CISABROAD BLOG · September 11, 2019 · 3 Min Read
Second Annual #IamIcan Campaign Inspires Students to Study Abroad – Join Us!

CIS Abroad named finalist in Sept. 19 PIEoneer Awards

NORTHAMPTON, MA — For the second year, CIS Abroad is engaging students, advisors, and faculty across U.S. campuses in our #IamICan Campaign. The driving goal of the campaign is to celebrate different identities and empower students with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and beliefs to understand that study abroad is an opportunity for them. We are inviting everyone to participate with us this fall.

Celebrating Every Student

The message of #IamIcan is to challenge myths and misconceptions while reinforcing the idea that all students should have access to study abroad programs. Although the #IamIcan Campaign works to increase access and visibility for students who are typically underserved in education abroad, the beauty is that it doesn’t target a specific demographic. 

Rather, it acknowledges that we all have complex, intersectional identities – and students have the power to choose how they’d like to think about and share those. Some participants focused on being first-generation college students, while others focused on an academic major, or being high financial need and having to balance full-time work and school.

Student holding I am a christian fillipino-american woman sign two woman holding #IamIcan signs


How to Get Involved

On-campus study abroad advisors, staff, and faculty can easily participate in the #IamIcan Campaign! We’ve created this digital #IamIcan Campaign Toolkit to get you started. There are many ways you can leverage the #IamIcan Campaign to increase awareness and interest on your campus:

  • Share our student-geared blog post or any toolkit images on social media (tag us so we can share!)
  • Host a “photo booth-style” event on campus with a laminated poster
  • Participate as an office to inspire student engagement (see our examples below)

Please share photos and videos with us at

CISAbroad staff holding #IamIcan sign CIS Abroad staff holding #IamIcan sign

Angelo Pisano, Global Advising Center and Jessica Lisenba, Alumni & Events Coordinator

CIS Abroad named finalist in the PIEoneer Awards

In addition to the #IamIcan Campaign launch in Fall 2018, we revised our portfolio of scholarships and grants to deliver on our commitment to inclusion and access. We’re proud to offer more intentional scholarships for students from underrepresented groups. Our new scholarships include First-Generation, Rainbow, Students of Color, Greek Life, and Academic Merit.

We’re honored to be a PIEoneer Award Championing Diversity finalist for this multi-faceted project! The PIE (Professionals in International Education) is an independent media, recruitment and events company connecting a global community of professionals working in international education. The awards event celebrates innovation and achievement in international education and takes place on Thursday, Sept. 19 in London. 

At the awards event, CIS Abroad will be represented by Linda Hallback, Site Director in London/International Operations Manager, and Brittany Beene, Senior Campus Engagement Coordinator. It was Brittany who first planted the seeds of the original campaign. Follow Brittany’s journey abroad on Twitter and LinkedIn – and cheer for us!

Why #IamIcan Matters 

Organizations like CIS Abroad, a partner in Generation Study Abroad, are committed to increasing knowledge about and access to international education for all students, regardless of background or resources. 

According to the IIE’s Open Doors 2018 Report, in 2016-17, the race/ethnicity breakdown of U.S. students studying abroad was: 

  • White (70.8%)
  • Hispanic or Latino(a) (10.2%)
  • Asian or Pacific Islander (8.2%)
  • Black or African-American (6.1%)
  • Multiracial (4.3%)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (0.4%) 

We know we can do so much better, and it starts with awareness and representation. We need to start with the hearts and minds of students who might think study abroad experiences aren’t meant for them. Students who may feel overwhelmed by real and perceived barriers. This is how #IamIcan started. 

CIS Abroad piloted the #IamIcan campaign in Fall 2018 and ran publically Spring 2019. In addition to distribution on social media, an email highlighting #IamIcan was distributed to more than 1,500 study abroad offices explaining the campaign and inviting them to participate. The #IamIcan campaign was also highlighted in a webinar focusing on inclusive education abroad marketing practices.

The CIS Abroad blog is run by Zoë Crabtree, Jenn Weisgerber, Siobhan Tripp, Emily Negard, and more folks on our marketing team. Head over to the “Meet the Team” page to learn more about us as individuals. On the blog, we share student-written content and information for students, advisors, other study abroad professionals, and families of students studying abroad. Check out our Facebook and Instagram for more from us and our students!

Download the #IamIcan Campaign Toolkit and share your story with us!