Why CIS Abroad for Customized Study Abroad Programs?

As US universities work to internationalize their curriculum, many educators are seeking to identify programs that closely align with the needs of various departments on campus. CIS Abroad can help you to develop a custom program that allows you to control the academic content so students can fulfill meaningful coursework in their major and minor fields. Plugging into our existing program infrastructure, but making it your own, means you don’t have to build a program from scratch! The result is a quality program that’s a good fit for your students.

Sample Programs

University of Alabama

Customized Semester in London

London England bridgeDesigned for Arts & Humanities majors, this special semester at the University of Roehampton offers curriculum-mapped, pre-approved courses for almost everyone. Sophomores through Seniors can apply and have their courses count back home. Tube passes and guidebooks are included, as well as a special trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Quinnipiac University

Customized Semester in Florence

Florence Italy Ponte VecchioDesigned with the Cultural and Global Engagement Office, this program offers students a range of course offerings and intensive Italian at the historic International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai. Customizations include a group flight, visas, in-person pre-departure orientations and local/overnight excursions.

Colorado School of Mines

Customized Summer in Barcelona

Designed in conjunction with the Honors College, this program offers students a faculty-directed course that carries honors credit, a Spanish class, and internship experiences over a six week summer period. Our Local Life cultural curriculum and onsite staff ensure a unique and supportive environment for students when they are not learning with their on-site faculty member.

UMass Amherst

Customized Summer in Florence

Florence Italy Ponte Vecchio Arno RiverThe International Programs Office at UMass Amherst and CIS Abroad collaborated to offer students a wide range of course offerings and an immersive Italian language tracks at the International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai. CIS Abroad provides administration, support and engagement throughout.

What's Included

Academic Course Advising

Choosing the right courses for your customized program is a key to success. We have lots of options of available in all academic disciplines and will work with your students to ensure a good fit.

Pre-departure Orientation and Information Packet

“Where are we staying? What is the local currency? Who will be picking us up at the airport?” These are just a few of the questions often asked prior to departure. Through our online pre-departure orientation materials we’ll be sure that no question is left unanswered.

Marketing Materials

You already have plenty to do, so how can we help? Our University Relations team can make classroom presentations, develop fliers, would a branded website be helpful? You let us know!

Airport Pick-up

Because sometimes it’s just nice to know you’ll see a familiar face when you land, we can include airport pickups for that added personal touch.


In each destination abroad, our onsite staff will lead the group through an on-site health and safety orientation so that everyone is aware of the who/what/where/why and how of the host city and university.

Onsite Support from CIS Abroad Site Director

Our site directors are our onsite experts! Between helping students adjust onsite, to tips when it comes to traveling the region, to managing risk and safety onsite, our staff will be there for you and your students.

The Local Life Cultural Program

Every participant will will have access to The Local Life cultural program, which provides cultural learning through intentional, experiential learning opportunities and engagement with peers and locals.

Excursion Options

Whether you want to add to or replace excursions included in our regular programming, we’re happy to customize to your needs and interests.

Medical and Accident Insurance

Through our partnership with CISI we are proud to offer the industry’s best. If your campus already provides comparable coverage, let us know and we can leave this out of your program cost.


We plan for the accommodations best suited to your group needs and learning outcomes. Your own housing recommendations are also welcome and we’ll do our best to accommodate your top choices, taking one more worry off your mind.

Re-entry Orientation and Support

Unpacking can be the hardest part about coming home, and we’re not talking about suitcases. Through our online reentry module and ability to join our Alumni Ambassador Program our assistance continues even after the program ends.

University Transcript

Participants who successfully complete the program will be awarded a transcript or academic record from the host institution. You can consider how credit will be transferred/awarded at your institution.


When venturing into uncharted territory, or a new destination for your university, there is a lot of initial work involved to ensure program quality and student safety. Plugging into an existing CIS Abroad program location allows you to expand your offerings without needing additional resources. Custom program options are available in locations in which CIS Abroad currently operates semester, summer or  J-term programs.

Don’t see the location you’re looking for? With program offerings in over 50 countries, perhaps designing a faculy-led program option is best for you!

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech
  • Republic
  • Ecuador
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Hawaii
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Thailand

Faculty Feedback

“We work with you all at CIS Abroad because you have a phenomenal team. We can get to the problem solvers quickly. And whenever we need you, you respond immediately. Thank you!”

Carolina Robinson, Director of Education Abroad - University of Alabama

Next Steps

Interested in designing a custom study abroad program?

Please reach out to VP of Partnerships, Jess Jones at jjones@cisabroad.com

We'll Get Back to You!

After we learn more about your interests, we aim to turn around a proposal to you within 4-6 weeks. If we have any questions along the way we’ll reach out. If not, sit back and anxiously anticipate what we design.


After we have received your program questionnaire, we will contact you to discuss your program needs in greater detail and create a program proposal for you to review. When the proposal looks good, submit it to your institution for approval. Once approved, we will create a contract and help you to spread the word on campus.

Phase Two: Implementation

Market on campus
Students apply to the program
Pre-Departure meeting and orientation.

Phase Three: Follow-Up

Re-entry debriefing
Review student evaluations
Post-program meeting for future improvements and planning


Please Contact:

Jessica Jones
Assistant Vice President of Custom Programs

Programs include our Local Life cultural curriculum, activities facilitated by our onsite staff to help students live like a local. Examples include cooking classes, neighborhood tours, and scavenger hunts. Programs also include day trips and potentially weekend trips.

Depending on the location, shared apartments, dorms, or homestays may all be options. Let us know your goals and we can help you pick the best housing option for your program.

Most programs include a group welcome and farewell meal. Some programs include additional meals and you can tailor the amount by adding additional group meals or a meal stipend.

We offer courses and internship placements for nearly every major. Let us know what you are looking for and we can help you to select a program location that will best meet the academic needs of your students.

Yes, 70% of CIS Abroad students receive a scholarship or grant. Please visit the scholarship section of our website to learn more.