Diversity Abroad

CISabroad strives to be inclusive of all students. We deeply believe in the transformational power of education abroad, and are always looking to diversify and expand the students and institutions we serve. We have long been committed to giving students the best value in study abroad: affordability, support, cultural immersion and academic relevance. Seventy percent of our students receive grants or scholarships, for a total of more than $220,000 per year given away. We are committed to staying affordable and will continue to be, especially for underserved populations.

As a member of the Diversity Abroad Network, we are committed to increasing access, diversity, and equity in international education through programming and funding; in fact, we offer a Diversity Scholarship, Rainbow Scholarship, and a Diversity Abroad Grant to financially support participants. Additionally, CISabroad pledges to increase knowledge about and access to education abroad for diverse populations. In 2016, we were recognized by GoAbroad.com with the Innovation in Diversity Award for our LGBTQ+ Ally Training for International Educators.

Our continued support of students is included but not limited to:

  • Racially and Ethnically Diverse Students
  • High Financial Need Students
  • First Generation College Students
  • Students with Disabilities
  • LGBTQ+ Students

Racially and Ethnically Diverse Students

Students that are underrepresented in higher education in the the United States may find the same trend while studying abroad.  The good news is that racially and ethnically diverse students take part in life-changing study abroad programs every day. We know it takes extra initiative to reach out and ask questions and our staff is knowledgeable and equipped with tools to guide students that identify as racially and ethnically diverse–ready to help with any perceived challenges. Our students have found that they may transition into a new country with ease and feel supported during this process. Learn more.

Read more: Kansas University Student Alexzia Plummer reveals challenges that we can help overcome in her writing titled, “Both Feet”.

High Financial Need Students

CISabroad gives grants and scholarships to 70% of accepted students, and we are known for high value and affordable prices. We understand that financial need is an important factor, and we are here to help you navigate how to make your dream a reality. We support our students and parents by providing scholarships, payment plans, and offer flexibility in program packages. We train our staff to identify financial need early on so they may begin to assist students with aid from the start of the process, all the while offering our programs at the highest quality. More information about finances can be found here.

First Generation College Students

Many of our participants find that they are the first in their family to attend college or university. Some are the first in their families to travel internationally. We have several first generation college students on staff and we know first-hand the extra excitement and challenge of studying abroad. During both the application process and on site, first generation college students get the support they need from us.

We use guidelines such as these Top 10 Tips when advising students that are the first generation in their families to go abroad.

Students with Disabilities

Students with mobility issues or learning disabilities study abroad with us every year. Our knowledgeable advising staff knows our host institutions well and can advise on what accommodations are offered. Our site directors are available to offer extra support and work closely with individual students and the overseas institutions they are attending to ensure the best possible experience.

LGBTQI+ Students

As a proud supporter of Generation Study Abroad, we are focusing on the LGBT student population in an effort to not only increase students’ knowledge about and access to education abroad, but to also better serve those students as Ally Advisors. As an organization, we renew our Ally/LGBTQ training for all staff each summer in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center.

Studying abroad as an LGBTQ student offers an additional set of challenges and options to consider. There are some questions you may want to ask yourself, and research to be done, before choosing a study abroad location. Being safe and comfortable is important to any study abroad adventure, and CISabroad wants to ensure both of those for its students.

Alumni Stories – click here to download a PDF

Some questions to ask yourself before studying abroad:

  • How out do I want to be to my host family or roommates?
  • Is it important for me to participate in LGBTQ activities and events while abroad?
  • Is discussing my sexual orientation or gender identity something that is important to me?
  • What are the social attitudes towards being LGBTQ in my host country?
  • Are there resources for LGBTQ students in my host country or at my place of study?
  • Are there any LGBTQ groups or LGBTQ-friendly establishments in my area?
  • Are sexual orientation and gender identity openly discussed and accepted, or more taboo in my host country?
  • Will I be staying with a host family or roommates who will be accepting of me if I choose to come out?
  • Are there safety and legal issues for LGBTQ individuals in this area?

Resources to Help You with this Process

CISabroad has compiled the following list of our Top 10 LGTBQ Friendly Semester Programs. We have survey our overseas university partners and asked them questions about access, facilities, support, and recognition of members of the LGTBQ community who choose to study at their institutions and these ten programs stood out for their “friendliness”.

  • Sydney, Australia: Macquarie University
  • Stellenbosch, South Africa: University of Stellenbosch
  • Hawaii, USA: Hawaii Pacific University
  • Limerick, Ireland: University of Limerick
  • Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago
  • Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Napier University
  • Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington
  • Newcastle, Australia: University of Newcastle
  • London, England: University of Westminster

Other Resources:

University guides with additional information and resources:

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