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Our Mission & Values

We’re often asked, “Who is CIS Abroad?” or “What do you do?” or even “Why should I use CIS Abroad’s programs and services?” Well, let us tell you.

Why do we exist?

Our lives were transformed by international experiences. Every day, we create a more connected and compassionate world, where everyone can achieve their potential.

How do we do it?

We provide innovative education programs that broaden academic perspectives, promote global awareness, and encourage personal development while laying the foundation for participants to become engaged world citizens.

What makes us “tick” as a company?

Our Values. Whatever the answer to the Who, What or Why questions you have about us, we believe you’ll find a company full of passionate, mission and value driven staff who are committed to providing you with the best possible study or internship abroad experience.

PASSION. We love what we do and believe in the power of education abroad.

At home…
We’ve all had experiences abroad that have impacted our lives and we want you to have similar opportunities to learn and grow. We also have hobbies, interests, and talents outside of the office that we are passionate about and we regularly present our Passion Projects to our colleagues so they get to know us better.

We, the on-site staff of CIS, are proud of the place that we call home, whether we are from the country in which we serve or an immigrant here. We know the journey and the work it takes to participate in another culture away from home. We help students get to know our home and help them see life “like a local” and learn to explore and adapt.

FUN. We believe that work and play are not mutually exclusive.

At home…
Dogs in the office. Shuffleboard and Giant Jenga contests. All Company E-Gatherings with Core Value Awards and plenty of laughs. Cooking together in each others’ homes. Our Amazing Places Race with US University partners.

From scavenger hunts in London to surfing in Australia to making empanadas in Argentina, students engage with their surroundings and have a blast. Yes, higher education is a serious business, but to achieve balance, to truly find a post-university career that is the right fit, learning to find joy & laugh every day is essential.

CULTURAL CURIOSITY. We believe cultural differences should be explored and appreciated, and try our best to walk humbly, learn, and listen.

At home…
We regularly operate in 13 time zones, more than 30 countries and with people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, faiths and languages. Through these daily interactions, we keep an open mind and learn from our cultural similarities and differences. We openly examine our biases and try to understand how different cultures and identities (including our own) inform how we think, feel, and act.

From cooking green curry from scratch in Thailand, to pressing olives into oil in Italy, to living with a Costa Rican host family, our programs are filled with opportunities for students to engage with local life. We even have a co-curricular program called exactly that: The Local Life! Through their experience abroad, our students not only explore and engage but grow their cultural understanding of the world. Cultural curiosity also means adapting, not making assumptions, and being respectful of a local culture’s rules and expectations.

TRUST. We care and are here for our students and partners.

At home…
We pitch in. From helping our colleagues with meals when a new baby is born, to working with students to make sure credit transfers back home, to consulting with US study abroad offices to help improve business processes, our staff go the extra mile (or kilometer) for each other and for those we are serving. We have each others’ back.

We are responsive and caring professionals in our approach, but we aren’t hand-holders. When incidents happen abroad ~ from a lost passport to a major emergency ~ we work with students, parents and universities in a clear, thoughtful manner, building on the relationship, our expertise, and best practice.

CHANGE & GROWTH. We embrace change and smart growth and understand that you can’t have one without the other.

At home…
Change a process to make it easier for a staff member? Will do. Pivot during a pandemic to create virtual programming and support students on-site in all new ways? Done. Methodically evaluate your feedback to continuously improve ourselves and our company? Always.

It’s our job to expose students to amazing places and ideas, teach them new concepts and help them explore their boundaries and develop as people. It’s their job to accept new ideas, change their perspectives and grow into world citizens. We grow from challenge, not from comfort.

And the result?

More than 22,000 students have participated in our programs. They have come from all backgrounds and all types of institutions. And, true to our vision, they have all been transformed like Allison.

“I wanted to go abroad with a program that I knew was going to make it the best experience possible and guide me through the process. I had two friends travel abroad last spring to London with CIS Abroad and they both had the time of their lives. That made me certain I would go abroad with CIS Abroad.”

Allison P. – University of South Carolina, Semester in London Participant