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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Try not to over plan. Having a schedule is great, but go for a wander and explore wherever you are with no maps or online recommendations. Sometimes the best things you will find are the ones you stumble upon!
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: When traveling to Ghana dress conservatively, and don’t forget your bug spray and suntan lotion.
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: 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: 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.
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: Be open to try the local food! Let a local Catalan or Spanish friend pick some options for you and get ready to be amazed and discover new flavors. If you ask me, go for the seafood ‘fideuá’. You will have a good laugh learning how to open the shrimps!
Travel Tip: Google Maps is the travel tool I can’t live without. I save my most important addresses in it, like my hotels, and even drop pins in it to save important locations like taxi stands, train stations, and restaurants I’d like to try.
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: 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: Keep your eyes open and walk slowly! Notice the details: the smell of a bakery; the texture of a wall; the tone of the locals. You’ll feel more connected to a new location when all of your senses are engaged, and it will hold more strongly in your memory.
Travel Tip: My favorite piece of travel advice: get your coffee from the same place every day! The locals will soon recognize you and it’s a great way to get chatting with them and hopefully get some insider tips for the place your visiting!
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Have fun, but be aware of your surroundings as you’re in a completely new environment. Only use an official concierge when booking excursions to ensure you’re as safe as possible. Have fun, but be safe!