CIS Abroad Response to COVID-19. Updates here.
Why CIS Abroad for Faculty Led?
As more and more faculty leaders head overseas with student groups, the need for assistance on the ground increases. Faculty members have historically been responsible for not only teaching the course, but also overseeing program reservations, payments, on-site crises, logistical changes, risk management, and everything else that comes with these programs. As an education abroad organization, we recognize that putting all of these responsibilities on one person or one office directly affects the quality of the program.
Since 2004, we have closely collaborated with study abroad offices and faculty leaders to deliver the highest program quality possible. How do we do this, and what makes us so successful?
True customization: Every course is different, and in turn every program will be different. By customizing each aspect of the program, we provide faculty with an opportunity to create an itinerary that best meets the learning objectives of your course and directly aligns with your academic needs and expectations.
On-Site Staff: Every program we operate includes a 24/7 staff member to manage not only the logistics of the program, but also those minor incidents and major emergencies that can arise during the time abroad. This full-time staff support allows the faculty leader(s) to focus on meeting the academic objectives of the course. Without this 24/7 support staff focused exclusively on the program, faculty are left to manage everything entirely on their own.
Engineering/Business: Sustainable Cities
9 days in Denmark, Sweden and Germany
By 2050, 70% of the world’s inhabitants will live in big cities, consuming 80% of the world’s energy and producing 75% of all global carbon emissions. Students were presented with insights on how three major European cities – Copenhagen, Malmo and Berlin are tackling sustainability head on creating some of the most livable cities in the world. Issues such as energy, housing, livability, mobility, green investments and technology were addressed during the program.
Medical: Comparative Healthcare Systems
16 days in Ireland
This overarching glimpse into the Irish healthcare system had students visiting and observing and interacting with local speech therapists, physiotherapists, and other medical professionals. This comparative program visited hospitals, universities, and sporting events.
Fashion Design: Fashion Capitals of the World
5 weeks in NYC, London, Paris and Milan
This unique 5 week program gave fashion design students a glimpse into the fashion industry. From product development and design in Milan, to showcases in Paris and store-fronts in NYC – this program included it all.
Tourism, Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts
3 weeks in Aix en Provence, France
This program provided students an opportunity to live with French families and attend class in the morning followed by excursions in the afternoon. Students compared and contrasted local, boutique hotel management and high-end international chains, practiced culinary techniques, and visited local farms and markets.
Social Work: NGO’s of Southeast Asia
16 days in Thailand and Cambodia
This two-week program traveled to two cities in each of these countries to visit and learn about the management of a variety of non-profit organizations. The course was targeted towards non-profit management students, and provided an opportunity for the group to speak directly with those in the field, as well as visit some of SE Asia’s top sites like Angkor Wat!
Sociology: Human Sexuality in Europe
1 week (spring break) in Amsterdam
This week long program provided an embedded option for students to enroll in the course during spring break. Students to recognized the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power.
Math: Mathematicians of the Renaissance
3 weeks in Northern Italy
Based primarily in Florence, this program took advantage of Italy’s rich art history. With visits to places including Vinci, Pisa and Rome, this course explored Italy and the Renaissance through the lens of mathematician-artists, like Da Vinci, who made lasting contributions to both science and art.
Sports: Kinesiology, Culture & Adventure
8 days in Peru
This program allowed students to evaluate the place of sport in contemporary global society from a critical cultural perspective. Split between the distinct regions of the coast and the highlands, this program offered a unique insight into Peru’s nutrition, recreation, culture, and sport.
9 days in Northern Ireland
Students spent their spring break in Northern Ireland learning about the country’s turbulent political past and what action is being taken today to keep peace. The program exposed students to a variety of opinions and sides of the conflict which encouraged them to be open minded throughout the program.
10 days in Barcelona
This program allowed students the opportunity to learn about international business practices through visits to both locally- and internationally-owned businesses, including a brewery, the port, and a vineyard. Cultural activities included a cooking class, city tours, and a flamenco show.
1 week in South Africa
Students to gained a deeper understanding of higher education in South Africa and how it deals with certain issues from a comparative perspective. Students met with administrators, government officials, and local students to compare and contrast Higher Education systems between the US and South Africa.
LGBTQ: LGBT Views of Europe
1 month in various European cities
Using literary works and art, in combination with social history of civil rights movements, this course explored cultural trends in LGBT communities and their acceptance in Western Europe. The course culminated in a three-week journey to four key cities for Western European LGBT people-London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Barcelona.
“Where do you offer programming?” Well, where do you want to go? “We go everywhere” might seem like a stretch, but it is important to find a partner who will vet the location, oversee program logistics and be on the ground to manage crises that may arise.
For those reasons, we are proud to offer faculty-led programming to almost any country in the world. Many institutions and faculty leaders are interested in designing programs to locations that best match their areas of expertise and complement their course content. When venturing into uncharted territory, or a new destination for your university, there is a lot of additional initial work involved to ensure program quality and student safety. We recognize how much time and effort that takes, and we’re here to do that for you. So, where have we designed programs? Check out the list below and see! Are you looking for a country that isn’t listed? Don’t let that stop you from asking us…it may in fact be a destination we can customize!
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
- South Korea
- USA (Hawaii & More)
For us this was a big experiment. Although both of us have been teaching for decades, this was a first in a number of respects–First time teaching together, teaching in Rome, teaching an intense field course, and teaching a course that would require an enormous level of logistical support. To be honest, I was somewhat nervous that the course would not meet our own expectations, despite all the work we put into it before hand. In the end, I could not ask for better help, companions or friends. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than work with them again.
Gary Robbins, Professor of Geology - University of Connecticut
What if I already have my own contacts?
Fantastic! Many of our faculty leaders and institutions already have their own great contacts they wish to work with, or have worked with for years. Our goals include ensuring that all logistics are streamlined, payments are made on time, risk is mitigated, and emergencies are handled properly. It’s great when we can collaborate with you and your contacts, whether it be a favorite local guide or a colleague who we can reach out to about arranging a business visit for your group. Know that we respect your contacts as your contacts, and we are not interested in making them ours – we just want to ensure all goes smoothly and it is important that we are all on the same page should changes need to be made during the program.
What if I have a hotel I would like to use?
Perfect, we’re happy to look into housing your group there! Staying in a familiar location can help ensure peace of mind leading up to your departure. We will also be transparent with you if we feel it might not be adequate for your group (dynamics are quite different than when traveling solo or with smaller numbers) and we’ll suggest alternatives comparable to your preference. Please note that sometimes earlier deposits are necessary to guarantee specific lodging.
Can my family come on the program?
Yes, they can! The best time for friends and family to visit is before or after the program. If they want to join you during the program, please speak with your program coordinator about working out a guest fee and if there are any limitations to their participation.
How early should I start planning?
We recommend starting between 12-18 months prior to departure. Time flies, and you want to be sure your program is laid out well enough to begin promoting the experience to students. At the 12 month mark you’ll want to start showcasing the opportunity to students, with the hopes of securing the group around the 5-6 month mark. Be sure to check with your study abroad office, as their timelines may differ and might in fact call for much earlier preparation.
How much does a program cost?
Great question! We customize the itinerary to meet your objectives, and thus every program price is unique. What factors are considered in estimating the cost? The length of the program, the time of year you are traveling, the type of housing you use, the number of excursions included, the number of meals included, the type of transportation planned, and the list goes on. The great thing about this is that we can continue to tweak the itinerary so that even the price is customized to your needs. Please let us know if faculty fees should not be built into student costs, or if particular line items such as classroom space and academic visits are to be covered by another budget stream (collaborate with your study abroad office). We’ll be happy to pull out certain portions to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for students, outside of what their tuition and university fees will cover.
I don’t see my country of interest on your map...
Don’t see your destination listed? We still may be able to help you! One of the things our partners love most about us is our flexibility and “can do” attitude. We love a challenge, we have the experience venturing into new countries and the staff to assess the risks involved. So, when filling out your program questionnaire, go ahead, list your preferred destination and we’ll be in touch!
When will I receive my final itinerary?
This varies by program depending on the variety and number of arrangements your program entails, as well as the host country business culture. In some places, we may not be able to confirm the exact details of a business visit until a week or two before departure. We know that this can be stressful, but let us worry about it for you! We’ll do our best to keep you informed along the way. Although we will provide a “final” itinerary at least 2 weeks prior to departure, as with all travel, the group should always be prepared for last minute changes, adjustments, etc. Which is again why it’s so helpful to have CIS Abroad staff on the ground to sort out the details!
Do I have to use your staff on the ground?
Yes, and as many of our testimonials will attest, most faculty can’t imagine their program without them! We fully recognize a faculty leader may have lived in a particular destination and know it inside and out, but our staff are there to ensure someone is ready in the event of a logistical change, student crisis or larger scale threat. “Ok, but we are sending two people from our institution.” Excellent! We will still have our staff person on the ground. Our on-site program coordinators are trained in student support, international crisis management, and are there so that your faculty leader(s) can focus on teaching the course, while we worry about the rest. Also consider, and it’s happened before, what if something happens to you?
Do you offer any sort of scholarships for my students?
All students who successfully participate on a faculty-led program managed by our team will officially be considered CIS Abroad Alumni, at which point they will have access to our Go Again Grants and other opportunities to continue their education abroad!
Assistant Director of Custom Programs
Travel Tip: 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!)
Learn more about Jamie
Assistant Manager of Faculty-Led Programs
Travel Tip: The unexpected will happen. Turn the stress into an adventure and a story!
Learn more about Beth
Assistant Director of Custom Programs & Inclusive Outreach
Travel Tip: Learn a few phrases in the local language (besides “thank you”). Practicing your new vocabulary when meeting new people will often earn you a compliment on your skill, or maybe just a smile or laugh. Either way, it’s a great icebreaker!
Learn more about Aaron