At CISabroad, we feel that our strongest asset is our staff. From the moment you first hear from us, be it through a phone call, email, or personal visit, you will find someone that truly cares about helping you to find the best study or intern abroad program to fit your needs. Below you’ll find both our U.S. and overseas staff, who will work with you to ensure a rewarding experience.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to make language mistakes. Some of my best laughs ever are from either making a language faux pas myself, or hearing others make them. Some things are universally funny and when laughed over together, can result in a humor bond that can last a lifetime.
Travel Tip: I first learn about a new culture through food. I try to understand what truly “local” dishes are and then find a “typical” place (non-tourist) at which to eat them. This has led to some of my most memorable experiences abroad.
Travel Tip: Find water and jump right in. Literally. There is something about being in the water that helps me get my mind to slowdown, settle in and get ready for adventure. So remember to take it slow, you will see more and feel more , which will deepen your experience.
Travel Tip: Whatever it takes, make it happen. And once you get overseas, make the most of it. Take every opportunity you have to spend time with locals – the experiences that always prove to be the most memorable are the ones that involve genuine interactions with others.
Travel Tip: Expect the unexpected! Sometimes culture shock is stronger in countries where you expect things to be more similar to your home country and environment. Traveling abroad is an excellent way to learn more about your own culture, habits, style, and adaptability.
Travel Tip: Drink coffee the local way. Dine with a host family. Eat some recommended street food. Drink fresh juice from local fruits. Find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that will probably serve the best meal of your time abroad (and it will likely cost less too!). Food and drink can be an excellent inroad to getting to know another culture.
Travel Tip: Never forget to give yourself credit for making the decision to study abroad. Immersing yourself in another culture is challenging, but the memories and sense of personal growth you return with make study abroad all the more rewarding.
Travel Tip: Forgive yourself for not always knowing exactly what to do in a new place; if you’re humble, people will be happy to nudge you in the right direction. And always have a deck of cards in your backpack!
Travel Tip: The first chance I have in a new place, I like to either rent a bicycle or go running to get a better feel for my surroundings. Not only does this feel refreshing after time spent on the road or in the air, but it also gives you a great orientation to your destination.
Travel Tip: When I begin planning a trip I love to leave two or three days free. There are always fun activities you’ll learn about while in country so you don’t want to miss out on them due to over scheduling!
Travel Tip: Be open to meeting new people! Some of my favorite memories while traveling include meeting people in hostels, or by getting involved at my school abroad. You never know who will be a lifelong friend! Try all of the local foods, even if you don’t think you will like it. Write everything down in a journal- you will appreciate those stories later!
Travel Tip: Try that strange-looking food. Learn to navigate the city with public transportation. Interact with the locals. Pushing through what can sometimes be uncomfortable situations can be the best way to experience a culture and eventually feel at home in it.
Travel Tip: Start walking and don’t be afraid to get lost, that is how you begin to understand your surroundings. If the culture is slow – be slow! Take hours to enjoy a coffee and connect with a friend. If the pace is fast, jump in! Be patient with yourself as you adjust. Start a journal and write everything down. It’s incredible to look back and remind yourself of who you were at a time of growth and discovery!
Travel Tip: I always carry my travel journal along with colored pencils and a glue stick. When I have down time at the airport, train station, or a cafe, I’ll draw pictures, write notes, glue ticket stubs, postcards, receipts, and anything that will remind future me of the amazing trip I’m on!
Travel Tip: Trip planning can be overwhelming and an over scheduled trip can be exhausting. Plan two activities you know you don’t want to miss and then leave room for the unexpected. You never know what might come along and a flexible schedule will allow you to take advantage of it.
Travel Tip: Wake up early! Rise at sunrise to have the best attractions all to yourself while avoiding crowds. It’s also a magical time for photos due to soft diffused light, and usually easier to interact with locals.
Travel Tip: Taking photos is fun but try a week or just a day without using your camera. You might find that you have more unforgettable memories and fewer all-too-forgettable pictures. Great photos of the Taj Mahal are everywhere, but you only get one memory of seeing it for the first time.
Travel Tip: If traveling with others, try to carve out some time to do something by yourself. Relish in that moment. You might be surprised to discover or experience something new that you will appreciate either about yourself or this new place. Watch the sunrise, visit a bookstore, take a drop-in class…
Travel Tip: Bring a reusable water bottle! It will help you stay hydrated and keep your energy up whether you’re exploring a new city or relaxing on the beach. And best of all – it will help you save money to spend on experiences and be kind to the earth!
Travel Tip: My favorite thing to do when I’m in a new city is to get lost! Honestly, it’s the best way to find your way around and get yourself oriented, and you never know what kinds of neat things you’ll come across!
Travel Tip: Don’t be too focused on seeing all the things that people tell you that you HAVE to see. Let your curiosity guide your experience. Folks miss the best parts of being abroad by only seeing the world through their camera lens. Live your experience. Breathe it, taste it, touch it.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to travel alone! It seems scary at first but it is easy to meet other like-minded travelers and you end up learning even more about yourself than you would traveling with friends. Also sometimes your best friends end up not being the best travel buddies. If you do decide to travel alone make sure you research where you are going and consider safety!
Travel Tip: Take time at the end of the day to write down details that have stuck out to you and inspired you. Your future self will LOVE you for it. Do lots of exploring with friends, but don’t forget to take some time to explore your city on your own. It feels so special when you find “secret” spots that are all your own!
Travel Tip: Get outside, take your time to walk around the streets of your new city or neighbourhood – get a feel for the people and what makes it unique. I love getting up early and exploring a new destination as it ‘wakes up’- it is an amazing time of the day to see a city or town slowly come to life.
Travel Tip: Forget the phone! At least for a minute! Enjoy, take mental pictures and be present! Focus on the now and enjoy where you are. You will not regret taking time to appreciate all of this and you will have mental pictures that will carry a special meaning forever.
Travel Tip: Search for local instagram and facebook pages on food and events around the place you are travelling to. You may find some local hidden gems or some cool experiences you would not have found otherwise. It also helps you get a feel for the place and its people.
Travel Tip: Try to get ‘off the beaten path’ – sometimes the road less travelled is the one that leads to the most memorable experiences.
Travel Tip: Be exactly where you are, enjoy each moment as it comes without comparing it to any other place because every destination brings along its own uniqueness and authenticity. Embrace that even though it may be strange at the start. Traveling helps you find yourself and pieces of yourself you didn’t know you were missing.
Travel Tip: Stay flexible and open minded during your travels. Though the greatest of all plans can go awry, it’s these unexpected moments – good or bad – that help you grow and find new sides of yourself. Your travel experiences are an advantage, so use them and the skills you’ve learnt along the way to sell yourself and nab that dream job!
Travel Tip: If while traveling there’s no internet, embrace it. Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an Internet connection.
Travel Tip: Save money on your Oyster Card and walk everywhere. There are so many different neighbourhoods that await to be explored and hidden treasures to be discovered. Get lost in the city and take time to enjoy the experience!
Travel Tip: Never forget to pack an open mind, a lot of patience, a couple of snacks from home to cure homesickness and last but not least…serenity. Once in town, LOOK UP when walking around. Take a different route to class everyday. Live, love and accept your destination!
Travel Tip: Travelling can be overwhelming, so many things to see and do! I don’t like to plan everything ahead but I love researching: looking into guides, books and travel diaries, watching documentaries, reading articles and talking with friends who visited already. They’re a great source of information!
Travel Tip: Time truly flies when you’re studying abroad! Think about writing a checklist to help you keep track of everything you want to see, experience and accomplish in your time overseas. Set manageable goals, be open to unexpected surprises and don’t forget to take lots of pictures, you’ll cherish them forever.
Travel Tip: Looking for a cool and exciting way to explore Bangkok? The whole city used to be based around canals, so jumping on a boat gives you a way to get out of the traffic and experience the real Bangkok.
Travel Tip: Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and home to 14 different indigenous nationalities. Be prepared to experience new landscapes, aromas, tastes, sounds and people. Respect the places and the people you will be with and never stop learning!
Travel Tip: Travel is not only, as Mark Twain said, fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. It is also the best possible recipe for happiness, so explore, dream and discover.
Travel Tip: If speaking French is a bit of a challenge, remember that a Bonjour or a Merci beaucoup from a smiling person always works out here in Aix! The light is just amazing in Provence: bring your camera, sketchbook or others to create great visuals from the South East of France. Marseille Provence Airport is next door – make the most of your stay by travelling during the weekend in Europe!
Travel Tip: Spend as much time outside of Dublin as in. If heading to the west coast visit Sligo and Donegal. They’re stunning. In the South check out Tipperary and the Viking-founded town of Wexford. Travel tip: Pack your bags then take out half the contents.
Travel Tip: Whether ordering from an open air stall or a restaurant, always remember to say good day (dobrý den) and thank you (děkuji). Czechs will welcome your effort and will be more helpful and perhaps even give you a smile.
Travel Tip: Be patient with yourself and kind to those you meet along the way. Show gratitude daily, laugh often, and give thanks for the journey you are on. There will be hard days, but remember, the magic is in the journey and each day makes that journey complete. Smile!
Travel Tip: Pack for summer! Hawai’i’s temperature is 86F and sunny all year round. Drink lots of water and don’t forget your sunscreen! Arrive with an open mind and a sense of adventure.
Travel Tip: Dont limit yourself to the more popular tourist spots. There are tons of lesser known places that are beautiful and rich in culture where you can really experience what Costa Rica is all about!
Travel Tip: Bring comfy shoes as Buenos Aires is very walkable. A great pastime is simply walking the city with no time restriction or plans. Also, get used to saying hi with a hug and a kiss.
Travel Tip: Be brave, be soft, stay open to opportunities and adventure, wear sunscreen and a smile and most importantly always trust your instinct. Travel allows you to view the world but in the end you realise that what you really discovered is yourself.
Travel Tip: When in Lima, try different local dishes choosing from the variety of restaurants like “Gianfranco” in Miraflores. Try the amazing ceviches and other sea food alternatives at “Al Fresco” and dinner overlooking an beautifully illuminated view of the Huaca Pucllana (adobe pre-inca living quarters) in the restaurant “Huaca Pucllana.”
Travel Tip: Looking for a cool and exciting way to explore Bangkok? The whole city used to be based around canals, so jumping on a boat gives you a way to get out of the traffic and experience the real Bangkok.
Travel Tip: Slow down! Before jet setting off to multiple countries, take time to get to know the place you decided to call home for the next few months. The best travel experiences occur when you meet locals and learn about activities that aren’t in your guidebook.
Travel Tip: When choosing places to travel, venture to locations with a culture entirely different than your own, where the language, food, behaviors, traditions, ways of thinking, and ways of working and living are totally foreign to you. The experience will be transformative in good ways and stay with you for a lifetime.
Travel Tip: Plan ahead to make the most of your time in Scotland. There so many free activities. There are public galleries and museums, live music sessions, open-to-roam landscape, and a great range of clubs and societies on and off your campus!
Travel Tip: Leave the umbrella at home as it is no match for the capital known as ‘Windy Wellington”. Make sure you pack a good raincoat and some warm socks.
Travel Tip: Shang has a long history. At Puxi, you can walk along streets and see all historic buildings around you. You may hear they are telling those old stories to you. At Pudong, you will see all modern buildings and they presents how China has developed so far.
Travel Tip: To explore a new country, I choose to walk rather than take transportation even for longer distances. It helps you better feel the vibration and get into the pace of local life. Makes you hungrier for local dishes, too!
Travel Tip: While most Germans these days speak English (and will likely be eager to showcase their abilities with you), do make an effort to learn German language and culture, as these will only add to your understanding and appreciation of your new home.
Travel Tip: Be open minded with the new culture, cuisine, lifestyle etc. You can learn a lot through exploring, adapting and respecting new a culture, a new country. Be well prepared and planned to avoid culture shock in the first few days. Nowadays, there are many travel blogs, food review shows etc. that you can check as a pre-departure information then explore yourself later and have your own stories.
Travel Tip: Cusco and the surrounding areas are some of the most beautiful places to explore in all of Peru (and maybe the world). Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to do a lot of walking!
Travel Tip: When traveling make sure to use humour and start conversations with local people, they are the experts of the places you visit and you can learn so much from them; particularly the older generation can be a wealth of information. Try to enjoy every single minute of your travels!
Travel Tip: Whenever I arrive in another country, I try to look for a very local restaurant where real residents of the town usually eat. Such spots may not have any distinguishable sign or decent interiors, but the reward is delicious food and welcoming locals. Just by going even slightly off the beaten path, you are oftentimes rewarded with a better value and cultural insights.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to settle in. This new place is your home for the time being, so make it yours! Find a favorite coffee shop, chat with the local shop owners–you’ll discover lots of hidden treasures this way. The small, everyday adventures are just as valuable as the big ones!
Travel Tip: I strongly believe that the best food in any country is either street food or a home cooked meal. Don’t be afraid to check out local hot spots. Also learn a couple phrases in the local language, it truly goes a long way!
Travel Tip: Learn a few phrases in the local language (besides “thank you”). Practicing your new vocabulary when meeting new people will often earn you a compliment on your skill, or maybe just a smile or laugh. Either way, it’s a great icebreaker!
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid of street food! It’s often the least expensive and most delicious. You’ll learn the true strength of your stomach and might even come home with a few new favorite treats (or at the very least, some good stories!)
Travel Tip: Grab your coffee at the same place every day. It’s a great way to get familiar with some locals, and make a connection to the place you’re in. You might even begin to feel like a local yourself!
Travel Tip: Keep your passport in a safe place. This sounds basic, but after accidentally dropping mine into the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam (and jumping in after it!) it’s a tip I’ll never forget. Also, keep a travel journal with you – you will appreciate reliving your adventures (and memorable mishaps) after your trip.
Travel Tip: Don’t rely on public transport, take the opportunity to walk where you need to go whenever possible. Walking through a city allows you to better experience the local culture!
Travel Tip: Hostels are a great way to meet like-minded travelers of a similar age, but for an even more authentic experience, try booking an Airbnb or, better yet, finding accommodation through sites like CouchSurfing, WorkAway, HelpX, or WWOOF. Not only will you be able to immerse yourself in the daily lives of locals, but sharing a home together can often form bonds that lead to long-lasting friendship.
Travel Tip: When it comes to sharing your travel stories with others, a picture is really worth a thousand words! Get creative and take photos of the world around you, so when your trip ends, you will have those visuals to help you remember every detail.
Travel Tip: Leave everything you think you know about traveling, the country, culture, or people, behind you! You’ll most likely be surprised, so discover everything as new. Take public transportation and make friends with locals- they will show you the best places and usually hook you up. Most of all, stay present and enjoy! 🙂
Travel Tip: Look for every opportunity to give more than you take! Support local businesses and people, especially those that mostly serve the established community in the area.
Travel Tip: When in doubt, reach out! More often than not, locals will respect and respond matching the effort that you put into communication. Practice makes perfect, and leaving your comfort zone means expanding your comfort zone!
Travel Tip: When traveling to a new place, speak to the locals. They will have the best recommendations for hidden gems and an authentic experience. Also, document your travels as best as you can – whether it’s through saving ticket stubs, taking pictures, or journaling, your future self will thank you for preserving the memories!
Travel Tip: I think one of the most grounding things you can do in a new location is take some time to appreciate the natural beauty around you – notice what’s different and new, and especially notice what you may not see again.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to get lost or for something unexpected to happen. In my experience you tend to meet the best people and have the best stories when things don’t go according to plan.
Travel Tip: Heed the words of Erykah Badu and get that window seat (or at least, never the middle seat), listen to your gut (for instincts and for yummy food), and make an intention to feel empathy. It’s hard to live in an area supported by tourism, so extend extra courtesy and respect to the locals.
Travel Tip: When I travel to a new area, I always scour the local mom and pop record stores to get a feel for the local music scene.
Travel Tip: When I lost my phone when I landed in Spain for the first time, I thought it was the end of the world. I realized that the experiences I had without being distracted or taking photos was a gift. Remember to be present in your journeys!
Travel Tip: Watch people and listen to them, and make no assumptions.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to make friends with other travelers or the locals. Adventures are often more fun with friends, and new relationships will expose you to new and interesting places, experiences, and foods you might not get to try otherwise.
Travel Tip: Wherever you are, try to adapt to your new environment. Pick up as much of the local language and engage in the local customs as much as you can while you are there.
Travel Tip: When travelling, I always try to get myself onto the destinations local timezone prior to when I arrive. I find it much easier to combat the jet lag when doing so. This being said, always try to plan for delays. Things do not always go perfectly… instead of getting upset, try to enjoy the “now”… wherever in the world you may be.
Travel Tip: Always be sure to meet local people. I noticed recently when traveling that a lot of travelers tend to stick together and overlook the local the people all around them. My favorite sights from traveling are the ones shown to me by local people.
Travel Tip: Dismiss all of your preconceived ideas about what travel may be like, and allow yourself to let it happen as it does and take it all in!
Travel Tip: Don’t travel just to cross names off a list – find connections with the places you travel to. It’s better to spend an afternoon with the new friends you made at the hostel, rather than seeing the museum that you just put on your list because it was something to do. Also be respectful and responsible on social media.