and fond praise. I used other’s recognition to justify waiting for my future. But, I was blatantly and utterly unaware of how lost I really was. I was trying to find success in accomplishments that were ultimately empty.
It is funny how it takes completely falling apart to realize what really matters.
This cliché became my reality. Breaking down made me acknowledge the fact that it was time for a drastic change, the waiting couldn’t go on a second longer. I had somehow ended up inside an existence that had led to the complete deterioration of me. At that moment, I decided to get on a plane and I knew I would never return to my old way of life.
What could go wrong?
I didn’t even care as long as it wasn’t more of the same static nothingness I had come to know so well. I had to leave behind who everyone thought I was and fully commit to the identity and life I knew resided within me. As the plane became airborne, I knew everything would change and I was so glad.
I have been living in Italy for a month now.
Everywhere I look there are faces. Each face is a mystery. These people are strangers. However, somehow, I know so many of them already. I was shocked to find countless people abroad that perfectly resemble those that I had hoped to leave behind at home. The arrogant, belligerently drunk frat boy somehow exists here too. (Sorry ladies, guess we can’t get away from them quite yet). The financially endowed female, consumed by insecurities regarding self-image and social perception walk side-by-side among them. Why it is impossible to comprehend that there is a way of life that doesn’t include constantly blacking out? I guess American students abroad don’t always have a radical value change even 4,000 miles away from home. At the end of the day, we are young and blessed to have this amazing opportunity of living abroad for four months. However, that reality is so diverse in meaning based upon the perspective of the individual. I hope to find and lose myself here. I hope to meet people that are not like the ones I tried to leave behind. I hope I am able to experience the world through wide-eyes and an open heart.
There is so much out there…I want to see it all, I want to feel it all.