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 Vice President of Enrollment Management & Program Coordinator - Argentina, Ecuador, Peru
Get lost in your new city/location. It’s the best way to see somewhere new and will result in many exciting adventures.
Programs Team Manager - China, Japan, Vietnam
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 - France, Czech Republic, Germany
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.
Program Coordinator - Thailand, South Africa, Ghana, Hawai’i, January Multi-Country programs (except Mediterranean Culture)
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!
Program Coordinator - Spain, Costa Rica, January Mediterranean Culture
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.
Program Coordinator - England, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, British Isles, Celtic Culture, European Experience
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!
Program Coordinator - Italy, Mediterranean Culture (Summer)
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.
Emma Van Loon
Program Coordinator - Australia and New Zealand
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!
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.
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, WV
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 Manager - IN, KY, OH, PA, MI
Wear sunscreen and have an open mind. Remember, the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.
University Relations Regional Director - Midwest
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…
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.
University Relations Manager - FL, GA, TN
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!
University Relations Manager - Southwest
Meet the locals. Travel isn’t just about seeing a new place, it’s about experiencing a new culture and its people. Locals will know amazing spots to visit that you won’t find in a guide book or travel blog. Take time to get to know your host city, it’s your home away from home.
Country Director of Italy
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.
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! 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.
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.
Student Affairs and Internship Coordinator in London
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!
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 Cusco, Peru
I want to thank everyone who likes to travel because it gives me the chance to meet them!
Site Director in Thailand
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.
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 cobblestone 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
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!
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
Travel is not only, as Mark Twain said, fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. It also the best possible recipe for happiness, so explore, dream and discover.
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 and the Viking-founded town of Wexford. Travel tip: Pack your bags then take out half the contents.
Site Director in Czech Republic
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.
Site Director in Florence
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!
Site Director in Hawai'i
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.
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. 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.
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
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.
Site Director in Japan
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.
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, and 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.
Site Director in Shanghai
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.
Site Director in Barcelona
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!
“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 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.
Senior 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.
Internship Enrollment Advisor
My travel necessities are an open mind, a wristwatch and a journal.
Don’t underestimate your intuition! It will keep you safe and help you make the most of your experiences abroad. Take time for yourself in the midst of all of the excitement, in order to reflect on your deeper goals and interests, and let those reflections guide your decisions as you encounter new people, places, and opportunities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asks locals questions! Whether it’s the pronunciation of a word on the menu you’re looking at or a potential cultural custom you see everyone else doing, the best way to find out is to ask.
Planning is good, but never get to attached. Anything can happen when you are traveling so always be prepared to go with the flow and just see where your adventure will take you!
When deciding to go abroad, strongly consider selecting a program/country different from those of your close friends who are also going abroad. You’re more likely to challenge yourself and develop coping skills because you won’t have the comfort of classmates as a safety net. You’ll also forge new friendships that will last well beyond your time abroad.
The best way to get to know a place is to check out local establishments. Food helps you understand the history and location, all while meeting locals who always hold the best travel tips.