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 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.
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.
Founder and Senior Vice President of Business Development
I first learned 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.
Vice President of Custom Solutions
Grab your favorite tunes, find a park or cafe, and just take it all in . . . and sign off of all social media devices.
Vice President of Program Operations
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.
Vice President of University Relations
Learn to be a traveler, not a tourist. Yes, there will always be the “touristy” things to see and do, but try to notice how the local people act, dress and behave.
Assistant Vice President of Custom Programs
Expect the unexpected. Expect your plans to change. Stay flexible and laugh. Always laugh. Even when you cry, find the laughter.
Assistant Director of Programs & Program Coordinator - Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Germany
Get lost in your new city/location. It’s the best way to see somewhere new and will result in many exciting adventures.
Assistant Director of International Operations
Don’t plan too much. If you put too much on your calendar you will not have free time to do all the fun stuff that will be suggested to you when you are on your program.
PROgrams Team Manager - Thailand, China, Japan, France, Summer Multi-Country
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.
Programs Team Manager - Italy
Learn as much of the language of your destination as you can before you go. There are so many free online language learning resources, and there’s no better way to connect with the people in your host country than by sharing conversation.
Senior Program Coordinator of Spain
Leave your expectations at the door! Be open to everything and expect nothing. If you view everything as a gift, you will be more likely to truly appreciate what another culture has to offer. You may not get what you expect, but 9 times out of 10 you’ll get way more.
Living and studying in a foreign culture can sometimes require grit, tolerance for ambiguity, and patience. Flights will be delayed, the academic or work environment will be different, and people may speak another language! Remember that with travel comes challenge. Embrace it!
Program Coordinator - Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, January Multi Country, Czech Republic, and South Africa
Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. Want to know the best place to eat or what to do with that free weekend you have coming up? Ask someone on the subway or a local street vendor. Their suggestion might just become your new favorite place!
Programs Team Coordinator - Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand
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.
Programs Team Assistant
My advice in a new country is to always, first thing, take a casual walk around your area or the main center square of where you’re staying. It helps to orient you, make things familiar, and for me, it makes me feel at home and comfortable faster. You will begin to recognize things quickly and feel safe and comfortable in a new place.
Program Coordinator - England, Ireland, and Scotland
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!
Kenechukwu Abajue Umeh
Programs Team Assistant
Take the long way home! Buy snacks from a new shop! Sit and read in a park! The best way to orient yourself with your surroundings is to be out in your surroundings (while being safe of course). Excursions don’t need to be the only time you’re out exploring.
Director of University Relations
When possible, explore off the beaten path. Meet the locals, enjoy the food, take a walk and just get to know the destination. Start your connection to the new area as soon as possible.
Assistant Director of Custom Programs and University Relations Regional Director - Northeast
Always remember to take a deep breath and roll with the punches. Train system operating in a language you barely understand? Missed your bus because the schedule changed from one day to the next with no notice? Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ve all been there!
University Relations South Regional Director and Communications Manager
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!
University Relations Regional Director - West
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.
University Relations Regional Director - Midwest
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!
Senior University Relations Manager - New England
Be open! Open to meeting new people, trying new foods, and learning about a different culture. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about yourself and the world if you start any adventure with an open mind and positive attitude.
University Relations Manager - VA, NC, SC
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.
University Relations Coordinator - IN, KY, OH, PA, WV
Wear sunscreen and have an open mind. Remember, the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.
University Relations Coordinator - Southwest
Parks are my favorite place to meet people and relax. They are a great way to remove yourself from the fast pace of life for a short while, and you are sure to see something that catches your interest.
Alumni and University Relations Coordinator
Try stepping out of your comfort zone and travel alone. Going abroad gives you the chance to be free and experience new things. It’s hard to fully immerse yourself and truly get a lot out of the experience if you’re around familiar faces.
Site Director in Barcelona
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!
Country Director of Italy
Visit Italy slowly. You sit, you stroll, you take it slow and as it comes. You don’t go to see stuff, you let it slip up on you… one piazza, one fountain, one amazing building at a time. Take your time while in Italy and go with the flow!
Country Director of Australia
Australia has something for everyone – from the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, the amazing red centre, thousands of miles of beautiful beaches, and remarkable wine regions to the eclectic Byron Bay, stunning Fraser Island, breathtaking Blue Mountains and plenty of national parks to explore.
Site Director of Sydney, Australia
Forget the phone and the camera when you are exploring your new city, at least for an hour! Focus on the now and enjoy where you are, what you see, how you feel in this amazing adventure of traveling to the other side of the world. You will not regret taking time to appreciate all of this and you will have mental pictures that will carry a special meaning forever.
Site Director in Newcastle, Australia
Newcastle is a great mix of both relaxed beach-style living and a thriving regional city full of great food, art and night life. The locals are friendly, so be sure and get out and make friends.
Site Director in London
I like to set my watch on the local time at my destination the minute I get on the plane to try and get on schedule right away. I’ve also learned that paying particular attention to what I eat and drink before, during and after air travel can dramatically decrease jet lag. (Hold off on caffeine, chocolate and/or greasy foods!)
Student Affairs and Internship Coordinator in London
“If you want to see theatre in London head to the West End in person to buy tickets day of show and be open to seeing something unexpected.”
Assistant Site Director in Florence and Perugia
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!
Site Director in Ghana
When traveling to Ghana dress conservatively, and don’t forget your bug spray and suntan lotion.
Site Director in Beijing, China
Site Director in Cusco, Peru
I want to thank everyone who likes to travel because it gives me the chance to meet them!
Site Director in Thailand
Thailand is an amazing place to travel and with so much to see, sometimes is can be easy to miss the best part of Thailand: the people! Make an effort to get to know some of the locals and you will have some amazing experiences.
Site Director in Greece
Take your time to adjust the new city, the bright sun and Greek time. Walk! Under the magical Acropolis and discover the narrow cobble stone streets where ancient ruins, trendy cafes and restaurants are tucked away. There’s a healthy Mediterranean belief that nothing needs to be done in a hurry.
Site Director in Ecuador
Remember not to compare Ecuador with your home country. It’s a new world ready for you to discover and live; don’t limit the potential of your experiences. Ecuador is guaranteed to have it all for you; find the time to paint your dreams and get ready for this adventure!
Dr. Carter Hanson
Site Director in Germany
What I love about Reutlingen is its proximity to some incredible locations in Europe. For example, head over to beautiful, enchanted Tübingen – just fifteen minutes away via train.
Site Director in Paris
Money can’t buy happiness, but for a few bucks you can buy a low-cost ticket, so explore, dream and discover. That is the best possible receipt for happiness.
Site Director in Ireland
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 then the Viking-founded town Wexford.
Site Director in Czech Republic
Whether ordering a drink from an open air stalls 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.
Site Director in Florence
Do your research, be deliberate, but dare to be bold, allow yourself to get lost and discover the treasures that lie beyond the beaten path. That’s where you find the true Florence; the city that will steal your heart, entice your soul and beckon your return.
Site Director in Hawai'i
Pack light and arrive with an open mind and a sense of adventure. Wear sunscreen.
Site Director in Costa Rica
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!
Site Director in Argentina
Bring comfy shoes as Buenos Aires is very walkable and get used to say hi with a hug and a kiss. If you enjoy doing some homework before your trip, you can look for tips, self guided tours and event’s agenda on the Buenos Aires tourism website!
Site Director in South Africa
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.
Patricia Dongo Soria
Site Director in Lima, Peru
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.”
Rattapong “Yahya” Wongkanya
Site Director in Bangkok, Thailand
Thai people love to share and talk with westerners, learn a few words of Thai and make an effort to talk to them and it will open up so many opportunities to try the food, be invited to people homes or learn more about this amazing country.
Site Director of Madrid, Spain
You will get out of your program what you put into it. Raise your own bar. Get involved in your program, in the community, do individual things, read the local news, and don’t be afraid to push yourself a little beyond your comfort zone!
Site Director in Japan
Traveling in Japan can be expensive but if you stay in share apartments, share houses, motels, or capsule hotels, they are safe, clean, nicely equipped and the cost can be economical. Also, convenient stores are stocked with a great variety of good quality food that can be heated up on location and every day conveniences for whatever you may need, all for very low costs.
Site Director in Scotland
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 plus a great range of clubs and societies on and off your campus!
Site Director of New Zealand
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.
“Take only memories and leave nothing but footprints.” Be aware of the space that you are occupying in your host culture. Talk, talk, and talk some more with the locals no matter how uncomfortable you feel!
Student Advising Coordinator
If you cannot sleep on planes, do not try to stay up all night in hopes you will get some shut eye on your flight. I tried this once and turned into a sleep deprived zombie by the time I landed. Not pretty.
You can stick to an itinerary, but always have a contingency plan so you don’t miss out on an unexpected opportunity. It may be what makes your trip most memorable. Also, always pack underwear. Lots of it. You can literally never have enough underwear when you travel.
Travel beyond the capital cities. I went to Paris and the South of France, for example. People are different in the city and in the countryside. If you have time, try to see all the different sides of a country.
Traveling to a new country can be stressful, so learn to embrace the stress. Everything always seems to work out in the end.
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Try to be in the moment where you are and disconnect a bit from family and friends back home, as it can make homesickness worse and take away from your experience overseas. A great way to keep everyone updated without having to Skype/text/call each person is by keeping a blog!
Coordinator of Marketing and Communications
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.
Manager of Faculty-Led Programs
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!)
Senior Faculty-Led Programs Coordinator
Instead of taking a picture, try writing down what you see in a travel journal! Even now, years after my study abroad experience, my journal from that time brings back some of my favorite (and most hilarious) memories.
Faculty-Led Programs Coordinator
The unexpected will happen. Turn the stress into an adventure and a story!
Faculty-Led Programs Coordinator
Always be sure to do your research, but be prepared to ditch your itinerary from time to time. Sometimes the most rewarding experiences you can find abroad happen by complete chance; keep an open mind and willingness to wander.
Faculty-Led Programs Coordinator
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.
Midwest Institute Trainee
Step outside of your comfort zone. Being uncomfortable promotes personal growth. You discover and nourish more characteristics and qualities about yourself that you thought you never had before.
Marketing and Sales Trainee
Prepare to be flexible and adaptable. Despite all the “full-proof” planning and itineraries, unexpected stuff does happen when traveling. It’s always best to not stress and roll with the situation the best you can.
Associate Director of Human Resources and Information Technology
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!
Assistant Director of Finance
Make sure to tell your bank and let them know the dates of your travel. It’s also a good idea to photocopy your debit and credit cards. Keep them with a copy of your passport, in a separate place.
IT Help-Desk Technician
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.
Be flexible. Part of the fun in going to new places is not knowing exactly what you will find. Plan what you can but be fearless in taking opportunities as they come.
Always plan your trip based on a budget so you don’t spontaneously spend money and run out of cash for general necessities such as food.
In order to have stories to tell your friends and family when you get home, you must first live those stories. Plan well, but don’t shy away from taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity.
Office Coordinator and Mailroom Clerk
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.